I’ve been here for about 4 months now and I’ve learned a whole lot, but I feel like I still have miles to go! Coming from a city background and graduating with a degree which would allow me to become an elementary teacher, I have quite literally had to start from scratch in my learning process. Learning everything has been a challenge, but it’s been a fun one. I also had to encounter a challenge that I was expecting, but not fully ready for.
I had to make friends. Yes, this is a family business, but we also have many workers who are not related to us. Combine that with, they are all men and the majority of them speak Spanish as their first language. Now, I took 3 years of Spanish in high school, but that was almost 8 years ago! And in high school, I was probably worried about more important things like boys and bad hair days than learning Spanish. That being said, I am a WOMAN and English is most definitely my first language….so making friends out on the ranch proved to be a bit of a challenge.
A couple of examples: When I told truck drivers how many calves they needed to load on a truck, they would think they needed to check things out for themselves because obviously, the girl has no clue what she’s talking about. Or when the boys would weigh a certain number of calves and I’d tell them we needed a few more, they wouldn’t bring a few more. And if they did bring a few more calves, they asked another guy first if that was correct. Now, I’d like to think I’m a fairly smart young lady so I was starting to feel some sort of women’s-rights-movement coming on every time the men wouldn’t listen to me.
Once my third month working here rolled around, I began to notice that the truck drivers and workers weren’t questioning me as much. They were starting to have conversations with me more and joking around with me. Every now and then, a new truck driver will come around and question me, but I think these boys are starting to get used to a woman working in a “man’s world.” And I’m starting to get the feeling that they’re thinking I’m doing alright. I’ve still got a lot of progress to make, but I’d say making friends is a pretty good step in the right direction.