frankie banks writing

Sometimes when I write I don’t realise the implications of the words until I sit down a few days later and re-read them.  Sometimes I don’t understand them until I have read them aloud, in front of other people. Books and words have different meanings when revisited.

When I last wrote about being disrobed and also about power I didn’t realise what I was writing and how the two have played such a major role in my life and probably many other people’s too.  We have all been disrobed by someone else, mentally, physically or emotionally.

My first job from college was a sales job. I am not cut out for sales in any way but I tried my hardest and I always smiled.  My boss would undermine me and often make me the butt of jokes.  She spoke to me as if I was and always would be the most useless employee ever to walk the earth.  I hated that women with every ounce of my being.  In fact if I saw her today I would give her a piece of my mind, I still carry that anger with me.  Once when in an appraisal she had been berating me for 10 minutes and at the end said,

‘Hit me, I know you want to, hit me and then I can sack you’

She laughed and laughed at her own remark. I can remember thinking wow this woman is sick. Was she really just trying to give me the power she knew I had.

I looked at her incredulous at this request then I just got up and walked out, the next day I resigned.  Did I take back the power by resigning? It didn’t feel like it but I was glad to be leaving.  I went into the city and found a job I loved.  However my boss there wielded the same power, although I wasn’t the victim as I managed to dodge her bullets. I watched the wounded walking around the office feeling relief that today it wasn’t me but knowing one day it could be again.

I have forgiven myself for a lot of things over the years but for some reason that first sales job sticks in my throat. I guess I didn’t really know what I was supposed to be doing in this job.  I could feel her frustration, it really just echoed mine.  I had no idea how you were supposed to put these magic sales sentences together without sounding like a complete idiot.  Maybe her frustration with me was that I had no confidence?  Perhaps she was simply steering me away from a place I didn’t need to be.  I have never tried to be in sales again and wouldn’t, know your weaknesses!

A job as a waitress was another failing.  However in that job whilst travelling I would openly admit how bad I was and laugh with the customers. I would spill champagne, juggle plates and would wrestle with wine bottles at the table trying to get the bloody cork out. I was Basil Faulty. After leaving one couple waiting for half an hour to even take their order (I had come close a couple of times but something had pulled me away) I came over and apologised only for them to laugh and reply

‘You have kept us amused for the last half an hour, don’t worry’

‘Sorry I really haven’t got a clue how this works!’ I admitted and they laughed with me while my eyes scanned the restaurant noticing table three had the wrong order, again.

Admitting when you are wrong and in over your head can be empowering. Knowing your weaknesses and embracing them can make you just as strong as knowing where you are going right. Nobody is perfect and it’s those funny idiosyncrasies that make us human, can make us laugh and endear us to each other. We can try to improve ourselves everyday of course. Striving to better our health, our wealth and education will always help us achieve more. However sitting down and having a good laugh at our struggles and strife is surely is the best recipe for growth.

My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here:

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