Monday, June 9, 2008

Random rant and channel crossings

Last week I took a quick trip over to the mainland and back.  I did a little shopping - Home Depot, Michael's, Trader Joe's - all the usuals.  But the main purpose of the trip was a visit to what is apparently a mecca for scruffy, tattooed and pierced twenty-somethings - the Apple store.  I went there because my sweet baby MacBook had a boo-boo, a small crack on the case, and I was promised that the ahem, "genius" at the Apple store could repair it while I waited. Which he did.  And although the tech who completed the repairs was closer to what I expected, I was really surprised at the appearance of the majority of the staff. 

I fully understand that if you are a true computer genius and all you do is spend your days writing code and solving the tech problems of those around you - then yes, by all means, you should dress as you see fit.  Tattoo whatever, pierce anything and everything - knock yourself out.  But if you have a job where you interact with customers on a regular basis, where you are in fact in a job titled "concierge" and you are the first point of contact (whether or not they want) for every freakin' customer that walks into the store?  Shouldn't you at least bathe? Or even look like you did?  I mean, it's 10:00am and I can tell that hangover is really kicking your ass, you should probably be in bed right now.  But since you came into work anyway...brush? comb? caffeine???

I worked in Human Resources for a number of years and spent a fair amount of that time trying to explain to applicants and existing employees why the company had certain standards for anyone in a customer service position.  Nothing unreasonable really, and the gist of it was similar to that used by one of the giants in the tourism industry - Disney. No extreme hair styles or colors, no visible tattoos or piercings other than the earlobes, clean-shaven or neat, tidy facial hair, uniform clean, nametag on. But towards the end of my time in that job I started feeling like the Tattoo & Piercing Police and just couldn't figure out why it had to be such a hassle. Maybe those standards are out of date?  I don't know.  But they made sense to me then, and they still do now.  I could go so much further but I suspect I'm going to end up sounding much older than I am.   And I'm way too young to be getting into that whole "in my day we walked ten miles through the snow, etc., etc."!

How about if I show you some cool stuff I saw while I was on the boat?  There was this:

It's a Roll On Roll Off (RORO) vessel, which we see plenty of, at home (like the barge that brings freight to & from the island) and in various ports.  You've probably seen them too - car ferries are a form of RORO.  But this baby is huge!  It's a 6500 unit Pure Car/Truck Carrier and you can see a good image of what something like that would look like from the inside here.  That's a helluva lotta vehicles getting transported, eh?

Even better, I saw this:

It's the Sea Launch platform, Odyssey.  You know, the folks who send up satellites? Their website has a great deal of info on the organization, facilities, and past missions but what really interests me is that in the details on the launch platform here, it's described as "the world's largest semi-submersible structure".  I have to say, when you are passing by it on the water, it doesn't look like something that should be floating at all!  But it does.  And wouldn't it be amazing to be on that vessel when they launch a rocket?


pocketsize said...

I think tattoo and piercing policies do need to be revised in most places. Not only because the younger generations (in which I fall; I might sound middle-aged sometimes, but I am not!) are having more tattoos and piercings and is therefore not as "radical" and badly seen, but because I truly believe most of those rules need to be substituted by what my friends and I call "Rule 7": don't take the piss.
So, as long as things are sensible, I can't see the problem with, say, a small nose stud. But I tend to not be bothered by out-of-the-ordinary appearances; I think I am just used to them, I do have weird friends!

Mia said...

Hey, that guys has two jobs! He's the same guy who works in the Apple store here!!

Sheepish Annie said...

I'm more of a middle of the road type, I guess. I can live with the piercings and whatnot. But basic cleanliness? That is a must!!!!

I get the shudders just thinking about having to be greeted by an crusty individual...ack!