Good Impressions? Give Me Bad Impressions Any Day!
An example of "good manners," and a "good" impression
This is "MY KIND" of Gal . . .
More Examples of Bad Impressions
A job applicant walks into the human resources department of this huge company to be interviewed for a job. The human resources manager asks the job applicant to be seated. Upon sitting down, the applicant, we'll call him, "Dann," for now, lets go a loud belch. And timidly-smiles at the human resources manager. The human resources manager hesitates, waiting for "Dann," to apologize, but he doesn't hear one. "Congratulations, 'Dann,' the job is yours," exclaims the human resources manager. "Dann," sneezes into his right hand, then shakes hands with the human resources manager who is still happy that "Dann" will be working for him.
When you finished the above paragraph, were you shocked? Or amazed? Probably if you are level-headed, reasonably mannered, and socially balanced like most people, you were shocked. Why? Because not many "Danns" get jobs with loud belches and sneezes without an apology to those around them.
But in this case, and since is "my' story, I had "Dann," the underdog, to get a good job without all that hub-bub of "acting" nice, sweet, and kissing the boss' behind just for a paycheck. And face it with me, please. You have to admit that in all job interviews, most job applicants do Oscar-winning performances to impress the man or woman interviewing them just to get a job. I know. I worked briefly as a human resource manager in the mid-80's and it was a hoot. I laughed aloud after the job-seekers left after a great performance.
This is just a small sample of one of the many interviews I had with a job-hunter.
ME: So, you say on your application that you are a non-smoker.
JOB HUNTER: Yes, sir. I do not believe in smoking. Or cigarettes.
ME: Then tell me why do I smell cigarette smoke on your clothing?
JOB HUNTER: Oh, ha, ha. I was sitting out there in your lobby and there were these chain-smokers sitting on each side of me. The smoke must have soaked into my clothes.
ME: I see. And that pack of Winston's in your shirt pocket was put there without your knowledge .
You see? Actors and acting. You see both when you interview people for a job. And this same ritual is seen daily in almost every aspect of life. Churches, offices, public events, and the best place to see acting and actors is in a restaurant. Oh how these "finely-tuned" socialites can impress the pants off of us with their "yes, ma'am's," "yes, sir's," and "thank you's," they really don't mean. It's a circus, I tell you. More fun than getting to eat the meal itself.
True story: My wife and I were eating at our local Huddle House in Hamilton, Alabama, one Sunday after church, the best time to see actors and acting in restaurants, when this man who looked like a preacher, and his preacher-type of wife, came in and sit down. Their faces were as stony as those on Stone Mountain, Georgia. Hard, glaring. Non-emotional. Surely these people were "holy" and above sin. Or at least that was the "act" they were doing.
There was this distinguished-looking man with them. He too looked stately, fashionable and "holy." This was big fun for our booth was behind theirs and I overheard most of their dialogue.
WAITRESS: May I take your order?
HOLY MAN #1: Oh, yes, ma'am, I uh, do not want to eat any food that God isn't pleased with me putting into my body, by the way, my temple, so I will just have water, and that is pure water, right, miss? And a slice of toast. I have to watch my weight because God does."
HOLY MAN #2: Bro."Willy," I must admit. You are certainly doing a good job with the church and making yourself "the" example of righteous and holy living."
HOLY MAN #1: Oh, uhhh, ha, ha, (covers mouth like a lady), I'm just an "humble-hearted" man who knows God pretty-well and I want people to let me teach them how to live."
HOLY MAN #1's WIFE: Oh, he's right, Bro. "Dewberry," my husband, whom I love and obey, never makes a mistake. Wy' I think that our congregation believes that "he" can walk on water." Honest, Bro. "Dewberry."
But when no one was watching, the conversation suddenly changed.
HOLY MAN #1 (to his wife): Hey, would you "pleeeeaaaase," pass the pepper. I haven't got all day. I need to get back to the church to pray about tonight's message."
WIFE: Sure, I will do "everything" your heart desires. Do you want me to wash the car? Spin the wool for your suits?
HOLY MAN #2: Now, kids. Let's be a bit quiter. We never know when a "sinner" might be watching and listening to us. We must keep up a "righteous front" for all to see.
And do you see the stupidity in that? "Front"? I thought I would choke on my fried eggs. After some thought I came to the realization that it is too much work and too much of a burden to always "act" your way into a good impression or use good manners. And when you finish this story, you might see things my way.
Here are the most-sensitive areas where just "being yourself," bad impression, manners and all, will pay-off in the long run. I know you are still reeling with shock, but see if you can manage to muster up the strength to finish this life-changing story.
