I was asked this question yesterday. I suppose I looked like one with my tie neatly tied and walking the hall like I belonged there.
This was an odd exchange and I have not been asked this before.
When I answered that I was not, the expression on the man’s face changed drastically to one of disgust as if he had been talking to the help.
No, I am not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV.
In my younger days I might have been offended by the man’s response but today I know who I am and what I do. I don’t need a title. I have worked in a support role for my entire career. This role has been very good to me. While those with the titles get the attention, I have always been proud to make them look good and be part of the team. I remember once when I was asked to go with a group to conduct an inspection of an Air National Guard unit in the Virgin Islands, my supervisor made it clear that we were there to work first and then we could enjoy whatever time we had left. I respected him for that and I put my all into doing my part. In fact, I recall everyone doing their job and when everyone did their part we were all rewarded with time to enjoy the island.
I think it is important to know your role and be the best you can be. I used to try to compete with other colleagues in my field but quickly learned that I didn’t need to do that. Just do what I do.
This week begins my 28th year with my current employer. I have been in the support role of many attorneys. I am not ashamed of that role and have been happy with the many experiences I have had over the years.
So, I’m not going to be bothered with someone acting like I’m something they have stepped in because I am not an attorney or anyone important to them. I don’t have time for the condescending game. I’m not playing it. Bye Felecia. Go find your attorney. Just don’t surprised when the time comes when you need me.
Funny how things change when you are needed isn’t it? Someone can’t give you the time of day but when they need something, suddenly they need you. Yes, I have had that happen many times. The best way to react is just to be the same. Don’t try to prove anything to anyone. Just be the professional at what you do.
Oh, I have dealt with many instances of condescending situations. I will be honest and tell you it hurts but not as much as it has in the past. I have learned that if you do things to seek the approval of others that you will never do it. You can say “yes” and always volunteer for everyone and everything but the one time you say “no” or let something slide, that’s the only thing people will remember. That one disappointment wipes out the many things you’ve done before.
I don’t have time for that anymore.
People probably think I’m rather eccentric. Good. Keep them guessing. I am who I am. It’s funny how others get a free pass because “that’s how they are” yet when YOU exercise that same theme somehow you are the bad guy.
Nope. Not on my watch.
People have called me moody before too. Yes, I admit I am at times. Sometimes I am not good at filtering as I am at other times. Honestly sometimes I don’t feel like doing it. Dealing with some folks just takes too much work.
Sure, maybe I am moody and eccentric but I know who I am and I know I’m not an attorney. Deal with that strange guy in the hall!