We go through life meeting people. Sometimes we only know them for a few moments, yet we feel as if we know exactly what type of person they are, and what they are capable of doing. We all do it. Judge first, ask questions later. No one is immune. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that’s one of the reasons why our judicial system is so bogged down. We do our best to make sure potential jurors don’t have any preconceived notions, or impressions of the defendant. We go through a painstaking process at a great expense to tax payers to be sure the defendant is treated fairly.
But what about us personally? How do we modify our actions in order to achieve the “impression” that we wish others to see? Even as important, do we behave differently toward other people? The answer of course, is yes. We all treat our mother differently than our best friend, that’s an easy one. However, do we treat a man of may skills(skills that could help you in your life quest) differently than the person handing you your burger at the drive through window? Again, in my opinion, yes. Absolutely, However in my humble way of thinking I do believe that there is a certain amount of common decency, if you will, that should be shown to everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or location. And of no less importance is that if you have merely met this person you have no idea who they are, what they have done in the past, and what they are cable of doing in the future.
Coincidentally in all of this, wouldn’t you agree that impressions(especially first impressions), should be important to everyone? How people treat you is a direct result of how they see you, or their “impression” of you.
I’m going to tell you a true story now of my “impression” of someone that is still very well known, but at the time of this story, he was one of the most popular artists of the time. I was the tour manager and lighting director for a much lesser known artist, and we were fortunate enough to land the opening slot for this very well known artist. The show was at the Indiana University Football Stadium, so I’m pretty sure that the band I was with was slotted because us and the headline act were both well known Indiana musicians. In those days it was very much common practice for the “Headline Act” to hold back any effects or special lighting from the “Opening Act.” It was the rule of the day, not unlike today where it is expected that the acts before the Headline act wouldn’t get to use everything. All of this was very well known to me at the time, and I expected to be treated as such.
So, as the day went on and we prepared for our sound check, I was visited by the Production Manger for the “Headline Act.” Now I had known this fellow from the past, so I’m sure what he had to say hurt him almost as much as it hurt me. He put his arm on my shoulder and said, “Rock, I hate to tell you this, but I’ve got some bad news.” Thinking I knew what he was going to say I said, ” Yeah, I’ve been kinda waiting on this.” As he shifted from foot to foot, he looked down on the ground and said, “I can only let you use the mid-stage truss as far as the lighting is concerned, and only 16 of those lights.” I was a little confused, if not down right angry until he said, “and that’s not all…” I looked at him in bewilderment as his eyes fixated on some unseen object on the ground and he said ashamedly, ” I can only let you use half the P.A.(sound system) also.” He could tell immediately that I was not very happy at all by this revelation as I said, “Tell me, exactly where is this coming from?” As he shook his head, “from the top Rock, from the top.” At this point, I knew any attempt to change things would have been futile.
This picture hangs above my toilet in my master bedroom as a constant reminder of how this guy pissed on my head. Now, as I look at this picture and do my “business,” I imagine I’m paying him back…