Day 1378: My best side

In this daily blog and elsewhere, I like to present my best side.  That is, I tend to focus on the positive and to share hopeful and optimistic thoughts and feelings.

Of course, each one of us has more than one side, and all of those sides are important.

Today, “my best side” in this post actually refers to somebody else showing a worst side.

Several decades ago, when I was in my 20’s, I was doing my best to create a marketing brochure at a high tech company. The high tech company had hired an advertising company, now defunct, to help us produce that brochure.  One day, the account manager of that advertising company, the project manager within my company, and I discussed who would appear in photographs for the brochure. Here’s the worst side of that conversation:

Project Manager:  We would like to use some of our employees in the photographs for this brochure.  As a matter of fact, we would like to include Ann in one of the photos.

Me: So, make sure you get my best side in the photo!

Account manager (turning to project manager): Well, in that case, she’d have to be bending over. (sleazy laugh)

Me (stunned and shaking my head):  WHAT?????

All of my sides were horrified that the account manager of an advertising agency we had hired had just objectified and dissed me, so blatantly, in front of me and my co-worker.  I was so appalled, I spoke to many people on different sides of my company, hoping to get them to see my side — that the account manager’s behavior was unacceptable, unprofessional, and worthy of swift retribution.

Here’s the worst side of the story —  nobody did anything about it.  The project manager didn’t protest, the female executive I spoke with suggested I just let my anger go, and the high tech company continued to work with the account manager and the advertising agency. I remember being VERY disappointed how none of the decision makers at my company took my side.

Why am I focusing on this dark side of human nature today?  Here’s my best answer for that: two days ago a candidate for President of the USA was shown demonstrating  a similar misogynistic and women-objectifying side. Today, as I write this, most sides are protesting his behavior, which I see as progress.

Back in the late 1970s, I would have wished that somebody else took my side when I was so egregiously objectified and dismissed.  However, I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell my side of that story, today.

What are the best sides of the photos I took yesterday, before I knew which side of myself I was going to show in today’s blog post?

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What does your best side believe about this post? On my side, I believe that I and other human beings deserve to be treated with respect on all sides.

My best side now wants to thank Aretha Franklin, my long-time friend Barbara (who colored “your beautiful heart”), my son Aaron (who FaceTimed with me from Scotland yesterday morning),   all those who helped me create today’s post and you — of course! — for witnessing and bringing different sides, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Day 1378: My best side

  1. Great song! Wonderful post! Respect in all things would certainly be a blessing for the world! K. D.

  2. As much as I enjoy your positive outlook I’m glad to see this other side of you. More generally it’s important to hear stories like yours because it shows the effect and extent of misogyny. And hearing stories like yours makes it easier to talk about.

  3. Speechless.

  4. Wow. What an appalling experience.That must have been awful for you. I suppose some progress has been made, as you noted, but his attitude is still held by many in private. Given the many people who support this candidate and cheer his misogynist and racist statements, I think we still have a long way to go.

  5. We had hoped we had moved on since the 70s, but maybe not in this respect.

  6. I understand. I was working in the 70s too. And the 80s and the 90s, all years when this sort of stuff happened and ‘boys will be boys.’ I understand there’s a place on the net where women are describing their first sexually abused experiences and there are hundreds and/or thousands of them coming in. I think it was (and maybe still is) everywhere. I think it’s time we all get loud. Loud would be our best side.

  7. Your best side is any side that reveals your kindness, intelligence, and sense of humor. How awful to be dissed in front of a group of colleagues and professionals and have no one react to the sexual abuse that it was. As I read this I’m watching Sunday morning chatter about a certain presidential candidate whose sexual talk and actions certainly show his bad side. Yet I doubt there is any angle that will help him at this point. You’re the best, and I’m glad I got to see this side of you today!

  8. I know “your best side” is that Buddha smile of yours (and your son’s). I had a similar thing happen to me also in the past. I feel the “best side” is often overlooked, and to be honest, I don’t know why. I think it has to do with too many egos going on at one given place in time, and hierarchies in the human, psychic strata.

    All I can do is look back and smile at all of this, but like a Buddha, and not a Cover Girl. I look back and analyze (maybe similar to you, I don’t know) and I can’t help feeling this relief that it has all passed, that it’s part of life’s riddle dissolving, each day a bit more until the smile gets bigger and mindfulness stretches on…

    Each person has to carry the weight of their own actions. All I can do, as I said, is look back and with compassion. “What might have been” still besieges me but each day at a different level, and then the smile emerges once more.

  9. So sorry you experienced that Ann. ❤
    Diana xo

  10. I love how happy Aaron looks. To me, he looks happier than I have seen him in a blog pic in at least a year

    • I’m on your side, Maureen: I think Aaron is REALLY happy now that he’s on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Edinburgh, Scotland.

      • I think he is happy because you came through surgery with flying colours and he was worried. And maybe he likes being overseas just now, too. But not as much as he likes that the big scary thing is behind you.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Ann. How frustrating no one would take you seriously. I worked several years in radio and the policy of “keep the broad out of broadcasting” was in full force every station I worked in. I’m hopeful things are changing — one icky presidential candidate and what’s been happening at Fox News notwithstanding!

  12. It’s changed, but not changed. There’s still a long way to go, but this story shows it isn’t as far as it was. And it looks like recovery isn’t as far as it was either!

  13. Sorry to hear you had to deal with that. That person is a buttmunch.

  14. I remember one time having an encounter with my boss where he committed a legal tranSgression against me. I reported the incident to the human resources manager, who responded , “…but, but he’s my friend!” I just suffered the abuse.

    The next time I got a call from an executive headhunter, however, I praised my boss to high heaven on the chance I could get him a job in another company. LOL!

    It eventually worked, though the headhunter asked me different times if I was trying to get rid of my boss. “Oh no! He’s really that great!”

  15. Ada

    I can’t help but be amazed that you still take the time to write the blog and reply every comment during your recovery; and your blog is always thoughtful and entertaining. Your good sides are evident.

    The lewd comment in the office will be excused by Trump, “it’s just office talk”

  16. When I was in my young 20s I worked in an office as a file clerk. There were no computers then..all sales leads were on little orange index cards the salesmen would pull out of the file drawers. When I went in the file room some slimy salesman always came in and brushed my breasts or bottom or made sexual comments. I didn’t know it was sexual harassment back then. I do now. And it will never be tolerated again. I feel you, gf.

  17. TechBook

    .
    It eventually worked, though the headhunter asked me different times if I was trying to get rid of my boss.

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