From the Q-mmunity
Humans of Qualtrics: Leo
MosaiQ is highlighting the diverse stories of its members throughout February for Black History Month with the Humans of Qualtrics project. We're privileged to introduce Leo and his story.
How have you challenged cultural stereotypes?
Prior to joining Qualtrics, I spent the last five years as a management consultant for financial services. As you can imagine, this required me to travel to a number of places across the United States, with North Carolina being the most frequent. While in North Carolina away on business, usually week after week for months at a time, I always found it important to find a little reminder of home. For me, that always meant finding a guitar store after work where I would play and shop after work and client meetings had wrapped for the day.
One such day after work, I was invited to play a new flashy guitar that one of my favorite shops in Charlotte had just received. It was a bright neon orange Jackson electric guitar; perfect for playing Metal and for observing from space. With Metal being one of my favorite genres of music to play, I had no problem making the most of the opportunity and really putting the instrument through its paces.
After about an hour of playing, I was approached, with a rather slow and cautious advance, by an older man who was a local to the area. He looked to be in his mid-60s, had long white hair in a ponytail and was covered in tattoos and leather biker apparel. For a few minutes, he stood quietly watching me play, then finally tapped my shoulder and said with a smile, "Please don't take any offense to this, I don't mean to be offensive ... but you gotta admit this is funny:•
"What do you mean?" I asked. He laughed.
"Well, I mean, I just don't think I've ever in my life met anyone like you: a young Black guy who plays Heavy Metal and is a Banker!" We both laughed.
"You know this game," I said referring to guitar. "We come in all shapes and sizes."
"Amen to that!" he said with a high five.
I have a number of stories just like this one where I've had the opportunity to show someone, with myself as the example, that people are not always who you think they will be. Everyone has their own story and that story has shaped who they are today. It's impossible to know these stories without asking, and, just as importantly, listening!
Join us again on February 23rd to read our final story from the Humans of Qualtrics this month. You can explore the entire series through the links below.