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Setting the mood of the office

Jayden, the main character in the current piece I'm writing, works in a private equity office in NYC. There is an unspoken culture deep within these corporate settings that spans appearance, background and goals, and this place is no exception.

Everyone in the room, like everyone in the office from intern to associate to partner, dressed to show rank, and every suit, skirt, pair of shoes and wristwatch sent a signal like so many chevrons on a uniform: what you wore showed who you were, or wanted to be. Choice of watch was delicate and had to be measured against position and expectations. A watch should be worn as a status symbol, and depending on the aspirations of the wearer compared to his peers, it was an individual and ever-evolving decision whether to wear upward or to match status with others at your level. If Rolex was the benchmark for a principal or partner, it would be folly for anyone from VP or below to wear one, even if they could afford one. Although a watch was a means to project status, under no circumstances should it be shown overtly; rather it should be allowed to be seen. The right watch for the right situation showed its wearer as a good watch should: sophisticated, aware, bold enough to show position, status and aspiration, but with the self-awareness to allow others to make this observation of their own accord.

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