I always reminisce about the years past this time of year. Not only has the previous year wrapped-up, but we are about to embark on a new year (or already have done so in our personal calendars at least–fiscal calendars vary). I try to think about the missed opportunities, goals that have been accomplished, and all of the crap I tried to bury along the way… So as to NOT go there again!
This time of year is when my annual convention comes to fruition. It is a challenging event to pull together. My clients demand a 4 star location. 5 star is too much; but 3 is not enough. It is tough to find a 4 star in this state that can accommodate a few hundred people. And no matter how beautiful the setting is, there is always somebody that doesn’t like it. We get criticism from the meal quality to the beds being too stiff. Things way beyond our control. I mean, do we NEED to tuck you in at night???
So be it… It is the nature of the beast.
One of the shittiest criticisms I have ever received during an annual meeting is totally something within my control (which I actually appreciate for once), but shitty nonetheless. This little old woman who has to be pushing 90, told me I need to stop laughing. WTF?! She said something to the effect of “Stop laughing… It makes you look like a giggling school girl. Men will never take you seriously if you keep giggling like that. You see so & so, (name blocked for privacy), she doesn’t giggle.”
I do have a nervous laugh when I give speeches. It is a nervous tic. I am working on it, but it is an ongoing battle. About an hour after this woman gave me this comment, the woman she referred to that never giggled, broke down crying into a microphone. Now that is something I would NEVER do.
That being said, was this old woman a male chauvinist?
I shared her comment with my Chairman and he laughed. He said “You have taken some pretty crummy comments. If you are to take anything seriously, don’t take this seriously. Because your laugh, is like quintessential you.”
He also went on to say, he didn’t particularly care for my laugh (no joke), but he actually got over it because he liked me so well that he doesn’t even hear it anymore. I don’t know if that was supposed to be a compliment — I doubt it — but it was his statement.
I am working to get rid of the nervous laugh. Now my loud, boisterous, “goddamn that was f-ing funny” laugh, that will NEVER go away. I mean that laugh. That “did I just piss myself?” laugh… That I am not giving up because it just feels way too good. Nobody, I mean nobody, in this nation feels that good anymore. So why should I give that up??? Screw that!
I can’t help but wonder though, that little old woman, pushing 90. She was definitely raised during some rough times. And for that, I am thankful. I fully recognize that I could not have the position I am in without my female predecessors before me. But I wonder, was she a male chauvinist?
I think so… So why bother paying attention?