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Thursday, December 6, 2012

The difference a uniform makes

So, this picture has been circulating through the internet a lot lately. I like the point it makes. (And yes, this guy actually is a real doctor. He's a primary care physician in New York.)

So why do I bring this up? Because I've experienced first hand how this kind of prejudice exists. My entire adult life, I've always worked customer service. AT&T. Food Lion. Chick-Fil-A. Perrine's Produce, and now Jersey Mike's. Anytime I wore my work uniforms outside of work, I was always treated with indifference. A lot of professional workers looked down on me. Sure, they were polite, but they were always slightly condescending. They treated me like a low-life loser. I was like the guy who brings the coffee and makes copies.

Things changed quickly when I put on my UPS uniform. Just from sitting outside eating spaghetti-o's out of the can, as I used to do with my Chick-Fil-A uniform, professionals would actually talk to me as someone on their level.

 "Hot out there, isn't it."
 "Hey man."
 "Busy season yet?"
 "Alright! Lunch time!"

Now, There is some difference between UPS and these other places. I will tell you that UPS is a more professional organization. A lot more professional. There is a true feeling of team spirit. Unity. Common goal. The only other place I've had that is the stock crew and meat department at Food Lion. But UPS is even better.

But I'm still the same person whether I am in my UPS uniform or my Jersey Mike's uniform. I'm still someone scraping to get by, with high goals and huge mountains to cross to get there. I'm still the same person, no matter what I'm wearing.

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