For this week’s Show & Tell, I spoke to Ebony Tara Scurry, a Silver Spring career counselor who caters to the work woes of goths and other alterna-types. Pick up a paper or read all about it here.

In addition to Scurry’s one-on-one counseling through her newly launched “Eidolon Career Services,” she’s also prepared a couple of handy goth career manuals. One, Corporate Goth 101: Top Strategies for Bludgeoning to Death the 7 Most Common Workplace Problems, collects Scurry’s advice for the 9-to-5 goth set. One of the most common problems Scurry addresses in the book is the stress associated with going “undercover,” or hiding one’s goth personality from employers and coworkers. For those who do choose to fly the goth flag, the manual also includes help with fielding prying questions from co-workers, such as “Do you drink blood?” and “Do you cut yourself (and drink your own blood)?”—-and offers up strategies for directing workplace banter into neutral territory. “Talk about your cat,” suggests Scurry. “If your cat’s name is Stigmata or Detriment, maybe you should talk about something else.”

For the goth-tolerant employer, Scurry has recently completed a companion piece to Corporate Goth 101, titled: How to Keep Your Gothic Employee From Putting a Satanic Curse On You (priced at $12.95). The manual, released yesterday, includes advice on eliminating goth teasing, dealing with corporate brass who wonder why an employee is “always wearing black,” and understanding the Eleven Satanic Rules of LaVeyian Satanism, which help explain strange behaviors in a Satanist’s workplace, or “lair.” Rule eleven: “When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them.”

Employers hoping to avoid destruction can read on to find other common mistakes. “Nicknames based on stereotypes are neither professional nor appropriate,” the manual reads, urging employers to avoid calling their employees ‘dead guy,’ ‘vampire,’ ‘Skeletor,’ and ‘Satan.’ Another word to the wise: “Please do not hide your gothic employee. No exceptions.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery.