Monday, December 11, 2006

Rules were made to be broken....

Well, well. Someone is paying attention to the dress code. According to the SJVC dress code for business students, this is what you are supposed to wear: Burgundy polo, black or khaki dress pants, brown or black shoes. Women’s shoes should be dressy with no more than a two inch heel. Your nametag should be worn at all times while on campus. Shirts should be tucked-in. Clothes should be in good repair. Men should be clean shaven (moustache and goatee are OK). One ring per finger. Earrings should be unobtrusive. Men can wear earrings, small studs only; no hoops. Men should wear an undershirt; white or black only. Black or brown sox.
Here’s a list of things that are not acceptable: tennis shoes, jackets with logos, shirts untucked (again w/ the untucked!), pants any other color than black or khaki, girls Capri dress pants, “stripper” heels, large or gaudy earrings, wearing sweatshirts or sweaters under your uniform shirt, hats or any type of head covering, nose, lip, eyebrow piercings, more than one set of earrings on the ears. Yep, lots of rules.
Why do we set such high standards? Why would we make your life so miserable? In a word: perception. People will judge you based on how you look. Remember my “bank” story? I was treated two different ways by the same bank teller, because of how I was dressed. Is it right? Is it fair? Not even close. But, that’s how it is. Our goal is to prepare you for success. If you feel the need to rebel against the dress code, you will feel the need to rebel against other things as well. I’ve seen it a million times. I had a student a couple of years ago that refused to tuck in his shirt. Every day he would walk into class and I would have to tell him to tuck in his shirt. After a couple of weeks, he’d walk in, I’d give him the “stink eye” and he’d walk right back out and tuck in his shirt. When he graduated, he asked me if I’d be a reference for a job. I told him that I wouldn’t because I couldn’t trust him to follow the rules and be a good representative of the college. He got mad but then he realized that I was right: all that time bucking the system had cost him a good reference and the possibility of a good job.
I look at people’s attitudes and how they respond to authority. If someone does what they’re told, does it without question and does a good job; that’s the person that I’ll help. That’s the person who probably doesn’t need my help! That person understands that life can be unfair, so play by the rules and you’ll succeed. Remember: rules are there for a reason. You don’t have to know what that reason is, just understand that someone put it into place for a reason; and that reason will most likely benefit you personally. So…tuck in those shirts!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hello, it's me

What's up, "Business Peeps"? It's been a while since I have posted. Needless to say things have been pretty hectic. Now that I know that you are all still interested in reading "The Soapbox", I'll start writing again.

I’ve been listening to John Legend’s version of “Hello, it’s me”, a cover of an original song by Todd Rundgren. The song was originally recorded in the 70’s. Even then, I loved the song. Mr. Legend’s version is just incredible. It’s been a long time since I “fell in love” with a song and this song is my current flame! As I’ve written before, music can evoke an emotion, memory or mood. This song reminds me of when I was in love for the first time with a girl named Kelly. We were together for about 8 months and then she moved out of state. I was totally depressed for about a month or so. Her best friend Gina (the one I mentioned in an earlier blog) started calling me soon thereafter, and we started dating. And, as fate would have it, Kelly moved back to California to a nearby town. I didn’t know she had moved back, and Gina and I ran into Kelly. Apparently Kelly still loved me. A look of slow realization darkened her face. She immediately teared-up and walked away. Devastation, once again. I realized that I still had feelings for her, too. It was also apparent to Gina. I now had two girls mad at me! I tried to call Gina after that, but she wouldn’t take my calls. I tried to call Kelly and, you guessed it: she wouldn’t talk to me, either. A few weeks later, school started and I would run into Gina in the band room or cafeteria. She was nice, but basically wouldn’t give me the time of day.

I started immersing myself in music and pretty soon, I found that I was over both of them. As fate would have it (again, with the fate!) Kelly called me, out of the blue. She said, “Hello, it’s me”. I smiled to myself and the song started running through my head. She said that she had been thinking about me and missed me. She wanted to know if I would come and see her. Of course, I immediately jumped at the chance! We started dating again after that, but it wasn’t the same. It lasted a couple of months and it just kind of ended by itself. I think that we were both in love with the idea of what we had before. Therefore, there were no hard feelings or accusations at the end. We kissed and hugged one last time. I’ve only seen her once since then. It was about 10 years ago. I was married to my first wife and had two small boys. We smiled that smile at each other that silently says, “Remember when?”. My wife was oblivious to that fact and I went away remembering again for the first time in years, that first love.

It’s amazing how a song can prompt one to relive the past, over and over again. When I hear “Hello, it’s me” now, I don’t ache the way I used to. I don’t ache at all, actually. But, just for a moment, it gets a little cloudy in my soul.
What song does that for you?