But He Works at Starbucks!
"He's really sweet and he makes me laugh," I gushed to my girlfriend about a guy I met. "And he's so cute, and he has the sexiest lips."
“Aww, I’m so happy for you. He must be something to have you smiling like that,” she said. "What does he do?"
"Oh, um, he's a manager at Starbucks.”
Silence and a side eye.
"What? I get free caramel macchiatos. That saves me $4," I joked.
She dropped her fork and quickly shot back, "He works at Starbucks. Starbucks?”
“Nothing, I’m just saying…”
What she was saying, without really saying it was, “You’re a college educated woman, Why are you dating a broke ass man who wears a green apron to work?”
“Anyway, we’re going out again tonight. He’s taking me dancing.”
“That’s nice,” she said before finishing off her mimosa.
But of course I couldn’t let the conversation go.
“So you think he’s beneath me? You don’t even want to know anything else about him? You didn’t even ask me his name!”
“I just don’t see you dating someone who works at Starbucks or McDonald’s or something like that. But if you like him, he’s good with me.”
All of my crush’s positive attributes went out the window once she learned of his occupation. It didn’t matter that I finally found someone who made me smile brighter than she’s seen in years. From that point on, she would still be hung up on the fact that he woke up every morning to make lattes and frappes. I would expect side eyes if I said his line of work involved illegal activity or if he’s been unemployed for a decade. But this man has a job.
He wakes up at 4 a.m. and receives a paycheck every week for his hard work. He even has benefits. Benefits!
Hell, as a freelance writer I can’t even afford insurance and I never know when I’m getting paid.
He has a job...but it’s not the right kind of job?
I couldn’t believe my girl was being so judgmental. Well, actually I could believe it.
Though she can be a bit bougie (you know I love you girl!), she shares the same sentiment of some 20-something women: if I have a degree(s), a place of my own, a passport full of stamps, then he must have the same or better.
And I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive even telling her or anyone, what he does for a living. And why did I feel this way? I knew he’d be judged on his credentials.
The typical first questions a woman wants to know about her friend’s new boo-thang involves a rundown of his resume. What he is (degrees, titles) seem to outweigh who he is (loving, supportive, etc). Questions like, "How does he treat you?" or "What do you feel when you’re with him?" don’t matter for some women.
Men, however, don’t do this. Maybe they focus more on other superficial things like a woman’s appearance, but her resume never factors into if he’ll date her or how his friend’s will judge her.
Separating the man from his job seems to be something some (not all) women can’t do. Eyes light up when a lofty position is mentioned, but those same bright eyes dim pretty quickly if there's no prestige attached to what a man does for a living. I'm sure we all know an impressive title doesn't equal automatic intelligence and a “noble” job (teacher, doctor, social worker) isn't always a reflection of a virtuous character.
Besides erroneously tying career to value, titles are so fickle and constantly changing. The CEO of today can be filing for unemployment tomorrow, or the dude who’s ringing up the register may own the joint 10 years from now. A guy’s line of work can simply be a pit shop in his journey.
And exactly how many of us are right where we want to be in our careers, so should we expect the same from a potential guy?
Did I intend to date a fella who rocks a uniform to work? Nope. But I’m glad I gave him a chance. As it turns out, Starbucks boy was a major douche bag. But douchery can come in a green smock or an Italian suit.
Weigh in Vixens, do women value a man’s credentials too heavily? Have you ever ruled a guy un-dateable because of his job?