To the women who undercut themselves constantly (pretending for a minute that I am not a woman who also undercuts herself constantly)

Hey there friends,

You’re driving me nuts here, you beautiful tropical fish. Don’t you know how amazing you are? How strong, how glorious, how great? I can see it from many miles away, how are you having trouble clocking this from up close?

Have you even met you? Don’t you even know?

You’re being just so great at caring about important things, at posting solid content on the interwebs, at sharing sassy awesome selfies to show off fantastic haircuts and bold lipstick choices, at making really good work lunches (even if sometimes you forget them and have to get sweet potato fries instead), at standing up for your co-workers in meetings, at offering solidarity for the shitty experiences of strangers. The awesomeness and the empathy is real.

You’d be there to lift up a friend; to talk them out of feeling glum or insignificant or incapable, but here you are, not believing in yourself; undercutting or diminishing your awesome work or your greatest self or a thing you did once. Not always, not every woman, not even only women. But stop it though. You did good, you’re important, we like you, we see you. We celebrate you.

Less invisible labour. Less quiet achievement. More boasting. More cheer squads.

Set an example, and then stand back and watch it catch fire (the good fire; the best fire).

You’re the best and I love you.

 

To people who don’t give other people a seat at the table

I’m not sure exactly which awesome feminist introduced me to the concept of ‘a seat at the table’ but I’m totally down with it. Sometimes the seat at the table is metaphorical – it’s about letting someone be heard who might not normally contribute to conversations of varying degrees of importance. It’s about collaborating instead of reinforcing hierarchies that deny voices because they are perceived to be lower down the food chain and therefore less important.

Sometimes the seat at the table is an actual seat, and it means the person offered the seat is able to be part of conversations where decisions that affect them get made, that the person is able to hear the thoughts of others around these decisions and observe the making of them in that circular way humans have. Being a part of a conversation is, obviously, the best case scenario – many a time, the person offered the seat may find themselves rendered mute by the importance of the other players. That’s another rant for another time – I maintain that a seat, metaphorical or no, is important.

It is very tough to be involved with and directly impacted by outcomes of gatherings around tables when you are not offered a seat at the table. It is very hard to do the work of sense-making and beautification of broad, arm-wavey points of view, the role for which you are in fact paid, when you have not been sitting at the table collecting the fragments.

Give a person a seat at the table. How else do we grow?

To people who don’t *quite* believe me when I say things to them, even though I’m right

I was under the impression that speaking to you in a friendly tone of voice was the best approach for like, workplace goodvibes and whatnot. I go for friendly, optimistic and helpful, because that is my way, like my mum taught me.

I am realising now that sometimes it is best to be an assertive bitch about things so that people (men, mostly men) believe me when I say a thing out loud. I don’t have an end-of-sentence inflection that indicates it’s a question, so all things equal, just go ahead and assume it’s a statement I’m making.

While you’re assuming stuff, go right ahead and believe to yourself in whichever way you know best that I would not be saying a thing to you if it was a lie. I would not be pretending to know a thing I did not know. Maybe you do this; maybe humans are want to fake stuff now and then. I’m not saying I’ve never pretended to know something I didn’t know, but I am saying that in this particular context, let’s just consider me to be offering the best expertise I have an my disposal.

I’m not saying I’m never wrong. I’m saying let’s just assume I’m never wrong, and wipe the doubt clean off your face.

To people who are not as important as all that, on issues that most certainly do not qualify as a ‘disaster’

I don’t want to always be the bitch pointing out the other worse bitches, but this afternoon at 32 degrees in my office with no aircon, damn it, I will be that bitch.

Sometimes people keep it real and understand the natural flow of things in a large organisation, where several teams need to work with each other to get a thing done. We’re all cogs of a (sometimes) well-oiled machine. We all have to do our thing to make the other thing go. I’m not a mechanic but I think I’ve used the metaphor correctly, yes?

Sometimes people do not at all keep it real and instead they decide a thing that needs to be done is broken, and they just keep on phoning different people on different phone numbers until someone answers them who they can yell at.

Sometimes that person who gets yelled at is me, and sometimes the times is today.

Why people want to cause fuss on 32 degree days is beyond me. Our emergencies are not medical emergencies. It’s ok if they wait til Monday if there’s a net in place to catch the people who might need catching. We come back, we empty our net, we make sashimi (wait, I think I did this metaphor wrongly), we fix the metaphor, we fix the thing, we move on.

None of this terrible prose is really capturing my intended take away message, which is:  focus on who matters. If those people are ok until the problem can be fixed, we’re good.  Stop calling things a disaster when they are really just the possibility of a phone call.

To people who could be a lot more helpful if they could only be slightly bothered

Sometimes I am decidedly not helpful. Sometimes this is because I think the person should just do it themselves, sometimes it’s because I am busy and have other issues that feel more important.

Mostly, though, I flatter myself that I exhibit quite the ‘can-do’ attitude, particularly at work when I am being paid well to do things.

I realise I’m leading myself into a trap here; I hold others to the same expectations I have of myself. I realise not everyone is as great as me. I know this.

But fuckssake, I am very much completely over the whole concept of humbly asking how something is to be done when I do not know, with keen awareness of the fact that we’re all riding a high-maintenance rollercoaster of administrative powerplay, and having the careful asking thrown in my face.

I’m quiet, and nice, and competent as fuck. Just go ahead and assume I am asking you how to do something so that I do it the correct way preferred by you, and not because I’m an idiot who exists merely to ruin your life. Feel safe in that assumption, I urge you.

A person should not want to cry while drinking heavily so early into the working week. It’s Tuesday, mate. Please, just help me with the thing.

Because that is actually your job.

To people who think I might be scared of them

Hey fictional senior colleague,

I think what hurts the most (from how hard I laughed, not in the feelings) is that what you’re actually saying while implying I might be, in fact, Scared of your Scary Senior Self, is that I don’t give your non-work related posturing any reply airtime.

Because I literally do not care about the unspoken, read-between-the-lines idea that a much less senior (and let’s face it, only administrative) member of staff should be pandering to your less-than-whatever email banter, I of course must actually be a-skeered of you.

I don’t owe you replies to emails that aren’t progressing my work. I’m pretty fucking busy, and while I’m not that important yet, I will be one day. Like in the future, when you’ve retired and you’re waiting for someone to trot you out for guest lectures but I’M IN CHARGE NOW so nobody does.

I’m not scared of you, I’m just ignoring you because I don’t care about your stupid feelings

That’s heaps cute though.

To people who did not put me on “Married at First Sight”

I can’t believe you people.

It’s awkward enough to be this attractive and not already be on TV. It really grinds my gears that you rustled up a whole lot of people who just can’t seem to nail down The One and matched them up with each other and I wasn’t informed or contacted. I am not that hard to find, and you know it.

Particularly when I’ve now watched the season finale (don’t you worry, I’ll be going back to watch the whole season online at my convenience) and I note the attractiveness of the man options. I could have definitely managed getting married to any of them before knowing anything about their personality. Who even needs a personality. I clearly have enough for both halves of a couple. These men seemed mostly normal, compared with women who didn’t know how to do laundry or butter toast. I would never suggest anyone leave their farm that they loved.

I would have done wonderful to camera bits. I would’ve opened up about any feelings I had about anything ever. I would have taken it seriously. I would have put out on the honeymoon.

I would have spewed forth clichés with warm and genuine inflections. I would have tried new things, like other ones in addition to getting married to someone I’d never met before.

I would have been a total dreamboat, and now I never will, and it’s all your fault.