Posts Tagged ‘women’

I just read this article and almost slammed my fist into my monitor:

Or this one:

Earlier I had read this article and cried:

Why? Obvious reasons to me.

I think it comes down to one thing and one thing only – a hidden agenda. An evil hidden agenda that states the only way to control someone, is to keep the truth from them and don’t let them see. As long as you can get someone to agree that there is something wrong with them, you can convince them that you have the answer.

What do some not want you to see? How wonderful and fabulous you really are and you shouldn’t change.

Does this sound like a conspiracy theory? It sure is.

What would happen if women, in particular, accepted themselves just as they are?

What would happen if women learned to love themselves and their own unique beauty?

What would happen if women were encouraged to work together and not against each other?

I can tell you what would happen. First of all, it would ruin the fashion industry as it currently is. We would laugh our asses off at what they are selling. Don’t forget, fashion is a business just like any other and they WILL cater to what the majority wants. It’s good business.

It would just about shut down the TV industry because women and young girls would see how unrealistic TV is and turn off the station and read a book or better yet, write a book. Or two. Or three. Maybe take up painting or any other creative endeavors and work on who they think they are and not what someone else is trying to sell them.

What would happen if you looked in the mirror and liked what you saw? I’ll tell you what would happen – you wouldn’t spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on the beauty products you and I both know don’t work. You know they don’t do what they claim.

You would realize that aging is a natural and beautiful thing and then you would question why all the models and celebrities are photo shopped and you would boycott the products. We might even be doing them a favor. Can you even imagine the amount of pressure these women are under? What would happen if we loved them just the way they are? They might just become a bit happier with their work and focus on their work and not their looks. Wouldn’t that be cool?

You could bring the beauty industry to its knees and they would not recover until they started to finally tell the truth in their advertising. The truth is NOTHING can alter the shape or texture of your skin. NOTHING.

You would stop reading the evil women’s magazines that oh-so-subtly tell you that you aren’t quite good enough. You are too tall, too short, your breasts are too small or to big. It doesn’t really matter, you see, how you are. You’re wrong so buy this product…

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice AS LONG AS YOU DECIDE WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU! As long as you look outside yourself, you are going to get slammed and I have to say, that’s on you.

You can change how you feel about yourself in one easy step – just decide that you love yourself and that’s all there is to it.

There is no magical formula. It doesn’t matter how many books you read about it or how many people you talk to; until you decide to DECIDE, it’s all bull shit.

Get rid of the external influences. Shut off the TV, don’t buy the women’s magazines and just love yourself just as you are.

Boycott the things you disagree with. I do that all the time. It’s kind of fun. I’ll disagree with anyone on anything simply because they are trying to get me to agree. It doesn’t matter what they are saying. They could have the best idea in the world, but if I get one hint of someone trying to convince me of something and not address my own intelligence, I’m not going to do it.

I’m a bit of an ass like that, but I’m good with it. I can make my own decisions and decide what is right for me and the second I get a sense of someone is trying to get me to think a different way, my alarm goes off.

They are trying to sell me something that will benefit THEM. Nope. Sorry. Not gonna happen.

You can stop the insanity right here and now. Just disagree and tell others to also. It’s in your hands and no one else’s. Your self-esteem is in your control completely.

Stop looking elsewhere for validation. All that you need is right there.Tap into it and it will rise to the surface.

Stop buying into all the nonsense.

Because I like to be among my own kind where I am accepted and not competed with.

I also have an almost uncontrollable urge to slap the shit out of weak women.  So, yes, I need that balance.

I find weak and needy women much more pathetic than weak and needy men. With men, you just put him in the category of a friend or co-worker or whatever category seems to fit at the time. It really doesn’t matter.

But I expect more from women and I always will. We procreate, we are the final responsibility for the human race continuing and some whiny little bitch is NOT going to get the work done.

Every so often, one of these will show up for some training. By me. All day. For a few days. It’s not a pretty sight. You almost could feel sorry for them if it wasn’t so annoying. Almost, but not quite.

Some of my clients will send one of their ladies to me and give me a heads up. “Susan, I’m sending Missy (Missy? WTF kind of name is that?) to you for some training. She needs help with her job and I told her about you, so she knows.”

Ahem….”Knows what, exactly?” I ask as I sharpen my blood-red nails and dust off my broom.

“Knows not to whine.”

“Oh, that! OK, then she knows what not to do. What else did you tell her?”

Pause. I hear the sound of the client clearing her throat and getting up and closing the door. “Well, I told her how you are, you know?”

“How I am?”

“Yes. How blunt you are and you don’t accept failure.”

I smile. This is good.

“Are you sending me a lamb for the slaughter…again?”

And that’s what it seems like when I get around a weak and not-to-bright women. Because I don’t accept that. I won’t accept it. Not now and not ever. I don’t buy it that this little lamb cannot speak up for herself. That she cannot make her own decisions and do her job well. I do not agree with that philosophy that any woman cannot be bright, strong and beautiful in her own way.

I do accept, however, that some people are just bitches and get away with it because someone let them.

I’ve been known to throw a book at a woman who was whining. Now, it wasn’t a hard cover book and it didn’t weigh much, but I did pick one up and toss it at her and had it land in her lap. She was trying the crocodile tears on me and it didn’t work, so she got louder. When that didn’t work, she told me I was being mean to her. I explained that if I was mean, I would have yelled at her. Instead I sat there calmly and told her I didn’t buy her little act.

I need strong and intelligent women in my life so I have someone I can talk to and relate to. I need them to make me laugh and be there for me when I need it. I cannot do this with men. I have tried countless times and realized that it’s not them. It’s me. Hard as they may try to listen and understand and as sweet as that is, it’s just not the same.

