Things are going a bit pear-shaped in my life at the moment so thought I’d take a minute and hash it out to get clear (but not in a Scientology kind of way). The following thoughts are going to disjointed (likely) and whiny (very likely), but hopefully I can purge that here and carry on. Because I’m going to need a clear head going forward. There’s not an area of my life that feels safe and secure at present. Does that happen to everyone? I’m fairly tired of feeling that way but the worst is feeling alone in it. But I’ve done it to myself in many ways because I’ve decided to try something new. Let me explain…
I’ve been punching a clock more or less since I was 15 years old. I’ve taken only one significant hiatus from having a regular full time job since that time, when my father advised me that working during my Freshman year of college was probably not the best way to get settled into a new situation, make friends, learn the ropes, and achieve academically. Beyond that, I’ve always worked, usually more than one job at a time, always for others as an “employee”. And so now, I’m attempting something different. I’m going to work for myself if I can swing it. I’m going to try to develop something, create something that might grow, be my own boss, decide who I want to work with, and hopefully avoid some of the strange office political games that I keep running up on that just break my spirit. As a related aside, I looked recently at the website (one that looks the way it does because I led the redesign project so, hey, my work abides) and noticed that they now have 1 – that’s one — woman working for them. And she’s the secretary (although she does so much more than that, that’s where she sits in the office). And somehow, that made me feel better about how things ended there. The man who came in about halfway through my time there definitely had some issues with women — there were five of us there when I started, 4 when he came in — and so it’s unsurprising that he has seen them all leave and has staffed the organization with men alone, save the lady that keeps it running (a friend of mine still, and a total rockstar who doesn’t get the credit she deserves). And somehow I feel validated in how that situation went down. He really is something of a chauvinist who expressed his disdain for me in his first email, and the first time I met him — literally 2 days after he started — he was talking about keeping my laptop after I left. I hung in there another year. Not sure why except I have this thing about quitting and being bullied. It’s a total Officer and a Gentleman thing:
Probably terrible to be so determined really, because it prevents you from walking away and just being happy doing something else. I tend to be aggressively tenacious if I’ve decided I want something, or if I’ve decided that I won’t be bullied out of it. And so I stay, or care, longer than I should maybe. Although I like to believe it’s worth it sometimes, mainly if it’s about hanging in there with people I see something special in (that’s not to say it’s not incredibly frustrating to do that. I have loved ones that I haven’t spoken to in years because of one thing or another, but have eventually renewed ties with. But it hurts quite a bit sometimes. And, honestly, it why I cut out pretty quickly sometimes if someone’s doing something truly destructive. I WANT to like you. So I can’t let you treat me horribly because then I’ll have to hate you. Don’t you get that? Sigh.) Anyway, as I embark on this new thing — that I’m hoping to supplement with other things here and there as I figure out how to make this work — it has become apparent to me that I have to articulate something specifically because it doesn’t seem to be clear:
For anyone that wants to work with me, please understand that my contact list of hundreds of names is how I make my living. It’s one I’ve built over the 6 years I’ve been here in DC. It is a tool — perhaps THE tool — of my trade. Asking me to provide it to you in an Excel spreadsheet is not only unprofessional and unethical, it’s trashy and shifty and I’m really disappointed in you. Additionally, my saying “no” in response does not constitute having a bad attitude, and my not providing it to you is not a violation of my contract, and is really not cause to terminate a contract, not a viable cause anyway.
I understand the effort. Sometimes I’m nice and gullible, and why not try? Clearly you need to know how to do the work, and you need the list to do it, or you wouldn’t have contracted with me. But you should understand that this does not reflect well on you. And before you protest, let me again give you the great Working Girl:
Tess McGill: [to Katharine] Look, you, maybe you’ve got everyone around here fooled with this saint act you have going, but do not ever speak to me again like we don’t know what really happened! You got me?
Katherine Parker: Tess, this is business. Let’s just bury the hatchet, okay?
Tess McGill: You know where you can bury your hatchet? Now get your bony ass outta my sight!
I’m dismayed by these things, but what you actually hired me to do — raise your profile and legitimize you a bit with a more mainstream media — I succeeded at accomplishing. The results speak for themselves, so I’m comfortable. Anyway, no hard feelings. I consider it all a great learning experience.
Okay, I may add to this post when I get home later because there’s a lot more I want to say about a great many things — a lot about how Trump called Fiorina ugly and every woman knows how that feels and she just handled it with so much grace. I got compared and found wanting not long ago to the “most beautiful woman in the world” (read: you’re not pretty enough and the fact that this girl doesn’t even like me that much and isn’t really that nice a person kinda sorta doesn’t matter), and that’s just a shit feeling.
So Carly, way to dismiss that man. On a national stage. I believe he set that karmic path and you were kind enough to deliver. It was a beautiful thing to see.
Alrighty, more later. I have to go to a play…