About The Author
Learn a little about the author to truly enjoy the story.
I am nothing special. I am the normal everyday person that you pass walking down the street. On the outside you see a friendly smile and think I am happy or daydreaming idiot. Actually, I am laughing so hard on the inside it takes everything in my power only to show that slight grin. And yes — most likely I am laughing at the scowl on your face, or your inability to walk while reading you email/text on your phone, or the inability not to look someone in the eye. Congratulations! You have succeeded in closing yourself off and displaying just how uncaring self-centered person you really are.
I use to morn for you, cry for you, feel bad for you but that has done absolutely nothing to change the truly sad situation it really is. I internalize all the sadness letting it build up to a huge swell that I had no other choice than to redirect into something other so not to be infectious — so I turned it into joy.
And although you wouldn’t know it, or even care to, I have many accolades of distinction. I am a women, daughter, sister, wife, mother, step-mother, and business professional. Please do not be fooled by these titles, most of them were awarded to me out of necessity rather than merit. However, I work VERY hard at improving upon each in its due time.
Let’s sets some facts straight — I am not a radical feminist! (And for the love of god — look up the true meaning of Feminism and quit stereotyping!). Actually, only after working my ass off non-stop for 10 years did I change my views of equality in the work place all together. In fact, I would love to sit down for a 1-on-1 with the genius(s) who thought burning their bra and equal rights was the best approach. But, hindsight is 20/20, they unfortunately missed the mark. We could have mastered a better strategy and have ruled the world! Yet — I digress……
To understand, you need to know a little about me. Don’t worry — I am not going to bore you with my biography or resume, just some background information you can use to understand the type of person I am.
I grew up just outside of Pittsburgh; my father a blue collar business owner he and my uncles built from scratch. My mother, a domestic goddess, went from Cinderella to bookkeeper for my father. My biggest blessing is the fact they are morally sound, ethical human beings. They have their flaws, in fact many flaws, but none the less the epitome of respectable. And, although they do not see it, I only possess a fraction of their abilities.
I am the baby. The 3rd of three girls. Again, do not fool yourself thinking I grew up a spoiled privileged brat. I was a black sheep. My sisters were and are my Barbie dolls. They are beautiful, blond hair, blue eyed skinny freaks. My oldest sister was the Head Majorette in high school, one of the last to twirl fire — yes FIRE. (And if you don’t know what a twirling majorette is — look it up on YouTube). Hey — don’t OMG, LOL, or judge its lameness. It was popular in the day and…. when was the last time you were holding a flaming stick other than a sparkler? She was also very popular and well-liked by all.
My middle sister was the one to raise that bar to the point it looked like a log. She was a cheerleader, Salutatorian (again — look up what Salutatorian means on your own time.), a ballet/dancer and frequent pageant participant. Her room was riddled with trophies, ribbons, plaques, medals, crowns, and sashes. She was the first to go on to college, and smart enough to earn the privilege to study abroad in Europe for her junior year. She concluded her college career with a 4.1 GPA. Who the hell graduates with a 4.1? Really? How would you like swimming in those seas of over accomplishments? Side Note: Once I actually had the pleasure of making fun of my middle sister because she actually had to cheer for me at a game. Suck it blondie!
Me — I have brown eyes and brown eyes. I was a tom-boy. I was a C student. I was popular and mostly got along with everyone, but really didn’t fall into any girl clicks mostly because I spent most of my time with the boys. I was either playing sports or hanging out with the geek squad in the AV room, science club, or photo team. Fact is they were the funniest people with the best since of humor. And — we got to push a lot of buttons, play with all the cool chemistry equipment, blow shit up, and kill brain cells in the dark room from all the chemicals. (If you don’t understand any of these analogies — just look-up the following terms: Betamax, VCR, Ham Radio, stereo, microfiche, Bunsen burner, Breaking Bad, Photo Hut, FILM development process.)
I remember my sisters often describing me as odd, strange, and WEIRD. And, yes, needless to say neither of them liked me. Both hated being seen in public with me, for the mere fact I always had a t-shirt and jeans on, rarely any makeup, hair mostly pulled up on a pony tail. For them, back to school shopping was Christmas. Each day was a debut at fashion week. Their only creative outlet of talent and inlet to the popular crowds.
