I was meaning to write more in here, but a couple of things happened: for one, we started seeing an influx of new people for the summer, and I always feel shy about crowding them out with tales of my (now-)regular life. But even before that, the realities of my job had me worn out to the point where I didn't have a ton of energy for blogging about it.
I was going to say that this was the first job I've ever had where I had to put so much work into my appearance, but that isn't entirely true. I worked for quite a while in fashion retail, so obviously I had to really put a focus on my appearance, if I was going to have any women (at that time I often still thought of them as "real women") trust my advice on what to wear. When I was just the IT gal, I dressed in plain pants and a white blouse with minimal makeup my hair functionally tied back: not gorgeous, not homely, a good cross between the white-collar office environment and my hands-on troubleshooting agent role within it. But now, being a woman as part of an office environment, especially in management, is a minefield in itself. Just as much as when I was walking a sales floor, I find myself checking my reflection, putting stray hairs into place, touching up make-up, straightening my clothes. It's the double-edged sword of women's fashion: if you're so inclined, there are a hundred ways you can express yourself with your appearance (as opposed to the more uniform men's wear) but it requires that much upkeep. And people judging.
I'm trying to get a bunch of men working beneath me (huh huh) to respect me as a boss. Considering I've never really bossed anyone around before, I was hoping they'd just do whatever I said without question. It didn't occur to me I'd have to give them a reason to follow instructions. I find myself talking to them like kindergarteners, like "If you don't do X, then Y can't happen. That's your responsibility." I shouldn't have to. But that's what managing is, I guess. I'm really aware that if I lose my temper, they'll think I'm just being emotional or "a bitch." But guess what, this bitch is in charge. If I have to turn into a ball-buster, maybe I will.
The really annoying thing is that even when you're in charge - even when their continued employment is contingent on me thinking they did a good job (I may be overstating this, but in the long run it kind of is,) it's still all about sex. It's still all about whether I'm fuckable, like this whole get-up and attitude is for them, to win their approval. I don't care what they think about me on that score, especially since on their best day I wouldn't give a second look to a one of them (mostly married guys approaching 40.) Still, they think it's all right to comment on how I stomp around like a dude sometimes (just because my natural footstep isn't a discreet ladylike pitter-patter,) and how I roll my eyes at their leers and elevator eyes. Maybe I should tease them about it more, ask "Hey how's the wife?" when I see their gaze drift a few inches below my chin.
It's kind of why I don't have any (unmarried) guy friends anymore. Since I've been Tori, every straight guy I've met has either been dating a friend of mine, or a boyfriend, or wanted to be a boyfriend. I miss the camaraderie of just being a dude hanging out with the guys, but I guess I'm just being nostalgic. Besides, it's been replaced with ladies' nights. And ladies' nights are way preferable.
Besides Raine, who is long-term coupling again, I've got a few girlfriends: two of the other women in my office, Peggy a 40-something divorcee who likes to cut loose with the younger girls, Jenny, a married lady a few years older than me, and two other single girls in their social circle that kind of welcomed me in, Tiffany and Aileen. I'm the youngest, although I wouldn't be when you consider my years of experience as Cliff. We go out, we dance, we get hit on, it's... fun, usually. Or we stay in and watch movies and the girls comment on my complete inability to cry (yes, I've been a woman this long and I still don't love Nicholas Sparks movies.)
After all that, it's not hard to see why it feels like something's missing. I almost feel like I've gotten too okay being on my own. I miss the comfort of a relationship, but after my last big one shattered my trust (literally any guy who walks up to me could be an "Agency" person!) In terms of dating, I've kind of gone back to my old introvert ways. It sucks.
Tori can't win.