- When you are having "bowel troubles," and feel "the call" for the rest room, GO! Do not hold it back. It is you who will be paying for a new suit if you "act" good and use good manners and then it happens. Who cares if your getting up from your seat near the front of the sanctuary causes the groom to forget his "I do."?
- Sneeze if you have to. These people around you will not pay for your doctor's visit for a heart attack caused by holding back that powerful sneeze. Be real. Sneeze. You might be scorned, but hey, you will live longer.
- So what if you trip over the table holding the bride's beautiful cake? You are not an aerialist who makes a living on the high-wire in a circus. You are a clumsy man with no grace. Just be whom you are. The bride, in time, will forgive you. After all, she is your daughter.
- Coughing outloud is a definite "no, no," at a wake, but you are sick with the flu. You should get a medal for even showing up. Sneezing relieves the body of those pesky flu germs. Do not get sicker, sneeze. The deceased would want it this way.
- Talking loud is okay too. No one at any funeral can really hear what people are saying while the service is going on for all the dad gum whispering. Speak, but not in a vulgar tone. What you say may save a life. For instance, "Hey, miss, your dress hem is up to your behind," this statement would be saving this lady a lot of humiliation. Remember that. Speak. It might be appreciated.
- Snoring used to be frowned upon by funeral etiquette experts, but nowadays, snoring is not that bad. Especially if the one snoring has just come off the "graveyard shift," and has had no sleep. Be careful to not judge a snoring man or woman too harshly, for they might be supporting a big family.
AT JOB INTERVIEWS (REMEMBER OUR NEW FRIEND, "DANN")
- Wear what you normally wear around the house--faded Dockers, cargo pants, a Hooters tee-shirt (with photo of waitresses) and sandals. If the person interviewing you looks at you in a strange way, simply say in a firm tone, "I am what I am. Honest as the day is long. And I do not "act" for anyone. I work for people. And I am a slow-learner too. But with patience and proper training, I will be, in all probability, a decent employee and not an ungracious excellent "acting" employee." The person interviewing you will nearly faint. He or she has never met anyone like you. Honest, upfront and real. See if this works for you. Let me put it this way, it it doesn't work, what have you lost? You are still without a job.
- If you are a girl job applicant, do not do the overdone short-skirt, too much make-up, flirty girl routine to get the job. Wear jeans. A clean sweat shirt. And moderate make-up. If the job interviewer is a woman, she won't consider you a threat. And hire you. And if the person interviewing you is a man, he will be afraid not to hire you for he sees in you, a no non-sense gal who can take care of herself.
- If you are a man or woman, do lean forward and prop-up on the desk of the person doing your interview. Look him or her straight in the eye. And do not blink. Chew your Wrigley's gum. He or she will most-definitely ask, "why are you doing this?" You simply smile and reply, "I didn't want to miss one single word you are saying about your company and the place I am going to be working." He or she will beam with surprise at the confidence you show in your actions and words.
. . .And finally
ON FIRST-DATES MEETING HER PARENTS
- Don't be a pansy. And "act" scared of her dad. That is what all dad's expect from a daugher's new man in her life. Be you. If you are a tough guy, be tough, but do not slug the dad. Just stand firm. Shoulders back. Chest out. And when you shake hands with him, do your best to crush the bones in his hand. This will show the old man you are strong enough to defend his little girl.
- Do not agree with everything your date's father says. Example: "I am totally-against the war in Iraq because of the billions of dollars spent on equipment causing the National Debt to be higher." states the old man. YOU: "Buddy, I am an American! An all-out American! I disagree with that "flower child" "free love" attitude you have there. These yahoo's took down the Twin Towers, and they should pay, buddy." A look of bewilderment will come on your date's dad's face. Especially how your wardrobe and opinion are different as daylight and dark. You are wearing a peace symbol shirt. Your hair is so long you sit on it. And you look the perfect photo of a throwback to the "hippies" of the 60's, but be what you are. If you don't agree with "pops," don't. He will respect your backbone.
Before I go, I have one or two crucial questions for you. Answer them after you truly think them through.
1. What has "acting" nice, giving a good impression, really done for you? And when you did "act" nice and presented a good impression and was kicked to the curb anyway, how did you feel? Resentful, right? I know. I've been there lots of times.
2. Was it really worth the time and energy spent to "impress" a boss, a date's parents, or a new preacher at your church? Remember, what people will always remember is what YOU present first. If you have bad manners, don't pretend you do. Understand?
3. Is it not more-liberating to just be whom and what you REALLY are, as opposed to "jumping through hoops" for those who will not remember your name in the next five minutes.
Thank you for your time. And I mean that. Well not one-hundred percent, but maybe eighty percent. I am just practicing what I preach.
Or, uhh, write.