I'll dive into the process of initiation that leads all producers to this uniform, but I'll just jump to the chase first and let you know what you, as a producer, will be wearing for the rest of your life:
Yep, there it is - The Producer Uniform, at least as it exists in the "ideal form." A producer's skill is solely measured by how closely he or she can pull-off this look. No need to ask how well a producer solves problems, motivates, leads, or schedules...a producer's current title is based solely on his or her wardrobe. Your years of training, dedication, and experience are great, I guess, but the fact of the matter is that the first intern who walks in off the street who better achieves the above results will, and frankly should, get your job.
The Uniform is simple, really. A dress shirt, a blazer, and jeans. That's it. Unfortunately, until a "Producers Shoppe" opens in your town, making it possible to buy pre-configured Uniforms, there is a lot of discretion in the Uniform. Tie? Sure, but can you wear a tie with jeans without looking like the "cool" high school science teacher? Belt? Cufflinks? Dress shoes or sneakers? The options are endless, and when you realize that a single mistake will lead to your security badge being disabled the second the front-entrance producer-uniform-visual-analysis camera sees you, one quickly realizes why producers need 3.4 hours to get dressed every morning.
For instance, Seinfeld certainly met the requirements for a producer's Uniform, but as you can see, his wardrobe certainly would barely qualify him for an unpaid internship working for the super-duper-Executive-Producer pictured above.
"But wait!" you say. "I work with a producer who dresses completely differently but has the highest ranking title?! How is this possible?"
To this, I say the following - Stop interrupting my damn blog post with your questions.
In addition to this, I will add that your producer then falls into one of three categories:
- You work for a game development company one degree from the arctic circle, and your producer was the only candidate willing to relocate.
- Your producer was one of the "chosen few" who was able to pass the official producer wardrobe judgement and shame period before being bounced out and forced to wear the wardrobe with the rest of us.
- I don't have a third category, but I'm too lazy to click on the sentence above to change the text from "three" to "two", regardless of how long it has taken me to write this sentence explaining that I'm too lazy.
"Wait, wait. What is this 'official producer wardrobe judgement and shame period' you speak of, JabroniReport?"
First, I'd like to point out that if I had any way of tracking who you are, I'd ban you from this blog for interrupting me again. But since I don't, and you may or may not be real instead of a silly literary device I'm using to advance this blog post's narrative, I shall explain.
The official producer wardrobe judgement and shame period
Once a new producer is hired, most likely based upon the grueling "pictures on a dartboard" process, the judgement period begins.
- Week one and two. During this period, it is understood that a new producer will be wearing what they think they should be wearing. The simple fact is that the new producer is so scared of arbitrarily being fired by an insane producer who, hypothetically, demands that he be referred to as "Mr. Jabroni-san", that the new producer will simply be too afraid to wear what he is comfortable in.
- Week three through eight. The judgement period begins. At first, the new producer will begin to test his boundaries. It is important to note these changes, most likely in some sort of bug tracking software, but it is absolutely critical not to reference these items in a negative manner. If you discourage the new producer during this period, he or she will immediately withdrawal to safe choices, and it will delay his Uniform assignment process by months. The changes during this period will be subtle, but as long as no negative feedback is given, they will be cumulative. At first, it might be wearing cufflinks one day. Enter a Jira ticket, but let them continue. Next, you may see a particularly striking pair of sneakers. Again, enter a bug, but if you leave things be, you will soon see the new producer wearing cufflinks and a striking pair of sneakers.
- Week Eight and One day. The first Monday after the producer's eight week, he or she will wear an example of their full, self chosen producer's wardrobe. It is on this day that the producer is photographed from all angles, and the council of producers congregates. After the official ceremony of wardrobe judgement, the team's producers will create a secure video conference connection to the International Brotherhood of Production, so that the judgement passed is swift, fair, and follows the Brotherhood's official guidelines and recommendations regarding production-approved clothing (Rule Revision version 22 or greater).
