You missed the classic look of a deer trapped in the headlights of an oncoming automobile with my German class yesterday. I really had no idea what the new grammar rules or how they were going, as the teacher seemed to bounce all over like a super ball toy that I had as a kid. All I knew is I had that look of a deer trapped in headlights. The good news is that the when I looked around at the rest of the class, we looked like a herd of deer trapped in bright spotlights, frozen, each thinking, “Is this language ever going to make sense to us?”
Perhaps the humor is that we are learning High German in class, yet, live in a tiny country where every few dozen kilometers it seems a new dialect of Swiss German is spoken.
While this dialect issue is confusing, yesterday, our new section in the book had a Swiss man visiting Munich and we got to read the Munich dialect of High German from a Swiss perspective! Phonetically spelled out in a way where I asked, “Is this German slang or something?”
My relatives ask what it is like for me, trying to learn German and navigate within the local market. I say, “It is like me going to Omaha, Nebraska to learn to speak Italian.”
I think it was long ago when I was stuffing my mind with the craft of how to sell something when a quote from a great sales trainer zig zigler resonated as a technique for someone who gives “we always do it this way” as an objection.
“Rules are good things. They are there for a reason. But are you going to allow the rules to act as guidelines or anchors for your organization?”
I had a friend that was in a funk the other day. She is one of the people on the planet that will take a rulebook, read it, and then actually follow every rule to the letter. If one was in a legalistic society – wow, my friend is righteous beyond belief.
I guess I have lived a different path in life, and a much different world.
One of the things I truly loved about live entertainment or sport is that there was a time limit, a deadline of a show that had to go off, or the need to dig inside oneself to pull something out that you never knew existed. When people say, “I have no time.” I seem to think of what can be done in a few seconds in sports, or how an entire stage can be set up, you can have a show, and it is all torn down in a few hours.
While I am grateful for the events I get to work, I always marvel at the differentiation of rules and regulations for everyone. Organized Chaos is not a world most people thrive in. People tend to like a schedule where they know what is going to happen 99% of the time, they don’t desire sweeping changes of direction or new ideas. I guess most like the consistency of life – the ability to live in peace - with a decent quality.
We have a section of Augmanity that deals with sports performance and the analysis of what is going on inside the athlete, but also with the team dynamic. There is the business sector that deals with team interrelationships of employees as well. The “publics” section is about how people interact in public spaces together. My simple job at the arena allows me a unique position where I get to watch players, media, VIP’s, and a set of rules seeming to mean something different to each group. It is fascinating psychology indeed.
The players are the easiest to work with, you have the spectrum from down to earth genuine nice folks to the opposite end of the spectrum where one would swear god himself walked into the room. We used to call that “he was a legend in his own mind” when I played sport.
The media is the peacocks trying to get on camera that tend to have a bubbly, gregarious, and fairly self absorbed look of the world, to the lifer technicians who have probably done the same job over and over again for many years. They are there for a paycheck, or have been so run over with the corporate machine that they really don’t give a shit anymore.
The VIPS are usually truly gracious. For all I know, they might own banks and have old money from several generations. But I do see why sports team ownership is a hot commodity today. There is only a certain limit on the teams, and very few people that can afford to own them. When VIP’s and captains of industry walk in and they immediately go back to a childhood dream of playing professional sports or being an entertainer on a large stage – it is really nice to see their eyes light up.
Then there is the balancing act on the rules. It isn’t rocket science, and at each door, they post the colors, badges, cards and who and what is allowed where. Having been on all sides of the equation – I do understand that someone on a crew will forget something, I still giggle that a stressed out coach needs a cigarette break, or those awkward moments when someone at the top is doing a favor for a VIP and I have to try to be diplomatic, allow their goal to be achieved and not have the rest of the people get pissed off with the “why do they get to do that?”
“Well? He sort of owns the place…that’s why.”
This is the world of dual standards that collide in our spaces. What I noticed in the past 20 years in the USA is a social standard has eroded into a few people making gigantic gains living with one set of rules, the rest of the country, who might not have the financial wherewithal or the right connections, has to live with another set of rules.
Is it fair? Not really. Mom said I was never good at drawing inside the lines with my coloring books as a small child – thus, guidelines. I guess that is why god is getting a mighty chuckle when i go to German class where rules about rules seem to make perfect sense - to a fluent German language speaker.