Men are great but they are not my best friend. Women always have and always will be my best friend. Many men are great friends of mine but they don’t understand what it’s like to be worn out, stretched too thin and work your ass off and still feel like you have failed.

Men don’t know what it’s like to have these bodies that are up one day and then down the next. Men don’t understand why we take on more than we can chew and still stress about the little things we still didn’t get done.

I am constantly coaching women to delegate and smooth things out and I know it falls on deaf ears. I know this and I do the same thing, so it’s hard for me to get on a soap box about it. But at least they have me to listen to them and understand.

Weak women can be helped to be strong by being with strong women. But I think we scare the shit out of them.

Or so I’ve been told.

I can’t believe that there are young women who don’t know who Gloria Steinem is.

Many of them are clients, some are friends of family members and some are young women I run into or talk to from time to time.

This came up, again, recently and when the young woman asked who I was talking about, my head really did hit the table. I lost all my steam and couldn’t fathom how someone could not know who this woman was. I lifted my head back up because she was worried I was having a stoke or heart attack (I get that I’m a bit older, but for God’s sake, I’m not that old) and I rubbed my forehead and then my eyes. I assured her that I was fine and stared back at her.

“You really don’t know who I’m talking about?”

She slowly shook her head and said she had heard the name, but had no idea. She looked as if she was in trouble and her voice wavered a bit. I put my hand across the table and told her I was going to tell her who she was and what she did for me personally.

I was born in 1955 and am considered a Baby Boomer, though I’m not sure what that means and I am certain that I don’t care, but it’s important to some people.

What it means is I’m the tail end of a generation that was last raised with what we call “traditional values.”  We grew up believing that the world was structured a certain way and that was just the way it is. I then became a teenager in the 60’s and all of that changed as if overnight. It really is one of those things that you would have to experience to fully understand, but my generation changed so many things in a very short period of time.

But this post is about Gloria and what she did and how much better things are for women because of her and the movement she started (or contributed to) and why she’s important.

I’m not going to talk about her specific actions. Much has been written about her, but I want to tell you what it was like before she spoke up and you can make the comparison with how things are now. For you.

Girls had to take typing classes. I am glad that I learned to type, especially now with computers and the internet, but this was long before then. The reason was because the only jobs available to us was clerical or nursing or working in a library or teaching. We were expected to go get married either right out of High School or college but our main focus was to find a husband and become a mother. We were told that was our future and typing was a skill we would need in case we didn’t get married right away and had to get a secretarial job.

It was very common on job applications to ask you and insist that you gave details of your period. I remember filling out an application one time and I read that part and felt myself blush and stammer and not know what to say. I got up from the chair I was sitting in and walked up to the desk to ask the woman if I had to answer this. She was much older than me; I was 17 and she was in her 30’s and she smiled and said I had to. I asked why and she said it was a precaution in order to determine if I would miss work. She looked a bit startled by my question and I think she never thought about it. This was the usual and you’re not suppose to question “What everybody knows” so I sat back down, lied and continued filling it out.

In High School, I was not allowed to take auto shop because I was a girl. Simple as that. I had also asked (there is a reason my blog is called what it is called) if they could make an exception for me. I had a new car and my boyfriend was taking the class and he was completely into cars. Many a night I sat by him in the freezing cold or sweltering heat, handing him tools while he was under the car. He explained things to me as he went and for a brief moment in High School, I understood how cars worked. Now I wanted to learn how to fix them and was told that I wasn’t allowed to. The teacher even told me to go back to Home Education and learn how to cook because that was the skill I would need when I graduated.

My first “real job” was at McDonald’s when I was sixteen and I could only work the front counter because, well, that’s all that girls were allowed to do. At that time, McDonald’s was a great place to eat. We made our own fries and milk shakes. Girls weren’t allowed near the machines nor were we allowed to cook. Ironic, isn’t it?

We were paid at least 1/2 of what men were paid and I’m not sure if that’s improved as much as it should, but it is better.

It was not unusual to be handed empty coffee cups by men and told to get them a cup of coffee nor to do only the clerical work only. It was well understood that you would never get promoted and shouldn’t expect it. It didn’t matter if you were smarter or better than a man, you would never get promoted. HE had a family to support and you were just some silly woman with nothing better to do than to work.

Talk about sexual harassment? It was common, accepted and to be expected. Men were allowed to slap you on your ass, make comments about what you looked like, what you were wearing and ask any and all personal questions. You had no one to complain to and if you did, you were told you were overreacting and being irrational.

I’ll never forget the time that a sales rep walked into an office I was working at. I was sitting at the front desk at the time and was the Office Manager and was catching the phones while some of the staff were at lunch.

He walks in, doing his door-to-door cold calling, and sees me. He asked if the owner was in and I told him he wasn’t. He looks me up and down and takes something out of his briefcase and tells me he wanted to leave it. I said fine and then he realizes it’s his last copy. He hands it to me and tells me to go photocopy it.

I stare at him. He tries to hand it to me again and then slowly puts his hand down. I point to the photocopier and tell him to do it himself and if he doesn’t know how, then he was shit out of luck.

I could see him bite his tongue and think about what to say. He asked when my boss would be back and I let him know he’ll never get an appointment to see him and that we aren’t interested in his products or service.

He calls me a bitch, turns around and walks out. He had given me his card, so I immediately call and ask to speak to his supervisor. I get him on the phone and tell him what happened.

“So? I guess you were rude to him and have forgotten your place.”

“Say what?” I ask and he repeats what he said.

I hung-up and lit up a cigarette and cursed the male species.

