A new craze among aspiring entrepreneurs has left local hospitals both baffled and concerned. The practice, nicknamed “personal branding”, involves placing a burning-hot poker on one’s own skin until it leaves a semi-permanent imprint of one’s transferable skills and social media presence. Henry Wesley, an app developer and one of the first people to brand himself, explained the rationale for his decision: “You know Klout just wasn’t doing it for me. Sure, they give me a score for what my social media presence is, but it’s hard to slip something like that organically into a conversation, you know? Now, I just show them my arm and, as long as this damn thing stops bleeding, they can see exactly what I’m all about.”
It is difficult now to find a networking event without a roaring fireplace complete with customizable branding irons. Although conversations are harder to maintain what with the inhuman screaming that accompanies the interaction of searing hot metal and skin, most have welcomed the change in networking culture. “I think it’s added a real element to meeting new people,” said technology consultant Harry Mantle. “When you see the face of a man while he’s painfully disfiguring his body, it’s really easy to then skip the small talk and have a real conversation about things.”
The content of the personal brands in question differ greatly depending on the person. Some people opt for simple descriptive phrases such as “lateral thinker” or “team player” while others — generally those with a higher tolerance for pain — have their résumés scorched on their bodies. The vast majority choose to have their brands on their forearms, although a few have been adventurous enough to brand their legs, necks, and even faces — Mike Tyson has been labeled a visionary in this field.
The resultant sudden spike in burn victims has caused doctors to advise against the practice, but it seems as though there is no stopping the trend. One patient, who was formerly in critical condition and preferred to remain anonymous, even attempted to brand his chest with a giant business-card themed poker. Rumors abound that his eventual goal was for all networking events to be shirtless, but these cannot be substantiated. When asked why he did such a thing, he replied, “I just had to get my name out there somehow.”