I have a secret.
I've been working at our South location recently. Not much...just a few times. You know, when it worked with my schedule and didn't entail a three hour bus ride or a six hour walk home in the dark. Just to see what it's like.
And to lend a helping hand. (The entire SM department just up and quit, you know.)
And the secret part?
I kind of love it there.
Okay, I totally don't love the stairs. (Who could?) And it's like a maze up there, and everything is separated. (Which is also a total plus! How many times a day do I get asked for help with guitar stuff at the South side? NONE!)
But I do love the way the people treat me.
I adore my coworkers here. I really do.
But...let's be honest. I started working with them when I was nineteen years old, and I was a receptionist. So that's really all they see when they look at me. (Okay, so Jay Jay and B-Money are the exceptions to this rule, and Preggers and Jazz because they didn't work there until recently and so didn't know me then.) When they do something that they shouldn't and I express my dissatisfaction and take the time to explain why they can't just go around leaving things in my department, I get, "You know, it really doesn't matter. When you get used to this job you'll realize it." And when I get angry and express my irritation, the only answer I get is, "It's so cute when you get mad."
My closest coworker actually told me one day that he's planning on leaving and starting his own lighting and sound business and he wanted to take me and Jay Jay away from the store with him when he left. I asked, "Well what would you have me do?"
And he laughed like I'd just asked the dumbest question in the world and told me, "Well obviously you'd be my receptionist. It's not like you can do anything else."
My sales are phenomenal. My customer ratings are up. I had a customer send me flowers as a fucking thank you and the best I can get is receptionist?
All that I am, all that I have achievede, every ounce of knowledge I have gained...absolutely worthless in the eyes of the people with whom I spend my daylight hours.
And the people at the South location...they've only ever known me on the phone. There is no stigma attached to my name and face for them. So when they met me, they treated me like a twenty three year old woman. Like a sane, reasonable human being. And when I mentioned that something they were doing didn't make sense, rather than just laughing and saying, "Oh, it's cute that Chanel thinks she can fix things that are wrong!" and patronize me over "trying to know better than everyone else," they look at me and say, "My god, you're right." And then they fixed it.
I hate being patronized, and I didn't realize just how bad it was...until I put myself into an environment that actually respected me as a musician, as a coworker, and as a woman.
Oh, I've known for years that my coworkers don't take me seriously. Because I'm young. Because I am "perpetually happy", because I am endlessly patient.
Things are changing, sure. But are the changing in a way that will help me?