Tag Archives: brainstorm

Karen

5 Aug

*Disclaimer* This post is going to start out heavy, as I describe the historical context, then get humorous (to some, hopefully most). 

 

Calling white, (are they always suburban or upper-middle class?) women “Karens” came about to describe this demographic’s (micro) aggressions towards those of “lessor” (as judged by the power structure in charge) societal standing, usually POC.  And it’s rooted in the history of violence against POC in the name of protecting white women.  White men, have often beat, maimed, tortured, and killed black men especially in the name of standing up for a white woman’s honor.  For example, here’s a summary (not mine) of the Emmitt Till case:

  1. There have been any number of versions of what happened — or didn’t happen — on a hot day of Aug. 24, 1955, in a small convenience store outside Money, Miss.  At one point, Till entered the store to buy a Coke.  The clerk in the store, a 21-year-old white woman named Carolyn Bryant later alleged Till had sassed her.  Some versions said he tried to flirt with Bryan, or that he boasted of having white girl friends back in Chicago, or that he touched her, or he may have wolf-whistled at her.  Whatever happened, Bryant subsequently told her husband and his brother-in-law about the interaction – or someone did.  Four days after Till entered that store, Bryant’s husband, Roy, and J.W. Milam, in the dead of night went to the home of Till great-uncle, where Till was staying, and took him away.  They drove around with the child in Bryant’s truck and eventually dragged him into a barn where they set upon him.  They beat Till, gouged out one of his eyes, tied him to a 75-pound cotton gin fan, shot him in the head and dumped his body into the Tallahatchie River.  When he did not return home the uncle’s house, Till was reported as missing.  Bryant and Milam were interviewed by deputies and acknowledged taking Till away, although they swore when they last saw him he was alive.  Unusually for that time and that place, the two were arrested and charged with kidnapping.  Three days later, Till’s mutilated and bloated body was recovered from the river.  The body was sent home to Chicago, where Till’s mother, Mamie Till Bailey, demanded the casket be open so mourners who filed past it could see what hate had done to her child.  Jet magazine printed a photograph of the body, further arousing indignation over the killing [I didn’t put it here, but it’s easily searchable].  The crime was so heinous even the white authorities in Mississippi were moved to condemn the killing.  Bryant and Milam were charged with murder and stood trial in September, 1955.  After the end of five days of testimony – including the defense claim Till’s body was so wounded it was impossible to say with certainty it was in fact Till – the all-white jury returned a not guilty verdict after less than an hour’s deliberations.  Bryant and Milam were freed.  The next year they gave a paid interview to Look magazine in which they freely admitted murdering Till.  What followed was a long, slow decline marked by arrests for various crimes, and their eventual deaths, both from cancer, Milam in 1980 and Bryant in 1994.  Carolyn Bryant, having divorced Roy, faded from memory until 2017.  Then, a Duke University professor who had written a book on the murder, revealed that Bryant (who had re-married) in an interview for the book admitted she had lied about the interaction with Emmett Till.  “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Bryant was quoted in an excerpt in Vanity Fair as saying she “felt tender sorrow” for Till’s mother, who died in 2003.  

 

There is nothing funny about that.  And it makes sense that it’s women who are being called out on social media for being a “Karen” because it is specific to the above described behavior.  And that white woman playing the victim card needs to cease, because it can cause real harm.  Here’s a current example:

      2. When Amy Cooper, a white woman, called 911 from an isolated patch in Central Park where she was standing with her unleashed dog on Memorial Day, she said an “African-American man”              was threatening her, emphasizing his race to the operator.  Moments before Ms. Cooper made the call, the man, Christian Cooper, an avid bird-watcher, had asked her to leash her dog, and              she had refused.

 

I am sure everyone encountered on that story on social media.  It just goes to show those that don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.  Also socialization is firmly entrenched.  This present day Karen has brought about a lot of throwing the name about.  Have a mask tantrum?  Karen.  Ask to speak to a manager?  Karen.  Write something somebody disagrees with on Twitter?  Karen.  It’s getting a overused, I’d say.  And not just to describe the specific, problematic behaviors in the above two scenarios.  It’s becoming a catch-all term for white women.  And racially, I think that is fair.  Honestly.  White women have pretty much stayed under the radar (as far as I know) when it comes to troublesome race relations.  It’s time we accept that our fair skin allows us to walk through life with a certain privilege.  That said, I don’t like the current overuse of Karen when it is more along the lines of calling out any white female for speaking out.  Even when she’s right.  Even when she has a point.  Using “Karen” to shame women into submission is not addressing the issue at hand, and it’s backward misogyny.  Because let’s face it, there are plenty of problematic privileged behaviors white men display too.  Not all the white men are actively doing the murdering atrocious crimes these days.  Some of the men are also participating in microaggressions.  All of us need to be educated on our privilege and the ways we can use it for good or evil.  And both sexes need to do better.  So I am petitioning for us to also call out those Chads and Spencers for their shitty actions also, so it doesn’t become just another misogynistic slur against women.

