“Smile Honey & Thank Your Haters!”
Walking onto a new dairy for the first time is like a hostel take over. The side eye, the colorless comments in Spanish they figure I don’t understand, ya know the good stuff. And it’s mainly because I’m a woman and mostly because they assume I’m the same age as their daughters in High School. Like I’m some kind of evil genius that graduated early to mess with them.
It’s a bit fun for me in the first few weeks to watch my new teammates test me out. Or in other words try and run me over with a group of cows or see if I can find the strategically-placed set of tractor keys they’ve hid. I always win anyhow, so I play along at first. Normally most come around to see me as a real live person and chill out, but there’s always that one guy that makes it his new life mission to make my life hell.
The first few of these “treasures” really got under my skin, not to mention in my face. I was young and battling my way down a very male dominated career path. And it came from both sides as I normally didn’t get much sympathy from the very few older women in the offices along the way. They could care less that I had just lost my dad a few months prior and they could care even less about my goals. As a matter of fact, my entire existence was annoying enough. I would go eat lunch in my truck and mumble to myself “How the hell do I make you people like me!?” The answer to that question was far easier to explain than I made it out to be.
They were never going to like me, not ever. We weren’t ever going to like each other’s posts on Facebook or sit together in the breakroom peacefully and the jokes were always going to be about me.
So I changed my tune a bit and started laughing at their stupid jokes. And smiling every time I had to talk to the gal in the office that “accidently” ordered my company required coveralls 3 sizes too big. Men’s size XL to be exact. It was hard painting that first fake grin all over my very black and white personality, but I started to realize all that hate being thrown my way was actually becoming quite encouraging.
They pushed me to be at the very top of my game without even knowing it. Take one on the chin and come back swinging. And come back I did. Every single damn day. While they were so focused on running me off, I was meeting production goals by leaps and bounds. All the while crushing their hopes I would just stop coming to work one day. And right as rain that day did come when I got a better offer from a much bigger dairy.
So thank you to that one guy, whatever your name was, where ever you are now.
There will most certainly be ditches in your path you will need to cross. It’s up to you to decide just how deep you will let them become. Even if you fall in you will at least learn to swim! What keeps you coming back for more? Let me know in the comments below!