Lol. If you know me, then you know that already (so save your smart aleck comments that I’ve probably already heard a million times before). I’m going with a different angle on this topic today…so pay attention! 🙂
Last night at work I almost got fired. I didn’t do anything wrong per se, but did my manager see it that way? Absolutely not! See, what had happened was…
Basically there was a big miscommunication (I’ll spare you the details) in which I was made to look like a neglectful server. When it was my time to speak up to give my manager some much needed insight, he didn’t give me my moment. When I hurried after him amid a crowd of guests loudly questioning, “So are you going to stop to let me tell you my side?! Right now you do NOT have all the facts!” He abruptly turned on his heels to and went off on me. “I don’t care what you have to say! Your point of view means nothing to me! I am the manager! You are not! If you do not like it, there is the door. You can leave!”
I stood there silent…speechless…and fuming.
“Oh my gosh Ashley! What did you do?! What is happening?! I can’t believe you just talked to him that way!” a couple co-workers whispered as they passed. All I could do was shake my head as I made a mental note to begin job hunting this morning.
The longer the evening wore on, the more I tried to forget about it and just do my job, but it wasn’t working. Every time I caught a glimpse of my manager my body would tense up…he had really hurt my pride. “My opinion meant nothing to him?” I found myself questioning my own integrity. How am I supposed to work in an environment that I believe is clipping my wings and won’t allow me to fly? I know it sounds kind of dramatic, but that’s just the way I feel. I always compare stuff to my relationship with my father. Would my daddy have talked to me like that?
But darn it, my daddy is the only one that can get away with that bullcrap! This manager of mine is not my daddy!
So later that evening a friend of Kenny’s (my cousin) came in. He works in the finance sector and was out with his team enjoying the night. We struck up a conversation when somehow the subject began resting on the topic of the workplace dynamics between the big boss and his favorite employees. Long story short, the friend made it very clear that I must wear the mask.
“You the only sista’ up in here, tryin to climb up and get your money. It’s SO important that you tell these boys what they wanna hear. You can be 100% right yet they are convinced you are 100% wrong. You have to be able to say, ‘No problem sir,’ ‘I’ll get right on that,’ or EVEN ‘Yes, I apologize. I know that was my mistake.’ I’m out here, chuckling at all their corny jokes making them feel like the best thing out here.” He continued. “I work with a few sista’s and we all play the role. You can’t be outspoken and say what’s on your mind. You will get nowhere. They don’t like that. You have to be fake. Have too. And when you see those extra dollars on your paycheck it will be worth it because these lonely old men will be in a dirty hotel room with some prostitutes.”
I laughed at his easy-going, practical advice and deep down I know that he is right. The thing that gets me stuck however is the high price it’s going to cost me. I pride myself on being a straight shooter, making sure people are aware of where they stand with me. That fake mentality is everything I’m not about.
Can I do it? I don’t know yet.
Is it smarter for me to do that? Depends on what one views as being “smart.”
How important to me is it that I remain true to me? My late grandfather, Papa, was known to say, “Integrity is everything.”