Fish don’t fry in the kitchen…Beans don’t burn on the grill…Took a whole lotta tryin’….Just to get up that hill …Now we’re up in the big league….Getting our turn at bat.
George and Louise Jefferson definitely got their turn at bat. The world watched and laughed as their middle-class values and rules didn’t fit in with the upper class they worked so hard to move into. In a way, George and Ouisie were more than prepared. They had a great work ethic. They made good decisions and they knew where they wanted to go. But with all of that preparation and planning, George was not ready for the “east side”.
That deluxe apartment in the sky came with a lot of expectations and hidden rules of class that George and Ouisie never knew existed. Moving there did not guarantee acceptance. Nor did that deluxe apartment come with printed rules instructing the Jeffersons on how to “fit in” and be considered “one of them”.
That sitcom plays out every day in our tangible lives. “Fitting in” our neighborhoods, our workplaces and even the gym is about knowing what is expected of me and what the hidden rules are in that particular space. The hidden rules of class don’t come as an attachment to our mortgages or to those big dollar contracts, but they do exist. The hidden rules are real, and you are expected to know them and practice them if you want to belong, fit in or be accepted by a particular class or group. Every class level (low, middle and high) has them.
If getting your piece of the pie means moving from one socio-economic class to another, here are a few “user-friendly” tips for you.
· Identify someone who is connected to the class you want to associate with.
· Befriend them. Follow their lead.
· Listen to their conversations. Notice what is said and what isn’t said.
· Pay close attention to how they present themselves in professional and social settings.
· Begin in integrate what you observed into your routine.
Not knowing the hidden rules of the workplace, neighborhood or civic organization can leave you feeling less than. People leave jobs and fail to close business deals, every day, because they did not fit into a culture or class. They were not aware of the unspoken rules in play.
"Moving on up" is about more than financial success. It’s also about discovering, learning and practicing the hidden rules and being accepted into a fellowship, a community of like-minded people.
*Join me on June 21st (12:00 Noon, ETS) as I partner with aha!Process to present a one-hour webinar Making A Power Move: Hidden Rules of Corporate Dining. Sign up here, https://www.ahaprocess.com/free-webinar-series/
Terry Brooks-Allen is one of central Indiana's top ten leading Etiquette Specialists and Image Consultants, coaching and training
T. Brooks-Allen | Business, Social, and Dining Etiquette