This post could go on for a long time, with many stories and I haven’t even touched upon most of it. But if you don’t know who she is, find out.

Gloria made us visible and important and helped us to find our voice. She told us we were worthy of equal rights and respect. No one had told me that before and I didn’t know until she arrived on the scene. Love her, hate her or just don’t care who she is, your life is better because of her work.

Not only was she a crazy, psycho bitch, but I actually hired her! I do cringe in typing that and maintaining my vow to be honest as a writer. But, yes, I’ve hired a few of them and I really should have seen it coming.

This particular one I am thinking about was the last one in a chain of them. We shall call her…Debbie because I don’t feel like getting sued.

I realize that it’s hard to get a good overall idea about someone during a job interview and I know that people are struggling. I was struggling a bit as the owner of a small business and I really needed a competent and stable individual to take over my sales department and get things moving back in the right direction.

I also violated the advice we give all our clients. “Don’t hire in desperation. Better to leave the job unoccupied than to hire a moron.”

But, there I was and she had come with some great recommendations from people I know. I interviewed her and so did my boss and we decided to give it a try. There is a long runway in our business, but she seemed eager and willing and most important, she was hungry.

You want your salespeople to be hungry, all the time. It seems to be the only way they can get a close. When they are fat and happy, they get careless, but when they are about to be evicted, suddenly they are closing everything in sight. Feast or famine seems to be the way it runs.

It was on the second day that I knew we had made a mistake, but I said nothing. I knew that even though this wasn’t someone I liked or that I wanted to have coffee with, if they can bring in income, the rest I can deal with.

Her first mistake was assuming that because I am packing a uterus, this gave her a “right” to get personal with me. This is a big mistake with me because regardless of my gender, I am a business owner and everything is about the bottom line. I am not there to make friends or socialize or chit-chat about my life or anyone else’s. I am paid to deliver a service to our clients and it’s my job to not only do that but to make sure everyone does.  I don’t hire people so that I can hear about their weekend or what their children are doing. I tolerate it because on some level I care but mostly because I have to.

On her second day, she was standing by the fax and started to talk to me as I was rushing out of my office. I was on an important call and I had the client on hold and needed to ask my boss a question. It was quite obvious I was in a hurry, but suddenly I heard her screech (she really did screech and shout most of the time) “SUSAN, I JUST LOVE WHAT YOU ARE WEARING! WHERE DID YOU GET IT?”  I hesitated for a moment and vaguely recall saying something about Goodwill as I turned the corner.

Later that day, she walked into my office and plopped (yes, plopped) down in a chair and had this weird look on her face. I was in the middle of sending an email and did everything I could to ignore her, but finally she said “DO YOU HAVE A MINUTE TO TALK?” and I said I did. She then began to tell me about her weekend, her children, what she had for lunch, her parents, her friends and a few other things that I managed to forget. I tried, really hard, to be interested and to look interested and I think I fooled her. She seemed to like my responses and eventually left my office grinning as I mentally snapped and snarled at her as she left.

Some of the things that happened over the next few months were:

1) Telling me, everyday, how amazing she was.

2) Giving me advice on how to deal with clients even though I had been successfully doing it for over 20 years.

3) Constant complimenting me on everything I wore even if it was a stupid outfit. To me, she acted like I walked on water.

4) Not knowing how to dress for her full figure and always wearing shirts with horizontal stripes that added another 20 pounds to her waist.

5) Yelling at my assistant when I wasn’t there.

6) Crashing her car into a tree in the parking lot one morning and didn’t think it was funny when I told her that at least her make-up didn’t smudge.

7) Telling me that my business would fail without her.

The fact that we had somehow managed for 15 years before her arrival was not a valid point. My response was “Debbie, the day my survival depends on you is the day I kill myself.” She laughed about that and told me what a wonderful sense of humor I have.

8) Wanting to talk about everything, and I mean everything. If we had a meeting and everyone was agreed, she would still come into my office and talk  ad nauseam about some minor point, over and over until I wanted to pull my hair out.

Finally one day, I had enough. I sat her down and told her “Look, when something is taken care of, there’s no reason to keep going on and on about it. If I have more I want to say, I’ll say it, but you don’t need to stress about things constantly.”

She gave me a quizzical look and I realized she didn’t know what I was talking about because she was psychotic. She had no or very little connection to what was around her. She was operating off of some idea of HOW she thought things were which had no basis in reality.

She was a psychotic bitch.

It was all so clear to me suddenly. No matter what I said or did, she would twist it. No matter how much we all tried to help her, she was going to turn every conversation into something it wasn’t and never let it go. She tried to change every successful action we had established in our business.

She was THE reason some of us women have a bad reputation because in all honesty, after being around her for a short period of time, I wanted to smack her and I’ve never been violent in my life.

I knew the bitch needed to be taken out and I was going to do it for mankind. I felt I was on an honorable mission and I wasn’t going to fail.

She was also a salesperson that couldn’t close a door and I was tired of picking up her slack. I can put up with a lot from people but the one thing I will not tolerate is incompetence. Not on my watch and not on my dollar.

I had a long talk with my boss and we decided that he would talk with her. My boss is an amazing man and one of my best friends. I would trust him with my life and he is one of the few people whose opinion I value. I also understand that I was exasperated and being a bit reactive towards her, so we talked it out. We decided that he would talk with her and see what he could do since we had invested a lot of time in her.

I was satisfied with that. The next morning, she comes into my office after talking with him and is crying. I ask her what happened and she tells me that she decided to leave and start her own business!  I sort of nodded and then suddenly she’s giving me a bear hug and telling me how much she likes me and will miss me. I was kind of pissed that she hadn’t gotten fired. I know, a bit petty, but that’s the truth.

