Dear EP Ramblers –
I’m a client, not an executive protection agent, but perhaps you will be able to help me with my dilemma anyway. I really hope so. To be honest, I’m not used to having problems, and I don’t know where else to turn for advice.
My husband and I run a ridiculously successful fashion empire. We are surrounded by outstanding design and beautiful people 24/7. Our dog, a real looker of a Mexican Hairless named Chi Chi, was selected as one of the most beautiful people in the world in 2020. Portraits of her leftover food are in MoMA’s permanent collection. Server farms around the world start belching smoke when one of our Instagram posts goes viral, and they all go viral, so the optics aren’t great on that, but that’s not my problem because no one in LA ever sees those smokestacks.
Case in point: Our daughter’s sweet sixteen party last week. All the guests looked amazing and some of the catering crew literally fainted when our daughter made her entry – she was that stunning. They should teach those people to faint backwards, not forwards into tureens full of Beluga, by the way. Well, as you might gather by now, we are pretty visual people, and the visuals of our EP team are just not up to snuff.
Our team lead and one of his goofball agents showed up to “protect” us as the party wearing pleated khaki pants and faded polo shirts. I.Am.Not.Kidding. We’re talking Dockers here. They looked like something that waddled out of a Big and Tall Store (more like fat and short) in the 80s and hadn’t had time to hit Rodeo Drive since. One of the guests, a dear friend who has worked in the film industry for years and has some substance abuse issues, had a flashback and thought he was back on the Caddyshack set. To make matters worse, their earpieces weren’t color coordinated with their walkie-talkies, or whatever they call those things. These guys stuck out like a couple of turds in a fruit bowl, as my husband put it, and made my daughter and her friends feel awkward on such a special day.
Ramblers, you’ve helped so many others with your column, so please help me, too. How do I talk to these people about a wardrobe upgrade?
Dear Concerned Principal –
First of all, let us tell you that we are very sorry to hear about your experiences with protective coverage. Although plenty of agents write tell-all books about their principals, not many principals take the time to tell their side of the story. Maybe they have better things to do.
Unfortunately, your story isn’t a new one. The executive protection industry is still a little bit like the Wild West. Standards are few and far between, and no regulation is good regulation. But, as no one says in Texas, dorks wearing cowboy hats still look like dorks.
You have at least a couple of options here. You could take the proverbial bull by the horns and tell your agents that it’s time for a fashion remake. Remember, however, that it might be easier to teach old Chi Chi some new card tricks. There’s a good chance your agents won’t get it. If they’ve come this far into 2021 looking like an accountant on casual Friday, they probably won’t.
You could also fire them and find some new ones. It would hardly be the first time an agent got X’d for fashion choices or lack thereof. If you do go that route, we would suggest including emotional and social intelligence as part of the candidate profile.
The EP Ramblers