College kids have a pretty easy time getting their way on campus. Just make enough of a stink and the universities cave.
Unfortunately, these students eventually reach a little place called the real world, where things aren’t so forgiving. One recently wrote in to an advice columnist because the antics he’d gotten away with elsewhere suddenly didn’t work.
You see, Junior was at his internship, and he wanted the company to have a more lax dress code. Plus, they noticed one of the regular staff wearing shoes that weren’t in line with the standard dress code, and that just wasn’t right. So, this individual got together with his fellow interns and wrote up a proposal for an alternate dress code (hmm … ) accompanied with a petition (whoops!) and sent it on.
The next day, all of us who signed the petition were called into a meeting where we thought our proposal would be discussed. Instead, we were informed that due to our “unprofessional” behavior, we were being let go from our internships. We were told to hand in our ID badges and to gather our things and leave the property ASAP.
We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it. The worst part is that just before the meeting ended, one of the managers told us that the worker who was allowed to disobey the dress code was a former soldier who lost her leg and was therefore given permission to wear whatever kind of shoes she could walk in. You can’t even tell, and if we had known about this we would have factored it into our argument.
The reality is that colleges — the educational institutions that are theoretically supposed to prepare these kids for the real world — did these students a disservice by treating every petition or pet cause as valid, allowing the inmates to run the asylum. When the students hit the real world, WHAM!
That’s what happened here. Junior decided the interns should dictate — and make no mistake, a petition is indicative of a desire to dictate — how the company’s dress code should work. After all, they’d learned to pressure authority this way in college, right?
What Junior and his cohorts found was that they weren’t in-demand assets to the corporate structure. They were a-dime-a-dozen, snot-nosed kids who had little to offer yet. The company was doing them a favor by offering them an internship, and they spit all over it.
Welcome to the real world, kid. Get used to it.