She packed up her things with promises of staying in touch and having coffee. I smiled at the right time and nodded and when the door was closed and she was on the other side of it, I RAN into my bosses office for all the gory details.

She had been fired and had stood in front of me and lied. Flat out lied. I was tempted to run down to the parking lot and let her know that I knew she had been fired, but decided that would be just a bit too childish.

But I really wanted to do that. I really did.

Whatever happens, don’t blame someone else, including yourself.

Blame is when you point your long or stubby little fingers at someone else and exclaim “They did THIS to me and it’s all their fault!” If you are REALLY good at blaming others, you’ll keep this attitude for the rest of your life and will turn into the worse person you can be.

That’s on you and you’ll get no sympathy from me.

God knows I’ve spent plenty of time blaming others for what they did to me. Including, but not limited to, cheating on me, betraying me, talking badly about me behind my back and firing me. OK, I still think the guy who fired me was and probably still is an asshole. Sorry, but I just can’t quite let that one go.

It was so stupid but what happened was not my fault! Honest, it wasn’t. I was hired by “He-who-shall-be-only-called-asshole” to answer phones in a tiny and dingy office while he worked at another job. He had started a business where he made these tile thingys that you would lay down on the floor and then insert the tiles to create something spectacular. I took the  job because I was desperate for money and was currently married to a guy that thought it was fine for his wife to work two jobs so he could stay home and write. Yeah, well I fell for that because I was very young and he was really good-looking. I’ll post another time about that.

So the office was in this industrial part of town and I was very isolated. The phone rang about two times a week, so after I spent the first hour of my new job cleaning the office, there was nothing left to do.

One day, some Neanderthal comes in to pick up his order. I go back into the warehouse to get it and he follows me. He starts making lewd comments about me and I suddenly realize I am in a very bad situation. As I reach up to grab a box, he slaps me on my ass. I freak out, yell at him and run back to the office. Fortunately, he left and I locked the door.

That afternoon when “The asshole” came in, I told him what happened. He looks at me and then tells me I deserved it!

I did what any young woman would do. I started crying and just then he tells me I’m fired. I tell him he can’t fire me because I quit. I grab my purse and make him pay me on the spot. I walk out the door in a huff and go to walk to my car but I had forgotten I didn’t have a car because the husband had it, so I walked around the corner and sat down and cried some more.

When the husband came to pick me up, I made the mistake of telling him what happened. He did a U-turn across four lanes of traffic because he wanted to go “talk” to “The asshole” but I somehow convinced him not to.

For a long time, I blamed this man for his insensitivity to me and what happened. I blamed him for me not making enough money and I blamed him for upsetting me and my husband and I blamed him when I couldn’t pay my rent the next week.

It was all his fault. All of it.

Granted, what he did was wrong, but blaming someone else isn’t the same thing.

When you blame someone, you are saying they are better, smarter, faster, prettier, etc. than you.

If you say so then it’s true.

What you say and/or think becomes real and true because…you said so, that’s why.

As long as you have that attitude, the other person will always be able to manipulate you but only because you let them.

Trust me, I’ve blamed lots of people for lots of things and it sure didn’t make me feel better about myself. In fact, it makes me feel pretty freaking bad and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like that feeling and I don’t like beating myself up for my many, many mistakes anymore than you do.

So let’s knock it off, shall we? Agreed? Agreed!

No human being has ever been wrong – ask anyone and they’ll tell you why their horrible actions were justified – so don’t ever think you’ll get anyone to admit it. You’ve never been wrong either in your mind.

We make decisions and if things don’t turn out like we had hoped, acknowledge the fact that you made a mistake and learn from it. We tend to only learn from our mistakes. I don’t know why that is, but it seems to be the case.

Don’t blame yourself or anyone for what has happened. It does no good and closes the door on your learning about yourself and life.

Instead, tell yourself you made a mistake and figure out what you can take away from it to have a better life and be a better person.

I admit there have been times when I wish I hadn’t talked the husband out of “talking to the asshole” but the actual problem wasn’t him. The actual problem was I was married to someone who didn’t work, didn’t want to work and if I had been truly honest with myself back then, I would have seen that and made better decisions.

But I didn’t. I justified it to the point that I took on another job that I didn’t understand but lied on my application. I sweet talked the guy into hiring me and I wasn’t honest with him that I had no idea what people were talking about when they phoned in. I am not a math girl, so I couldn’t handle the orders. Instead I told them “No problem,” wrote down what they said and then set it aside for when “The Asshole” came in.

I didn’t ask the guy to try to degrade me and scare me when he came in to pick-up his order. He was way out of line and as I look back on it, that could have been much worse. But the funny thing, I never blamed him. I just figured he was another pervert in this thing called life and I was fortunate that I got him out of there.

I never blamed him because I never held him responsible for my survival. But I sure as hell held my employer responsible for my life and I should have held myself responsible and not taken on a job that I didn’t understand. I should have held my husband responsible for making income but instead I justified it.

I did that and I can fix it. That’s what you say and that’s what you do.

So you’re not perfect.

Welcome to my world.

Shoes I’ve worn once.

Posted: September 4, 2011 in funny stories
Tags: , , ,

Admit it. You have at least one pair of these, don’t you? Maybe you have more than one pair?

I am only willing to talk about one pair. Just one pair and I am NOT going to go through my closet and take pictures of the others. That would be pointless and would also make me feel a bit more foolish than I already do.

I KNEW it when I bought them that I would never wear them much but because they were so cool and on sale, I went ahead and got them. But since I am being honest here, the fact that they were on sale had absolutely nothing to do with my decision. I tell myself that to justify buying shoes I don’t need with money I don’t have. Hey, it works for me, OK?

