Category: Employee Editorial

13 Nov 2018

Sadie Hawkins Day & Employee Editorial

Our Employee Editorial this month is written by Carisa Wenstrom. Carisa is our Multimedia Specialist Lead and Director of People & Culture and has been working at Crisp Marketing for over 3 years. In the spirit of Sadie Hawkins day, Carisa shares her personal female empowerment experience.

 

Today is Sadie Hawkins Day. The history of this day goes back to 1937 when cartoonist Al Capp published a Li’l Abner comic strip in which the unmarried women of Dogpatch had their choice of bachelors to “marry up.” Behind this façade of archaic humor lies a message of female empowerment, and a message for women to chase after what they want instead of waiting for it to be handed to them.

While the usual tradition for this day is the ever-popular Sadie Hawkins Dance held by high schools and colleges across the country, this day can also hold a special meaning for any woman who has faced challenges of overcoming sexism and assumptions based on the sole fact of being female. I’m one of those women. And in the spirit of this awesome day, I’d like to share my story.

Years and years ago (in a far away land), I started a new job at a factory. I was hired in through a “hiring pool”, which is when a company needs to fill many positions of similar caliber at once and brings on a group of people at the same time rather than one-by-one. I passed the assessments with flying colors and was offered a position on an assembly line, alongside a few other men who had similar work experience as myself.

A few weeks later, product demand went up for our line, and we needed to expand production. They needed more MIG welders, and offered the new positions to all the new assembly line people. Well, everyone but myself. I was confused since all of us had similar job experience (or lack thereof), so I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t included in this change. None of us had previous welding experience, yet I was the only one not included. I asked my Lead if I could be moved up to the weld line as well, to which he responded with a laugh before saying, “No. Girls don’t weld.” That’s when it dawned on me. The guys had been moved to the weld line. The one woman in the group (me) was left on assembly. I was livid. This was my first face-to-face encounter with blatant sexism, and I wouldn’t tolerate it.

I went to the higher-ups and told them what happened, and that I wanted to be moved to the weld line. I knew this would cause turbulence between my Lead and I, but I was willing to sacrifice that in exchange for equal treatment. Just like everyone else on that line, I was there to work and earn a paycheck, not make friends. A few days later, my Lead approached me and told me, “Fine, I’ll move you to the weld line. But you have one day to learn how to weld, or I move you back to assembly.” Now, the other guys were assured they’d have weeks of training. I was given one day. So I said, “Ok, deal.” I moved up to the weld line, and I learned how to MIG weld in one day. My trainer, who at the time had 17 years of welding experience, told me he’d never seen anyone pick up the skill that fast and was impressed. I used that to fuel my motivation, and worked as hard as I could to be a damn good welder.

I faced other challenges after that of course. I made over $1.50 less per hour than my male counterparts. If they skipped bathroom breaks, I had to skip them as well. I had nasty things said to my face, and behind my back. I ended up filing two separate sexual harassment complaints. It was the kind of things you read about and think, “Geez, how can people be so barbaric?” Then you experience it for yourself and realize it’s actually worse than you imagined it. But at the time, going through that, I told myself that it comes with the territory. I pushed hard to get to where I was, and I wasn’t going to give that up for anything.

In the end, not only did I become a damn good welder, but I became one of the best welders on our line (second only to my experienced trainer). I was fast, accurate, and I could patch any hole my weld partners blew through the thin metal frames we worked on. I was proud of myself. It’s one of the few times in my life where I could stop and say, “Yup. THAT’S how it’s done.” Even through the trials and tribulations, I had come out of the dark tunnel stronger and more confident in who I was, and what I was capable of. One of the best feelings in the world is when you completely shock the hell out of yourself. To this day, if I’m struggling with something or feeling like I don’t have the strength to move forward, I do my best to remember that feeling. It’s the reminder I need to tell myself that I’ve totally got this.

While others might see this day as another silly holiday, I see it from a different perspective. It’s a message to other women out there, fighting their own “weld line” battles. Don’t just stand there, waiting for something that may never arrive. Take that first step. Rock the boat. Create some waves. And go after what you want. Because you’ve totally got this. Happy Sadie Hawkins Day!

 

01 Oct 2018

Employee Editorial: Lawrence Shaw

Our Employee Editorial this month is written by, Lawrence Shaw. Lawrence is our Multimedia Specialist and has been working at Crisp Marketing for almost a year now. He brings a lot to the table with his creative thinking and his passion for videography.

