I'm So Great: The Rantings of a Jaded Youth

When I grow up, I want to be just like me.

Thanks Doll February 9, 2011

So the other day, I opened up a can of worms that I didn’t even realize I had on the dusty garage shelf of my mind. I mentioned on The Facebook- I know, Facebook fights, but I promise I won’t make a habit of Facebook mud-slinging and this post is no exception. So I mentioned that someone at my work had called me sweetheart and that it seemed, and I quote, “like [he was] just ASKING to be cavity searched. And not in the good way.” Immediately, a male friend responded to say that he calls every woman “darling.” I told him that was as bad as “little lady” and a mtf transgender said that she would burst out laughing if someone called her “little lady.”

I’m a pretty laid-back, bubbly person. It takes a lot to offend me. What offends me in even small doses, though, is people assuming that I’m worth less than they are. I see that a lot in my job. Being a security guard means being the person everyone can shit on. I’m an idiot and a rent-a-cop, but I’m the one trusted to stop people’s family and friends and check to see if they’re on a list, then hold them up to give them a pass if they are and call the resident if they aren’t. The residents don’t understand why I’m calling for their mom or their bff when it’s SO obvious I should just let that person in. The guests don’t understand why I have to give them a pass and check it every time they come in. All-around, people feel like my job is a waste of time. Of course I agree, and you bet your ass I’d never move into a gated community, but as long as someone is paranoid enough to want someone outside their house shaking down their friends and family, I get a pretty sweet, steady paycheck. The problem lies in the fact that everyone feels like their time is worth more than mine. If I were a man, this would result in shouting and name-calling. It still does occasionally, but I generally get the Sweetheart Treatment. “Oh hi, sweetie!” *Wave and smile while rolling up window and driving toward the closed gate without slowing down. Realize the gate is closed, slam on breaks, look back at me and point at the gate angrily.*

I understand that I am a woman, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a job to do and, while it’s not much to brag about, I am damn good at my job. People may not see the harm in calling a woman in uniform “sweetie” or “darling,” and if you’re past middle age, I can forgive you for treating the younger world like they’re all your grandchildren, but if you’re middle-aged or younger, you can shove your demeaning “sweetheart”s up your ass. You don’t call a black man “boy” or “negro” because it says, “You are less of a person than I am.” Just because women might not kick your ass for being sexist or racist doesn’t make it okay. And I’m not stupid, no matter how many rich ass holes assume I am. I can tell the difference between “You have a great day, sweetie!” and “It’s been precious talking to you, but I’ve got important male things to attend to so open the damn gate, sweetheart.” I understand that there are differences in tone and inflection and underlying meaning, and I respond differently to differences in each. When it all comes down to it, I probably would have seethed about it for a few minutes and then let it go if I hadn’t gotten what were essentially two male point-of-view responses telling me I was being an over-emotional woman about it. No, I’m not. I’m being a human being about being treated like a lesser person.

As an epilogue to this post, I would like to note that I’m not using my blog to blast my friends, whom I love and had talked to at length about this when it happened. It’s mostly that I don’t get angry very often and when I do, it helps me to explore why certain things make me mad when most other things don’t. Thoughts?

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12 Responses to “Thanks Doll”

  1. FrozenTundran Says:

    But….

    1. I constantly fantasize about calling you darling, so, this is hard for me to grasp.

    2. Oh. My. God. Now I’m torn. Visualize you in pasties, or in your security guard uniform, with your handcuffs in your hand and a “this is going to be interesting” look on your face.

    • Stephanie Says:

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’d know how to use a “darling” to your advantage, or at least not as offensively as this idiot did. Also, I’ll try not to ruin your fantasy with photographic evidence of the reality of my uniform, which is pretty much designed to fit everyone poorly.

  2. Jill Says:

    Hey, I was on your side. LOL.

    • Stephanie Says:

      You were, but I couldn’t think of a way to work it into my rage without sounding self-righteous. XD I sent those 1940s Hiring Guidelines to Ernie, lol.

      • Jill Says:

        Haha, I know what you mean. You should ironically distribute them to your coworkers and try to judge whether or not they genuinely find them offensive. LOL

        • Stephanie Says:

          Well of course they’ll find them offensive in front of me. Although that’s not necessarily true because I am a lot more vulgar and sexist than most of the guys here, lol. I kind of have to reign it in for them.

  3. Jake Says:

    That word sort of stands out, doesn’t it? I’ve been trying to say it out loud in some manner that doesn’t sound demeaning, and the only way I can think of involves old people like you suggest. I think “darling” is another one that would be used in this way by jerks. I imagine some 50-year-old oil man in a cowboy hat leaning over and saying something like “Darlin’, I think you should do what you’re supposed to do and leave the adults alone….”

    Given that I’m already pretty charming (*mischievous grin*), I might take these words for a spin with friends of mine and see how people react.

    • Stephanie Says:

      I imagined nothing but cowboys when I thought of people actually saying things like sweetheart and darling too! It wasn’t any less aggravating, but at least it made me laugh. You should definitely take these words for a test ride. I’ve used them before and I feel like when I use them, it puts women more at ease, but I also feel like I’m a relatively good judge of who will be put at ease and who will be annoyed.

  4. KoadToad Says:

    I get that from time to time at work and it drives me INSANE (unless, as you said, it’s people old enough to be my grandparents). I just want to ask them if they would’ve called my coworker Tyler, “sweetheart” if it had been him.
    No? Why? Maybe because it would obviously be really insulting? And how is it any different when you say it to me????
    *ahem*
    Yup. On your side.

    • Stephanie Says:

      Seriously! I’ve been in social situations where men or women call me terms of endearment and it all depends on the person doing it and the way they say it, but I can’t think of a professional situation that I haven’t mentioned already where that would be appropriate. It’s so much more insulting at work because a lot of times there’s no way for me to say how I feel about it without being unprofessional.

  5. Olive Says:

    It’s definitely all about the tone of voice, I agree. But some terms just bug me no matter the tone – at my last job, there was guy maybe 5-10 yrs older than me who insisted on calling me “Kiddo”. Dude I’m 30 fricking years old and am not a Kiddo, and you’re old enough to try and remember my name.

    After letting myself get annoyed by it for several months I finally told him that he could only continue calling me Kiddo if I could call him “Old Man”. That was the end of that!

    • Stephanie Says:

      Oh that’s a great approach for a co-worker situation. Also, I never would have thought about turning it around because I would feel disrespectful, which is EXACTLY why he shouldn’t be calling you kiddo. It’s completely disrespectful!


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