Thursday, January 5, 2012

What a way to make a living

For the record, I don't remember anyone ever treating me like they thought I was stupid just because I was a stay at home mom.  I suppose there could have been an occasional comment but I don't remember them.  For the most part all the interactions I had before I started working were with people who thought I was intelligent and competent.

Then I got a job as a receptionist.  I realize you do not need to be a rocket scientist to do this job.  It is pretty basic, answer the phone, ask who is calling, intercom over to the person they are calling to find out if they want the call and then transfer or ask the person to leave a message.  Pretty basic stuff.  Of course I have other work and it is a little more complicated than that but really, my job is not hard and not particularly challenging.

But that does not mean I am stupid.

Yesterday when I asked a caller what it was regarding the woman on the other side told me her boss was an alumni of the same college as the man she wanted to talk to.  I acknowledged that and asked again what the call was regarding.  She then asked me if I knew what the word alumni meant.  Now she had already told me it was not a solicitation call, which frankly is what I think the word alumni means, so I was just trying to get clarification on why she was calling someone who did not want to talk to her because he had no idea who she, or her boss, were.  And since she didn't want to leave a message but instead wanted to know when to call back, at which point he still wouldn't take the call, I was now forced to assess what she wanted.  And apparently her strategy for getting me to put her through was to insult me by assuming I do not know what the word alumni means.


For the record, I also hate it when I am referred to as "the girl".  I am not opposed to all forms of the word "girl", I don't mind being referred to as "girlfriend" by my friends and I will often tell John I am getting together with "the girls" when I go out with friends.  I am talking here about phrases like, "let me give my name badge back to the girl" or when another woman is sitting at my desk and the owner walks by and says, "look at you girls working away."   

In my mind I want to have a sharp retort for all these comments.  I want to ask the woman on the phone if she knows what the word "regarding" means.  And when someone refers to me as the girl I want to tell them that my girl is at school, in 1st grade.

But then I try to remember.  This job isn't about me.  And my job is not to convince people I am smart.

Humility, that is what I am learning.  I am learning to be humble enough to do the job at the bottom of the totem pole without thinking it is below me.  To realize it is not about me, to remember that this job does not define me.  I am defined by who I am not what I do.  And who I am is a child of God, a follower of Christ.  And right now this is what He wants me to do.  And so I am obeying Him.

Proverbs 11:2 "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."

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