I remember my mother’s concern or should I say contempt. She enjoyed shopping with my sisters. Actually, one of her flaws is she is a shopaholic. Such a shopaholic she didn’t only enjoy buying for herself, she LOVED shopping with my sisters for back to school. She would have to hide or “conveniently forget” the receipts so my father wouldn’t go ballistic.
My mother hated shopping with me. I give her credit she tried so hard, but it always turned into an all-out war. Her only happiness with my style was on Sunday when we went to church, or my preparation for school dances — the only time she could get me in a skirt or dress.
My mother tried to the very best of her abilities to keep thing fair when it came to shopping/$$$ spent. When she and my sisters planned to go shopping for school, I preferred to present her with a list of items conveniently translated into girl terms. Below is an example of such a list.
My wardrobe was the same every year — a few pairs of jeans, a few pairs of sweatpants, 7 athletic t-shirts, sports bras and two pairs of sneakers, one pair of cleats, and a ton of sox.
After high school, I discovered the world was not flat, I quit college and moved to Washington, DC. Hay — don’t judge! That was/is an accomplishment — I unknowingly just threw myself in the deep end without knowing how to swim and NO LIFEGUARD was on-duty.
I learned very quickly the definitions of “being thrown under the bus” and “hostile work environment” and my desire NOT to want to be a manager or supervisor in a way. I was out of my league when introduced to “Office Politics”. I was eaten alive, made fun of, and often outside of a click that I had no interest in anyway. Out of necessity, I had to read self-help & business books to learn how to survive in the work place, let alone build a career. “THANK YOU DALE CARNEGIE!” — for Christ sake look him up if you don’t know him.
Still feeling out of place — I begged and pleaded my dad to go back to college. His morally obligated response — “I am really happy to hear that Pamela. I think you are making a great decision. You have support, how can I help you?” [Pam] — “thank you Dad, does this mean you will help me with tuition again?” [Dad] — with a slight giggle — “NO! I told you that if you quit or fail — I stop paying. You quit — I am not paying. However, let me know how else I can help you.” [Pam] — “WTF — how am I going to do that?” [Dad] — “You’re a pretty smart girl, and I am sure you will figure it out.”
Needless to say — he was right. I figured out a way to pay for it on my own. (“Tuition Reimbursement”). I worked my ass off and proved you can work full time AND take 12+ credit hours of coursework.
I am Gen-X! I am extremely intelligent and viewed by those who know me well, as an under achiever or lazy — up slacker. I am one of the few women in technology, part of the elite 20% of female tech workforce. I secretly can get more work done in a single day, than my peers can in one week. I just “get it” and can see the big picture/end game when it comes to business. And, a talk tech with the big dogs.
I have been trained by the best of traditionalist & baby boomers and acquired their abilities in decision making, execution, and responsibility. I have paid my dues — with tax, interest, and MANY penalties. I expect more from myself than any other. I catch on quickly. I hate meetings! Reason being most people do not how to conduct them and respect one another time. If you don’t have the ability to put together an agenda or don’t know how to stay on topic you have no business scheduling a meeting with 2 or more people.
I am not a morning person! I don’t wake up until 8:00 or sometimes after and still feel guilty about getting to work around 9–9:30 even though I often work late at night or weekends at home. Truth is — I don’t mind and prefer to view work as part of my life. It is equally important as my children, husband, home, family, dog, hobbies, etc. When it comes to work I know my priorities and get my shit done! I never received a performance review where I did not “Meet Expectations” — which I consider an insult — but most often I “Exceed Expectations”. I have only once in my life ever been fired from a job. Not due to failure, insubordination, or lack of ability — rather a conflict in ethics, personality, and moral obligation. → More to come on this juicy tidbit later.
By now, I think you can understand who, what, and why I am and where I am coming from. You get the picture and now can relate to my position in my articles/chapters. So I hope you enjoy the humor and honestly. Maybe next time you walk down the street you will hopefully make eye contact with a stranger, and look for the most interesting person and wonder what their story is instead of self-centering your universe. Maybe even trying a hint of a smile or even dare to say a friendly “Hello”.