- Judgement is passed in one of three (for real this time) ways:
- The producer's wardrobe is examined for minimum qualification standards. If, for instance, the producer is found on this day to be wearing jean shorts, a "hip" dress shirt with skulls on it (tucked in), and a backwards Cleveland Browns hat, the producer is immediately terminated for cause. In fact, the Cleveland Browns hat is by itself grounds for ejection from Production Society, but I added the other two so you could get a better mental image.
- The producer is scrutinized to see if he or she is one of the "chosen ones of legend." There are certain producers of such machismo, such passionate style and pure talent, that they may forever eschew the official wardrobe and instead dress as whatever archetype they have chosen. These producers are rare indeed. In my career I have spotted a few of them, but only in fleeting glances and whispered voices. It is said that if one ever looks into the eyes of the chosen producers, they will instantly go insane, forever institutionalized and babbling of "the perfect email inbox management system." The rumored archetypes are:
- Cool, hipster T-shirt producer. A producer who wears, and can "pull off wearing" some crazy cool new t-shirt every single day. You, of course, won't understand the t-shirt at all, because it is most likely a band you've never heard of or an inside joke you just won't get.
- Sports producer. This wardrobe, expressly prohibited from those working on sports game, is rumored to have been worn only once. It involves wearing sports related paraphernalia every day, but in a way that is somehow cool and represent a love of sport, and not of a series of sport's teams. The latter would obviously disqualify a producer from the position immediately.
- Kooky style producer. This category, while broad, is still as rare as a white whale. This is a category of producers who can "pull off", and maintain, a very unique and stylish look without it becoming a parody. This can be anything from '1920s swing dancer producer' to 'overly-dressed for any occasion producer' to 'I'm so cool I don't have to care what I wear producer.' The "I don't care" producer is often the hardest to judge, because the producer in question has to be of such confidence that he really doesn't care, and if you feel like you fall into this category, you are lying, and would not make it past the initial scrutinization. Do you wear the same thing to work as you wear to a dinner with important clients, the company softball game, meetings with publisher big-wigs, and a date with your far-too-cool-for-you girlfriend? If so, you might fit this category, but seriously, you don't. Like, for real. Not at all. We all care.
- At this point, once a producer has been ruled out of being one of the "chosen ones", he is brought into the room and beaten with socks filled with security-wiped and checked USB keys. This may seem harsh, but bear in mind that any gathering with more than two producers begins in this fashion. At this point, once a producer is found to be alive, but not too alive, he or she is handed the following:
- A blazer, of a quality to be determined based upon the quality of bugs entered during the evaluation stage, not to be deemed less than Target Mossimo in quality, but not to exceed the standard dollar amount of Armani Collezioni.
- A pair of jeans, of a quality to be determined based upon the quality of bugs entered during the evaluation stage. For jeans, Levi's is the standard issue for interns or assistant producers, but after that, the quality bar ranges pretty severely, again with Target at the bottom range, and an upper range somewhere between Seven and True Religion.
- A single white gym sock, and two USB keys. A producer's duration in a company is determined by the color of their gym sock, usually referred to as the "producer sock of swift justice", and the quantity of USB keys, which is usually referred to as "the number of USB keys in the producer's sock of swift justice." My bosses sock, for instance, is made of pure gold thread, and has the names of his producers embroidered in unicorn hair. It contains hundreds of 64GB USB keys, such that a single swing of his "sock of swift justice" can instantly make a producer deliver a flawless risk mitigation plan in under two hours. Or it just really hurts. Whichever.
Why did I take the time to share this invaluable information with you, my millions of near-rabid, stalking Jabroni Report readers? It is simple, really. As most of you know, the sole question one ever needs to ask a producer during an interview is "Do you read the Jabroni Report." I know that many of you find it tedious to take the time to actually ask this question, however. Therefore, by publishing this blog post, you won't even have to speak to, or make eye contact, with an interview candidate. You will know, based upon their attire, whether or not they read this blog, and thus whether or not you should hire them to be your boss.