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Aesthetics, Prosthetics, And Packaging

By Art van Bodegraven | 03/09/2016 | 5:03 PM

In the salad days of my youth at university (John Purdue A & M), a couple of years into the game, our somewhat perverted band director decided that Western civilization would not last without a besequined Golden Girl, who immediately stimulated young men who had unwittingly taken a vow of frustration. The provocately named Addie Darling, an early exemplar of the concept, became the stuff of dreams thanks to a insufficiency of sequins, a permanent death-mask smile, and a penchant for twirling her - ahem - twin batons with heedless abandon.

While others were entranced by the spectacle, I dealt with the reality of a requirement for regular meals and the desirability of having a little walking around money.  Thus, I took employment as a waiter in a women's residence hall, and was envied the side benefit of being able to gaze daily upon the early morning version of our celebrated Golden Girl (this being a last gasp of a politically incorrect generation).

The sunrise surprise was not a sight for the weak.  Dull and matted hair, ravaged by harsh chemicals designed a blonde appearance visible form the topmost rows of venerable Ross-Ade Stadium.  Sallow skin tone, and a freakish bad attitude, cloaked in a chenille robe that might have been purchased at a roadside stand on some desolate tourist byway.  Ginormous curlers with the power to tame wild hair into curls that were less appealing than the designer perhaps imagined.  Standard heterosexuality was put to an ultimate test in such circumstance.

Somewhat parallel, but even more extreme, measures are de rigeur among Las Vegas showgirls, whose silicon content is sufficient to coat many, many Teflon cooking utensils, and who can calculate the odds of a prospect having enough ready cash to engage in social research in the bat of a (faux) eyelash.

Their careers tend to peak early, and seem to take a downward spiral beginning on Day One.  Language gives clues, moving quickly from "Ooh, Daddy!" to "How about it?" as they work their ways down the hotel lounge ladder to oblivion.

The point is not to make moral judgments, or cast aspersions on those in a state of declining fortune.  Hey, everybody's gotta be somewhere at any given moment. But, I would suggest that anyone with whom you might be considering a relationship - either personal or professional - be evaluated to assess the depth and quality of what lies beneath the surface.

At work, the new peer, the entering staff member, the newbie on the team - all need to be seen in the light of whether they walk the talk, that the talk and walk are consistent, and that either or both match up well with you and your organization.

Those who fail the assessment can take you to bad places, and introduce you to the wrong people and practices.  None of the opening attributes - aesthetics, prosthetics, or packaging - can substitute in the long run for ethics.




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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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