Pardon me for the possibly unhinged nature of the following rant, but I have recently apparently developed the first ever utterly silent voice in the history of ever.
Not really. I know that there are plenty of women, ok, all women, who have had this issue at some point in their lives, and probably still do. This is nothing new. I just went and looked at the news to see if there were any recent news articles about this, and lo and behold, click and ye shall find.
Not that that’s exactly my problem, though. I’m not trying to function in a board room, and my doctor listens to me fine. Of course, she’s a young woman, so…well, not to put too fine a point on it, but…she’s not the problem.
The problem is an over-abundance of people – male people – young and old, known to me and unknown – who don’t seem to feel it’s important to respond to what I say.
Of course, it’s not necessarily always a guy thing. It’s also a youth thing, I think. I literally just this second had a student approach me to do something (she’s the fourth one today) that I specifically, repeatedly told both my classes they didn’t have to do. Then she asked about something else that I have told them we aren’t doing, and I responded, “Did you read my email?”
I’ll let you guess the answer to that.
Maybe I’m too friendly? Too nice? Maybe I need to be harsh. Or mean. But I’m not either of those things, and I don’t know why I should be someone or something I’m not when the problem is that the other party in this conversation is simply not paying attention to what I’m saying.
So in looking around online to see what others are saying about this, I found some things that can help in the classroom (great – this is a problem I need to address, for sure) some information about women in the boardroom, and then…I find this ungodly atrocity of blaming.
Let me summarize that last one: the problem, dear, is you. The problem you are having with people not listening to you? It’s because you don’t know what you’re trying to say, you don’t actually WANT to be heard (why am I talking, then???), you’re not listening to the person you are talking to, you’re not being clear. The problem, friend, is YOU.
This is not what I need to hear today.
I guess my irritation along these lines started when I began looking for a car. I found one I liked at Carmax, had them move it closer so I could take a test drive, had the phone conversation about financing, and all was good. I just had to wait for my car to arrive.
It had to travel an hour. Roughly. Give or take.
I waited two weeks. Two weeks, with no word. Nothing. Zero. Nada.
From. A. Car. Dealership.
No I am not kidding.
I called them, I emailed them. Repeatedly. Nothing. I’ve never worked so hard to sell myself a car in my life.
So I moved on. I’ll go to a dealership, I thought to myself, that sells new, even though that’s not what I want. I know they have used, too. So off I trot to an appointment I made at a local dealership.
In I walked, and told the guy exactly what sort of car I wanted. Make, model, year. It needed to be a manual transmission, and the range of mileage I was ok with.
“We don’t have that, but how about a nice minivan?”
In varying ways, I began to see – again – the pattern of being ignored. It’s something I have struggled with at various points in my life – some times more than others – and I guess that those experiences with the car just really highlighted it again.
And, of course, I finally got exactly the car I wanted, at a great price. My husband was along, though, so I can’t tell how much of it was me, and how much was the handy availability of a pair of testicles.
Maybe I will just head on to the Y early – thank god it’s strength day and I can just put on some music and lift weights until I fall over.
My body doesn’t work like it used to – I can deal with that (it happens to everyone, whether they are male, female, or something else. My brain seems to have it’s off days, yeah, but generally speaking, I feel like I sort of know what’s going on (contrary to what the ongoing narrative around me might be). But there is nothing wrong with my voice.