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Schrödinger's Pussy
Observing a box has never been this much fun
I'm a what? 
8th-Feb-2008 07:36 am
Clouds in my coffee
Back from Tucson. Had a decent time. Posted some pics. Will post more thoughts when I have more time. Worked yesterday in the office and again today.

I need to get something out and then let it go. Must not be my mother and hold on to things that bug me so hard I end up in the hospital. Nope. This is just one of those things that is making me think and no one I've talked to so far seems to understand what I'm feeling. I take that back. mirloc understood. I'm not angry, I'm just...contemplative.

We met a friend of my folks out there. A building inspector and community theater actor. We met him at dinner before going to see his show. He looked at Brian and said "You are an engineer." Brian told him what he does with computers. Then he looks at me and asks if I work. Then he tells me I'm more challenging to figure out. He thinks for a moment, then proclaims "You are a beautician."

...this is where you color me stunned

I tell him he's quite wrong. Before he can guess again, my father jumps in and says "she works with computers, too." That's my father bragging about the part he thinks is worth bragging about. Not that I'm an artist, that I am in marketing, not any of the other things I do, nope. But I expect that of him. Yes, my tool is computers, but that's not what I do for a profession.

So. My first impression vibe is that I'm a beautician. Y'know...this is more of a reflection on his perceptions, not of who I am. Carl said to me last night "and you care what he thinks...why?" And yes, I don't care that he saw a woman with unusually colored hair and couldn't get past that feature to assume my job had nothing to do with my hair.

It just makes me think.
8th-Feb-2008 10:35 am (UTC)
Just curious, but would it have made a difference if he had used a different word like "stylist" or "aesthetician"?

I understand that the word "beautician" can bring to mind some flighty, bouffanted, gum-cracking gossip wanting to perm your hair and paint your nails cherry red, but it seems to me his first impression was just that you have an eye for style, which seems like a very nice compliment to me.
8th-Feb-2008 11:21 am (UTC)
Yes. Another word wouldn't have triggered me.

And Brian and Allison said the same thing...saying that it was a compliment on style. Not buying that.
8th-Feb-2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
I think I would have been bothered by that as well, not sure exactly that it would have been a concrete "this is what annoyed me", but there would have been niggling thoughts running around as a result of that.
I don't think it is anything you need to do something about, though. Let it run its course and then forget about it. You have capabilities, skills, talent and potential for more that is beyond this person's scope.
8th-Feb-2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
maybe he meant to say "you are beautiful?" *grin*

honestly, i'd be bothered, too.

[insert woe-is-me-relating bit] i get triggered sometimes when folks say "you're a librarian?" it's all in HOW it's said...
8th-Feb-2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
Are you mad that he assumed that you're something you're not? Or do you think that he did that because you're a woman? You don't scream "computer geek" nor do you scream anything else, really. You're far too eclectic to peg right away.
8th-Feb-2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'm not mad. It's caused me to think.

He came to that conclusion without any conversation, so it was based entirely on how I look. He also decided on my profession fairly quickly. I am certain that it was based on his experiences.
8th-Feb-2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
8th-Feb-2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
lemme tell you how much i can relate to you, my dear. last week, i literally recall *3* times where someone asked me if i was a hair stylist.

i find it to be rather sexist. generally speaking, when people try to guess a man's job, they'll usually do so by observing mannerisms. females are guessed solely on appearance.
8th-Feb-2008 01:35 pm (UTC)

That's it! That's what's been niggling at the back of my brain. The sexist feel of it. Thank you! Now I can move on, seeing as I've labeled him a bit of a pig. :) *lick*
8th-Feb-2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
you are welcome. i am in the heart of the sexist center of the universe, i know it well. heh.
13th-Feb-2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Hmm, is that why everyone assumes I'm an uneducated flake?
8th-Feb-2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you are home.

Beautician, eh?

See you shortly, I hope.
9th-Feb-2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
That poor man has such a sheltered existence.

You can paint my nails cherry-red anytime!

11th-Feb-2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
I had something similar happen recently. While talking to a man I had just met, I said I worked at Hopkins (which is a university, a medical center, and so on.) He said "Oh, are you a nurse?"

He didn't assume I was a doctor, or a researcher, a student, a professor, or any other profression, but a nurse. Felt very sexist. I was pissed.
13th-Feb-2008 08:19 am (UTC)
A beautician?!

One time I was working at SBUX in Oregon and a suit (he ordered an Americano) asked me if I ever thought about going to college and making something of myself. I calmly told him I had a BSEE and that I was tired of working for stuffy suits like him, thank you, enjoy your drink. Or something like that. He was speechless. (Usually I'm not that fast on my verbal feet, I was proud of myself.)
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