Having a job in New York City, I see a LOT in terms of the diversity of humans surrounding me.
People can be black, white, brown or yellow. They could be male or female (or whatever other 30 types of genders there are nowadays). They could be rich CEO’s, or blue collar construction guys, or just some dirty old bums. They can be old as shit, or just young pups… But they all have one thing in common – they’re all COMPLETE strangers to me.
This morning I was confronted with a personal conflict though. And that’s why I ask WWJD – “What Would Joe Do?“?
As I left Penn Station and went to cross over 8th Ave, I noticed this young white kid pass by, well dressed in a suit and tie, hair combed over tight looking at his phone almost as if he was lost on his way around the city (been there friend-o!).
I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, he’s just a young buck out here interviewing for a job or something” and “good for you young man! You don’t hate this disgusting garbage can of a city as much as I do yet”… Ahhh to be young and naive!
Anyway, one thing about this kid that caught my eye was that he had one white streak of (what I can only hope was) hair gel. Given that this is NYC, it’s possible that a disgusting pigeon shit on his head, but it that was the case, that bird shit was almost TOO clean of a streak.
So I conscientiously knew that this person had too much hair gel on his head, and therefore looked like an idiot. Now, I wasn’t TOO far away from him, I easily could’ve went out of my way to say, “Hey man, not to be a fucking weirdo, but just a heads up… I noticed it looks like some gel caked up on your head, might wanna just clean that out.”
But then I FURTHER thought, “Well… what if this kid WAS going on an interview and something like me telling him about that could fluster him? I could ruin this kid’s interview. At least if he goes in THINKING he’s all cleaned up and ready to crush it, he’ll have that confidence. Ignorance truly would be bliss here.”
So there I was, fully aware this poor kid could be walking into what he believes is the most important thing of his life – an interview in New York City – with what looks like a Johnny Sinns load on his head.
I continued my walk down 33rd as he kept looking at his phone and then up, then back to his phone, lost as a country mouse in the big city standing in front of the US Postal Service building.
I did not help this kid. I didn’t say a word.
Did I do the right thing by letting this young buck go? Was that philosophically wrong of me to KNOW I could help out a fellow member of the human race by giving some heads up that he looked like an idiot, but still didn’t?
Undoubtedly this will haunt me the rest of the day… But I liked to think he walked in all swaggy-like and talked like he was the cockiest mo-fo on the planet with one giant streak of white glistening in the lights of that conference room as the interviewers sat there and just thought to themselves, “this kid has absolutely NO idea…”