Connections - Fall 2017 - 29


Herbal Tea on the Job

FRESH FROM A non-profit board
meeting, I'm happy to report on
an eye-opening event. Someone
said, "I'm all for any new program
for us that doesn't involve the
word 'millennial'." I heard shouts
of amen. "Millenial shmennial,"
I said. Soon followed by "diversity
shmersity." Now that I've got your
attention, let me explain.
I've had to fire several
millennials already unfortunately.
I hope it helped them out in the
long run. I did see one really good
one: a young lady, marketing major
from Auburn. She grew up with a
no-nonsense old school dad. She
showed up for work dressed nicely,
said "yes sir," "no sir," was on time,
worked hard, no fooling around. She
never asked about a ping-pong table
or a chocolate fountain for the office
or tried to skip out of work for a
ropes course. She didn't waste time
with personal stuff on the computer
and respectfully made occasional
suggestions for improvement. We
promoted her so much, she left
the association for a well-paying
management job elsewhere. They
exist: ready-for-the-workplace
She came in the first day for
her first real job out of college.
I told her about my first day on
my first real office job: the boss
said, "Here's your desk, here's
your phone, here are your goals,
and, of course, your secretary
who knows everything. Oh, and
there's the coffee maker. I'll check

back with you in a month and you
better have reached your goals." No
namby-pamby worry about where
you came from or your inner child
profile or any hot tub talk, herbal
tea or other therapy. Note: I got
serial promotions too after I kept
achieving the goals.
For this young lady, a millennial,
I said "Here's your desk, your
phone-it's a land line, you don't
have to recharge it-your goals,
and, of course, your computer with
tons of PDFs on everything we do,
and your employee buddy's office
is over there. Here's the coffee
machine and herbal tea, and I'll
check back with you in two weeks.
If you reach your goals, there will
be another two weeks. Go for it."
She nodded and then proceeded to
excel. I learned a great lesson for
the second time in my life. Goals,
hard work without fooling around
and respect make for a winning
formula. No matter the generation.
This brings us to diversity.
Many run, hide, and pull up the
covers with this topic. I don't get
it. You see, plug in the same story
of the millennial above with any
variation of respectful, welldressed, hard-working person,
and I could not care less about
diversity: their skin color, gender,
whatever. Isn't-or wasn't-that
supposed to be the point? Somehow
we tend to veer.
We were taught by enlightened
civil rights messengers that
skin color is irrelevant. Maybe

I'm missing the message, but
official diversity now tells us
that color is everything. Perhaps
it's "victimeering" or perhaps
I just don't get it, but we seem
diverted by diversity. For those
who know Latin, it is indeed the
same basic word. Perhaps, we've
diverted from the "here's the
desk, the goals, etc." talk. Just
give the same talk to everyone
and see who gets it. The others
can go elsewhere. If diversity is
the self-evident end goal, then
there are a lot of sports teams in
trouble-just saying.
One summer, I was fortunate
enough to make it to the Olympic
training camp. I fit in well, I
thought, had a great attitude,
worked hard, even dressed in
all the right gear. Every Friday
morning we had a time trial to
make sure everyone made the
minimum standard. I was sore,
nursing an old injury, but still did
pretty well on the time trial that
Friday, or so I thought. At lunch,
one of the coaches came by and
said, "Harrison, I'm afraid you
missed the time; are your bags all
set?" I looked bemused. "Your ride
to the airport will be out front in
about an hour and a half," he said
softly but factually as he looked
sad and shrugged. I said, "Sir,
I'll be ready. I appreciate having
had the chance." Smarts didn't
count, parents didn't count, skin
color didn't count, money didn't
count, etcetera didn't count. Only
connections >






Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2017

GSAE News & Events
New Members
Living Legends: Aubie Knight, CIC, AAI, CRM; Susan Cheshire, CAE; and Jim Moody, CAE
Giving Together to Help the Hungry
GSAE Doing Good Works & Helping Their Communities
8 Steps to Successful Mobile Activation
GSAE Internship
GSAE Fall Events Round-Up
Meetings Thought Leadership
Destination: South Carolina
Choices: Herbal Tea on the Job
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2017 - intro
Connections - Fall 2017 - bellyband1
Connections - Fall 2017 - bellyband2
Connections - Fall 2017 - cover1
Connections - Fall 2017 - cover2
Connections - Fall 2017 - 3
Connections - Fall 2017 - 4
Connections - Fall 2017 - 5
Connections - Fall 2017 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Fall 2017 - 7
Connections - Fall 2017 - 8
Connections - Fall 2017 - 9
Connections - Fall 2017 - 10
Connections - Fall 2017 - New Members
Connections - Fall 2017 - Living Legends: Aubie Knight, CIC, AAI, CRM; Susan Cheshire, CAE; and Jim Moody, CAE
Connections - Fall 2017 - 13
Connections - Fall 2017 - 14
Connections - Fall 2017 - 15
Connections - Fall 2017 - Giving Together to Help the Hungry
Connections - Fall 2017 - 17
Connections - Fall 2017 - GSAE Doing Good Works & Helping Their Communities
Connections - Fall 2017 - 19
Connections - Fall 2017 - 8 Steps to Successful Mobile Activation
Connections - Fall 2017 - 21
Connections - Fall 2017 - GSAE Internship
Connections - Fall 2017 - 23
Connections - Fall 2017 - GSAE Fall Events Round-Up
Connections - Fall 2017 - 25
Connections - Fall 2017 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Fall 2017 - 27
Connections - Fall 2017 - Destination: South Carolina
Connections - Fall 2017 - Choices: Herbal Tea on the Job
Connections - Fall 2017 -
Connections - Fall 2017 - cover3
Connections - Fall 2017 - cover4