I have both shown and had plenty of it in my time. I have also been shown none more often than I would care to think. So what is respect? Why do some people deserve it when others don’t, and what happens to change respect? I like to think I earn my respect and that I deserve it and keep it. But then I know that human error can affect respect, and human values are so different that what you do that earns respect from one simply loses respect from another. Talking with Poppaloo today, it’s funny how respect manifests itself. He now respects me as an adult to have grown-up conversations, about politics and business and the new Rihanna album, but he also respects me as his daughter, to know me enough that we don’t have to have serious conversations, and when to stop teasing me. I have the same sort of respect for him too. And at work, from my sudden change from a warm, family-like embracing office, to a big, new, super-professional office, my respect radars are wavering. How do I earn respect from these new colleagues, when it came so easily from the last? Or will I forever be condemned as “the temp” until one day they have forgotten what I was temping for? And why does a temp demand less respect? Especially nowadays when work is so hard to come by, and thousands if not millions of people scrapping for the tiny amount of jobs, surely those who get those jobs deserve praise for their hard work? Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually doing backflips of joy that I have this job – it’s a step in the right direction, a hint that my career might be going in my favour. But I’ve yet to figure out what earns their respect… It is not a matter that they have dismissed me, they are trying to figure me out too. I’ve been there one day, and had plenty of welcomes and friendly conversations to make me feel that I’m not a complete outsider. The only person making me feel like that is myself – the innate fear of “fucking up”. I am keen to earn their respect because I don’t want to be dismissed, I want to be part of that team that smiles at the newbies but also knows all the tricks of the trade. I want to be the dab-hand, the old dog, the mentor. But first I have to earn the respect of these new colleagues, for them to show me the ropes.
What do you respect, and what makes you lose respect?