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Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's Not The Question, It's Who You Are and How You Ask

Last year for my birthday I took a half day from work and went and had a mani and pedi. I go in and meet the girl, who seems alright, a little rough around the edges, but whatever. We begin talking, as one does when getting their nails done, about me, of course. We get to the part where she asks about my occupation, because for some reason when you get your nails or hair or go to the doctor or first meet someone the conversation always leads to that one question, "so what do you do?" That's not exactly how this conversation took place. She asked me where I work. I told her, BC. "Oh," she says, "what are you a secretary or something?" Excuse me, I think to myself. A secretary or something? What in God's name makes her assume that I'm a secretary? Because I'm a woman who works in a large company? I must be a secretary? Um, no I'm not a secretary. Not that I'm some executive with a great title or anything. Well, actually my title is somewhat impressive, it's my pay that isn't so great. Anyway, the way she asked was so assuming, almost degrading.

First of all, if I was a secretary, I would most likely be called "administrative assistant", which sounds so politically correct, but I think it's beyond that now. You don't usually call secretaries, secretary. I mean, there are still receptionists, but I think secretary reminds people, and me, of a young, ditzy woman in a short. You know, someone somewhat brainless. Which is entirely not the same as the administrative assistants in my company. There aren't many jobs for admin assistants, because one, most people answer their own damn phones, and two, they are reserved for the people on the fifth floor (that's the top floor of the building). There are few scattered about the rest of the building, but not just anyone gets an assistant. Also, the people who work in these jobs, work damn hard and have to put up with a lot of crap and work horrible hours at times. I also haven't met one admin assistant in my building that's brainless either, not to mention that I'm pretty sure they get a decent pay. Probably more than what I get paid. Needless to say, I was completely and utterly offended to be asked, "so what are you? A secretary or something?" No, I'm not. That's all I said.

Then, awhile back I took Chloe to the vet. I filled out the paper work, which asked for my place of employment, and took her to the examination room. The vet tech came back to ask questions about Chloe and take her temperature (which she didn't enjoy so much, *wink*) and asked about my work place. Keep in mind the place I work is a large company, that if you live outside of Idaho you may not have heard of it, but I'm guessing the majority of Idahoans have. It's been around for a long, long time and it's had a lot of controversy lately, which makes it a good news item.

Side note: I don't want to mention where I work because I've been reading several articles about bloggers who have been fired for writing about their jobs on their blogs. I don't want to be one of those bloggers. However, if I read your blog and you have something like Statcounter it usually tells you exactly where I work. I know Statcounter does.

My point being, it's not some hole in the wall, ma and pop company. Anyway, the vet tech asks, "so what is BC? Is it a restaurant or something?" A restaurant or something? Who are you? A restaurant? I go on to explain to her that no, BC is not a restaurant, and I try to explain to her what and where it is. Hello!!! There is facility for the company not two miles from where this girl works. If you ever get on the frickin' freeway you have to pass it. You are forced to look at the god damn name every time you leave Nampa and go to Boise. In fact, if you want to get to downtown Boise, the headquarters is practically the first building you see!! WTF? Is it a restaurant? I wonder what she assumed I did while working at this restaurant. Hmmm?

Finally, I was shopping at the mall a couple of months ago, when I decided to get a Blimpie. I place my order and go the register to pay. The boy, the cute and young and adorable boy, who was helping me asked if I wanted a drink and chips to go with my sandwich. I responded that I did. He then asked me if I worked in the mall. I blushed and smiled and told him no. He said, "oh, I was just asking to make sure you received the discount. You get a discount if you work in the mall."

"Oh, that's so sweet," I say still blushing and smiling. "No, I don't work in the mall."

See how unoffensive it is when your cute and young and adorable to assume one's occupation? I think it also has a lot to do with the "or something" those dumb girls kept throwing at the end of their questions. Stupid girls.


  • I was cringing and laughing at this post! People assume many things about me too. The worst was when an another mother I knew ran into me at Dillards. "What are you doing here? At Dillards?" she goes. "What do you mean?" I ask.
    "I didn't think Dillards was YOUR kind of store." she answered.

    By Blogger Envoy-ette, at 6:24 AM, August 21, 2005  

  • Oh my God!! What kind of person says that type of thing. Anyway, I like Macy's better, it's not as pretentious as Dillards. That lady that asked you that sucks!!

    I answered the questions for you on my Games post if your interested and I'm glad to see you back!

    By Blogger Jolynn, at 8:25 AM, August 21, 2005  

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