AOL Jobs reader Chey, one-way ticket in hand, tells us:
I'm about to move to Vegas and was offered a job dancing at a strip club. I view this dancing -- as well as all others -- as an art. If I took this job, would I be degrading myself?
First of all, pack a sweater, because it can get chilly in the desert at night -- especially if you've been removing clothing. I totally agree that any dancing can be an art form. So I think, if we "strip" away people's assumptions, it comes down to attitude and environment. It sounds like you have the right attitude already: Approach the job with dignity and enthusiasm, and always strive to improve. But environment is something you may have to play by ear. Will you feel proud and energized inside the club? Will your co-workers be supportive? And importantly, will customers treat you with respect? That may circle back to attitude, as you might have to demand their respect.
Of course, you may have some friends and relatives who look down on this career choice, but, who really cares? They think they're all perfect and innocent? Give me a break. Just be proud of you who are and what you do, and your real friends and loved ones will fall in line -- even if it takes a little while. And that, my friend, is the bare truth.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, settle in for a word from "Anxious in Australia":
I have a colleague that shares the same staff room as me and nine others. She is an intelligent and capable teacher. But... first of all, she imagines all her phone conversations are interesting to everyone, especially those that she conducts in Spanish. During these, she speaks extra loudly, as if showing off that she speaks another language. We're the Languages Other Than English department; we all speak other languages!! Also, when trying to get someone to do her a favour, or if she feels a tad under the weather, she talks in a wheedling baby voice. She is a 37-year-old woman. It is asinine that I have to leave the room before I slap her face to snap out of it. I tried to address it like a grown-up, telling her, "I will help you with that, but only if you stop doing that ridiculous baby voice." She blushed, went quiet... and then the very next day started up again. I need help, before I get done for assault with a deadly pencil.
Dear Anxious: Have you considered switching to decaf? Seriously though, I do feel your pain. We've all had that co-worker who absolutely grates on our every nerve, and we're trapped with them, trapped like a fawn-footed melomys (a rodent indigenous to Australia).
On the volume front, you may want to consider noise-canceling headphones, increasingly common in shared work spaces. Now, regarding the baby voice, I have an idea that just might work. Earlier this year, I read a fascinating article by a teacher in The Atlantic. She discusses noticing when her female students are speaking in cutesy voices, and how she instructs them to instead present themselves with confidence and authority. Share the article with your colleagues. As you're in a school setting, it seems like an extremely valid topic of discussion for the staff room. If your sworn-enemy co-worker is as intelligent as you say, she may respond to this academic approach, getting the hint that the trend carries into adulthood. Just to be sure, stress the point that you've "even noticed it among colleagues." If this plan doesn't succeed, please write in again. I've always wanted to answer a question about prison work detail!
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