Thursday, March 10, 2005

Quick-Change Artistry

My thirteen year old is fairly typical in that you never know what is going to irritate her, but you know something will, and you can be sure she will tell you exactly what it is that irritates her. Tonight it was the voice of the waitress at our favorite Mexican restaurant. She, the thirteen year old, said she, the waitress, had a squeaky little girl voice. The waitress was probably in her early twenties. My daughter can be brutal in her judgment of other girls/women. She stays on me about my hair, says I have the hair of a seven year old, and looks like I have not brushed it in a week.

My daughter's complaints brought to my mind something I witnessed week before last at the bank. The young lady who helped me was quite capable and self-assured, very professional. We were trying to figure out why I could not access our account online. It turned out the problem was that the bank had my name twice with two different addresses and the computer, apparently, was confused. The totally competent bank lady ended up having to call someone higher up the chain (maybe a computer expert?) to get the matter corrected, and that is where the most astounding transformation occurred, right before my very eyes.

When she got the other person on the phone, her voice changed and she started using a whiny little girl voice as if she would not get help any other way. Even her physical demeanor changed. She became a coy little girl. I could not believe what I was seeing. As soon as she hung up the phone, and turned back to me, her customer, the little girl voice was gone and the professional bank lady was back. Had I been able to fully process what I had seen at that time, I might have pointed the difference out to her and asked if she was aware of the quick-change act she had just performed. I guess we have all been guilty of such behavior. I just have never seen it so clearly demonstrated before.

I wonder how many times I myself "posture" before others. I don't think I do it often, but it may be that I am not playing the "helpless little girl" card. I tend to play the "invincible woman" card. Think about it, what kind of quick-change artist are you?


  1. Wow. That's a powerful story.

    I wonder if anybody else noticed... or are you just observant?

    I like the image that you put with it, too. :o)

  2. No, misa, she and I were the only ones in the area at the time. It was an obvious transformation, but I doubt her coworkers would have noticed. You know how you can get blinded to stuff you see everyday.

    The image is gluebook stuff, though I have been too busy to post much on the group.


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