Hot tears threatened to flood her eyes. Being an angry crier sucked.
No matter how hard she had tried over the years to find a way to reign it in, to not cry when she was angry, or pissed or overwhelmed, Lydia still turned on the waterworks. Involuntarily, the prickly sensation of indignation, of fury, preceding the tears in her eyes, the swelling of her throat, that salty taste that she knew meant she would be incapable of logical thought or speech until she could reign in whatever chemicals coursed through her bloodstream to make her turn into the stereotype of the crying little woman. She despised it. She absolutely despised it.
And there was nothing she could do. She had tried hypnosis. She had tried therapy. She had tried cognitive behavioral techniques. It just was part of her emotional landscape, some sort of coping mechanism built into her psychological DNA.
The complication it caused for her, though, was that she wasn’t taken seriously in a corporate setting. She knew, from her graduate studies, that this was incredibly common. She knew that she wasn’t anything special, that her situation wasn’t unique, but the politics of gender in a corporate setting meant that crying was viewed as a weakness, that she was viewed as weak, as less serious, as someone who would end up on the ‘mommy track’.
And as much as she fought that hegemony, the reality was that here she was, sitting in the closet, pretending to get supplies and trying to get the tears out before anyone saw her. It wasn’t the fact that her idea had been dismissed so out of hand, before she could really delve down into the details, could really peel back the deep layers that explained why the kernel underneath this large project was so critical for Bournham Industries. She could accept that. She could (as much as she hated the phrase) man up and deal with that kind of rejection.
It was that she hadn’t even gotten started and going to Matt with her idea was a test of sorts because she knew that presenting to Dave was going to be the ultimate battle in trying to prove that she was a serious contender for -- a job that Matt now had.
Argh! She slammed her fist against the wall, shaking one of the shelves filled with paper clips. Everything fell apart in one decision, in one morning. Ten seconds before Matt Jones tapped on the window of her car and caught her reading mommy porn she was in line for a promotion, or at least a shot at it, a chance to prove that moving away from home had been the right choice, that she could make her way in the big city. That she was strong, and vibrant, and intelligent, and grounded.
And that gender had nothing to do with success.
Here she sat, crying, in the supply closet. Her idea was good, dammit! The youth market was already oversaturated with advertising, with marketing approaches, and she had put together a network of about fifty different romance novel sites. From bloggers like Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author to The Romance Man, a really offbeat, unique blog written by a guy with a sense of humor and a penchant for getting to the heart of a story, no matter how ridiculous, to eBook retailers like All Romance eBooks or Book Strand.
Carefully cultivating allies in this approach, talking to bloggers, talking to eBook sales site owners and getting a sense of what drives women in the 26 to 44 market to buy erotic romance wasn't a frivolous pursuit. It wasn’t just about Fifty Shades. Fifty Shades was a trigger but it wasn’t everything.
Untapped potential in that market, driving products to them, speaking to them on their levelwithout condescension or oversexualization, just treating those women like they were the intelligent, well read, analytical, and fun loving women that they were. seemed so obvious.
It didn’t hurt that their demographic had money. Money that could fuel profits for potential clients in her division in Bournham Industries. That was going to be the problem. Dave would view this as some sort of threat to his job and he was going to shoot it down in about three seconds.
Matt, being brand new, was going to shoot it down in two seconds. The threat to his job was not as strong because how often are you threatened in the first week of employment? And Matt didn’t seem to be the type to be threatened by anyone. He had somehow walked in the door and just acted like he owned the place and she was mystified by it, intrigued. Jealous.
She slammed her fist against the wall again and this time a box of binder clips fell off a top shelf and hit her on the head. Why did Matt have to muddy the waters? Her tears were gone, thankfully replaced by an internal sense of repulsion. Not at Matt, not at Dave, but at herself -- that someone who called herself a radical feminist would be falling apart, crying in the closet at work and attracted to her new boss. There was a phrase for that, too. Gender traitor.
No, an even better word.