The One Surprising Time It’s Acceptable to be Naked at Work

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Chris Dessi Blog One afternoon in 2012, I was in an office building in midtown Manhattan. Well, not an office per se. It was a co-working space. But it wasn’t a cool co-working space. It looked more like a law firm than co-working space.


So I was in this, co-working law firm-ish looking office’s conference room. I was starting to feel self conscious. Did I mention I was naked? Well, not totally naked. Pretty close. I had on boxers. But that’s not why I was feeling self conscious. What made me self conscious was the fact that I was in the conference room with 50 year old-ish Hasidic Jewish Father of 6 children.

Wait. I think I started this wrong. Let’s me try it again.

So, my friend Patrick used to be in the military. He sent me an email about a guy who had a cool company. The company had patented a type of testing. The military used the testing to determine which soldiers would perform well in stressful situations.

The CEO of the company wanted to meet me and discuss how to market his test online. He felt that these types of tests could save certain companies, (sports teams in particular) a great deal of money.

I agreed.

He also felt the best way for me to understand the product was to run through the battery of testing myself.

I agreed.

The CEO told me that he had to place sensors all over my body, and that it would work better with little or no clothing on.

Seemed legit. So I agreed.

I’m confident with my body. So when he asked if I would strip down to my skivvies, I agreed. Again.

So there I was. Naked. In a conference room. Taking a stress test.

There were simple tasks to complete, problems to solve, and games to play – sort of like an IQ test. Only this test would add loud noises, barking commands and other distractions. As you ran through the testing, he was monitoring my vitals. Heart rate, sensors on my head, and skin temperature etc.

I performed so poorly on portions of the test the CEO thought I had “brain damage.” His words, not mine.

He leaned in to point at the screen. To articulate just how brain damaged he felt I was. On one chart, I scored nearly perfect. He said I expressed “savant like skill.” He then pointed to the other chart, and dropped the brain damage bomb.

I didn’t learn anything new that day. I already know that I have certain super powers. I’m also well aware that I’m a total monkey when it comes to certain other things.

I can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. I can wax poetic on a stage, even drop sound bites on national TV with panache. I have a huge heart, and I wear said heart on my sleeve. Which brings me to the brain damage part of our show. I’m a moron when it comes to math. The “brain damage” section had simple mathematical equations. As they got harder, the distractions became greater. Evaluating if you could work under pressure. I could not – at least while doing math. Good thing I’m not an medic in a war zone.


Even more fascinating was how I already knew this. Long before I sat partially naked in a co-working office in midtown manhattan. In front of a 50 year old ish Hasidic Jewish Father of 6 children.


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Chris Dessi on CNN

Hey there, thanks for reading!  My name is Chris Dessi. I’m the founder and CEO of Silverback Social.  I’m also the founder of the Westchester Digital Summit, and the author of Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It.  

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