For the better part of my life, I have been told I am intimidating by both men and women alike. And I’m not about to disagree with this presumption made before you get to know me either.
Where the intimidating portion of me began, I don’t know. Maybe it was when I was in grade school reading a book and somebody would ask me what I was reading and rather than tell them, I’d hold up the book so they could read the title for themselves and leave me alone. Some people say it’s in the way I dress. Others say it’s my lipstick, which has been been a daily coat of red for over a decade now. I also like to listen to music a lot and usually have my earbuds in. And then there were other bits and pieces of items tossed in - I have a firm walk, I exhibit male and female characteristics, I’m always working all the time, and my all-time favorite, I look “interesting” but the person who thinks I look interesting “doesn’t know how to approach me.” I don’t really know or get it. I tend to see my future as something to grab onto and reign in for myself and know that at the end of the day, it’s what I do and how I do it that gets me there. Stopping to talk to some basic ass dude at the bus stop who gets huffy when I don’t immediately hand him an award for saying hello to me isn’t going to get me where I need to be.
Over the years, the harder I have worked and continue to keep working has reaped in its share of recognition and benefits. One of the interesting aspects of being quoted in articles online or in having your work published on a consistent basis and sharing said pieces on your various social networking accounts is that you notice who likes certain things and who doesn’t. My interest is piqued the most at the kinds of guys I know who like these stories. I like to share what I’m doing and how I’m doing it because it makes me proud. It’s hard work and it pays off on a regular basis. But I have never been the kind of girl where “the thirst is real.” I’m not a manic pixie dream. I don’t write statuses filled with “yaaaaaaaays!!!!” and those irritating hearts with the number 3 included or tweet some half assed tweet like “I miss” and let you fill in the blank with some assorted thought you think I might be having. I have the bangs and the big eyes, but I also have a mouth that will sooner tell you to get your ass off the couch and do something with your life before encouraging you to keep on dicking around with your guitar, strumming that g chord all afternoon long.
I only have a handful of guy friends (barely at that) who are consistently supportive of me and what I do. And the feeling is quite mutual back. A slightly larger group that extends beyond the handful seemingly comes and goes depending on who they’re dating at the time or getting involved with. (Which is also weird to me because I’m the last person who would ever serve as a romantic threat to a relationship but then again I have never been on the “let’s have a baby!” train and a firm believer in multiple soulmates for years now so maybe that’s like a thing people in long term relationships get weird about idk digressing here.) When I tell a guy I either liked at one point or another something good that happened to me and their response back is muted, if even at that, it makes me feel… not necessarily sad, but more like what I did didn’t register or matter to them at all.
But then I snap out of it because I am me. Do I really want to be with someone who could not be genuinely excited for me when I work hard and it pays off? For whom my success threatens them to some degree? I’m not going to step back into the shadows so the guy can take the center stage. That’s bullshit! There is not one fiber of my being that would allow that or take it going quietly! The stage can be best shared by the person who matches me and complements who I am and is equally at ease with hard work and moving onward and upward. And until that moment occurs, I’m here for doing my own thing and being my own lady. Also here for it if it does not happen either.
Maybe I’ll be a hot chambermaid in my next life getting all those thirsty lords running after me begging me to show them my ankles or something. But until then, all you need to know is that I’m so much less intimidating when you get a couple of gin and tonics in me. So when in doubt on reaching out, pour one out and we’ll make a smashing (ha, literally) pair together.
For almost two years, I’ve been a manager of a social media department at the company I work for. I’ve had two interns for just as long and spend the vast majority of my day working alongside them, my boss (the company CEO), our director of operations, graphic designer, and PR account executive team. Every day coming into work is a big adventure but it’s not for the faint of heart - I’m usually busy nonstop until the end of the day, in which case I tend to take my work home with me or go to a cafe afterward to continue working if I’m not yet done with something.
When people ask me how I do it, I don’t know what to say. I’ve been working since I was 11 years old and throughout high school and college juggled two jobs simultaneously. I’ve always been ambitious and never one to settle either - my mentality to a lot of things in life is “how can I do more today?” I am my own toughest critic and often believe I can do more and strive for that constantly. More than that, I have a lot motivating me. I have a family I want to make proud, a workplace I want to keep pushing higher and higher, past dudes I was once interested in who will rue the day they did not decide to date me (though I personally like to think the right guy would not be intimidated by me), and me, the person for whom I’m doing this for. You have to work hard for yourself. It’s not a selfish thing either. It’s difficult and there’s a lot of responsibility and accountability at hand and some people don’t want a part of that. But others do and those people who do and do it well, they’re the boss ladies.
Want to become one yourself? Take some notes.
1) Be Respectful
This is the key to getting a lot of things you want out of life. The job doesn’t get done faster or better if you treat everyone like they’re your own private punching bags or go on a power trip or micromanage everything. If you’re the boss, don’t look at everyone with a lower level title like they’re less on the totem pole of life than you are (‘cause trust me, we all have to start from somewhere and usually it isn’t at the top). Teams are meant to rise together and as the leader, it’s up to you to keep that optimism, drive, and determination alive and well. Rest assured that the moment you start pulling some high and mighty shit will be the moment that karma will ensure you get yours. (Or your intern could very well pull a voodoo doll number on you… gave you something to think about, didn’t I?)
2) Laugh and Laugh Some More
I worry about workplaces that lack some funny bone action in their day to day routine. I worry even more about bosses who crack down on taking breaks throughout the day to be silly - seriously? I’d be lost without my daily memes, YouTube vids, and Onion article reads. There’s a fine line between being professional and falling into the professional box to the point where you’re a stiff in a suit who refuses to smile at anything. Laugh with your team and work to make being in the office somewhere they’d like to be.
Why this one gets lost in the shuffle so often is a mystery to me. Encourage your team to come to you if they have questions, if they need help, and just because. (That last one extends to more than just commenting on the weekend or the weather, fyi.)
4) Use Good Grammar in Your Emails
I used to have an editor who emailed with me in the most haphazard, choppy fashion humanly possible - misspellings abounded and everything you could possibly abbreviate was abbreviated. Oh, the irony of it all. You don’t need to double check your spell check with every email you send but don’t abbreviate already short words like please to “pls” - it’s so fucking lazy.
5) Additional Golden Rules of Note
-don’t overextend yourself
-understand that you might not get everything done in the span of 8 hours
-go into meetings prepared, ALWAYS
-leave your bad day at the door
-come in earlier than most and leave later than most
-make a daily to-do list and prioritize
-take vacations when you need a break
-pace yourself when drinking at the company party
That’s all for now,