Behind the Scenes, Lena's Life, The Lena Files, The Writer's Desk, Throwback Thursday

The Lena Files: By Any Other Name

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My assistant asks if my client if he would like anything to drink in the bubbliest voice she can conjure. I can tell she’s hoping for the answer to be no so she can scurry back to her desk and finish reading an article in Architectural Digest.  I saw the magazine sitting on her desk, she’s not very gifted at hiding. The Office Manager hires the assistants with little input from the financial reps. My job, I like. My co-workers, on the other hand, are from hell.

I’m a rarity at my company:

  1. I’m a Democrat (more anti-Republican than actual practicing democrat).

  2. I’m average height for my gender.

  3. My head is still covered by hair.

  4. I’m not overweight nor have the appearance of being due any moment.

  5. I have common sense (or uncommon sense since there’s nothing common about having sense in these parts).

  6. I don't look two decades older than my age.

  7. I’m female.

  8. I’m black.

Now I’m sure you are wondering how I came to work here.  One word, resume. Another word, name. I have an awesome resume.  It’s littered with those things HR and managers find impressive. My  MBA and most importantly to the cheap managerial bastards that don’t want to pay for more testing are my NASD series 6, 7, 63, and 65 licensing make me the cat’s meow.  The six years of financial industry experience (I know it’s a reach to count the teller job I had, but resume is French for stretch the truth isn’t it?). There’s even an assistant managerial position at a reputable fine retail establishment (which they were handing out to anyone over 18).   

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  Perhaps my parents were reading Shakespeare when they named me Colton Kent Walsh. The name just screams femininity.  It wasn’t Shakespeare, but the times that guided my parent’s choice. I was born in the mid-Seventies. While my parents weren’t fist-raised members of the black panthers, they were very much for uplifting the black peoples of America.  While others were naming their children afro-centric names, my parents saw a name as a chance more than an expression of their beliefs. Both of my parents had college degrees and were still struggling to live a lower middle-class lifestyle with one child (in fact they debated heavily having a second child because they didn’t know if they could afford it).  

Regardless of any civil rights advancements made in this country, it remains difficult, to say the least, to be black in America.  Additionally, being a woman is not a cakewalk either. While my parents didn’t want me to be white, or male, they did want opportunity to knock on my door as often as possible.  Therefore, they gave me a white man’s name. Though I hated them for it growing up, I sing praises to the Lord for blessing them with intelligence and insight. My afro-centric named contemporaries were sending resumes off by the dozens, and getting one or two interviews before moving back home or continuing to work their “college” job. Meanwhile, I, Colton Kent Walsh, got an interview for every resume I sent out. So, Mr. Shakespeare, there is so much in a name.

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My Thoughts

Hello Loves,

This was written over a decade ago. At the time I was working in the financial services industries and had my NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) Series 7 license which allowed me to trade securities like stocks and bonds. Much like many of my characters, I may borrow some aspects of myself and improve on them. I don't have an MBA and only the one NASD license. One thing I do have is the ability to make my name seem like I'm a white male on a resume.

I'm not sure where I was going with this, it was likely a romance because—what else would I be writing?