Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Queen of Hearts

Dearest readers, please dont cuss me. I know I promised to have more posts this year but my writing has been all over the place this year and I've been trying to mentally gather that's my excuse :) Ok now to the post.

I can be considered a soft hearted person. I get all warm and fuzzy when I see babies and puppies, show me a baby hugging a puppy and I will melt faster than a chocolate ice cream bar on a hot summer day. I am a lover and have been known to cry at a heartfelt commercial. With that being said I know that this trait while noble can also be a hinderance in the working world. So it would be a surprise to most that the work me and the social me are two different people. I am working on my hard-ass-ness (yes I made up a term) lol and I am quite good at giving the unpopular answer.

 I once worked under the helm of a woman I greatly respect as a person and as a professional. Before working at her establishment I used to see her and duly noted her stern nature and don't mess with me attitude. Normally I would avoid working for such persons but I needed a job and I heard that an international student would have an easier chance of getting a job there. Thankfully a supervisor interviewed me so I was able to keep my perspiration in check and got the job. During my first year under her reign I didn't interact with her much other than hello, goodbye and thanks for my pay. Once she gave me a tax stub and poor little island girl me had no idea what to do with it. Let's just say that I didnt do my taxes that year.
By my second year there I guess I had passed her year long test and because I came back I guess she realised that I would be around for a long time. Or maybe she just finally warmed up to my irresistable likeableness (yep most people, usually love me!) Whatever the reason was she began to open up to me  and I came to love her. As a woman in an expected man's position I began to understand the whats and the whys to her actions. She told me a story once that I will never forget.
She was once the manager of a bar and one day a beer delivery guy came to do his drop off. He asked for the manager and she said that's me. The young buck laughed and said 'but seriously can I talk to the manager?'  Feeling highly offended she told him to apologize or she would have all of his company's products off the shelf and report him to the president of the company. He flippantly told her, 'you cant do that.' She plainly responded in her matter of fact tone 'Dont tell me I cant, no one tells me I can't.' You best believe that after a few calls that whole delivery was free with the compliments of the company president.
Working with her taught me about being respected vs being loved. The people that were closest to her respected and loved her. The people that didnt thought she was a bitch, and that was fine with her. At 2am when she needs to tell a rowdy patron to get the hell outta her place she can do it and be obeyed immediately. She could walk into a room and know that her presence alone stops wrong doers from their activities.

The Queen of Hearts in the Tim Burton's adaption of Alice in Wonderland asked her Henchman 'Is it better to be feared or loved?"
I feel like it is better to have both, to be loved by those who dare to get close to you and feared by those who look for an easy target. I strive to adopt her attitude in the work world. As I evaluate my life she will always have a mark as a person who left a lasting impression on me as a young 20 something year old trying to find herself in the world. And most importantly I wont allow anyone to tell me I cant!