Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When in Rome (er uhm Chicago) -- How NOT to Tie One On

Death Noose?

Okay, it might seem unfair that a salesperson wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to get fired from his sales position at a Chicago car dealership. Mandatory disclaimer: I am definitely rooting for the Packers and am glad they beat the Bears). The world is abuzz as far away as New Zealand about Chevy salesman, John Stone, being fired for wearing the wrong tie. Before anyone snaps to sympathetic judgment consider this:

Here’s the poop. First LIFE IS NOT FAIR. Get over it. Second, the boss told his salesman to remove his tie more than once. Insubordination is insubordination and companies have dress code – some are explicit some are more implied.

Third, the dealership, Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, IL had a big advertising partnership with the Bears. It is unacceptable for an employee to act in a manner that does not support the company’s marketing objectives. Rest assured, the dealership pays BIG BUCKS to be the nation’s 3rd largest city’s NFL team’s advertiser.

Sales is all about how a salesperson presents himself to his customers. Would not Bears fans feel taunted by the sight of someone who could make a nice big commission on a car sale wearing the trappings of the great rival?

We take our sports rivalries very seriously for better or worse, and the Bears versus the Packers is one of the oldest ones in football. You don’t wear a Yankees cap in Boston. You don’t wear Ohio State gear in Ann Arbor nor do you wear Michigan gear in Columbus. It must be crazy in North Carolina where Duke and UNC are just 12 miles apart. You sure as hell don’t wear anything praising the Steelers in Baltimore. This is not like what goes on in most offices where there’s some contrarian who flaunts his support of the team everyone else loves to hate, but if you’re not dealing with customers, it’s okay at the contrarian’s own risk.

Of course, the Packer fan said he was wearing it in honor of his recently deceased grandmother. If that is true, it might touch our hearts but it sure doesn’t process through our common sense.

We’ve all heard, when in Rome do as the Romans do. The Monday after the Bears were slaughtered by the Packers, in Chicago, it’s best to lie low and not taunt the local Bears fans. You can get plenty of cheap thrills watching the way everyone’s ripping Jay Cutler for apparently not being up for playing the second half which is silly enough in itself.

For those who taunt Cutler, the burden of proof is on the accuser. The burden of proof is likewise on the accuser (or bevy of accusers) in the Green Bay Packers’ neck tie case. We’ll rest our case that the fellow who was audacious enough to wear a Packers tie in Bears country this week was a fool. Guilty as charged!


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