I also justified it by telling myself I had so many outfits they would go with and I would wear these all the time. Besides, I have to look nice for work and somewhere during my twisted little thought process, I actually convinced myself that buying and wearing these shoes would help increase the income of my business. At the time, it made perfect sense to me but right now, I cannot even imagine how I spun that around but I know that I did.

They hurt my feet when I tried them on, but again, I told myself in great detail that the shoes would “give” the more I wore them and it would be OK. Sure, it might take a few days, but it would be fine and I really needed these shoes today and passing them up would mean the end of my career.

Again, at the time, it all made so much sense.

It also made sense that even though I found them difficult to walk in as they are at least 4” high, I would figure it out in a very short period of time and I just needed to get used to them and all would be right with the world once again. This is logical. This makes sense and this is the right way to think.

I bought them and brought them home. On my way back from the store, I mentally calculated all the things I could do without the coming week in order to afford them. I could forego paying my electric bill until next month unless the utility company got bitchy about it. I also didn’t need to fill up my gas tank at the station and could maybe survive on half a tank of gas unless there was an emergency and I had to hit the road suddenly. Yeah, that would work along with adding water to the bottle of shampoo in my shower and using that for another week rather than buying a new bottle.

I am not good at math, but for some reason, I felt like Einstein as I drove home with the amazing trajectories I was able to do.  It was rocket science and I was scary brilliant.

So I bought them and I came home with them and put them on. Sure, I was wearing my baggy jeans and a T-shirt I’ve owned for over 25 years, but I still looked good. I knew I was right because these shoes went with everything! They pinched my toes and I could feel the blood stop moving to my feet, BUT I LOOKED SO DAMN GOOD!

I mentally patted myself on the back for being such a good shopper and then I tried to walk in them. On a hard wood floor with feet I could no longer feel. On a floor that is tilted and uneven because I live in a converted garage. Yes I do and that’s a topic for another post but come to find out, when a landlord converts a garage into a studio apartment, they’re just looking to make money and aren’t too concerned about the minor details such as when you walk into the bathroom, you have to place your hand on the wall to steady yourself so you don’t crash into the closet. Just a minor detail that is annoying at 3:00 in the morning.

Suddenly I was headed for the dreaded closet and I couldn’t stop myself because the bottom of the shoes were slick and now I was rollerblading with my arms going all over the place as I tried to balance myself and find something to grab. My closet doesn’t have a door on them because that would have also cut into the landlords expense in remodeling a garage, so I crashed into the back wall of said closet but did manage to grab the rod that my clothes hang on. Fortunately the rod was strong enough to hold me, so I swung there for a moment and then let go and crashed onto the closet floor because I still couldn’t get feel my feet. I landed square on my butt and avoided the shoe rack. I don’t even want to think about that.

One would think that a normal and somewhat sane person would have immediately grabbed the shoes and the pretty box they came in and gone back to the store and returned them.

Of course I didn’t. I loved these shoes and I was on the brink of giving up FOOD for a week just to own them, so I realized that the actual problem was the floor and not the shoes and everything would be fine because we had carpeting at work.

I wore them the next day, but I didn’t put them on my feet until I got out to my car. It has carpet and when I got to work, I very carefully walked through the parking lot and up the stairs without incident. I shudder to think what I must have looked like walking but as long as I looked good, I was willing to pay such a small price.

All day my feet hurt but I refused to take my shoes off. I was right in my decision damn it! My staff is composed only of men – again, a whole other post coming up on that – so they of course don’t notice anything like my shoes, though one of them asked me if I had hurt my back from the way I was walking. I blew him off, told him not to worry and to get back to work.

Everything was going fine until I had been sitting at my desk for a while. I would wiggle my toes to make sure I still had them. Someone called me, so when I turned my chair around and started to get up, I hadn’t put my foot down exactly right and the next thing I knew, I fell flat on my ass. The chair I had been sitting in crashed into the glass door behind me and then bounced off of that and smacked me on the back of my head which then caused me to scream.

The next thing I know I have 3 men standing in my doorway, looking down at me with very worried faces. Then, as if they were in a herd, all scrambled to help me up but since there was only a narrow passage between my desk and a credenza, they couldn’t get through and began to shove and push each other, which made it only worse. It was classic slapstick and the more they tried to get to me, the further back they pushed each other.

I started laughing and told them I was fine but that I needed someone to take my shoes off. Suddenly they were silent with blank looks on their faces. The two married men weren’t too scared but the young single man was, so he silently slowly backed away as he shook his head. One of them came forward, sat down on the floor and took my shoes off with no questions asked. He had been married a long time.

I finally was able to stand up and grab my chair and sit down. I could feel the blood rushing to my feet again. I thanked him, told them I was fine and had just tripped. They wouldn’t leave my office until they were convinced I was fine. I went barefoot the rest of the day and no one said a word or asked one question. It was just “Susan is doing what Susan does” for the rest of the day. Just another normal day.

So here they are:

And I can’t give them to Goodwill like I do with all my clothes that I’ll never wear again. These shoes are cursed and dangerous and I don’t want to inflict them on another woman.

I can’t throw them away because I only wore them once, so maybe you know someone I should send them to. The woman who slept with your husband or maybe a woman who stabbed you in the back and pretended to be your friend and then betrayed you.

They are a size 8.

We have a saying in sales that I think comes from Zig Ziglar:

     “You don’t get the close you don’t ask for.”

These words are true, not only for sales, but for probably all areas in life. If you don’t know what you want, you are going to have a tough time getting it. If you don’t demand what you want, you’ll never get it.

