Hello, power suits! It’s time for the Friday Open Thread and given what a topsy-turvy nightmare this past week has been, I want to focus on a productive outlet for our collective rage, and something I think we need to celebrate and encourage: standing up for your goddamn self at work.
Intimidating? You bet. Necessary? That too. So let’s talk about it! I’ll start.
Ever since I moved to DC, I’ve been exhausted by one particular aspect of my life here: my commute. There are (quite literally) many steps involved, and I’ve realized over the past few months that as a disabled person, the way I’ve been getting to work just isn’t physically sustainable. It’s not a matter of being lazy or out of shape (thanks, internalized ableism!), but the straight up fact that I have cerebral palsy. I’d cut my commute time in half and arrive at full strength if I started driving in. But a parking space is not standard here. So making that change meant having to do something I’d never done before: ask for a workplace accommodation.
The irony, of course, is that I work at a disability rights organization — so that kind of request shouldn’t freak me out. But oh, reader, it did! I felt like it was fine for other people to ask for accommodations, but that I didn’t really need one so did I really need to trouble my bosses like that? Especially as the new person on staff? Spoiler alert: that’s not how the ADA works and this is exactly the kind of thing that counts as an accommodation, actually. So I did that thing where I thought through every possible scenario and about 75 different alternatives if they said no, delayed asking at least three times, and finally laid it all out there: look, I’ve been doing my job well, but I want to do it better, and here’s how I can. It’s an easy fix.
They said yes. And yeah, it has been pretty revelatory to have so much more energy all of a sudden. I can go out after work! I can run errands after work! I’m not panicked all the time! And I am, in fact, better at my job! But if I, in pretty much the most privileged situation imaginable for this scenario, had such a hard time even getting up the gumption to ask for what I needed, this needs to be a bigger conversation (especially for queer folks). That’s where you come in.
So let’s hear it: how have you asserted yourself at work recently? What on-the-job victories do you want to celebrate? How did you make them happen? And if you’re looking for advice on how, exactly, to become the professional BAMF you’ve always dreamed of, put your questions out here too. May we all achieve our goals as we smash the patriarchy in every industry, amen.
How To Post A Photo In The Comments:
Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:
How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:
Find a video on YouTube, copy the URL, and paste the link on its own separate line in your comment. You no longer need to use the “embed” code!