Posts Tagged ‘finance’
Does being in some minority pressure people out their profession? In an office of whites, would lone Hispanic gentlemen feel out of place? Popular opinion would affirm that he would. Given my work environment, however, I feel as if I should have the similar reaction, even though I don’t.
Nearly every other active photographer in our office is a little different than I, although to say that is a little backwards — I’m the newcomer, here. To be sure, I’m a little different than most of the active photographers in our office.
Simply put, I’m a dude. Most everyone else isn’t.
Though my company is an equal opportunity employer, and ignoring for a moment that the office staff is pretty evenly split, the bulk of our field photogs are female. Of about 25 photographers, there were six guys when I started. Four of us were hired just this year, and one of us had the initiative to get himself fired before training ended.
Although there was nothing improper about his firing — he didn’t think twice about calling in sick whenever he didn’t feel like showing up, and this during training — I liked him well enough, chronic absence and all. Had he showed up, he might have been an ideal employee. Probably not, though.
Among the photographers, now, there are five guys. On one of our so-far rare reprieves, I asked why there were so many more gals driving to schools every day. Basically, she said:
Guys just don’t tend to last that long. Maybe they just say, “I have enough girl problems, already.”
After a pause and a bit of a chuckle, she noted:
Those guys who do stick usually don’t have girl problems.
Even as an adult heterosexual white male, I’m perfectly comfortable with the mostly female staff I see every day — my year or two in a sorority steels my nerves in that regard — and I can’t help but be amused.
In America, adult heterosexual white males are supposed to crowd out everyone else in from the adult heterosexual while male professions in construction, politics, journalism, high finance and the military. After a year in education and the beginning of what may be many years in school photography, I’ve managed to choose two fields where adult heterosexual white males are in the minority.
I’m either open minded or I really want to seem that way.
It’s hard to see my grandma like this.
Ever since her first stroke, she’s been slowly slipping out of touch with reality, and seems only the palest shadow of her former self. I remember her adeptly playing the piano; I remember our card games and love of reading; most of all, I remember her razor-sharp intellect and sharper sense of humor. As the years pass, remembering them takes more and more effort.
Conversations will begin with her telling me that she loves me. If I respond, she tells me she loves me again, and repeat. If I don’t respond, she thinks I don’t love her and starts crying, until I finally tell her that I do love her. She does this with anyone nearby, and would go on for hours if she could stay awake that long.
Instead, I try to change the subject.
Remember when we’d play Sorry! for hours at a time? Or Go Fish? Or Gin Rummy?
She might nod and smile in recognition; she might not. It’s a crapshoot. If she does remember, I know I’ve made her happy. If she doesn’t remember, she’ll break down, crying. Given the that I might make her happy, I decide the risk is worth it, and so I take it.
I doubt she’ll remember either way. I decide to try.
Within 45 minutes, she goes back to bed. I talk presidential politics, high finance and cattle ranching with my grandpa, and I enjoy it. Within the hour, we hear grandma calling to us from the bedroom. We head back.
As I feel my moment of panic, fear and trepidation approach — as I feel like I want to leave, and now — I, inhaling, think to myself:
The grandma I want to please lives still.
The rest comes naturally.
As I exhale, the grandma I see laying prone on her bed isn’t the grandma who sticks her finger in her nose and then puts it in her mouth, anymore; she isn’t the grandma who needs help getting out of her chair; she isn’t the grandma who leans heavily on the walker while grandpa keeps her from stumbling onto the tile hallway.
On that bed, I see the grandma who’d regularly drive me down to the local library in her Lincoln Continental, ketchup and baloney sandwiches in tow. I see the grandma who’d toast cheese and pepperoni on white bread, and, serving it with orange soda and a side of SpaghettiOs, call it lunch. I see the grandma my sister and I would help put up the Christmas tree every December, long after my immediate family stopped bothering.
We go back to the living room, and we visit. The first thing she tells me:
I love you.
I love you, too, Grandma.