Everyone goes through times when they are put into awkward situations. Sometimes you can run away while screaming bloody murder. Sometimes you have to adapt and deal with that patronizing asshole in accounting. Life…. am I right?
I wear an A at work (please google the Scarlet Letter movie if you’ve not read the book or saw Demi Moore’s movie). Aside from a few good seeds, it’s taken months just to get a smile when I say “good morning” or “hello” to a co-worker. I’m not holding my breath for a verbal salutation.
See, I am a stiletto wearing fashionista working for a Southwest company that sells boots, tact supplies and Southwest fashion. I’m the Assistant Buyer for cowboy boots. Yes, cowboy boots. It’s o.k to laugh, I did too.
To be “part of the club” you have to live the lifestyle. Living the lifestyle means either A. ride a horse consistently B. live on a farm C. own livestock or D. a combination of any of the 3. 98% of my co-workers are covered under one or all of these. When I asked them if my former collection of My Little Ponies counted, they were not amused. When I told them I had livestock and it consisted of a 12 lb, 13 year old chihuahua, they removed themselves from the conversation.
During one of my first weeks, I struck up a conversation with a co-worker. She always wore a smile, was always bubbly and was approachable. When we walked out to our cars one night we made the usual pleasantries.
“So what are you and Tray doing this weekend?” I asked.
“We are going heifer shopping,” she said as if she had just told me she was going to see Star Wars.
“We are going heifer shopping. Cows.” She explained remembering that I was a foreigner.
I suddenly brought my immature brain back into adulthood and remembered that heifer is the name of a young female cow. But then immature brain could not resist the opportunity and responded with, “If you want to go heifer shopping there is a really seedy bar down the way….” Oh my God, did I just say that?
She was polite when responding to my completely inappropriate comment and just faked laughed.
Another time I tried to be “part of the club”. I found my one article of horse paraphernalia I owned, a shirt from a mud volleyball tournament to raise money for epilepsy.
My father passed away 13 years ago from epilepsy. Every year my younger sister would raise money and organize a team for mud volleyball. Because our father looked like Rocky and even went as Rocky Balboa one year for Halloween, she selected Italian Stallions as the team name. I thought about playing in the tournament. I used to LOVE playing in it as a child every year but then I thought ‘nah, I’ll get too dirty, here’s $25 for a shirt’.
I really don’t know why the “addition” was added to the graphic shirt but regardless, it had a horse on it so I threw it on fully intending to wear it to work. Here it is:
I texted my sister this picture. She works in HR and below was her response:
By all that is holy, I am begging you NOT to wear that to work. If you wear that to work you will be fired. DO NOT WEAR THAT. Do you copy?
I growled under my breath, rolling my eyes. She was right. It was a little much but I didn’t have any other horsey thing to wear. In the end I changed as I like to keep the electric on and food in my children’s bellies.
So that is one of many stories of attempting to fit in. Stories are so easy when you are the outsider with a sense of humor ;).