The historical context of “Karen” is important to know.  And now you have a superficial overview, and I encourage all my readers to delve more deeply into the race, class, privilege, and sex regarding the topic.  The rest of this post I’m going to talk about the lighter (no pun intended), more jokey side to this “Karen” phenomenon.

Have you ever noticed sometimes it’s Karen and sometimes it’s Becky?  My mate and I decided every age range has its own Karen-type name.  I think there’s a list online, but purely as a thought experiment and for funs-z-fun my mate and I brainstormed names.  And not ones to be sexist, we paired each Karen with it’s male counterpart.  Then we realized not everyone is middle-upper-class, there are also lower class white people (unkindly known as white trash or trailer trash), and they have their own sets of names.  Here’s the list we came up with:

child:         

$-Female = McKayla           

$-Male = Ayden                   

Poor-female = Candy               

Poor-Male = Ryker

teen-20s:   

$-Female = Becky                

$-Male = Dillon                     

Poor-female = Tonya               

Poor-Male = Colt

30-40s:       

$-Female = Karen               

$-Male = Spencer                 

Poor-female = Tammy             

Poor-Male = Rodney

40s-60:       

$-Female = Susan               

$-Male = Chad                     

Poor-female = Rhonda           

Poor-Male = Wyatt

 

Let us know if we got it right.

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/A-slaying-that-haunts-America-Emmett-Till-13814421.php
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/nyregion/amy-cooper-false-report-charge.html

Behavioral Interview Q&A Brainstorm

4 May

 

  1. Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.

I am a unique person, so most everyone has a different personality then me!  I like to learn through diversity, so it’s a strength when I can combine my talents with someone else’s different positive attributes.

 

  1. Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
  2. We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.

Spring break was the busiest week of the year for the hospital and everybody was expected to work overtime and do extra.  A coworker of mine did a lot of extra shifts during the week, but when we were scheduled on Friday, she was 2 hours late, leaving me short-handed.  I gave her the silent treatment, and she accosted me and asked me what my problem was.  I told her nicely why I didn’t appreciate her behavior, but it created a rift for the rest of our time there.  I’m not sure her reaction would have been any different, but I wish I would have just been up front in the first place.

  1. Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?

Clients are reluctant or unhelpful many times when I tried to collect a pet’s history.  For instance, sometimes I could tell the cat had an abscess (which is usually caused by a cat fight/bite) because we saw them frequently, but the owner was oblivious and thought maybe it was a spider bite.  I asked the right questions in order to get helpful answers.  When the owner strayed from helpful info, I would redirect, by asking a specific and pointed questions to get at the answers the vet would need to proceed.

If the role you’re interviewing for works with clients, definitely be ready for one of these. Find an example of a time where you successfully represented your company or team and delivered exceptional customer service.

  1. Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you go about doing so?

At Cat’s Meow, we had a gold star client who always brought her 5 pets in, and always did every recommendation and more.  I always try to give timely and friendly service, but I would make a concerted effort to keep things on time with her, and made a special point to remember details about her cats when she visited.

  1. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?

At my last vet hospital, an irate owner took her dog home before we could start its dental because she was unhappy with the estimate.  After she had a chance to calm down, I called and offered to walk her through the estimate in person.  She agreed and I explained in detail what each line of the estimate was, why it was recommended, and why we couldn’t be specific about some costs.  I also patiently answered all of her questions.  When we came out of the room, she was all smiles and thank yous and not only re-scheduled her dog for the dental, but put her 2nd dog on the schedule also.  And she did follow through with both of those dentals.

What I Like (and don’t) in a Podcast

8 Jan

I don’t know what to write today.  Usually, I’m brimming with ideas.  Though my natural peak creativity happens in the morning–when I’m at work.  I get more fatigued after work, so it’s more difficult to get excited by things.  But this is the time I’ve set aside for writing, so rather than dilly-dallying trying to think of something inspiring, I thought I would just start typing.

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We want to start some type of podcast.  It makes sense, because we listen to them most of every day at work.  Also, you know me–I’m full of opinions.  We both started lists of potential topics.  And I have been listening for what I like and what I don’t like.

 

have a professional sounding introduction with the premise of the podcast, why we are qualified to discuss the topics, and our names.

get right to the topic at hand-no chit-chat or distractions.  It drives me bonkers when people fuck around before talking about whatever they’ve listed as the title/subject of that episode.

Pre-record professional sounding ads (if we get sponsors) so it sounds upbeat and the same every time.

Do good research about the topic–it’s annoying when people don’t know anything about their subject.

Trigger warnings prior to the episode

Spoiler warning with exact time we’re finished talking about that.

Stick mostly to the topic, state facts, but also be ready with our theories or complaints or opinions.  But have some balance.

Big reactions during taping just sound like a regular conversation in the audio.

Do it 5 paragraph essay style:  Tell what you’re going to talk about it, and why you’re interested in that, go section by section, then sum it up.  I also like when people say what they read or looked at to research in case I want to get more in depth about the topic on my own.

If there’s any patrion or rating requests, make a little jingle instead of saying it over and over in each episode.

Don’t have any speech-ticks such as “like” or “you know what I mean”

Don’t sound monotone, but don’t be on crack.