I am not talking about demanding something in an offensive or rude way, but you should always be direct and clear in what you want and what you don’t want.

Are you demanding self-respect from yourself and others? If not, it ain’t ever gonna happen. Yes, I am using those words and style intentionally to make a point. When you demand something, you are insisting on it and it’s not negotiable. How you allow others to treat you is a direct reflection on how you look and feel about yourself.

I remember in High School how what other people felt and thought about me caused me to define myself. Personally, I think this is a very common trait and I would rather eat insects, raw, then go through High School again. It was not a good time for me and looking back, I don’t think it was a good time for anyone except for the perfect looking cheerleaders that pranced around the school in their cute uniforms.

Yes, I am a bit bitter because I was twice their size with the wrong color and style of hair and no matter how many hours I spent the night before, putting it up in curlers and using tons of gel on it, by the end of the day it was no longer straight and looked like I had stuck my finger in a light socket. But they looked perfect and had the perfect boyfriends and drove the best cars and were the fussiest Diva’s I had ever seen prior to that time.

Plus they didn’t have acne and braces and God I’m going to stop thinking about this right now…

No wonder I took up smoking and hung-out with all the other misfits. It’s a wonder I didn’t do drugs or start drinking but I was always terrified of my parents finding out. So instead I hung-out with the kids that did and hoped their “coolness” would rub off on me by osmosis.

But the funny thing was, as much as I might have been just a wee bit jealous of the cheerleaders and all my ex-friends that seemed to have moved onto better and more interesting people who were SO much better looking than me, what really bothered me was they got away with it. It never entered their little pin heads that anyone would say “No” to them and if anyone did, I never saw it.

Some of them were quite nice and pleasant to me as we had all grown up together in the same neighborhood but in High School, new and invisible lines were drawn and you didn’t know about them unless you accidentally crossed one. I have a tendency to ignore lines and don’t appreciate anyone telling me what my own space is.

But I watched these lines changed and I made new friends in other places and I watched as my old friends morphed into people who would no longer talk to me and I saw their attitudes shift as they became more and more popular and I found my own sense of myself get fuzzy. Soon I was someone who was trying to get other people to like me.

This had never happened to me before. This was new and I didn’t like it and yet I couldn’t stop it.

I felt I had been dropped onto another planet and I didn’t know the customs or how things worked or who it was OK to talk to and who wasn’t. Now I was with people I had only known a short time and some of them were nice and some were not.  Most of them did drugs and drank but I didn’t and the ones that did were  bothered by my abstinence and would push me to do it.

At first I tried to pretend that it didn’t bother me and the more I did that, the less I liked myself. There was no particular defining moment as this was a gradual deterioration over many months. I was more interested in getting people to like me than I was on liking myself. Things were changing so fast that I never knew what I thought from day-to-day, and yet I was the one person people would come talk to.

I am a great listener at least. So I listened and talked and tried to make friends and I allowed them to treat me any way that they wanted. I figured if I did that, then they would like me and that would make me a good person and I didn’t need to worry about all the friends I had lost as High School sucked our souls away from us.

It all came to a head one night when I went out with someone. From the moment I left my house with him, he began to talk down to me. I didn’t say anything because he was popular and I was lonely. The whole night was a nightmare as I kept my mouth shut and said nothing. His verbal attacks were very subtle. The disrespect he showed me wasn’t obvious at all, so it was a gradual feeling of despair and hatred towards myself that began early in the evening.

But it suddenly erupted and took me by surprise.

It was such a silly thing. He said he didn’t like the way I flicked my cigarette and tried to show me the correct way to do it. I don’t know, for some reason that was the straw. I grabbed my cigarette back from him, said something about what he could do with it and got out of the car and started walking home.

The fact that my house was 20 miles away didn’t enter my mind at the time. I was more angry with myself than him. He watched me walk down that road and I guess he realized he had been rude and he came and got me and drove me home.

I didn’t say a word all the way back to my house. I didn’t say a word when I opened the car door or when I slammed it shut. But as soon as that door was closed I told him to never talk to me again and right then I knew this has all happened because I had allowed it and accepted it. I let people treat me the way they wanted. I justified THEIR bad behavior, but I was just as guilty as them because I never drew my own line and made it clear of the consequences if they crossed it.

And what the hell? People had drawn their own lines to me, so I figured tit for tat.

How people treat you is on you. It’s not on anyone else. Sure, someone can blind side you. This can happen to anyone.

But how to deal with it shows them, and yourself, how you feel about you.

Someone says something rude to you? Don’t accept that it’s alright for someone to do that. Either walk away or deal with it, but push them back across that line.

Your date is looking at other women? Get up and walk out and don’t look back. (This also applies to men, so if the woman you’re out with is acting like trailer trash and you don’t like it, be a gentleman but don’t ask her out again.)

You’re in a business meeting and someone says something inappropriate to you? Let them know they were out of  line. I don’t care how you do it, but do it.

How you first deal with disrespect sets up the rest of the relationship.

If you don’t demand it, you’ll never get it.

You ever have one of those days, or weeks, when you just want to throw down your weapons and quit or at least take a break for a while?

Yeah, that’s how I’ve been feeling a bit lately. It’s not one particular thing. That would be easier. That moment during your life when it all just seems to be too much and you want to sit down, cry and give up.

That’s not always such a bad thing to do. Maybe every once in a while we need to do that. Just sit down, cry and whine and close out the world for a bit. I think the only mistake we can make is to not get back up and have at it again.

I have been stretched just a bit too thin for too long. I knew I could handle it and would keep going but exhaustion was starting to creep back in. I get plenty of sleep and exercise but there was just a lot on my plate and now I was at the tipping point with no end in sight.

