Posted By Kristabella on August 31, 2011
When I got out of college, I had big aspirations. I was going to be the first female PR Director in the NFL. That goal was shattered like the next year when I realized there was a female PR Director at the Washington Redskins. But still. I had goals! And was going to bust some glass ceilings! BOO YAH!
And I tried. I really tried. It was hard. I had never been discriminated against before just for my gender. And it sucked. But I didn’t give up.
Because I can by a nuisance, I just pushed and shoved my way into things. There was no one downstairs that was able to record the post-practice media interview of the head coach? “Oh, lookee here, I have a tape recorder, I’ll go.” And then I’d just go. Not ask. Just go. I didn’t care that up until that moment, in the YEAR TWO THOUSAND, a woman had never been allowed on the practice field in this capacity. Ever.
Sadly, this wasn’t the end of it. But, I was lucky to have a great boss who knew that it didn’t matter what reproductive organs we had, if we could do the job, we should get to do the job. And he knew the importance of baby steps. So I was allowed to continue to do it, every day, as long as I then transcribed it for the website and the beat writers. Slowly, but surely, I worked my way into the heart of Steve Mariucci. He no longer objected to me being there. He no longer ignored me. He talked to me, asked me questions, joked with me just like he did with all the guys in the department. I was in. Dear future generations of women at the 49ers, YOU’RE WELCOME.
(Mooch and I were so close that I bought him a neon pink toe ring for Christmas one year that he proudly displayed on his desk.)
Knowing this, you would think I would be a big ladder climber, trying to get to the top and be the best in my profession. You would be wrong. At some point along the way, I realized I was not meant for management, let alone upper management. I was content being in the middle of the pack, wearing many hats and not being noticed.
Also, if you’ve met me, there are stories like this and this as to why I could never be a spokesperson or be in charge of anything. I have no filter. It’s not a helpful affliction in the workplace. I’m kind of an idiot. An awkward turtle.
I give you this shining example from this week as proof:
I work in a building with lots of people and many floors. Each floor has its own set of conference rooms. I’m on the fifth floor and we generally book all our meetings on the 5th floor. This means that when an Outlook reminder pops up, I look at the room, not the floor number.
(You see where this is going, right?)
So I went to the A conference room and saw two people in there. One was from one of the departments we were meeting with. It wasn’t the representative of that department I thought we were meeting with, but shit comes up and people fill in. It happens all the time.
I sit my happy ass down and introduce myself to the other person in the room that I don’t know. I tell her my name and what department I’m in. I say to the other person in the room “You know me.” We laugh and sit and wait for the other people to join.
Person I just met starts talking about something that doesn’t even sound remotely familiar. And my co-worker, who left her office the same time as I did, therefore should BE in this meeting by now, is nowhere to be seen.
Then it hits me – I’m pretty sure I’m in the wrong conference room. I bet we’re on a different floor.
Instead of looking like an idiot, since I’ve been sitting there for five minutes, I say “Oh, I forgot to grab something.” And I get up and leave, run to my desk and realize we’re meeting on the eighth floor.
I recall all this to my co-worker later, who just laughs and laughs.
Her: “Why didn’t you just say you were in the wrong meeting?”
Me: “Well, because I didn’t want to look stupid!”
Her: “Don’t you think they assumed you were coming back? And they might see you later on and wonder why you ditched? Or assign you something?”
Me: “Well, I figured I don’t see them all that often and they are busy. They will forget!”
Later in the day, though, I had to go up to another floor to give something to someone. And lo and behold, who do I run into? The woman from the earlier meeting.
Her: “You never came back to our meeting.”
Me: “Um, that’s because I was in the wrong meeting. We were on 8, not 5. And since your co-worker was who I was supposed to meet with, I just thought you were filling in.”
Me: “And I was expecting not to see you for a few weeks so you would forget all about this. And that you wouldn’t bring this up. And I wouldn’t have to admit how dumb I was.”
Me: “Thanks for calling me out on it in front of everyone!”
And this is why I’m not destined for management.