Jobs...they come with obligations. When a company hires you, they make an obligation to pay you for your work, right? Your employer is obligated to invest in you, to train you for the position you were hired for. You, the employee, also have obligations you are expected to live up to, for example, give your employer his money's worth. An honest day's work for an honest day's wages. Most everybody will agree this is the primary unspoken agreement between any employer and his employees. Pretty simple, really.
Some jobs come with a few other obligations. You may be required to wear a name badge or a uniform. Some companies may instruct you to dress in business attire, or 'business casual.' They may expect you to shave daily...keep that mustache trimmed, boys and girls! Hair neatly trimmed, nails clean, and ix-nay on the body odor. In other words, the company that employs you may wish for you to be a positive reflection on the organization, for it is you, the employee, that at any given moment on any given day, may find yourself bearing the burden of portraying yourself as a shining example of the company you represent. No, wait...we're talking football here!
The 'take a knee' is old news now. Now before I continue, I want to say something and I'm not sure I can say it in a way that will make you understand, but I'll give it a spin. Throughout the past few years...okay, eight to be exact, I have found myself struggling to force my patriotism into action each and every time the national anthem plays. Yes, it's true. For as long as I can remember, there were times I'd stifle a sniffle and wipe a tear from my eye as that song played at some football game or rodeo. Those were emotions of pride and patriotism, and while I found myself a bit embarrassed at the prospect of folks around me watching a grown man cry, those were tears out of love for my country. Those past eight years? Well, let's just say if I had my way, things wouldn't have gone the way they have. So, there have been times in recent years that my emotions found themselves confused as my eyes focused on the American flag while the Star Spangled Banner played. I have found sadness in my heart for the way my country has turned in recent times. But yet...I've never failed to stand for the national anthem. I do it out of genuine love for my country and respect for all those who stood before me and gave me the freedom to stand and honor my flag. So, in a really warped way, I sorta understand that 'take a knee' thing. But...
I have worked in the public eye for more years than many of you have been around. With each of my jobs came obligations, one being to be a positive public representative of my employer. It's not so uncommon. Bankers, teachers, elected officials (unless they're from Washington DC) and well, preachers, to name a few, are all expected to present themselves in a positive light. It is part of the job. There have been times in the past that I have found myself having issues with the concept. I don't know why since I don't do anything out of line, anyway. I think it is the perception of an employer implying their self-given right of ownership over their employees, but...hey, have ever mentioned that I am sort of a rebel incognito. But I do understand the concept of the expectations of the organizations I represent for a paltry wage. But we're talking football here.
Sports, whether it be football, rodeo, wrestling, or NASCAR, go hand in hand with um...hotdogs and beer and the American flag. When I pay my hard earned money to go see a football game, I want hotdogs and beer and the national anthem kicking things off right. I want to see that American flag waving as thousands of patriotic Americans stand and take in the moment. You see, obligations don't just stop with your employer. Those football players are employees (not working for a paltry wage, BTW) of an organization that built itself on hotdogs and beer and the American flag. Decades were invested in building a loyal following of diehard fans who would pay money they didn't have to experience the thrill of a game that has always...always begun with the national anthem and the red, white, and blue. Those players who wish to express their views need to do it 'off the clock.' I respect them for their beliefs whether I believe them to be in the right or not, but when they're out there on that field, they came to work for...me and you. I don't need someone raining on my parade. I didn't pay my money to be subjected to someone's opinion on whatever injustice they wish to make me aware of. I paid to see some football! Go home and 'take a knee' on your balcony or on some random street corner. When you suit up, do your job from start to finish...and it starts with the national anthem. Just like it's suppose to.
I've been pissed off at the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ever since he fired Tom Landry, but, while he fails to say it out loud, he has implied that those who wIsh to remain employed with his organization are expected to do their job, starting with the first note of the national anthem. He stated it in this fashion:
“We respect that so much. That’s the real business. The forum of the NFL and the forum on television is a very significant thing. I’m for it being used in every way we can to support the great, great contributors in our society, and that’s people that have supported America, the flag, and there’s no reason not to go all out right there. And for anybody to use parts of that visibility to do otherwise is really disappointing.” (source: https://goo.gl/wnvuMJ )
Thumbs up, Mr. Jones, and are there any more like you out there?
Football...as American as hotdogs 'n beer, the red-white-and-blue, and the national anthem! And girls wearing red, white, and blue bikinis! Come on, let's just play football...
