Friday, September 28, 2012

Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

There are little towns throughout the northeast that sponsor events to coincide with the annual changing of the leaves.  One of these is the annual Cream Cheese Festival in Lowville, New York.

Just for the record: Lowville is pronounced:  lau-ville, not low-ville; and because it’s in the middle of a large area known for its dairy farming, Kraft Foods has a plant there which produces cream cheese – thus the annual Cream Cheese Festival.

People come from near and far for the event’s food, music, crafts, rides, and what is purported to be the “world’s largest cheesecake”.  So on a recent weekend we took a ride through the countryside to see the leaves and that record-setting cheesecake.

The food vendors had every kind of fried food that you can imagine, including fried cream cheese.  The bandstand had local country singers who wanted to look and sound like someone vaguely familiar.  And at the Cream Cheese Bingo game kids threw gobs of cream cheese at numbers on a large painted board to see which was next; we had to stop and watch that bit of creativity.  But the disappointment of the day was the fact that the “world’s largest cheesecake” was eaten long before we got there; so now we’ll never know how big it had to be to be the world’s biggest!

But we checked out everything else, and as we left we realized that the theme of these events is not nearly as important as the fact that communities come together and have them. It’s called community spirit and pride, and it gives people a reason to do things together.  There were lots of people there, and hardly any texting.  There were lots of things going on, and none of them seemed to involve a computer.  And the games that people played were the types that people played together, not alone on a little screen: it was quaint and not contrived.  There were lots of smiles, the old-fashioned kind that weren’t brought on by canned laughter; it wasn’t so much small-town as it was real people.  Afterward we smiled in appreciation of this real slice of Americana: it was as refreshing as an ice-cold glass of milk!

My message this week is about professionalism:

“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”  
-Dr. Seuss

From the top of the heap the sights that you see are often arrayed in a very broad sweep; and from that high perch you might miss the small things that are so very important to those you are trying to reach.

So project yourself as a professional pro, and show that you know all the right things to say and the right things to do so the people you’re reaching know and understand the who that is you.

And by realizing the needs of the people below, you’re acknowledging their importance to the success of the show.

So make sure that you see all the things that you need, and also make sure that those folks down below feel good about themselves and the things that they do for the show.

Because at the end of the day you want all the who’s who are who, to feel and act professionally, just like you do!

Stay well!

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