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You're Not Cute, Either

This story always makes me chuckle when I think about it.
My freshman year of college I had two close female friends on campus who we'll call Tonya and Robin; Tonya was enrolled in ROTC classes. If you don't know what ROTC is, I don't exactly know either (this will fill you in if you care). But I do know that ROTC is like the beginner class for a college student who may later enroll in the U.S. Armed Forces.  So one day Tonya was in ROTC  class, which sometimes entailed coming to school dressed in full army gear. Fatigues, boots, the hat and all. If you're in college or have been, I'm sure you have seen ROTC students marching around campus before.

Robin, my friend who was not in ROTC, went up to the ROTC office to wait for Tonya's class to end and was waiting in the lobby of the ROTC office for a few minutes. While waiting, a group of ROTC males marched by in full gear. Robin, who was as girly-girl as a female could be, squealed in excitement upon seeing them.
"Oh, they're so cute in their little green berets!"
The army officer manning the lobby desk was not so keen on Robin's observation. Since I was not there, I'll share with you the officer's response, per Robin's account of it.
"The army is NOT CUTE! Grr... grrrr... grrr..."
The "grrr" is the sound of the army guy growling. Haha.

The point of this story is how seriously the ROTC desk guy took the presentation of the group to which he belonged, even some off-hand observation by a person he'd probably never encounter again. I don't know who this guy was but I can 100% guarantee he wore (and wears) the integrity of the U.S. Armed Forces on his sleeve everywhere he goes. It's not a job that he clocks into in the morning and out of in the evening, it's his life. And he demands respect of it.

Your business or line of work is not "cute" either. People will take you as serious (or non-serious) as you present yourself to be or allow yourself to be taken. When you take your business -- which could be the team you play for, the sales organization you just got a job with, or the company you founded -- seriously, you're not OK with anyone regarding it lightly as if it's a newborn puppy. Puppies are cute little distractions from the seriousness of real life. Your business IS that real life.

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