In the same way that people sometimes start to look like their pets, have you ever noticed how co-workers often dress in similar ways? It used to happen all the time when I worked in television news … some days all our anchors and reporters would wear the same colors. It wasn’t like we planned it… we just ended up on the same wavelength and started making similar choices.
So, that’s kinda what I thought was going on around the Ford and Acura dealerships when every so often I’d notice everyone matched. What didn’t occur to me was that the pattern was consistent: every Friday most of the sales and service staff would wear red. That fact floated around in the recesses of my brain, something to ask about if and when the question made its way into my consciousness and out my mouth.
But I didn’t have to ask (apparently, we DO mind read around here!) Out of the blue, Ford Service Manager Gary Neal sent me an email. The subject line read, “FYI” and the message was brief: “Shannon, Just in case you were wondering why most of the guys wear red shirts on Fridays.” He’d included the web address http://www.redshirtfridays.org/. Now I know Red Shirt Fridays are all about showing support for American troops overseas. The idea is that troops who feel supported have higher morale. Higher morale translates into better performance. Better performance increases the odds of survival. The more we do on this side of the ocean to show our appreciation for our men and women in uniform, the more they have an advantage in the fight.
To be honest, I was a little surprised when Gary’s email came through. I’ve been with Butler for half a year now and nobody’s said a word about Red Shirt Fridays. But, as you know, actions speak louder than words… and I really dig what Gary and the other guys’ actions have been saying. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that his email came in the week before Memorial Day… but I know it won’t be when, this Friday, I start looking a little more like my co-workers in red.