Lawrence Shaw HeadshotI have been a vegetarian all of my life. Yes, all of my life. My parents became vegetarians a year before I was born, so I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. It’s easier for me to be vegetarian because you can’t miss or crave what you’ve never had. It’s true that I don’t miss chicken or barbeque or pork chops, but it’s still difficult to stay on such a restrictive, and at times inconvenient, diet, especially living in the South.

Sometimes it can be a little awkward when I have to re-order food at a restaurant, and eating vegetarian can be a little more expensive too. But what has encouraged me to continue this diet throughout my teenage and college years is the way the diet makes me feel. I know it is always one of the first things you hear from people who choose a healthier dietary lifestyle, but that is because it is really true.

During college, I often became tired of having to search a little harder to find healthier food options on campus or learning to cook some of my favorite dishes. This laziness would lead to simply grabbing the first thing I saw in the cafeteria or the vending machine, although everyone knows the food found on a college campus is usually not the healthiest.

A few years of filling myself with the unhealthy oils, grease and mass-produced meats and I was left feeing sluggish, tired, and mentally foggy. This is when I decided to make a concerted effort to get back to my healthier, vegetarian ways. I pushed past the laziness. I found vegetarian/vegan restaurants around town, learned how to make simple, cheap and stretchable meals that cut out my laziness excuse, and continued to keep my energy levels in the forefront of my mind. I knew how sluggish and drained I felt when I wasn’t a vegetarian, and I wanted to change that.

Vegetarian Day

I’m happy to say it’s worked. My senior year of college was four and a half years ago, and I’ve still been going strong. In fact, I am more on the vegan side of vegetarianism now. I have a decent list of restaurants in my city that have vegetarian/vegan options, and I’ve learned to cook some of my favorite meals, like peanut Thai noodles and soy sauce ginger garbanzo beans with rice. I’m back to feeling lighter, more active, and I’m thinking sharper and more clearly than ever.

This feeling, the feeling of being able to fully enjoy life, keeps me motivated to stay a vegetarian and is my ultimate testimony as to why I am vegetarian.

Lawrence Shaw, vegetarian

11 Sep 2018

Employee Editorial: Kayla Pearce

Our Employee Editorial this month is by our very own poet, Kayla Pearce. Kayla is a content developer at Crisp Marketing and has been with us for a wonderful 8 months, adding her sense of humor and fun attitude to the mix. She has let us in on her creative process and how she came to love poetry.

Kayla Pearce Poem

I was in the third grade when I heard my first poem. My teacher, Mrs. Saunders, wore a long red skirt, a denim vest, and a short blonde bob curled under to her chin. After we finished our handwriting lesson, she read to us from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I remember thinking how happy I was to be in the front row as she read the poems and slowly panned each page of curious artwork across the room for everyone to see.

As an undergraduate English major, I had the opportunity to take my first creative writing class in 2012. I had been writing poetry here and there as an outlet growing up, but I didn’t know how to shape my thoughts and feelings into anything worth sharing with people. My previous work had been emotionally overwrought, clichéd, and often rhyming. This class helped me begin to hone my craft and introduced me to some of the hallmarks of contemporary poetry, like imagery, metaphor, and sonic pleasure.

After that class, I was hooked. I took a creative writing class every semester until I graduated, and I eventually went on to study creative writing in graduate school. Then, I was so in love with the art that I moved across the country to study it, eventually earning a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing.

I’ve often heard that the most important part of writing is reading, and I find it to be true. The more poetry I read, the more I learn from it. Poetry has taught me empathy. It’s taught me joy, wonderment, and how to be grateful for the small things during dark and uncertain times.

My favorite poetry of late teaches me how to have hope.  In Maggie Smith’s poem “Good Bones,” she talks about how to sell a world to her children that is sometimes cruel. The poem ends with the speaker walking through a metaphorical house as the realtor “chirps on / about good bones: This place could be beautiful, / right? You could make this place beautiful.”

Writing poetry is more than a way of making art for me. It’s a way for me to view the world, to slow down and pay attention and enrich my appreciation for my life. When I’m not working as a Content Developer for Crisp, you can find me in a coffee shop or on my back porch, reading and writing poetry.