My new role that I was kind of tricked into taking (its seriously a whole other post, that might never happen until I know exactly what the hell happened), involves being a part of a group of about 12 women that are in the same role on various other projects. We work closely together in that some of us are paired up, we are supposed to help each other out where possible and if we were a well oiled machine – well we could easily run this place.
But. A group of 12 strong personality-ed women can be a bit like navigating shark invested waters with a bloody steak in your hand.
Oh Lord the drama! The DRAMA. Everything is so horrible/stressful/difficult/life changing. The backstabbing. The constant undermining and under-the-bus-throwing. Women have come so far in the workplace and yet? Have we really?
This happens to be a more male dominated office (and industry). I feel like this really spotlights the different work habits and I am way more sensitive to the way that I, as a woman, am perceived in the office. Oh I know, we’re all supposed to be equal in the office, but we’re still not. And do you know why? Because of the following things that women still do at work:
1. Bake. Yes it’s nice to have the talents to whip up a batch of homemade cookies/cupcakes/pastries and I enjoy a nice treat as much as the next pleasantly plump jerk but why do you always need to bring these things into the office? It’s callous to say but if you bring in tasty treats like little Susie Homemaker, you are immediately demoted to housewife. If you want to be taken seriously, leave the treats at home.
2. Dress like a Ho. I don’t know in which Life manual it tells women that the way to get ahead is to dress like a skank. Yes, men will notice you. Yes, you will probably get male attention. But do you think that you will get taken seriously when all people see when they look at you are breasts and legs? Oh I’ve heard the stories of the girls who work in restaurants for a decade and have enough money to buy their own place, but at what cost? If you dress like a ho, the wrong kind of assumptions will be made. Cover it up.
3. Bring the Drama. It seems to me that, for some women, the only way to get through life is to be extra dramatic. Every little thing from stubbing a toe to extra paperwork is the end of the world. These women take their perceived troubles to their managers to get a boost. They create drama because, although they profess to hate it, they actually thrive in it. There is nothing an office needs less than drama.
4. Cry. Sometimes life is just overwhelming and that one harsh word from a colleague or a manager is the thing to start the tears flowing. Just like in baseball, there is no crying in the office. As per the book title of the infinitely wise Kelly Cutrone, if you need to cry, go outside. Ms. Cutrone knows what she’s talking about and these are words to live by. If you must cry at the office, might be a good idea to take a walk, or go to the bathroom. Just don’t go into your manager’s office and let him/her see you cry. This isn’t the schoolyard and your manager is not your teacher.
5. Talk About Their Kids. This might be my biggest pet peeve. I don’t have an issue with those people that occasionally offer up a funny anecdote about their kids or those that list an exceptional achievement by their offspring. Pride is natural and I enjoy a good laugh at the expense of others. But those women that constantly discuss all the brilliant/hilarious/adorable/disgusting/ridiculous things that their kids do on a daily basis? Not even daily. Constant. With the pictures too. All over their desks, on their phones always ready to show you the next adorable shot of their kid covered in cake, running around naked, wearing a diaper as a hat. And the baby voices. It has to stop. I can’t take much more. You never see a man engaging in the same kind of paternal pride. And they? Tend to reside more in corner offices.
It may not be fair, you may rail against the establishment for not catching up to 2011. But this is the way the world works. So you either have to play the game, or get left on the bench.
Put the baby pictures away, leave the baking at home and for god’s sake, stop with all the drama. I can’t take much more!
On a personal note I'd like you all to send some extra good vibes to my friend The Record today. She could use them! Record, you're on my mind today. Hang in there, I will talk to you later.