I wore a skirt to work today.
It was really an attempt to keep away the big black cloud that has been hanging over me lately, but it turned into an experiment in perception.
As you know, I work in a tech support sweatshop and therefore am one of few females in the building. I am by no means a supermodel but I'm not Medusa either. But today I gained much attention from many people (my ex-manager included) because of the fact that my knees were showing.
It made me think.
Back when I was in high school, I was well-known (note that I do not say popular) for my brains. I was the smart one. I was the one that people would sit next to for cheating purposes. I was friendly as well, so I had no enemies. Although I had adopted a "fuck the world" mentality at age fourteen for survival purposes, I still felt the smallest bit envious of the popular crowd. The ones that were invited to the parties and the ones that looked good in bikinis. Somehow I missed that perfect stage from both sides - at 18 I weighed 100 pounds and was a head on a stick and at 22 I'm 154 with quite a ghetto booty. Anyway, back then I wanted to be admired for my beauty and not my brain.
It's totally the opposite now. I am afraid that my credibility as a technical person has been compromised by tits and ass. That the technicians that are under me (oops, bad choice of words!) only act civil to me because they have thoughts of getting me in the sack. I have had more than one confess it to my face, both times of which I tried to ignore it. I am afraid that I am seen as someone who got the job not for what I know but rather who I did. I am certain that people talk. I have heard it.
The result of this day? Again, I have taken more internal support calls than any of the other supervisors. I have spent more time helping technicians and less time on break than anyone else. I work hard and what do they see but gossip fodder and eye candy? I wish that I were plain again.
Tomorrow I dress like a punk rocker again.