An interesting discussion on my Facebook page last week about Anarchy and voting in the coming election got me thinking about the kinds of things I’ve done in the past, to make a stand for something I believed in.
I’m not really the go out and protest at a rally kind of statement maker, although I have done that a few times, for issues I feel really really strongly about, for example home birth or the worldwide March Against Monsanto.
But last night while pondering what ‘making a stand’ really means to me, I was reminded of a time that I hadn’t thought about in a long time, and I found it kind of amusing, so I thought I’d share it with You all.
Many years ago I worked in ‘party plan’. I’m not sure if it has a different name in other countries so let me be very clear about what that means – You have a range of items to sell, and You go along to people’s houses where they have arranged a group of friends – a party – and try to sell them what You’ve got on display. And what I sold was linen.
Now the main reason I did that was to make extra money while my kids were really little. I, as You can probably imagine, was staunch about the way I modeled products and utterly honest about what was good, and what was rubbish. Overall, the company was very good quality so I had no problem with any of that.
Now can You imagine me, the hippie with the dreadlocks and stretches and tie dyed babies, showing up to People’s houses and dropping catalogues? Then I would come back a week later in the evening, in my fancy business clothes and rake it in.
Seriously, I was one of the best sellers in the region. In Canberra! Here most people like the short back and sides look and have their head so far up their arse anything different is terrifying. But somehow, I reckon due to my honesty and all-round awesomeness, I made it work really well for me.
Then, one year I decided to go to the Company Conference. I’d always avoided these kind of things because a hotel full of desperate house wives in a city far away didn’t really appeal to me, but I was thinking that perhaps I might try to grow my business further so I went along to see what it could give me.
That was the beginning of the end for me and that Company. Once You offend this Indigo, it takes a lot to go back. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly easy to offend because I really believe in allowing others their opinion, even if its crap 🙂 However, stupid, bigoted or downright illogical bias can get me easily offside on a bad day.
Let me paint You a picture. Some swanky hotel across from Albert Park in Melbourne, chock full of Women who sold linen. Managers, beginning managers, and a whole heap of low level wannabe-actually-I-just-wanna-be-away-from-my-family-ladies out for a big weekend. There were two days of workshops and product reviews, all culminating in a huge fancy dinner party where the new products would be unveiled and awards given to the top sellers.
So I, the one and only hippie there, decide that I don’t need the fancy business clothes OR shoes (that was generally my thing in those days) because there were no clients and no one to make an impression to.
And after the first workshop can You believe my horror when my manager pulled me aside and whispered that a message has come down from the big bosses that they would prefer me to wear some shoes and tie back my hair while in the meetings!
Oh yes, dear heart, although I was younger than now, I was certainly no less feisty. And I went to town, listing all the points above plus some others like – how I look here has no standing on my work ethic AND I work for mySelf so how I do it is my business!
My manager, who was always the diplomat was very understanding but suggested it might be better if I just comply. I can’t remember her reasoning. But I’m fairly sure I went and put some shoes on, and spent the rest of the weekend staring daggers at anyone from higher management.
And then the night of the awards happened. It was a black tie event as You can imagine, with waiters and silverware and all that jazz. By then all the women from my local team knew about what had happened in the Grand-shoes-atrocity-debacle and, in the usual way that ‘normal’ people do when they are inspired by someone ‘different’, had rallied around and cooed understanding and giggled at my swear words.
When the awards began, each Woman was expected to file up on stage and collect her certificate or jewellery or whatever else and smile accordingly, shake hands blah blah – I’m sure You’ve seen how these things work darling heart.
Suddenly, I realised that I was going up on that stage to collect a much sought after award – like only the top whatever percent of the Company was going to get one and it really showed that You were shit-hot-awesome at selling bed sheets and pillow cases….
I looked at the ladies at my table, who were all waiting for my name to be called and the Indigo in me flared to that place that only Indigos understand that is a mix of rebellion and justice and humility and a whole lot of – I WILL NOT BE TOLD BY LESSER INDIVIDUALS WHAT IS RIGHT and in that moment I slipped my fancy shoes off.
When I stepped into the stage bare foot the Women on my table erupted in cheers and laughter and I looked into the faces of all of those stuck up managers and smiled sweetly. The lady giving out awards shook my hand and I could see a confused look on her face; why were all the Women laughing so? And then I did a little skip – just for anyone who hadn’t seen the moment of the great statement, and the important lady with the awards looked down, and she laughed.
As I returned to my table with the coveted little piece of jewellery and certificate I laughed to mySelf. All this pomp and bull shit was so against my reality, it made my stomach turn! But at least I got to infuse just a bit of Indigo vision in there. And perhaps, just perhaps, all of those important People could relax a bit, knowing that the filthy hippies of the world aren’t going to bring their Company down from the inside, with their wild ideas, and bare feet. Wankers.
Eventually I left the business of selling Linen to open my shop and have been going to work bare foot almost ever since! Except on the cold days in Canberra, then I wear moccasins. So next time You see me at ‘Work’ whether it be at a Conference or Workshop or some sort of discussion group, take a sneak peek down below – and then You decide whether whatever’s down there, is hindering my ability or benefiting it!
The article I don’t wanna wear shoes! was published by Hollie Bakerboljkovac, for the Institute for Self Crafting.
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