Wednesday, May 19, 2010



By : Mr. Ronald F. Daggett, Assistant Deputy Vice President for Human Resources, The Cockland Group LLC, an Investment House specializing in service to the mortgage industry.

Cockland Group LLC is growing at a rapid pace. Since our founding in 2003, we have secured firm accounts with the Nation's largest mortgage sellers, including HSBC, Citigroup and Coldwell Banker. Our commitment to Absolute Client Satisfaction (ACS)™ is unparalleled. Our earnings have steadily risen in every consecutive quarter since our founding, even during some of the most challenging economic times in our Nation's history. We are proud of our accomplishments and we remain focused on our overriding goal: To deliver timely, effective, reasonable mortgage reinvestment services across the entire financial industry.

We could not have achieved these results without you, our employees. Here at Cockland management, we salute your dedication, hard work and passion for mortgage reinvestment services. At Cockland, it is not just about mortgages. It is about people™. Our people are the best. We know you know that, too. And we are thankful that you share our zeal for boundless client satisfaction. Because when great people serve great clients, everyone wins™.

We owe our success to our unique corporate culture. Cockland drives hard and plays hard. When we enter a market, we aim to penetrate and win. But when we relax, we relax with the same fervor we display when servicing an account. Cockland employees know how to please clients. And that is why clients keep coming back for more. Cockland delivers solid performance: Any time, anywhere--and for the best price™.

Nonetheless, not everyone can be a Cockland employee. We expect the best and we demand a lot. Sometimes it is difficult to overcome stiff competition in the mortgage client service market. We do not tolerate droopers or flaccid account service. Only the firmest survive at Cockland. Our employees don't back down. They stay on top of accounts until they are closed. Cockland employees are not timid. When we service accounts, we never pull out. We do not stop until our clients are completely satisfied™.

We also demand complete devotion to The Cockland Mission (TCM)™ (see employee manual, Chapter 2 for details). Being part of a winning team means the ability to play your position and to cheerfully receive instructions. Knowing your job is only half the battle; the other half is knowing how you fit on the ball club.

Attire is an important part of Cockland's success. Since our founding, we have insisted that every team member in the Cockland family wear either a white or blue button-down shirt at work. Button-down shirts show good taste and respect for client expectations. Clients in the mortgage industry wear button-down shirts. Typically, those shirts are white or blue. It only makes sense that we--as dedicated client service professionals--mirror their expectations. That is why we have always required our employees to wear white or blue button-down shirts. Sometimes conventions are essential. And this is one such instance.

Button-down shirts are vital to Cockland's special place in the mortgage service market. Yet the company has never endorsed an official policy expressing unconditional support for button-down shirts. We believe we have a duty as a company to reverse that trend. It is time for Cockland to recognize button-down shirts. And it is time for Cockland to make button-down shirts mandatory for all employees at the company. It is time to formalize.

From this day forward, every Cockland employee will be required to wear only blue or white button-down shirts while on company business. We refuse to acknowledge any exceptions to this policy. Every Cockland employee must certify that he or she will comply with this policy. He or she must further certify that failure to comply will result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including docked pay and termination. Cockland must preserve its team spirit. And it must also maintain its winning attire-related traditions. That is why we hereby officially make blue and white button-down shirts a core element of Cockland culture. If Cockland employees cannot accept this, they can find employment elsewhere.

But this does not end Cockland's determination to inculcate attire discipline. In addition to requiring all Cockland employees to wear white or blue button-down shirts, all employees must also appropriately tuck their shirts into their pants.

Without appropriate tucking, blue and white button-down shirts mean nothing. Only a tucked-in button-down shirt can accomplish the goals Cockland expects. A tucked-in button-down shirt is absolutely vital to continued employment at Cockland. Inappropriately tucked and untucked button-down shirts reveal an inattention to personal excellence that is fundamentally inconsistent with Cockland's overriding commitment to unparalleled mortgage service. Our clients tuck in their shirts. All people worth anything in the world tuck in their shirts, too.

It would contravene our most basic company values to tolerate anything less than fully tucked-in shirts among our employees. For that reason, Cockland hereby requires all employees to certify not only that they will wear a blue or white button-down shirt every day at work, but that they will also appropriately tuck in their shirts. Failure to tuck in a shirt will result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including docked pay and termination. Additionally, inappropriately tucked-in shirts will lead to the same consequences. Cockland simply cannot risk disappointing its clients by allowing employees to appear without immaculately tucked-in blue or white button-down shirts.

We recognize that these policy changes may appear harsh. We also recognize that employees may be confused about what it means to "tuck in" a button-down shirt or to "appropriately" tuck in a button-down shirt. In fairness to our employees, we wish to clarify these matters.

First, a "tucked-in button down shirt" means any button-down shirt the shirttails of which rest against the upper thighs, yet which are concealed and circumscribed at the top by a belt and trousers. As such, if a shirttail at any time appears outside the pants, the shirt is considered "not tucked-in" and will accordingly subject the offending employee to discipline.

Second, an "inappropriately tucked-in button down shirt" means a tucked-in button down shirt the tucking of which is not appropriate. "Appropriate tucking," in turn, means a tuck that does not result in ruffles, creases or otherwise slovenly shirt characteristics above the beltline. A tuck is only appropriate when the shirttails remain at all times below the beltline without bulging out, creasing or otherwise creating an unsavory appearance. The mere fact that an employee experiences "inappropriate tucking" because he or she sat down at a desk for too long does not cure the offense. An inappropriate tuck is an inappropriate tuck. Our clients expect the best from Cockland; and they do not forgive inappropriate tucking.

Neither do we. Inappropriately tucked-in button-down shirts will immediately subject the offending employee to discipline, up to an including docked pay and termination. We realize that compliance with appropriate tucking requirements may at times prove difficult. For that reason, management has decided to allow employees to cure inappropriate tucking by expeditiously removing all inappropriateness from their tucking within 30 seconds after discovering that their button-down shirts are inappropriately tucked. We believe that this rule both fairly allows for conscientious compliance at the same time it justly punishes flagrantly inappropriate tucking.

Cockland management is determined to realize excellence in all employee endeavors. That is why it has decided to implement these new rules concerning mandatory button-down shirt wearing and appropriate tucking effective immediately. Details may be found in the employee manual, Chapter 45, subsection 7(b).

Anyone who is anyone wears a blue or white button-down shirt every day. And anyone who is anyone appropriately tucks that shirt in; or at least corrects inappropriate tucking the moment it appears. At Cockland, we are committed to bringing maximal satisfaction to everyone who is anyone. That is why we must lead by example. That is why we must tuck in our shirts--appropriately.

If you don't like the rule, you shouldn't be on this team. So tuck in your shirt and start penetrating those accounts like a real Cocklander.


Timoteo said...


Balthazar Oesterhoudt said...

Thanks, Timoteo! I've been really struggling to find writing time these days, but when I find it, I put it to good use.

At least I'm making a few dollars to SUPPORT my writing habit in the meantime.

And thank you so much for continuing to check in with me. It means a lot.

angelshair said...

The TM at the end of your quote was very funny!