The other day, I was at work and a woman who didn’t know me but was familiar with my job function politely introduced herself to me and invited a colleague of hers over to meet me. She said, “this is Dominique. He’s an administrative assistant here.” Because I had been in a similar position many times before, I corrected her but couldn’t help but wonder why she would confidently assume I was an administrative assistant. Was it something she seen me doing? Was it something I said to her? Was it my suit or my… Or my… Or my…
Side note: I believe that administrative staff are the glue of any successful organization. I have the utmost respect for individuals skilled enough to take on such roles.
Back to my discussion:
Then it occurred to me. Why does her assumption about my job title have to have anything to do with me? I ruled out all of the possible reasons she made the assumption she did, all that was left was that she was a faculty member and practitioner and I am an administrator and we we are both thriving in our careers but one of us was taught to experience her domain by looking down. In her mind, if you are not a faculty member in an educational institution, no matter how important your job is, it’s not as important as hers. It kind of makes sense.
So this thinking led me to the following questions:
1. How does the importance of my role at work affect how it think and treat others?
2. Would I be a better service provider if I knew my supervisor and employer thought I was the most important employee?