I never thought I was very competitive or assertive. Most things I don’t really care to argue about. I know I’ve already told this story, but it’s an example of my personality in general:
We would play music after hours while doing floor moves at the retail stores I worked at. I’d let the store associates choose a CD to play. (yes, CD) I was introduced to ‘Outkast,’ ‘Modest Mouse,’ ‘Franz Ferdinand,’ ‘TV on the Radio,’ ‘The Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s’ and many other bands this way. Anyway, one day a girl I was working with asked to put something on. She chose ‘Pearl Jam: Vitology.’ She comes back and I tell her “cool, I love Pearl Jam.” She said in a snotty way, “it’s not Pearl Jam, it’s Vitology.” I just shrugged my shoulders. I could see where she would make that mistake. The image on the CD is engraved in my memory forever, grayish brown background with gold lettering saying boldly “Vitology.” She was telling me it was her husband’s music so I just figured I’d let her husband correct her. It’s not worth it to me to be right. I really don’t care.
However, there are certain situations where my assertiveness comes out in a big way. I know you’re all shocked to hear this. This week’s example of this is that my management has been putting me in packaging in hopes that I’ll quit. They have this idea about me that is completely false. They think I fit into the stereotype that I want to ‘marry up’ so I can quit my job and be a stay at home mom. I can’t think of anything worse than that actually. Props to all the stay at home moms out there. Being a parent is the hardest and most important job you could ever have.
For the first four years of my son’s life I worked and my husband stayed home. My son never had to go to daycare because we had always worked out a schedule so he didn’t have to. My husband and I fit the ‘starving artist’ mold up until I started getting management jobs. I could support the three of us. We moved back to Utah when we finally acknowledged that my son had autism. We needed family support.
I took various supervisor roles which was good for me because it taught me what I was failing at as a General Manager. My favorite role was freight and merchandising supervisor. As a supervisor in these retail stores, you had to be really involved. My district manager said that it was a mix between a mall store and a big box store. Big box in that it was a large space but a mall store in the fact that you didn’t have the payroll, and supervisors had to do a lot of the work in reality. I loved this work. We were moving furniture, big pallets of food including jarred food, cases of Torani syrups, etc. I’d have to hang big 6′ x 9′ rugs on the display arms. We’d have to stack the boxes of furniture in the small stockroom; couches, beds, solid wood dining tables. I’d usually handle the furniture myself while the others cleared the floor of the other merchandise so we could open OSHA compliant. I lost 40 lbs doing this work and I loved it. I worked for this company for over ten years. I knew I couldn’t retire from there. I had to find something that would be less strenuous but would still keep me active.
Point being, my management put me in packaging where I’m having to walk pallets all the way across the building. It’s less active than my retail job, but somewhere I can retire from. Also, I technically make less money than I did as a general manager, but if you consider the stress and the amount of hours I worked as a salaried employee, I’d say I’m coming out ahead. I’ve lost 7 lbs this week. And I’m motivated to get back on my treadmill today. They thought I’d be upset over breaking a nail. I can guarantee their hands and fingernails are way prettier than mine.
Competitive and assertive? I guess, when I need to be. 😘
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.