It was time for my performance review. I used to always get nervous at these things, there’s so much pressure with the boss glaring at you from the other side of the desk. Now though I realize that it’s a time that I can use to my advantage, a time where I’m alone with my boss and it’s just her and I. When she needs to focus on me, and in particular on my words.

Before I went into advertising I used to be a stage hypnotist. It let me put myself through college, and is still a nice little party trick. So rather than nervously trying to just live through the meeting I know how to take control and direct it. 

We start with small talk, and I play with my watch so that it reflects light into her eyes. I find a pattern, a rhythm to move my wrist so that it flashes light in a steady manner. This forces her to blink, then reopen her eyes and adjust before blinking again with the next flash.

She frowned, “Please stop that.”

“Stop what?” I ask innocently, as I flash hey eyes again.

She blinks, “With the watch.”

I nod and remove my watch and hold it up, “What about the watch?”

“Just put it away,” she said. 

I set it down on the table, “There. Now you can just look at it as much as you want to. You don’t need to worry about it making your eyes heavy and tired, closing down. Heavy and tired, you can just look at the watch without closing your eyes, without closing your eyes down tightly, down blink down.”

She stared at the watch, mouth agape for a moment with a confused look on her face. I reached over and placing a hand on her shoulder pulled her forwards and said firmly, “Sleep.”

Collapsing forwards onto her desk her eyes shut and I began to talk. Not only would this be my best performance review yet, but we’d be getting a lot more one on one time from now on.