Respect vs appearance

flownosaj

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You know, I realized something really important yesterday; people really do judge you based on what you look like. This time it's not color of skin or physical appearance, but what you wear.


Other than nurses, the three main sets of people you see in the hospital are doctors, admin and housekeeping. Doctors wear their labcoats over scrubs most of the time or wear professional business attire. Administration wear business casual. Housekeeping staff wear a maroon color scrub.

From a distance, all our ID's look the same and nobody seems to ever look at titles.


Most of the time I look like a nurse and get treated as such--no problem, I fit in.

Now, I've found that when I'm cold and wear a labcoat in the evening (which is rare), I get a lot of attention from people who don't know me. I hear many "good evenings" or good mornings as I'm walking down the hall or at least get an acknowledgement whereas I normally would pass with little ado. When I walk into a patient's room for the first time, everyone becomes quiet or hangs up the phone while they would normally keep talking or cut the chatter to a minimum.

The funny thing is even though I tell people I will be their "Registered Nurse for this evening" they still call me "doctor" as long as I have that coat on. I also overhear the patients tell the aids that 'the doctor was just in here' /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ohgeez.gif


Now, the other day I wore a dark red color scrub set that looked very similar to the housekeeping staff's. I can't believe how people in the hospital (staff mostly) treated me in comparison. It was almost like I was a ghost--nobody said "hi", nobody made eye contact. Someone even sneezed, I said "bless you" and they just walked right past.



I think its odd that just a simple thing such as an article of clothing can dictate how people tend to treat you.
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sick2.gif

*update: thread title fixed*
 

scuba

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Very interesting post, although not surprising unfortunatly...
 

PhotonWrangler

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Interesting observation, Jason. I have to admit that I've noticed that also. Conversely, I try to make a point of saying good morning or whatever to the housekeeping staff to try to combat this problem. There's one woman in particular who's not accustomed to being acknowledged when she's around (very sad) so she always looks a little startled when I say hello to her! Sometimes she mumbles something back, sometimes not...
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
 

cobb

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Oh yeah. Its way deeper than just white or black or the color of your skin. I know when I first started using a wheelchair as a white guy I would easily embarrous myself in front of others. Not only dropping stuff, but body functions too and spasms. Almost every one of those actions was followed by laughter and no assistance when I would try to pick up what I dropped. When I grew out my hair and beard that quit. I could drop stuff and folks would help me pick it up. Body function noises were ignored than laughed at. I was called Mr or Sir than some name the last person they met in a wheelchair was called. All that for just growing some hair?

Yup, amazing huh?
 

NewBie

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Re: Respect vs apperance

[ QUOTE ]
flownosaj said:
I think its odd that just a simple thing such as an article of clothing can dictate how people tend to treat you.
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sick2.gif

[/ QUOTE ]


I remember in small towns when everyone said hi, while looking in you eyes and often shook hands. If your car broke down, several folks would stop to help out.

When I was in Chicago, I would often stop and help folks, sometimes changing their tires for them, or whatever, even if I was in my Marine uniform. You should have seen the looks on folks faces. Would you believe people actually tried to pay me? I always refused payment, but one guy actually shoved a wad of cash inside my shirt...all I could do at that point was to say thanks.

Anyhow...

Today, your value is based on your station in life, and your clothes indicate your station. People in high station don't recognize folks in lower stations. Pretty selfish and ungrateful, imho.
 

bwaites

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Reminds of the college ethics class where the professor had spent a whole semester trying to impress the importance of the individual on his classes.

His final consisted of one question:

"In the hall outside this room a housekeeper has been cleaning the floor each morning when you came to class, what is her name?"

Nobody passed!

Bill
 

SilverFox

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Re: Respect vs apperance

This is why I love camping...

It is amazing that after a week in the wilds, everyone looks (and smells) about the same...

Tom
 

PhotonWrangler

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Re: Respect vs apperance

I spent a month in a wheelchair back in the early 90s. I was amazed at how differently I was treated because of it. Some people acted as if I was completely invisible, actually talking around me to others in the room.

It taught me that people simply don't know how to respond, so they just avoid the issue altogether rather than risk embarrassing themselves. I believe this was one of those cases where a little bit of education would've gone a long way. They didn't do it to be mean; they just didn't know what to do (which was simply to not worry about it and carry on a normal conversation with the individual in the chair).
 

cobb

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Re: Respect vs apperance

bwaites, my public speaking prof was like that. At the start we had to get 4 names and numbers of other students in the classroom. The last test required that information. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

The_LED_Museum

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Re: Respect vs apperance

I usually get a decent amount of respect, or at very least, no disrespect, about myself or my attire.

