Wednesday, June 6, 2012

..."You don't seem important"...

Someone actually said that to me. A co-worker.

It all started after I was offered a certain intern to help with a project I’m working on. I refused and in so many words let it be known that I didn’t care much for that particular intern’s attitude.

I found her to be rude and snotty, and one day in passing she actually looked me up and down, stuck her nose up in the air and flipped her hair at me when we had passed in close proximity.

Co-worker laughed. “She didn’t know who you were. I’m sure if she had known she would have been kissing your [arse] like she does everyone else higher up around here.”

“She’s an intern. If she’s trying to get in full time, shouldn’t she just be nice to everyone? Especially if she doesn’t know who the person is?”

“Yeah, but she probably thought you were another intern or something. You look like a kid. You hardly speak. You don’t seem important.”

I had to think about that one a minute. Some people are foolish, some are mean-spirited, some seem directionless, but I’m not sure about anyone truly being “not important.”

Some additional discussion with Co-worker and I discovered she was referring to the generic definition of “important” – the one most people probably think of first: status.

To the intern, I don’t appear to have much status around here.

“Whenever someone asks what you do, you say, ‘stuff,’” Co-worker said.

It’s true. In meetings whenever introductions are necessary, everyone gives their first and last name, title, recites their 4-page job description and tells you how many staff they supervise. I always just say, “I’m Angel. I do a lot of stuff.”

But that’s because I do do a lot of stuff.

The titles around here don’t mean much. They move people into pseudo positions all the time, give them a title, an office and a paycheck and I tell you, they don’t do diddly but repeat that information to anyone who will listen. I wouldn’t say that the work they do is unimportant but it isn’t always significant either. And that’s mostly because half of them don’t work at all. They sit at tables in board rooms, make up stuff to sound like they’re thinking about or working on something then they leave early.

I can never get over the look on my sister’s face when someone asked her what she did (for a living) and with much pride, head high, and shoulders pulled back she over-pronounced “Senior Architectural Finance Interpreter.”

The response was a blank stare, and then “what does that mean?”

So a title is just a title. Says nothing about who you are or how valuable you are.

My title won’t tell you that I anticipate what people need before they know they need it and have it ready to deliver by the time they figure it out. Plus I pick up and complete all the crap that has to be done but no one else wants to do; the same stuff that people will get into trouble if it’s not done. And I review state, federal and accrediting guidelines and initiate work in any area where we might be lacking or redesign and simplify currently used systems to make them user-friendly and still meet the guideline.

Whatever you call that person, that’s me.

That little chick with the glasses usually wearing a big black sweater and the hair bun or the beanie (even in the summer months) who never says anything is not just another intern that you are competing with, she’s somebody “important.”

I mean we all are important, but that chick is really important. She does stuff.

Be nice to her.

Before I go, I wanted to share with you that I have been presented with a wonderful opportunity to do some amazing work with some brilliant individuals that based on all the happy verbiage you might have guessed I have accepted said opportunity.

At very long last this is something that I feel can strongly help me move in the direction I want to go and I feel good about it. Naturally,  this means something has to give but I don’t know what that will be yet. Juggling to exhaustion is my tragic flaw, and I gotta be me.

So I will be around, but maybe not in the manner we’re all accustomed to.

It has been interesting to watch friends drop in, and sometimes even stick around, and I appreciate all of you, visitors and regulars alike.

Thanks for your support and emails (and by Gosh, so sorry for that time last year that I accidentally deleted everything. If I never responded to something you sent it wasn’t because I don’t care, it’s because I was inbox-ing in anger and flipped out with the deleting. Please forgive me.)

And if I might ask,  whatever you do for luck or blessings, I would really love it if you did it now for me. I hope to be able to be more detailed about things sooner than later.

In the meantime, thanks very much for coming around. I like you. You’re a good person.

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