I was sitting at a Starbucks today, waiting for my first interview of Monday. I had just gotten back from a weekend in SF where my Fiance and I had meetings with caterers and the band. I was utterly tired and although I am an organic vegan, I needed coffee. I was not planning on having coffee during my interview there, but I got that cup of Joe and had no problem sipping it down. The man never showed for the first interview, so I sat there with my coffee and had no problem searching for stats for my next interview.
An elderly woman sat next to me with her coffee and oatmeal. She looked over at me and I smiled, wondering how it must be to be that age, your career over, living nicely in Orange County and being able to get up, walk to the coffee shop and eat. I wondered if I would be able to do that someday. She broke into my thoughts with a wide grin and told me about what she loved about being there at Starbucks. She loved that she saw so many different people and was able to talk to them. I responded that most people come here alone and it is nice to have someone to talk to. Her smile widened and she said she was glad I was talking to her, that most people ignored her. I was appalled that people would ignore such a colorful woman as this. She told me she was so colorful she could write many books about her life. Her husband had a stroke at an early age but just in time for her son to take over his firm and she had six houses but now only has four because she could not tend to them all. The thing that struck me the most was how she had all of these material things but was so down to earth. She said her “treasures” were her two smart children, who were my age now. I found her absolutely fascinating, wondering if I would be this nice when I was older. I wondered if I would have amazing unique stories about my children, houses, life and husband.
My lasting impression of her came at the end of the converstaion. I had to get going to my next interview and I gave her my number since I lived in the area and if she needed anything I could help her since her children were not so close. She thanked me and told me she hoped she remembered my name. “More importantly,” she crossed her elderly elegant fingers and said, “I hope you get the job. You are a lovely woman and don’t let anyone ever tell you your not smart because you are a woman. Don’t take that crap, if anything, show them how much smarter you can be than them.” I said “Thank you,” sincerely and walked away thinking about what she told me.
She was absolutely right, in this world I have been treated as stupid, even in my past jobs I have had because I am a woman. I have actually acted on this assumption that men thought I was stupid to sometimes get what I wanted, or I just gave up trying to prove myself constantly. I am used to working with men (they tend to be less drama), however, they think they can pull one over you. I have been debating in my head whether to say when they ask for salary the true amount I should be paid versus “will get paid anything to get a secure job.” I stuck to my guns today and again I was told I was a great interview. I did not talk about salary, but I did act secure about everything I said and if we have another talk I am sure I will not back down on my salary. Acting as if I was worth the job I think helped the interviewers to see I was seriously an expert in my field. Hopefully, the interviewers who say I was a good interview will change their words into actions and I will have a job this next week.
So, here is to hoping! I love how one word can give you strength and influence you to be the best person you can, by hoping you get the job or doing well on that exam or hoping for a better relationship. By hoping we can get the inspiration we need to do better or to be better people. As the elderly woman has spread her hope to me today, I hope to spread hope to you, for whatever you may need it for!