Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Dangers of Being the Fun Girl

WARNING: Serious content follows.

I’m a cut-up. I’ll admit it. To me, life is something to be enjoyed, not trudged through. I want my headstone to read “She had a hell of good time.”

All of this makes me the go-to gal for fun and humor, especially in workplace. That wouldn’t seem to be a problem, would it?

Most of the time,it’s really not, but here’s the rub. When it’s time to get down to business, the others often can’t see beyond the fun girl. We are typecast, just like the pretty girls and the nerdy guys.

There are people in the world who live inside boxes; not literally, of course, but almost. Going with the box analogy here, they feel compelled to put everyone else inside boxes as well. And all the cartons are labeled: analyst, salesperson, people person, etc. – one everlasting label per box. Once they’ve stuffed you inside, good luck getting out.

It doesn’t matter if it’s someone without any powers, I suppose, but when they have ruling status, this box thinking becomes paralyzing for the organization, for the workers and certainly, for the box-maker. Creativity dies on the vine because it has to have light and air to survive. Growth is stunted, because there must be room to grow, but the box is limited in its space.

If you’re pretty and smart, it’s difficult to get someone to see beyond your looks. If you’re considered a bit of a geek, you may not get invited to the parties with the “cool” people; yes, even in adulthood – in spite of the fact that you’ve had a bottle of each of 100 beers the neighborhood bar carries and can beat anyone at darts. If you’re the fun girl, you may not ever be able to get the powers that be to listen to any of your ideas, because they’re afraid a whoopee cushion is involved.

So, young women and men, choose carefully your work persona, because there are those who will slap a label on you, stuff you into a box and call it a day. On the other hand, you may want to be who you are, even at work, and deal with the consequences.

A little dark and dreary for the fun girl, huh? I’m done. Off, I go to trip happily through life, nary a thought in my crazy little head. The box keeper will be much happier now that the fun girl is back in her box.


  1. Nonsense!! I'm sure the Fun Girl has her moments in the sun! Well, scratch that. I TOTALLY get it. There's only so much wiggle room at work. I work for a school district, so I have to be somewhat respectable. For years I did customer service, and I was that Fun Guy. Well, when Fun Guy moved up to be Unfun Manager, it was tough for people to take me seriously at first. IT sucked. You know, there's a gal I used to work with who was a total b-word. We all thought so. Then I got to know her outside of work and she was a blast. I came to learn she wasn't a b-word at work AT ALL, we all just perceived her that way because she preferred to keep life and work separate. She didn't WANT to get in on the gossip or shenanigans because work was,

  2. I like what Sean said. Sometimes as hard as you try you get the label that doesn't fit and sometimes you have to change the label yourself with a change in job position.

    I think there's something else a person can do if he/she gets stuck with a label. Take two steps left or right and start over. It really doesn't take long to change perceptions-- if you want them changed.

    Great blog, Kathy.

  3. You guys do my heart good! I was hoping someone would have a comment! Being the fun girl is my choice - because it's who I really am - and I choose not to be the corporate stereotype. I'm just against the whole stereotype business in the first place. I would love to see people CHOOSE to see beyond the first layer - in business, in life outside of business. It's the boxes that make it so hard to understand each other. No one can really BE inside a box.

  4. I try to be subversive at work. I THINK I'm perceived as the kind of strange, nerdy guy who knows all about words, but then I like to surprise people with a sarcastic joke or two, or a shared interest.

    Keeps people guessing, and I hope it maybe pokes some holes in the box.

  5. What's worse than being labeled? Not being labeled.

    I still don't think that the Twitterverse knows what to make of me and my writing. Everyone constantly tweets that I'm "cute and sweet." I might fall into the likable category but the powers at be won't take me seriously either.

    You are a fun girl but that doesn't mean that there can't be a serious edge to your writing. God, how boring would it be if we had to be one or the other?

    Be yourself, show them what you got, and keep the stories coming. You are a treasure, KLH. I'll even take you on your worst day.