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Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

A response to Rory McEntyre’s guest opinion column in this morning’s Oregonian, complaining that he can’t get hired because of his facial piercings and tattoos (see   www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/05/portlands_tolerance_is_otheverrat.html#incart_river):

Mr. McEntyre, what you are not recognizing is that your appearance is more important to you than anything else – such as finding a good job.  You don’t want to change your appearance in any way for any reason, yet you berate others who judge you on it.  Well – you can’t have it both ways.  Women the world over can tell you what it’s like to be judged on appearance.  People with physical challenges and deformities can tell you what it’s like to be judged on appearance.  As a very general rule, I think it’s safe to say that most of us try to present an appearance suitable to our jobs and our circumstances, and most of us do not define ourselves solely by our appearance.

You seem to identify yourself solely by your appearance.  It is so important to you, that it doesn’t matter to you that it prevents people from seeing who you might be underneath; yet now you rant about it.  You have it within your control to change it, but you’d rather complain. Those piercings are more important to you than a job.  Believe me, if people born with physical deformities, or people who have gone through horrific life experiences such as a fire which disfigured them, or a war which caused the amputation of a couple of limbs, could look “whole” again, I’ve no doubt they would love it.

But do you realize what a lot of those folks do?  They work super hard to make use of what they cannot change; they work super hard to maintain a good attitude, to have a sense of humor, to develop other skills to compensate for what they lack – and they often outshine the rest of us.  But you?  You have an appearance totally within your control, and you blame others for not accepting you.  Look in your inward mirror; it isn’t other people causing your problem, it’s you.  As someone said in the comments below your article, it’s time to grow up.

Try to look inside yourself and understand why your piercings are more important to you than putting a roof over your head; why your appearance is so extremely important to you that it’s become how you define yourself, instead of any interior qualities or education you may actually have.  I’m so sorry for you; you may be a very gifted man, but you seem to have a compulsion to hide those things and put your appearance first – everything, absolutely everything, revolves around your appearance.  That is the message people are getting when you show up to apply for a job, and that is why they don’t hire you.  You actually don’t want them to see past your appearance – and they can’t.  Their fault?  Don’t think so; the fault, dear Brutus, lies within yourself.

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I had a lot of fun this past week working with reporter Lee van der Voo from the local Lake Oswego Review (just outside Portland, OR) for an article about social media, public affairs and eduction. Here’s the link: http://www.lakeoswegoreview.com/news/story.php?story_id=123621175674053800

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I’ve just moved from Missoula, Montana, where I lived for 24 years, back to Oregon, where I lived for 10 years another lifetime ago.  I’m now located about half an hour east of Portland.  The move has gone well; my new neighbors are wonderful; and I’m getting out and enjoying this area for the things which drew me to back to Oregon and which I’d long missed (proximity to the ocean being right at the top of that list).

But one thing has followed me here – and indeed, has started up again here  all on its own – that I increasingly question.  It will sound to others like I’m a little slow on the uptake, I suppose; but I’m wondering why, after I’ve donated money or my public relations services to a non-profit worthy charity, they never come back and ask what they can do for me.  Sometimes they don’t even say thank-you.  I’m not talking about the one or two organizations I’m involved with where I have close friends in the group who do make a point of expressing their gratitutde and trying to return the favor.  I’m wondering about those many worthy organizations that engage in cold-calling, direct mailing, and nagging and who, once you’ve given them something like $50 to help with the cause, forget from then on out who you are – except as a paycheck.  Too often, the thank-yous aren’t there; and never have I had anyone call me or write me and say, “Your donation and time are so appreciated.  Is there some way we do something for you?”

I’m into this public relations mutual relationship thing, see — just to gear this down a notch.  I sort of expect something mutual to happen.  But too often, there is nothing mutual unless you count a brief, 10-second phone call after which I hang up. 

And it gets worse.  This past year, I had someone from a veterans’ organization actually get quite angry and sarcastic on the phone when I said I was preparing to move to Oregon, expenses would be tight, and I couldn’t donate this year.  I called and complained, and will not donate to that organization again.  The saddest part is that I will donate to our veterans before I donate to almost anyone else.

I am more and more adverse to making any kind of donation to anyone given this ongoing behavior.  Don’t even get me started on how many times my name has been sold as part of a mailing list.  Yes, I know there’s the option to put a stop to such calls, but that’s only for individuals: the calls and behavior I’m complaining about come to me under my business name, AdScripts.

If any non-profits are listening out there, I have just one last thing to say:  It’s about relationships, folks.  I will give to an organization whose cause I believe in, and with whom I have a two-way, mutually supportive relationship.

Speaking of relationships — and this is Part II of this small rant — e-mail and electronic communication seem to have replaced our delight in getting to know and see each other face-to-face.  When we have no facial expressions, no body language, and no tone of voice to give us clues, do we really know each other?  Or do we not care one way or the other?  The definition of “relationship” seems to be like the shifting sands in the Sahara lately, and I’m wondering if it won’t bite us in the you-know-what one of these days.  It’s so easy to say things electronically that we’d never say over the telephone, left alone face-to-face.  But relationships are all about give-and-take, and I’m wondering these days if we’re letting debates and  monologues and busy-ness with e-mail convince us we’re actually having relationships.  Related to that, I’m wondering if we think all the online communication is productive: are we producing results for our companies and our clients, or does all the busy-ness simply masquerade as results?

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