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I Pour Tea

March 11th, 2011 · 2 Comments

So why don’t ya hire me?

I just completed another 9 pages of essays, CV, and information for a job application. That doesn’t count the form I filled out as well.

I have a CV that is completely stripped of all my accomplishments and half my work that I used to submit for design jobs. For education jobs I have to add back in all the stuff I deleted. I cannot even remember all the stuff I have done until I start talking.

Finally, I have come out of the dark and am pursuing what I truly want to do, which is teach. In the UK, people with Masters degrees are a dime a dozen because until now, it was so cheap to further your education. However, I am in a field that people do not usually go back to get an MA, especially not with the absolute glut of experience, most especially with my business experience.

Where do I put on the “person description” the actual experiences that will allow me to rock at the job?

I am Southern. I network without even knowing I’m doing it. Like most Southerners, I would flirt with the doorknob if I thought there was a chance it would open itself. And have no conscious knowledge that I had done just that.

Mamma wanted me to be an anachronism: a Southern Belle. I wanted to be a famous designer. In Southern culture, women were most often the ones who actually ran the businesses and farms, while the men stood out front and look good. (Maybe that was just the experience of the women in my ancestry.) And yet, they planned parties, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, cooked dinner for twenty at the drop of a hat, and went to D.A.R. meetings.

I was taught to “be nice” and even though you may be tough as nails, always have your hair, lipstick and nails done before you go out.

I clean up good.

So I learned my manners, and when it is acceptable to choose to ignore them. I helped make “dainties” for teas. And I played football whenever the boys would let me. My Barbie dolls ran businesses and owned ranches. I built houses and designed furniture and still managed to get into my frilly dress, patent leather shoes and white gloves as the occasion required.

My first Art Director job was in a small city in my home state. I refer to that time as my “Junior Socialite Training.” I was on the Board of one charity and committees for several others. It was a blast.

Nearly starved, but it was fun and great experience. A few of my friends from back in my community theater days and I threw parties when we were the most broke. We made a list and assigned our friends to bring about twice as much food as we needed for the party. We would eat for a week afterward. They had a house that couldn’t be destroyed, a great location, and neighbors who didn’t complain about anyone deciding he was Ethal Merman at 4am.

During those years when I lived in the big, beautiful, but miserable house, the only happy times were planning and throwing parties for a hundred of our closest friends. Even now, when I am depressed and fiscally impaired, I throw a bash. And in my little shoebox cottage we dance. That never happened in the big house with a basketball court sized patio.

I always saw myself as a designer-businessperson first, but these other aspects add so much to what I bring to the table.

I can pour tea, mix a French Martini, make hors d’oeuvres¬†from the contents of my pantry, and plan parties for hundreds. I can make small talk about pop-tarts, discuss complex business issues, and make you laugh about politics-n-religion. I have been known to chew someone out without them realizing it. But there is no such place for “Southern Belle” or “Cheerleader” or “Former Socailte” or Ex “Wife-of” on an application.

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2 Responses to “I Pour Tea”

  1. Sandy Bruce Says:

    I’d hire you in a minute, Michelle! Oh wait – I did that, remember? Got the whole package – a creative and successful marketing piece, great art, and a lot of witty entertainment along the way. Dare I say you made the job fun?

    And you really DO need to do something with your writing – it’s so much fun to read, and, goodness knows, we could use more of your solid perspective and sense of humor these days!

    Wishing you success in the UK!

  2. Michelle Says:

    I just located the cool brochure for TQ that I did for you. Have been looking for it on all my back-up disks. The projects for Mapics we did were a lot of fun. I had forgotten that you had hired me a two different companies.

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