Éric’s 5 Rules for Being Professional

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

I was taught from a young age that the secret to professionalism was subservience.

  • Don’t make eye contact;
  • Call people Ma’am and Sir;
  • Never call an adult, client, or superior by their first name;
  • Always use formal pronouns (It’s a French thing);
  • Don’t complain;
  • Don’t get involved; and
  • Don’t look or act differently than others.

It could be that my rural upbringing was extra strict or it could just be the area. If you wanted respect, you needed to give back to the community, or have money.

My mother isn’t who taught me this, she was a progressive feminist hippie. She taught me to judge people’s worth by what they did and said, not by their money or appearance.

This post by a nurse with amazing hair brought back a lot of frustrations for me. As have countless other articles or posts about “Kids these days”. You know, the ones about Pokémon Go, or those I’ve already complained about.

The world is changing quickly and everyone is dealing with it differently. Some are nostalgic for the 90s, some are lost in hate, and others are just delusional.

I deal with clients or customers in all of my jobs (Civil Servant, Layout Artist, Sales person, Coffee Roaster, and Author) and I think I can speak with some authority on how to be professional in this new and changing world.

Éric’s 5 Rules for Being Professional

5. Treat Everyone Equally

Respecting everyone and treating them as your equal is easy but has a huge effect. People like to feel valued and will think better of you for doing it. Nobody likes being treated as stupid or beneath them.

Don’t assume that because they’re wearing biker gear, that they’re part of the Hell’s Angels. They could just as easily be a Doctor or Lawyer that likes to ride a motorcycle.

It’s important to remember that this is about respect and not assimilation or standardization. Treating someone equally also means respecting their ways, beliefs, and how they want to be treated.

4. Judge Others by Their Actions

This is the simplest rule. If someone wears the perfect suit and looks like the perfect employee, it doesn’t mean they’re good at their job.

Don’t judge someone by their race, skin colour, make up, ethnicity, sex, gender, body alterations, sexual preference, clothing, religion, weight, attractiveness, etc.

Judge them by how well they do their job and how they treat other people. You can learn a lot about a person by how they interact with someone who can’t benefit them personally.

3. Never Denigrate Others to Elevate Yourself

If you’re good at what you do, be proud. Tell people that you’re proud. I am immensely proud of my book. It’s ok to tell people that you think your stuff is awesome.

Never denigrate others to elevate yourself. My book is a YA Urban fantasy and I think it’s entertaining, but I’m not going to sell it as better than *insert popular YA here*.

By insulting others you are not showing pride in your work but disdain for others. It doesn’t elevate you, it brings others down. This applies even when the other person’s work is absolute crap.

2. Work with Others

Those people you insulted? They have strengths and weaknesses. If they’re in your field, you’ll be around them again.

If you work with those you consider competition, they become allies. Sharing information can greatly improve both your work.

There are people who just suck and you don’t want to be around. They may be purposely mean, hateful, or destructive. It’s ok to cut those people out of your life or request not to work with them.

But remember #3.

1. Be Polite

Being polite is nebulous and fraught with cultural bias. In its most basic form being polite means the same as all the other rules.

But go one step further and say: Thank you, Please, and Sorry. To Everyone!

If someone accidentally hurts you, physically or emotionally, accept their apology. An I understand, or I accept your apology.

If someone does something for you, thank them.

Finally try your best to follow the immortal words of Wyld Stallyns:

“Be excellent to each other!”

bill-and-ted

Éric

Chivalry Should not Mean Chauvinist

I am a Giant Squid of Anger because of this article.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

First I’d like to dispel the myth that Chivalry has anything to do with sex or gender. All definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary.

The word Chivalry has changed over time. Starting out in the Middle Ages (early 1300’s but who’s counting), the world simply meant Knights or horsemen equipped for Battle. It was adapted from the French Chevalerie which meant man fighting on horse.

Shortly after, it was changed to mean acts of bravery or honour on the battlefield.

Let’s skip a few hundred years. In the early 1800’s it started to mean “Gallant Gentleman” and represent everything that is knightly.

The wonderful French and British Romantic poets glorified the simpler time that was the dark ages and what they called the Chivalrous Code. Which meant, “The brave, honourable, and courteous character attributed to the ideal knight; disinterested bravery, honour, and courtesy.”

Nowhere before 1832, did Chivalry have anything to do with women. Other than that the Chivalrous Code said that knights must protect the weak.

Victorians were dumb

I like my steampunk as much as the next geek but the time period is horrible for women. We are still dealing with the shit that the Victorian’s shoved into our collective consciousness.

It was during this period that Chivalry took on the more modern and disturbing meaning of, “courteous behaviour, especially that of a man towards women.”

Even then Chivalry wasn’t only towards women.

When they were handing out brains, you said, “No thanks I’m afraid of flying.”

Somehow, chauvinistic morons have tried to appropriate a word that meant being nice to people and killing the bad guys into a word that means women are deluded and weak.

The author states that in our world of instant hookups (sure dude) chivalry is dead.

“All I know is, the more I look around, the less I see men treating women the way that we’re raised to. What happened to paying for dinners and drinks? What happened to pulling out chairs and holding doors? What happened to walking on the outside, closest to the street and all that sh*t?”

Avoiding the horrible crime of ending a sentence with a preposition, why does he think these things are important?

A man paying for dinner and drinks makes perfect sense in a world where women have no money of their own but when women make as much money or more than the man why the hell should a guy go broke for a date?

Pulling out a chair is respectful and something that should be done with anyone who would have trouble moving their chairs back towards the table alone. Women in tight corsets and pencil skirts might have this issue, men in skinny jean will also.

As for walking on the outside on a sidewalk, well some rules were developed for a different time. This was established so women wouldn’t get shit on their heads or splashed on them from carriages. Now they might get splashed by a car or bus (stupid busses) but walking on the outside isn’t going to help a girl in this case since the wave of water won’t be blocked.

And my personal pet peeve. I have been berated, insulted, yelled at, and in one case kicked, for opening a door for a woman. That hasn’t stopped me from doing it for the simple reason that I don’t do it for women exclusively. I do it for any human being and occasional pets. If I get to the door before you, I will open it for you and hold it open. I don’t care who you are.

The rest of the article is a combination of shaming and pining for a better time, in other words bullshit.

“Be excellent to each other….and….PARTY ON, DUDES!”

Let’s take back the word Chivalry and give it a new meaning. Let’s make it mean something positive and loving. I propose a new definition:

“The act of being noble, selfless, kind, and helping others without reward or ulterior motives.”