A new client was arriving on Friday and would begin his training with me for two days. I had agreed to work Saturday and what I wanted to do was call up my ex-boyfriend and go see him and hide out for the weekend and have a warm body next to mine. I didn’t care what happened after Sunday night. I just wanted to walk away from everyone and everything for a few days. I knew I wouldn’t call him and I knew if I did, he would be happy to have me come over and stay.

But I didn’t, of course. I knew I wouldn’t but I did like entertaining that thought for a while.

Friday morning came and in walked Dennis. He is in his late 60’s. I heard him walk in and my receptionist greeted him. I was tied up with another student and couldn’t break away, but the consultant was already shaking his hand, so I knew he was being taken care of and that I would meet him later that day.

I wrapped it up with my student and broke for lunch. I quickly ate my lunch standing over the sink in our small kitchen. I had no time to eat but had to. I had a new client to meet and start his training. I needed to run down to the bathroom plus I had about two hours of phone calls to make along with a backlog of emails that needed my immediate attention and I had less than three minutes to get four hours of work done.

I could feel myself get pulled further and further away from myself. I took another large bite of my lunch, chewed as fast as I could while I drank from my coffee mug. I went down the hall to use the lady’s room and couldn’t stop and chat with people I knew in the office building. I gave them all a quick hello and smile as I raced back to my office.

Dennis was waiting for me. I greeted him. He now had a face to go with my voice that he had heard so many times on the phone before his arrival. He is in his 60’s and is very pleasant. His consultant had been working with him for some time before his arrival for training, so he was relaxed and anxious to start.

We get started and let my assistant know I was “going dark” which means I am officially under the radar while training and cannot be interrupted unless there is a fire and we need to jump off the balcony or we will all die. Anything other than that is not important.

We started and the hard work begins. During the next two days, I learned quite a bit about Dennis. It’s my job and I dig in with each client. They have paid me and my company to help them and they have entrusted their lives to us so no matter what I have going on, it’s left behind the closed door once they arrive.

I learned that Dennis is dealing with his third bout of liver cancer and had just completed another round of chemo. I knew of the difficulties he was having with his business but sitting across from him, I did not see a man who was ill.

Instead I saw a man who was full of hope. He had recently married a beautiful young woman. He told me about surfing every morning and asked if we could start our training earlier the next morning as he was so excited about being here with us that he didn’t want to waste one moment of it. He looked healthy and told me all about the things he was grateful for as the day progressed.

Throughout the day, every point I made on his training was met with a smile, a nod and him thanking me for spending time with him. He made me feel important, valuable and worth every moment of his attention. He had paid ME to help him and yet he was thanking me.

Thanking me for doing my job.

Thanking me for spending two days with him. That he paid for. I mentioned that before, didn’t I? Yes, I did.

Smiling at me and hanging on my every word for two days. Two long days for him as he fought his body that was demanding that he slow down and take it easy and roll over and die.

My exhaustion began to dissipate. The horrible PMS I had been suffering with for three weeks lessened and became a distant memory. My headache left and I picked up my sword and decided to start fighting again.

He fought for two days and I fought right along side of him. I picked up every tool I could think of. I mustered every bit of information I could find and we slugged it out together. Together we fought to save his business and improve his life and the lives of his staff and customers.

I had made a mistake and that was I had been looking around and just focusing on the things that were wrong in my life and had forgotten to focus on what was right.

I had failed to take and practice my own advice. It’s perfectly fine to notice the things that need to be corrected and then correcting them.

It’s a whole other thing to only pay attention to them and become worried and doubtful of one’s own ability to deal with it. All I had been doing these last few weeks was looking at how everything I needed to do could not be done.

I was wrong. Oh so wrong.

By the end of the second day, both Dennis and I were smiling and I thanked him for teaching me so much. He gave me a funny look and asked what the hell I was talking about.

I hugged him and told him that I loved his wonderful and positive attitude and that it had rubbed off on me when I really needed it. He didn’t say anything but hugged me back.

I might still have too much to do but somehow after today it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Somehow it feels like everything will be OK soon.

It was time for me to follow my own damn advice – just disagree with how things “have to be” and agree to all the good shit in life.

It is very likely that if you’re a woman walking around on planet Earth these days, you will run into this problem.

The funny thing is, it will have absolutely nothing to do with who you are, what you do or even how you look.  Though I would suspect that if a bottom feeder does find you attractive, you’ll probably have a higher risk of this. That seems to be the nature of the beast. And I do mean beast. I am a writer and I pick my words carefully.

The first time it happened to me, I was young, naïve and it took me a few minutes to catch on to what had just happened.

I was in a business meeting with my boss and a very important client. This client was very wealthy and a dear friend of my boss. I was learning the ropes in the insurance industry and had gotten my license recently. My boss wanted me to learn about commercial insurance, so I would often tag along with him. I had to sit still, be quiet and take notes. This was not easy for me, but I did it anyway.

I am naturally inquisitive and like to ask questions when I don’t understand something, but because I was there to listen and learn I would just make notes on any questions I had.

The meeting consisted of my boss, the client and his son and their new partner. Let’s call the partner Dick.

Dick was a blow hard. He was arrogant and was rich beyond anything I could imagine on my meager salary. The client was in real estate and Dick decided he wanted to dabble in it, so he bought into the client’s business as a partner and had ordered the meeting with us to decide if we were good enough to now handle his needs. Yeah, HIS needs.

I admit I did not like this man but I kept my mouth shut. I did not like the way he talked to my boss or anyone else in the room, so I kept my gaze down because I am easy to read just by looking at my face. I maintained a pleasant smile and did my best to practice my poker face, which to this day I completely suck at.

