Welcome, to the 21st Century

Dear Supervisor,

In the short time I’ve worked with you it’s become apparent that you don’t often work with women. To help you navigate these confusing, dark, and perilous waters I thought I’d lend you a sexton or at the very least a flashlight so you can see the deck of the ship.

“I don’t have a problem with females on my crew”

I realize you want this to be a comfortable work environment. And I appreciate the thought. But when you continually reiterate that I am different, other, and foreign to this work environment you’re not making it homey. I’ve worked everything from construction to restaurant kitchens; I know how to function in a mostly male workplace. Quite frankly, I get along just fine with my male coworkers. I don’t need your gung ho reassurance that having a woman in your midst isn’t a problem. Ican handle myself.

Tough as Nails

If you need to talk to me, just say it. You don’t have to come up with a goofy grin to soften the blow. If I’m doing something wrong or could be doing it better, just say it. I promise not to burst into tears.
Not a Lightweight

Yes, I realize I’m not going to be winning any weightlifting competitions. But I’m still perfectly capable of lifting boxes over my head and stacking them as needed. If I need help, I’ll ask for it.

Smile

No. If for whatever reason, I don’t walk through those doors with a sunny Dallas cheerleader smile on my face, do not tell me to smile. Don’t tell me to “perk up” don’t call me “grumpy” or “grouchy” or “cranky”. You don’t say it to the guys when they walk in half asleep or staring at their feet, don’t think you’ll treat me any different.

You’re not my Therapist

On those days when I come in maybe quieter than usual or a bit distracted I don’t care that you ask if everything is all right. But if I tell you I’m fine you need to respect that answer. Either it’s true and I’m just tired or it’s none of your business. You are not my shoulder to cry on.

Quiet Time

A few days a month you might notice a change in me. Maybe I’m quieter, my sentences shorter, maybe I’m less willing to talk. I might seem a bit lethargic. It happens. The process of my body demolishing and remodeling itself is tiring and, at times, more painful than you can imagine. If I seem morose, I’m sorry. But it hurts, and I’m doing my best not to snap and just get through my shift. Just leave me be.

I know this is a lot to take in, but I hope, with enough time, you can figure this out and we can get on with our lives.

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