Sunday, November 14, 2010
Know Your Place ?
(Besides Amanda) How many women would approve of the above image?
In this day and age - not many.
Many people still believe that their value is determined by the rules set by others who have no real power over them.
Many of these still choose to remain on the plantation even after emancipation.
Many have become so inculcated with a culture of inferiority that they cannot even imagine what freedom looks like or how it feels.
May are so accustomed to prison that they cannot acclimate to a world without limitations.
This past week I had a group of employees at a club revolt against my teachings.
These people were so upset with me that many were on the verge of tears.
One guy decided to 'man-up' and confront me because I had apologized to some disappointed patrons because his skills as a DJ were lacking.
His (hostess) girlfriend then told me that I needed to 'Know (my) place.".
Most people who work these clubs have other jobs.
Some are secretaries for judge so-and-so or assistant managers at some store or laborers for some company.
But each has some sort of title.
"You don't even really work here.", the girl said angrily.
Which is true - I just advise owners and train staffs.
My livelihood does not depend on nightly tips.
But these people were mad because I had taken it upon myself to ensure that every patron had a good time and was properly served.
I make sure that every patron gets his money's worth.
But these employees don't see things the same way.
If it isn't in their job description, they don't do it.
Most will not clear a table because doing so would be beneath them.
Most will not clean up a spill because that is also thought to be beneath them.
Most defer responsibility up through a chain of command instead of taking the responsibility themselves.
But the thing is, I did know my place.
The club owner heard the grumblings and left early to avoid confrontation. (A weak leader.)
As I listened to the employee complaints, "Know (my) place.", was all that I seemed to remember.
This is the same thinking that keeps people from taking full advantage of opportunities.
This is the same thinking that causes people to settle for less even though more is readily made available.
This is the same thinking which keeps one safe but also keeps one subjugated.
In the end, the DJ was shifted to working the door and the hostess was dismissed.
(I guess they now also know my place.)
But this incident brought to mind the parable of the Unjust Steward.
The guy could not dig yet he was too proud to beg.
Many people from underprivileged areas are so caught up in their tenuous positions or titles that they will not do the work which needs to be done.
Others are so accustomed to being ruled that they cannot function when given responsibility.
Another blogger once mentioned that while living in the hood his mother always taught him that they did not belong there.
Apparently, he did know his place but he knew that it was not where he was at that time.
It seems that many in the South do 'know their place' and these are those who live with the consequences of poorly performing schools, crime infested neighborhoods, crooked political representation and poor familial structures.
Sometimes it's good to know your place,
as long as that place is not determined by someone else.