Why I Wear A Suit

CLA / Other SiVaGuNeDo
Jun 20, 2018 18 Comments

When I was a kid I dreamed of wearing a suit - like the men I saw on television. At the time I had no idea what these guys did for a living, but I wanted it all. You can't blame a guy for dreaming big, right? This was the 60's - before #Fortnight #DowntonAbbey and #StormyDaniels

I took an accounting class my senior year of high school - and the rest (as we say in East San José) is history. Well, not so fast: there have been lots of bumps and bruises along the way. One of the first was discovering the teachers did not hand out textbooks in college. Then again, some things were the same as high school - being asked to stand outside the classroom door for talking too much to the co-ed at the next desk.

After college it was on to the working world. You see, no one in my neighborhood studied abroad or enjoyed a "gap year" traveling. Most of my friends have been incarcerated or lost their lives due to violence or addiction. Others joined the military since we thought we were going to war with Iran.

Once I started my first real accounting job (graduated on Saturday and my dad told me I needed to have a job starting Monday), I quickly discovered the world is run by straight, privileged, white men. I tried my best to fit in - shaved off my mustache, removed my bracelet, and never spoke Spanish. I thought I could cover my true self and be evaluated on my skills (not by my brown skin). I kept my head down and never complained about the insults: "I never knew Santa was a Mexican;" "You have dirt on your head (on Ash Wednesday);" "How can you say you like America when you're not white?" "How did you end up with a white last name?"

At some point I realized a pattern of how I was treated, not only at work, but in stores, restaurants, and by the police. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that when I wore a suit I felt like the others - accepted. Of course, this has not always been the case. I've endured years of teasing for being the only guy in a suit - keep in mind that this is Silicon Valley where standard business attire is like that of a Target team member on a preschool field trip with his backpack.

I'm in the twilight of my career, but truly hope to make a difference for younger generations. I dream of the day when people are no longer judged by labels: race, gender, sexual preference, religion, diverse abilities, etc.

I pray each night that my daughter will not have to endure racism or sexism. My whole world begins and ends with her. I'm not looking for special treatment, but equitable opportunities.

Education is my passion - it is my belief that education is the difference maker. The challenge is that Latino learners start kindergarten so far behind the other kids, that they never catch up. These kids have an entire deck of the status quo stacked against them: uneducated parents, violence in the home, no WiFi, no computer, inadequate nutrition, underfunded public schools, living at the poverty line, etc. Worse than the Beverly Hillbillies before Jed struck "Black Gold."

Will things change? I'm cautiously optimistic - while racism is no longer as overt as it was in the 60's, there are many who will not let go of the status quo. Changing what they have is like #Sizzler no longer offering steak and all-you-can eat shrimp.

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Google Ruthless
    Tldr
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • People are born in bad places because that's where their perents ended up and not racism. It's an excuse to hate someone more successful then you, but easier than to hate own inability to change.
    Jun 20, 2018 2
    • Google / Eng
      sergey

      Google Eng

      BIO
      Haha
      sergeymore
      The naivety of your thoughts is amusing.
      Jun 20, 2018
    • Constructive criticism or GTFO.
      Jun 20, 2018
  • Google p3nis
    I never read anything that starts with "when I was a kid...". I know it'll be boring.
    Jun 20, 2018 3
    • Oscar / Eng
      tc/gtfo

      Oscar Eng

      BIO
      Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
      tc/gtfomore
      I suppose when you finish the story you’d be done with your right hand.
      Jun 20, 2018
    • Google p3nis
      Is that what you did? Cool
      Jun 20, 2018
    • Oscar / Eng
      tc/gtfo

      Oscar Eng

      BIO
      Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
      tc/gtfomore
      No. I am holding my phone the whole time. Graphics better.
      Jun 20, 2018
  • Microsoft / Product
    SaMY-t8

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    HP Inc, HPE
    SaMY-t8more
    Amazing text, thank you!
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • HPE / Eng brotein
    👏🏼
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • Google / Eng
    sergey

    Google Eng

    BIO
    Haha
    sergeymore
    TC?
    Jun 20, 2018 3
    • Or GTFO!
      Jun 20, 2018
    • Oscar / Eng
      tc/gtfo

      Oscar Eng

      BIO
      Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
      tc/gtfomore
      What’s going on here?
      Jun 20, 2018
    • Exactly
      Jun 20, 2018
  • Apple Okidoki
    Enjoyed reading this, thank you for sharing. I am optimistic too.
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • Twitter Maxflow+
    Good thing to read thanks
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • Airbnb EngSlave86
    Have fun with your east coast attire. I'm never wearing slacks again to a job.
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • Oscar / Eng
    tc/gtfo

    Oscar Eng

    BIO
    Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
    tc/gtfomore
    I have seen a software engineer working for hedge fund in suits all day. I don’t know whether he’s good or not, but it was fun to know he wears suits at work and at every python meetup talk. Me too, I am preparing to go to med school. So... let’s work toward our own dreams.

    I want to be happy.
    Jun 20, 2018 0

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