In the age of political correctness, it takes courage to be a real mentor

With the ambient anxiety in a society of over 700,000 attorneys of being constantly careful of not offending has created a fake interaction where we can no longer tell people what they need to hear but what they want to hear.

For example, while at a community college while teaching a CPMM exam area plant engineers shared their challenge of locating qualified technicians and people with not just the technical skills, the interpersonal soft skills but also with the discipline to present themselves in a formal business environment. After hearing their pleas for help, I stepped outside the building away from the smoker corridor outside of the entrance to get a breath of fresh air.

I saw a group of students gather, gossip, several with their pants below their underwear, smoking cigarettes, jeering at co-eds and I thought to myself that business leaders need to give these "kids" a clue and tell them to grow up and fly right. Well, my disgust must have been expressed on my face as one of the kids in the group I watching wisecracked, “Hey Mister, something a matter?”

In that split second, I thought should I tell them nothing was wrong and walk away or should I be honest knowing that there could be negative repercussions? So I decided that I need to be honest but not too judgmental and hopefully nothing negative would happen. So told them that a Fortune 100 employer was in the classroom wants to hire workers but not able to find the talent they needed. They urged me to take them in the room and introduce them to the engineers so they could get a job.

Found out that a couple of the students were taking electrical and electronic classes and probably were building the technical skill sets the company needed, but I asked them why bother to the ones with pants hanging below their crotches.

I said, "No offense, but do you think a company would want to hire someone to work on their multimillion dollar production equipment, when they don’t have enough common sense to wear a belt to hold their pants up?"

I said it with a smile and tried not to offend but knew, I could have been charged with a negative social classification and they could report me to the community college leaders for making an offensive or perhaps a racial statement even when it was not intended as such.

What happened was great… the guys chuckled and admitted I was right. I told them that employers are on that campus all of the time and how they act and present themselves, may help or could hurt them when applying for a future job. They hung on to every word I said. Later, I gave them my card so they could look at SKILLTV and see that companies all over the world need qualified technicians.

A couple of hours later, I spotted them on campus and they had on belts and had hiked up their pants up to their hips. Couldn't help but feel satisfied that I had the courage to tell them what they needed to hear. Later several of those young adults emailed me and I have been trying to provide them career advice remotely.

In a society where no one wants to get involved, many that could be saved or advanced further never do and that is a true shame. So I hope that you too will bother someone and help them FIX IT FORWARD!