The Other Side of the Glass

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm stiletto heels. Category:Shoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The giant, posh office feels claustrophobic. Triple the normal occupancy and people bouncing off each other like balls in a lottery tumbler, chattering inanities and sipping champagne, this is not what Kendra signed on for. Top of her class she wanted to make a difference, then, unable to pay her loans on not-for-profit pay, she wanted to at least show off her skills. Instead she finds herself needing to play nice in this dog and pony show. Her years of education mean nothing, apparently, just how she looks in her little, black dress, and how sincere she can smile despite how much she despises the person she is speaking to.

It is not that she dislikes vapid discussions of fashion. She enjoys her time with her girlfriends, decompressing, focusing on nothing in particular, window shopping and people watching. That is what the weekend is for. Work should be for crunching numbers, reading contracts and figuring out the best deal for the boss. That is why she hates these things. They turn work into fun and vice versa and she hates blurring those lines.

She hates pretending she enjoys the company of women who make horrible, privileged comments during lunch. She hates being passive-aggressively pressured into dolling up, rather than wear her normal formal business-wear like the men are allowed to. She hates the guy from the other firm who apparently never took a gender studies class and thinks it is OK to put his hands on her like she was some piece of meat to claim. This is not what she hoped for when she left for school at seventeen.

It is the best she can do for now. Maybe in a few years she can parlay this into a management position with a charity, political party, or activist group. Until then she has to grin and bear it. She needs to giggle at insipid jokes, pretend she likes champagne, and learn to walk in high heals all while still being able to play tough with the boys in the conference room. She has the skills, she can be a winner, but she is losing site of the prize and as one more guy invades her space, that scares her.

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