See more from author Rodney Strange here
Headlines appeared throughout the media last week about Wells Fargo employees fraudulently toying with customers' accounts created a ripple throughout the nation. Not as noticeable a ripple as Hillery's hearing aid nor apparently as news worthy as Kanye West's fashion show, and in fact you may have completely missed it on the news. Briefly, for those of you who snoozed through the thirty-second blurb on the event, let me summarize this immense case of fraud from one of the most trusted financial institutions in the world. Over the course of the past few years, numerous (at least 5,300) employees of Wells Fargo have been opening accounts in your name...yes...yours, without your knowledge. Now the story goes that these unscrupulous banking employees did this to reap monetary incentives, bonuses, and benefits for themselves while charging you...yes...1.5 million of you overdraft and maintenance fees for those accounts you didn't even know you had. But hey, it has all ended well. Those 5,300 dubious employees have lost their jobs and Wells Fargo has been ordered to pay a fine of $185 million which is about 3.3% of the $5.6 billion in net income Wells Fargo pulled in in the second quarter of this year. *Source: http://goo.gl/UhU38h
No, now that you ask, it doesn't look like anybody is going to jail. The financial institution has been duly punished with has is equivalent to your grandma swatting your hand as you reach toward the cookie jar. You...and Wells Fargo learn your lesson, right? Never reach for grandma's cookies while she's watching. Wait patiently until she turns her head. The 5,300 employees are gone with, I'm guessing all the money they bilked from you and 1.5 million others. They'll be just fine as soon as they find another financial institution that will hire them. You and the other 1.5 million? Well, it sucks to be you...
Now, don't try this at home or at your place of employment. You would surely be arrested and charged with embezzlement, money laundering...you'd think maybe theft charges might be warranted. No, the common man is not privy to the perks of the elite banking establishment. If, as you ventured into the lobby of your local bank, you look down and see a twenty dollar bill on the floor, what should you do? NO! You don't put it in your pocket! That's bank robbery, buster. Felony charges! Take it to the nearest bank employee and let them put it in their pocket...that's acceptable.
Blatant thievery is so commonplace in our society today. When we hear of a widespread case such as the Wells Fargo incident, we wipe our foreheads and utter a 'whew, glad it didn't happen to me.' Unfortunately, it is very likely happening to you. You just don't know! Let's take the medical industry, for example. Insurance? Sure it's a necessity and, by the way, a law that you have it. I personally am insured to the gills. I'm swimming in insurance! For what I pay in monthly premiums for health, dental, vision, life, home, liability, and car insurance...I could buy an island. Seriously. But let some catastrophic event crop up in your life, and you'll be glad you have that coverage. Some years ago, my daughter got a fish hook lodged in her neck. The total bill for having that hook removed was fifteen hundred dollars. Thankfully, with my insurance, it only cost me six hundred. Yes, you read that right...to remove a fish hook.
Just last weekend my daughter and I ventured into the eyeglass place. I told the woman behind the counter that we just wanted new lenses in her frames and some contact lenses.
"Oh, and I have vision insurance." I beamed.
"Well, let me pull that up on the computer and see how much more money I can screw you out of," she replied.
Okay, I'm a little hard of hearing and maybe she didn't exactly say that, but after crunching the numbers, she quoted my deductible to be close to the cost of LASIK surgery.
"But I have vision insurance!" I protested, "The lenses are supposed to only cost me ten bucks!"
"Well, I don't know where you got that crazy idea!"
"On the back of this freakin' insurance card!"
Fret not for me. It ended well. I protested loudly, rudely my daughter in fact scolded. But we went down the street to another eyeglass store and walked out with new lenses, a year's worth of contacts, and a warm fuzzy feeling because my vision insurance paid what it was suppose to in their store. I could probably write a book about all the times I've been subjected to blatant thievery. But I've gotten wiser with age. I'll fight tooth and toenail to keep my hard earned money in my pocket. I'll not do business with thieves, whether they be doctors, hospitals, mechanics, or bankers. And yes, unjust taxes.
I'd bet the farm that most of us have done business with Wells Fargo at some point in our lives. I currently have a small loan for some furniture I purchased and you can rest assured that when that next bill comes in the mail, I'll dig out my magnifying glass to see what that fine print really says. I hope they haven't slipped something past me but whether they have or not, I will have to really ponder doing business with them again.
It is always the little man who falls victim to blatant thievery. 'They' think since we are the little man, we must also be...gullible? I think we may prove them right if we allow businesses to continue after such blatant acts of thievery are brought to light. The government slapped Wells Fargo on the wrist and told them to put a dollar in the swear jar, then all was forgiven. But we, especially 1.5 million of us who were subjected to their actions, certainly don't have to do business with them. We don't have to give our money to institutions who thrive on greed!
Of all the plagues that threaten to destroy life as we know it, it is greed that will eventually be the downfall of society as we know it. Keep a wary eye open for those who wish to take all that you have...blatant thievery is all around us! And there is no shame left to bear anymore.