Dick ran the entire meeting. He was belligerent and I could see the people in the room trying to appease him. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing and realized we weren’t going to be able to convince him to keep us on as his insurance agents. I could tell he was there just to let all of us know that we weren’t good enough and that he had someone else he wanted to use.

Loosing this account was going to cost our company over $100,000.00 in commissions a year. I could see what was coming and there was nothing I could do about it. I kept my mouth shut and my head down.

Dick was sitting to my right, at the head of the table. Of course he was at the head of the table. My boss was to my left and the client and his son were sitting across from me

About an hour into the meeting, I suddenly feel a hand on my knee and then felt it go up my leg and give my thigh a squeeze. I almost jumped out of my chair. No one noticed as I snapped my head towards Dick. He kept his gaze steady as he talked to the clients while he rubbed my leg under the table.

I tried to move away but he held on. I put my hand under the table and pinched his hand as hard as I could. He jerked but let go. I moved my chair back and away from him. I said nothing because I didn’t know what to say or do.

I sat there confused, hurt and angry. Part of me wanted to get up and walk out but I knew that would look bad for our company. Another part of me wanted to find my nail file in my purse and stab him in his leg with it and another part of me wanted to slap him across his face.

Since I couldn’t decide what to do, I remained silent and I thought. I thought long and hard.

Towards the end of the meeting, I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee. I sat back down. The meeting was ending and I sat very still.

As everyone was standing up and starting to shake hands, I stood up before Dick did and accidentally poured my cup of hot steaming coffee onto his lap. Watching him jump up and scream made my heart sing. Watching him jump around was icing on the cake.

I had spoken to him and only him and I knew I had just put the last nail in our coffin.

I batted my eyes and told him how sorry I was and that it was just an accident. He glared at me, muttered something under his breath and stormed out of the room.

I kept apologizing and everyone said not to worry. I secretly grinned all the way back to the office. My boss was very understanding and said he knew we were going to lose the account regardless of the coffee incident but admitted he thought it was funny. He also knew we had lost account long before we walked into the meeting. I learned from him that sometimes you just can’t control what a client will do and the best thing is to just let them do what they want to do and don’t feel you had failed.

We did lose the account the next week.

That was fine by me. We ended up writing another large account. Our doors remained opened, we weathered the storm and kept our integrity in.

Plus I learned how to handle sexual harassment all by myself. Yeah me!

So never underestimate the power of a pissed off woman.

If you sexually harass us, we can handle it. It just takes a cup of coffee and life is good again.

Discipline sucks

Posted: June 12, 2011 in funny stories
Tags: ,

It really does.

Of course, I am saying this because I need to get my writing done for the day, the house cleaned, laundry done along with a ton of emails and text messages to answer and a few phone calls to make.

Plus I have a ton of reading to catch-up on, blogs to read and books to finish and new ones to start.

All on my day off and instead, what am I doing?

Having fun on Twitter (y’all should follow me) along with checking Facebook every 5 minutes and drinking coffee and thinking about getting things done.

I am also working hard on convincing myself why I really don’t need to go work out today at Curves.

I am losing the argument with myself as I sit here and stare at my workout clothes. They stare back at me, I just know they do.

But anytime I start this conversation with myself, I get up. I take off all my clothes and I stand in front of my full length mirror. It takes me a minute to open my eyes and look.

I lose the argument and my gym clothes win. I quickly grab them (I always wear a very long and baggy T-shirt) and out the door I go. I try to remove the image of what I just saw as I race towards one hour of hell.

The machines are evil and I curse them the entire time. I don’t like to admit that they work and sometimes I almost cry when I think about the machine that makes me do lunges, over and over again with all that weight on my shoulders.

I am over 35 so therefore I am fighting gravity. I vow to win.

In addition to all of that, this is the help I get when I am working:

The paw you see belongs to Boots. For some unknown feline reason, he has to always to have his paw on my hand while I work. Cute, yes? Well, it is for about the first 10 seconds, but after that, not so funny.

But I normally get him to settle on sleeping on my lap with his pinhead on my arm. I manage to write in a very odd position but somehow it gets done.

His purring is soothing and I’ll take love anyway I can get it.

I often ask myself why work so hard on this book and blog? I mean, what is that all about?

I can’t answer the question other than to say that it makes me happy when someone reads what I wrote and they like it. It is as simple as that. There isn’t really anything else to it.

So I would like to say that I love all 4 of my subscribers (5 if you count me) and please give yourselves a group hug. Really, do that because I think it’s great that you read what I write.

I don’t care about the numbers or how many I have. One would be enough for me. Scouts honor.

The discipline aspect of this is hard. There are so many other things to do such as…well, shit there’s part of the problem.

The fact of the matter is, I would much rather write than do most anything else.

So thank you for reading this.

I still have to get 2,000 words done today (blogging does not count) and somehow I will get it done.

From where I sit, I can see the dishes needing to be done. The floor needs to be swept. Litter boxes need a cleaning, dusting will be a nightmare and then there’s the bathroom. Ah yes, the bathroom is calling to me.

The day is finally starting to feel like spring after all the rain recently, so it’s time to put on a T-shirt and shorts and sneak a peek at my legs to make sure they are presentable to the world and quarters to find for the laundromat.

It’s also time to put my thoughts of the ex-boyfriend out of my mind.

I was putting something away yesterday. I opened the drawer to the night stand and saw condoms.

It made me miss him. Big time.

I stared down at them and wondered if I would ever need to use these again and should I throw them away?

I kept them and closed the drawer.

I felt a small smile on my face.

There is always hope.