"Sasha, a recent high school graduate eagerly awaits word back from a job interviewer. ‘I’m sure I did well' she thinks to herself as she fingers her recently tightened locs. The day before, she had an early morning interview for the position of guest attendant at Larimore's Inn, an up and coming hotel. Her cell phone rings and she jumps for it in hopes that it is the job calling. It is, thinks Sasha, and she puts on her best telephone voice. Only moments later, she shrinks as she hears the voice over the phone 'You have very good oral and written skills, but I regretfully inform you that the position has been filled....I'm sorry, you are just....not what we are looking for'."
As I leave the safety of being a college kid and enter the harsh "real world" that I've been hearing about since the twelfth grade, my mind now drifts across things that I never thought of before (or never said because I didn’t have a blog). We applaud ourselves for the attainment of certain national goals that ring that "we have indeed arrived". Examples of this are the usual slew of accolades- Independence, Majority Rule, the right to vote based on citizenship alone, "low cost" health care, and mandatory/ public education. Let's not forget the recent and seemingly endlessly ongoing multi-billion dollar government venture, also known as the New Providence Road Improvement and Infrastructure Project, which promises a smoother driving experience matching that of driving on roads and highways in "more developed" countries.
With all of this said, what then is it that prevents us from being the best nation we can be? When material advancements have been attained, I guess it's just the less tangible things like ethics, morals, values, and sense of self/identity that are left unaccounted for. The term "Twenty-first Century" suggests an era that is familiar, yet new and enhanced, solidified through all that has come before. We throw around words that boast of our modernity- degree, globalization, and professionalism.
I know I heard the last one a lot from my lecturers-"the mark of your work should be professionalism". When you go to buy food from a take-away, and the lady that's supposed to be taking her order is instead on the telephone gabbing to a friend about what Tishnaye was wearing to party out Carmichael last night, you think to yourself "She ain't have no sense of professionalism". The Oxford Dictionary defines professionalism as "the competence or skill expected of a professional" (versus that of an amateur). In common terms, professionalism is the art of doing what you do well and with a trademark of excellence.
Now, in the case of the take-away server, professionalism would have been polite and courteous customer service. For a student, it would be handing in assignments of quality on the assigned due date (unless situations prevent this). For a nurse, it would be attending to whatever duties assigned to her for her particular shift and as well as being attentive towards patients. An artist would be expected to deliver work to a client both in a timely manner and in the form that was agreed to. Is there an intersection between professionalism in its truest sense, and fashion (or lack thereof)?
Does the student with an over-sized tee-shirt and fro-hawk hand in work of a lower quality? Does the nurse with three ear piercings neglect her patients? Is the artist with a three-tone lace front weave one that creates inferior artwork? I guess this brings back to the surface those intangible things that I mentioned earlier, you know-the ethics, morals, values, and sense of self/identity that you just don't find too often; when they are found, we usually get them mixed up with personal freedoms.
Tell me Bahamas, can you see the SENSE in anyone being refused a scholarship, promotion or job offer solely on the basis of hair style? Forwards or Backwards? You tell me.
|And You Say Locs Can't Look Professional?|