Not Down with the Cholos

I went shopping today. I needed a couple of gifts, something for my wife who was not feeling well so she did not come with me and a couple of things for my soon to be Godson. I found everything I needed at amazing good prices and not a lot of browsing. I am a sniper shopper, I know where my target is and go for the kill.

A cholo is a Chicano who dresses like a gang banger. They are not necessarily criminals nor up to no good, but their style choices makes them stand out. They obviously want to portray a tough persona that does not want to be taken lightly. I have not seen many cholos in KC, but I also don’t really hang out in malls or arcades anymore.

My wife has had a stomach ache all day and was taking a nap to try to feel better so I was on my own for dinner. I decided to go to the food court at the mall after I finished shopping. I walked with my bag trying to avoid all the kiosks with the latest gimmicks. I see a couple of cholos sitting on the massage for a quarter chairs and then a couple of more leaning on the hood of the car on display from the local dealer. One of them gives me the stare down but I keep going.

For some reason some Hispanic people have a hard time picking me out as Hispanic. I am not sure if it is my built, I am huskier and a little taller than your average Central American, or maybe my eyes, they are lighter than average. I keep my summer tan all around and always speak Spanish when around people that I suspect speak it. I prefer to be wrong and switch to English than not use Spanish, still today I was once again singled out.

I stopped at an Asian food place, as Asian as Taco Bell is Mexian food, and ordered something. The cholos happened to follow me to the food court and a couple of them decided to order at the same place. As soon as they got in line the Spanish guys behind the counter started to joke with them informally. They did not sound like they knew each other, but they were being friendly.

I tried to order my drink in Spanish but like the hicks on the gas stations in the middle of nowhere that yell “Whaaaat” before I even open my mouth, he spoke in broken English back to me without even listening to what I had just said. When he handed my drink to me I said “gracias” and it finally clicked in his head that I spoke Spanish and maybe that I was also Hispanic.

I sat down in a table where there was not a lot of people around me. Put my bags on the table and started to eat my meal and people watch. A couple of college guys sat adjacent to me with some sandwiches and the cholos sat right in front of me. A couple of them started staring right at me but I ignored them and looked elsewhere. All of a sudden I saw a couple of kids on full punk wear and purple hair.

The cholos kept up their staring down at everyone around them and I thought of the time when my friend Travis actually had a physical confrontation in a mall. I have at least 100 pound on even the bigger one out of the group and I doubt they have any other experience but street fighting which is still dangerous but people tend to freeze after an elbow is dislocated or a wrist is broken. I certainly did not want to get into a fight, so I continue to ignore them and finish my meal.

Then a sad thought entered my head. I actually would have felt more comfortable sitting with the purple hair girl and the kids with the ripped jean than with the cholos. I see no point on trying to be tough or intimidate people or wear clothes that are way too baggy. I am glad I have so many friends and they are so different from one another, I even have a lot of Hispanic friends but I cannot seem to be down with the cholos.

Cleaning Appt

For the first time I did not get talked to about my flossing, and guess what… I actually have not been flossing more than my usual twice a week… so what changed. Mouthwash, twice a day has actually improved the health of my mouth per my hygienist!

That is the Logtar tip of the day. Move along.

No Title Friday Feast

What is your favorite carnival/amusement park ride?
Any kind of roller coaster, the faster and higher the better :)

How do you react in uncomfortable social situations?
I talk more, and since I already talk a lot that is saying something.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy discussing deep, philosophical topics?
100. I enjoy nothing more than a good conversation about the meaning of life. Seriously, I love it.

Main Course

Did you get a flu shot this year? If not, do you plan to?
No and neVer… I get my flu airborne like everyone should.

Approximately how many hours per week do you spend watching television?
Depends on Gilmore Girls… this week is like a record, like 30, like totally cool.

Work Ethic

The generation entering the workforce has the wrong ideas. I am going to make the cut off pretty simple. If you played sports as a little kid and they did not keep score you are in the demographic I am talking about. Lets refer to them as the generation of non-losers.

When I went to high school I could point out every single burn out. I knew that most of them were going to skip college and just spend the next 5 years hanging out at the bowling alley. They will years later wake up from the stupor and do something with their lives. Some of them never did, some of them did some college but could not kick the slacker habits. Those kids to me were trying to get their parents to pay attention to them… now fast forward a little bit to the kids that their parents spoiled because they paid too much attention to them.

I know it sounds a little crazy, but I do think that the overprotective parents that never let their kids lose might have ruined them for the workforce.

I have seen this trend more and more in recent years. Kids come out of college expecting to make more money than those people that have the experience just because their degree is on the latest technology. They feel a level of entitlement that is at times a little scary. This gap is even bigger when they work for a baby boomer who is used to a totally different type of work ethic.

Most kids in these generation want an almost equal amount of play for the time the put into work. Places like google and flickr show a “fun” work environment where the dorm room mentality extends to the workplace. So what happens to everyone else that is not lucky enough to work for one of those avant-garde companies?

First they are totally unhappy because their expectations are not met. Then they become very bitter towards a place that has a ladder they need to climb. They have been told over and over how smart they are and do not seem to grasp the concept of experience and hard work seems to baffle them.

In the era of shortcuts and user friendly someone forgot to write the manual to corporate America in a language the new generation can understand. It is almost like a company has to have a facebook profile reminding the kids that you have to get to work on time, and that they might even have to work weekends.

Mediocrity and failure were never rewarded when I was growing up. Being average was almost as bad as being a failure at times, but to some of the generations now that is actually a pretty good goal. Getting a C is not just a passing grade, it is something you are content with. Those principles do not work on the real world. An accounting mistake costing your company a couple of hundred thousand dollars is not an ups, but a pink slip. Some of the kids today actually think that would be harsh, everyone should be allowed at least one mistake… right?

How can we help this new generation? Do we create a myspace profile on how to not get fired? Do we make the next WOW or Halo 4 not playable between the hours of 9-5? How can they learn about work ethic? How can we bridge this gap?

Most of these kids grew up thinking that their parents worked way too hard and they should not have to do the same. So how do you sell them the idea that hard work is actually rewarding beyond having just a paycheck?

A new niche of motivational speakers is growing, and the surprising thing is that is not just targeted at the kids but at the employers to make their work environments not fall pray to the new job hopping workforce. I am not sure on what side I really stand just yet, but I do know that experience was something I did not understand very well until I worked for 10 years on the same field.