Making Sense

I was just reminded of a conversation I had a few months ago that reminded me of how much I hate being talked down to. There aren’t a lot of things I enjoy less than being patronized. I get it a lot, being a. a girl, b. a girl who has a young, innocent-looking face, and c. a girl who is polite and not too loud. Not many people are scared of me, and a lot of people think this gives them clearance to treat me like they’re my kindergarten teacher. And then, there are the people who talk that way to everyone, and I think the woman I’m about to discuss falls into the latter category.

This woman works at a place that does casting director workshops that last for several weeks at a time. So basically, you pay a few hundred bucks up front, and you go every week or whatever and take these workshops with casting directors. It’s a pretty cool idea I guess, but I’ve never heard of actors getting work from these particular workshops, and furthermore, they’re pretty expensive, especially if you’re trying to pay for other classes and whatnot. Sooooooo, a friend of mine had given this woman my information as someone who may be interested, and you know, I’m always up for hearing the details about an opportunity, so I was happy to listen and consider, but it was pretty annoying from the get-go. She was quizzing me about my talent and experience, emphasizing that they don’t just accept any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street, and you know, you have to take this seriously and you have to really be doing this as a career and have real potential, etc. But the most annoying, nails-on-the-chalkboard, whistle-in-your-ear, telemarketer, Jehovah’s witness-level of annoyance came from this: After everything, everything she said, she then said, “Does that make sense?” Everything. After every single sentence. I know that she must do this with everyone and must not even realize she does it at this point, but it comes across as so condescending, like, “Do you understand the meaning of the really simple thing I just said? I want to make sure, because you seem really dim, and it’s probably pretty hard to wrap your head around ideas. That must be tough.” Or maybe it’s more like, “Do you understand me? Because I know I’m talking way over your head right now, because you’re just a layperson, not a genius like me.” Either way, she must not have had any idea how irritating she was, so I thought I’d help her out by repeating it back to her to call her attention to it. So our conversation sounded a little like:

Her: We want to make sure that our actors are serious about their careers. Does that make sense?
Me: Yeees, yes, that does make sense.
Her: We need to know that you’ve worked, does that make sense, and that you’re taking active steps to get yourself more work, does that make sense?
Me: Yes, both of those things make sense, and I have, and I am.

And then came the part where she asked if I wanted to sign up.

Me: I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the future, but right now, unfortunately, I just don’t have the money.
Her: Well, we suggest that you have a separate bank account where you save money for acting, does that make sense?
Me: Yes, that does make sense, but you know, right now is just not a good time.
Her: Well, because if you’re serious about your career, you really need to be setting aside some money for it, does that make sense?
Me: Yes, it does make sense. Believe you me, if I were making enough money to have even a penny to set aside, I would.
Her: So we really suggest that you save some money, does that make sense?

And then she was silent, and I said, “Make sense of this!” and hung up and smiled peacefully in the beams of benevolent sunlight filtering through the windows.

Just kidding. I didn’t say it. I didn’t say it because I’m polite, remember? Damn it. Damn it all. I’m so polite. But I thought it. You can bet your bottom dollar I thought it. I positively screamed it in my mind. But I didn’t say it, and now, thanks to my politeness, this awful woman is probably going around right now making sense of everyone she comes across.

So I apologize to you if you ever cross her path, and if she ever talks to you like you’re just now learning English and how to tie your shoes. Maybe someday when someone else is being a condescending jackass, I’ll say what I want to say, even if it’s not the politest thing ever. And if it doesn’t make sense… who gives a shit?

One Response to Making Sense

  1. Amanda says:

    Story of my life with the politeness. I am a total push over and have a hard time sticking up for myself. I have gotten better about not crying after everything but I still can’t get the other stuff to come out of my mouth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *