Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who you callin' zombie fodder Willis?

We face tough decisions every day. Prada or Louis Vuitton? Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik? Mac or Lancôme? Ulta or Sephora? Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom?

Every apocalypse comes with tough decisions that must be made. Choosing both (Saks and Nordstrom!) may never be possible. You may find yourself caught, forced to choose between two equally unsavory options without any alternatives.

If you find yourself leading a group of would-be survivors into the fray, how do you decide who is or is not expendable?

Take stock of your group. What are the people around you like? I don’t mean are they cool. Of course they are cool: they are with you. Look for more practical attributes.

Is someone a particularly good at puzzles? Does someone love first person shooter games? Who accessorizes the best?

These are serious times, you say. What do games and jewelry have to do with anything?

People who are good at puzzles have well-developed problem solving skills. If you find yourself in a locked in a room that is filling with water and all you have are a bunch of seemingly mismatched items at your disposal, you want someone who can see the hidden pattern.

The First Person Shooter may not have applied weapons knowledge but she does have knowledge. She also has experience leading teams in raids. Her knowledge may be virtual, but everything that isn’t experienced first-hand is.

The Accessorizer has similar skills to the Puzzler. He can see patterns where there do not appear to be any. While the Puzzler sees a pattern that builds a predetermined whole, the Accessorizer takes disparate pieces and makes them work together. Putting together a successful ensemble takes creativity and skill: looking chic is no accident.

While assessing your group’s strengths, you also have to take stock of its weaknesses. Is anyone particularly self-centered? Who doesn’t deal well with pressure? Who isn’t in relatively good physical condition?

The Self-Centered person may be a survivor, but she is not a team player. This person will do everything in her power to save herself: even if it means sacrificing someone else. She will help when it suits her. Accept her help but do not depend on her. Do not trust her.

People who do not deal well with pressure are not going to survive. This is an unfortunate fact. The apocalypse, in whatever form it takes, will be fraught with danger and full of stress. Freezing under pressure will end badly.

The Out of Shape will have a much harder time surviving than those who are physically fit. She will not be able to run as fast, climb as well, or jump as high. She may fall behind. She may be a liability. She may not be able to fight. Do not rule her out though: the heavy kid often has something to prove. She may turn out to be one of the most apt in your rag-tag little army.

So, how do you decide who is or is not expendable? You don’t. You assemble your group, play to their strengths, try to avoid weaknesses, and do the best you can. They are people, not pawns.

Do you have something to add? Tell us in the comments!

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