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Constant misperceptions….

July 5, 2009

The other day I spoke with my youngest sister. There is a ten year age difference between us. She is a leader of the new school as I struggle and cling to the past. I’m one of the few people in my age group that may actually think that that sagging pants and the N word are obscene. I cling to my outdated mores and values that tell you not to call your best friend a b*&@! I cling to those values that made me who I am today.

So, how did this all come about? Why do I sometimes feel as if I’m an aging parent trying to convince a younger generation of right and wrong?  Well, here’s the tale. My sister works at a bank in a small college town. A group of fellow students came to said bank to cash their refund checks. Instead of these youngsters waiting patiently and talking to the tellers with decency in order to get their checks cashed, they resulted to yelling, braggadocio and severe neck rolling.  Her view on the subject was that these classmates made her school look bad. My view was that this attitude really didn’t reflect on her university directly. It reflected on blacks as a whole and THEN it made her school look bad.

This may seem like a minor difference.

Resorting to name calling and neck rolling to get things done has long been a pathway to stereotyping. The equivalent in most circles is to call a lawyer. To find someone to else to do your yelling. However, these youngsters haven’t mastered the art of technique. How do you get what you really want without losing your cool?

This situation brings to mind an incident I saw a few years back when I used to live in NY.  I was a local fast food chain waiting in line. The entire staff spoke Spanish, from the manager to the fry cook. There were two young women, who couldn’t speak the King’s English, let alone a little espanol. Well, these two were trying to apply for a job. Why did they proceed to insult EVERYONE that worked at the place. The staff were in the middle of rush hour and since they didn’t stop serving customers to give these two women an application, those girls went loco.

First, they said things like, “I don’t even wanna work here! They cain’t even speak English!” Then the friend was like, “Ion know why they takin’ so long! Dang! Don’t they see we wanna’ job!” They conversed in this manner for at least a good three minutes. The manager, who I’m sure could speak English and Spanish,  finally gave them applications.  Were they grateful?  Were they polite? Nope, they rolled their eyes and said things like, “Took them long enough!”  Well, I don’t have to be on the hiring committee for that one to know that those aps ended up in the trash.

My point being, we have forgotten how to get what we want with tact and decency. Everyone keeps saying it’s a lack of education. But to tell you the truth, it’s more simpler and cheaper than going to a job training program. It’s called a home training.  If someone told them how to act in public, then I’m sure they wouldn’t have had so many problems just getting a job application.

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