25 August 2005

Work Aesthetic Ethic

When I was a teenager, my first job was at a chain restaurant called Baker's Square as a seating hostess. I was terribly excited to get out into the working world at sixteen and felt so grown up to be employed.

I took on as many extra tasks as my shift supervisor would give me. I was determined to prove myself indispensible and if that meant I had to portion butter cups, dammit I was gonna do it. After one month of uniform wearing, employee meal pricing and grunt work, it was time for my "formal review."

The shift supervisor and general manager sat me in a booth as I beamed with pride, ready to receive my accolades. The manager spoke directly to my supervisor. "What do you think of Shannon's appearance?" What? Her reply was, "Well, her hair needs to be tied back tighter and sometimes her shirt is untucked." I was instructed to pay more attention to my grooming and dress...and that was all. End of meeting. My first job and the lesson learned was that being cute was more important that being competent.

So I'd like to give a shout out to those two catty, rude, insensitive wenches, wherever they are. I remember you, twenty years later. I remember you making me feel stupid, worthless and ugly. I remember you ignoring my effort. Hopefully, you're languishing in unappreciated positions and you've gained fifty or more pounds.
And finally, f you.