An employee’’s first day sees TV crews, controversy

An employee’s first day sees TV crews, controversy

This is my first job since graduating from NC A&T University a year ago that actually involves my major.

Before I interviewed here, I had been away from Greensboro for quite some time and had not read the paper. One week in I was offered a chance to write a staff column that is usually rotated between all employees. So what do I write about?

Expectations. My first day on the job there were newscasters, trucks and cameras surrounding

our office because of a misprint in the previous week’s paper. However this was not an ordinary misprint. The article involved a popular North Carolina district attorney, race issues and statistics. Controversial stuff. I was the only brown face in the office to address this situation. It all seemed too easy.

This past week I have been adjusting to life in Greensboro, catching up with old friends and making new ones.

All involved have some kind of issue in life that leads back to expectations. Are expectations exactly what they are, or do they hold more power? An expectation is what is most likely to happen, a belief that is centered on the future that may or may not be realistic.

So I did my research. One of my really good friends who I will call “Carla” seems to have it all. Tall, slim and beautiful this woman has a presence that attracts attention from everyone. Carla is extremely articulate, and always has a smile on her face. She has a fiancé, a good job and two beautiful daughters. Before I moved back here we would communicate mostly on MySpace. She has lots of pictures posted, and looks amazing in all of them.

When I saw her for the first time in years, I expected her to be just like her pictures: carefree and perfect. She was not. She still has her presence but there is something underneath, an unhappiness that took me by surprise. Of course I felt foolish to even think that a MySpace or Facebook page could really depict someone’s life. I know I am not always what people expect.

The wonderful thing about these types of sites is that you are able to create the life you want. Everything that represents you is your choice. If celebrities had that privilege, there would be no controversy; if someone was found dead due to an overdose, it would catch you totally by surprise… “Well she looks good in all her pictures!” Expectations also take part in appearance. Women are expected to have a certain level of attractiveness, a certain lifestyle or even a certain partner. Trying to live up to these expectations is exactly what causes the ultimate ripple effect. You expect, then they expect… the cycle continues.

Another good friend of mine, “Phoenix,” has enough personality to make anyone laugh and feel good. She is stunning, smart and has a fabulous condo that would make anyone a little green. Phoenix is the type of woman that expects a certain kind of treatment from anyone she dates. Not only does this type of treatment matter tremendously, prospective dates must also be extremely attractive. Candidates must have the exterior fully together, down to the shoes. The lucky ones that make the cut are allowed a couple of flaws, but if she vetoes anything he will be gone, and there will be more of them waiting in line. I admire the fact that she sets standards and sticks to them.

Buthow do we distinguish which expectations are realistic, and which onesaren’t? Are the standards she is setting not realistic? And if theyare, how many people does she have to date to find “the one”?

Ialways believe in bringing things around full circle so I can’t leavemyself out of the equation. I have my own set of expectations. I expectthings in my life to either be the same or better than they werebefore. For some reason I don’t like the idea of downgrading. whetherit be moving in a cramped roommate situation from a huge loft all myown to having to get the iPod nano instead of the Touch I had beeneyeing all year. These expectations have driven me to keep going andwork for what I want, but it has also blinded me to the fact thatchange in life is normal and likely to happen. Thinking any other wayis an unrealistic expectation.

Sowhat’s the cure? I’m no doctor but here is my prescription: Knowingyourself is the first step. I know I am not the girl with the perfectlife, that will marry a millionaire and have it all and I can’t feelbad about that. Get to know who you are, flaws and all, and acceptthem. Be comfortable with them. Step two; know that not allexpectations will be met. It’s impossible. Don’t expect anything butthe best. After all… without the disappointments, the certaintywouldn’t feel so damn good.