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Saturday, 5 March 2016

#BlogFeature: Who Are You Stereotyping?

Hello everyone, here is Lovette Singleton, a new writer on my blog. We call her Luvly Lovette and she's a fantastic writer and not only has a pretty face but a large and good heart too. Her articles and views are her own experiences and opinions and they are very interesting, humorous and enlightening. Hopefully, I will feature many more of her posts here. 

If you would like your written articles featured in my #BlogFeaturePost columns, kindly send them in to

Enjoy. :)


I wrote about a real encounter I had with a work contact, on MondayAnyone who has ever worked a job which someone thought they didn't quite fit the stereotype for, should appreciate this.


I'm used to people looking surprised when they see l'm the person they're actually scheduled to meet with. The Contracting Officer with whom they may have been negotiating back and forth over email. Perhaps my job description creates a mental character in their minds. A character who doesn't look like me.

I am sure. Very sure. That's not what the landlord who came for a lease negotiation meeting on Monday, experienced. It had to be more than just surprise. When the Housing Coordinator received her from the security entrance and brought her to my office, she stood at the door, eyes fixed on me. Then with a sweeping motion, he gestured for her to step into my office, but she didn't move. She was transfixed with astonishment. Frozen. Perhaps waiting for me to step out of the office, so she could take a seat, in anticipation of the arrival of the real person she was scheduled to meet with.

My colleague and I looked at each other with a whats-going-on-here expression. Eyes moving quickly from left to right. My mind started racing, searching my head for answers. A rush of anger at her stare, then a suppressed chuckle, from the sheer delight of being the object of such bewilderment. Then the puzzles; did I eat an expired lettuce at lunch, which was now growing out the top of my head? Or perhaps an episode of flatulence was still lingering in my office? Or did she have an allergy to the color of my newly braided hair? A type of allergy which causes her to freeze and stare at the trigger? 

Oh! I know! She must be stareing at the new avant-garde painting of a unicorn mating a turtle, which someone hung up in my office, right behind me, and I had managed not to see all day. But how's she able to see it right through me? I slowly looked behind me, and it's just a window. No painting. She sure has windows at her house. So she can't be looking at the windows like that. She's looking at me!

I'm too nosy for the suspense, I have to get her to come in, so she can quickly tell me that I'm her long lost daughter. But she looks Moroccan and I'm not. That can't be it. Snap! I'm just gonna have to unfreeze her. So I said "come in. I'm Lovette Singleton". I usually don't introduce myself until within a couple feet away from the contact, while offering my hand for the shake. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I needed to let her know she was in the right place, perhaps that realization might help her blink again.

And finally! She's moving! A few reluctant steps forward and she was in the office. Reaching my hand out, and not knowing how successful I'd been at making sure my expression did not reflect the puzzled state of my head, I said "I'm Lovette Singleton, I manage the Consulate's logistics operations and I'm also in charge of negotiating and signing all contracts on behalf of the United States Government, here at the Consulate." I may have said that with a smile. Or not. I was too eager to hear what was on her mind. She must have a life-changing discovery she's about to share with me. So she may have been trying to take a mental photo of my before and after face.

She slowly shook my hand, like she was in pain from doing a little more reps of her biceps workout, than she was used to. Then her eyes finally did something other than stare into my face. They looked at me up and down real fast. Twice. Perhaps trying to see if I had stylishly matched my shoes with my face. Then she sat down. And I got really pumped to hear the reason for her 7 seconds freeze. What was it? What journey did her mind take her on, when she saw me?

I told myself not to let another awkward silence moment take over. So I began with some pleasantries, to which her responses were nothing more than nods, as her eyes raced through the accolades on my wall. Then I moved on to talking about her property and the USG's interest in leasing it. Just when I started trying to convince her on sign our lease contract, even though she owned the house, she spoke! Finally! She said "C'est toi qui vas signer le contrat de bail?" And I said "oui". ("Is it you who'll be signing the contract?" "Yes.") Then she smiled with one side of her face.

If she still thought it necessary to ask that question, after my colleague's introduction of me, when he set the meeting up. After seeing the name on the contract matched the accolades on my wall. And also happened to be the same name I gave her during my detailed introduction of myself, a few minutes ago, perhaps she was only going through the same surprise I had noticed with some other contacts whom I'd met with, at different times. Just a more acute version.

I am now left wondering what the perception of someone with my job description really is. A man? Tall? Monochrome outfit? It makes me want to get in people's heads and see what level of flexibility their imaginations are capable of processing. To see if somewhere in there, there's space for a 5ft3 lady, with a welcoming smile and a love for brightly colored clothes.

Article By: Lovette Singleton 

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