Every time I’m introduced into a new group (or person) I know it’ll take time for them to get to know me and vice versa. My Dad always told me, “that people will not talk with you if they don’t like you. Time is a precious commodity that people won’t waste it on unwanted activity or people.”
That really resonated with me since I’m a people person, per se. Especially regarding time being wasted as I’ve already posted my thoughts about that.
They especially wouldn’t haze you if you’re not welcomed into the group as there’s a difference between that and bullying. And that difference is based on intent. So when I joined the Costco Woodinville a year ago that reminded me of my hazy shade of winter …
My story of hazing starts in the winter of 2002 at Costco Travel. I cleared the probationary 90 day challenge months ago, which I issued a challenge to the hiring manager. Costco Travel was experiencing a tremendous amount of growth, therefore shuffling of cubicle desks was a monthly, if not weekly, occurrence.
One move placed me near the Vacation Package Agents, and somewhat separated from the Cruise Department which I was a Cruise Reservation Agent. There was no animosity however playful banter between the two departments was palatable.
One particular agent was Chris McClain Simmons who was very enigmatic.
For all tense and purpose he followed none of the rules; written and unwritten. His desk was an absolute mess with stacks of papers, disheveled items and pictures of him posted throughout the cramped space. Completely opposite of me.
Whenever we engaged in conversation it seemed like he was #throwingshade at me. Even his emailed movie trivia was a sharp-tongued reply to my correct answers. I started to be offended by this man who seemed to be above the law, loud and proud, and simply operated on the only mood he cared for – rogue.
Towards the end of his tenure at Costco Travel, and towards the end of his life, he coaxed me over to his cubicle.
He wryly asked me, “Hey Los, do you like me?”
I grimaced at the question, “Of course. Why would you need to ask?”
He removes an object from underneath a pile of papers, and presents it to me, “Here. Take this.”
I accepted his gift, and examined it. It’s a 2-inch, by 1-inch, by 1/2 inch blue box with the words Austin Powers emblazoned on it with Mike Myer’s face on it. After pausing, I ask, “What’s this? A sound box?”
“As a matter of fact, yes it is. Press the button down,” he commanded.
I did so, and “Yeah, baby, yeah!” emanated out of the box. I chuckled a little. “Classic McClain.”
He smiles as he knows I accepted his gift he bequeathed me. “Anytime you miss me, you press this button, ” he points down to Austin Powers face, “Just like I press your buttons!” He punctuates it with a forced laugh.
He died shortly after our interaction.
I liked that guy. The younger McClain was pretty damn good looking, too. I dare say he had a likeness of Robert Redford. And the older version that I knew, had a likeness to Austin Powers, the International Man of Mystery.
After his death, I discovered he didn’t talk to many other co-workers, let alone haze them / give them a razing like he did to me. It became explicit that he did like me, which dispelled my hazy shade of winter (the song explains he’s unsure about his life accomplishments)
In an odd way, a McClain way, he showed his appreciation for me, by hazing me in a good natured way, and never malicious.
So any time I feel like I’m getting razzed by someone or a group, I smile and know it’s because they wanna be around me, and that I should allow myself to razz them back. Just remember, if they don’t like you, they won’t haze you, let alone talk with you.
So Seattle, and Spaceship Earth, have you been hazed once you’ve joined a new group? If so, how bad was it? Until next week, be good like you should, and if you can’t be good, be good at what you do!
Mic drop *bOoM*