My typical attire when leaving the house in my electric wheelchair is an Anthrax, Metallica, or Raven T-shirt (all three names mentioned are those of heavy metal bands), a pair of sweatpants or a pair of shorts, and a pair of sandals ("flip-flops").

The most frequent comment I receive is about the stuffed digimon on the back of my wheelchair (a large Augumon, Patamon, and Gabumon), followed by comments about the Light Cannon 100 HID and the Trek 400 EX-40 flashlights I use as headlamps on the front of my chair. Every once in a great while, I receive a positive comment about the band T-shirt; but those comments are relatively rare - once every couple of months or so.

Nothing bad to report in this thread.
 

Kiessling

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Well ... what would you expect in sicieties where success in the job / money is considered the most important thing?
Our societies are based on that principle, and so, logically, we use indicators of this status (certain clothes, badges, etc.) to judge an unknown person following our criteria.
Calll it what you like, but we are about success and status ... the individual comes second at best. Expecting a different behaviour isn't realistic IMHO.

bernhard

disclaimer: I did not say I liked this situation
 

BlindedByTheLite

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Re: Respect vs apperance

i get treated quite differently when i wear my usual baggy and punkish clothing than when i wear something semi-dressy or business-casualish.

i guess i'm pretty used to it now. this post is an unfortunate reminder. when will everyone get their acts straight and revive respect?
 

Fat_Tony

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flownosaj: On one occasion, when I was returning from a business trip (I was at a conference), I had difficulty getting through a metal detector because of my leather jacket, of all things. Security made me run it through the X-ray machine. Unbeknownst to me, it got grease on it from the X-ray machine's belt. This grease quickly got on my khakis. So there I am, all neat and pressed, dressed in business casual attire, with a couple of streaks of grease on my pants. The older married couple that I was forced to sit next to on the plane acted as if I was carrying a contagious disease. They audibly spoke about me to each other, and the woman (who was in the seat next to me) tried to slide as far away from me as possible in her seat. I am amused by the memory, but I am still not sure if this was sad or funny. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Newbie: I grew up in a small to mid-size town in the middle of PA, and when I moved much closer to Philly, I was shocked at the difference in the way that people would treat one another. I quickly learned that it was rather rare for someone to help someone that they did not know, but I also learned one night (putting gas in my car while on crutches) that this might be partially, but not entirely, due to the fear of the unknown. Sorry for the super long post.
 

PhotonWrangler

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Re: Respect vs apperance

[ QUOTE ]
The_LED_Museum said:
I usually get a decent amount of respect, or at very least, no disrespect, about myself or my attire.


[/ QUOTE ]

Glad to hear you're not getting any shtuff from people, Craig. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

IlluminatingBikr

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Re: Respect vs apperance

I went on a trip to Washington, D.C. with my temple confirmation class. On one part of the trip, we went to McPherson's Square, and we had to talk to the homeless people that were there. It was amazing the difference between what you expect them to be, and how they actually turn out to be. Some of them were quite intelligent and had a good sense of humor. One of them even used to be a professional football player.
 

PhotonWrangler

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Re: Respect vs apperance

That reminds me of an interesting incident -

We were visiting Phoenix several years ago and at one point we found ourselves standing on the sidewalk wondering how to get from point-A to point-B on our trip. Behind us, sitting on the sidewalk, was a young woman in ragged looking clothes, her caucasian skin cooked a very dark bronze from being in the sun for far too many days, looking like a typical homeless person. She wasn't badgering anyone for money, but we were still a little cautious because we didn't know what to expect based on her appearance.

But as we wondered out loud how to find our destination, she overheard us and spoke up in the most eloquent voice, offering us an exquisitely detailed set of driving instructions. She really floored us with her intelligence and her refined way of speaking... it was as if we'd met Yoda in person! I still think of that as a Yoda moment.

And it was a lesson in humility for us to never judge people by their appearance.
 

Sub_Umbra

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Cobb,

The hair and beard thing that you mentioned is really interesting. I never would've guessed those reactions. Because of an accident in the 70s I have a very abnormal spine. I had to use a cane all the time for a few years starting in the late 90s. I won't go into the actual reactions I got while using the cane other than noting that they varied extremely widely depending on the individual and that some of them still really puzzle me today.

To me it seems that when it comes to people, on one hand you've got the herd, which can be pretty hard to figure if you're not right where they're at; and then you've got everyone else, who can often be even harder to figure out than the herd.
 

raggie33

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Re: Respect vs apperance

im the worst dresser in the world lol i always have cloths i got at thrift stores and always where jeans and tshirt in summer. shoes are hand me down sneakers.im always clean though but some shirts have bleach stanes
 

Fat_Tony

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Re: Respect vs apperance

Raggie, don't sweat it!! On weekends and holidays, its jeans, a T-Shirt and sneakers for me, too. And I have stained more than my fair share of shirts with bleach!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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