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Gender Bender

So it’s Friday night. I’m home alone with my cat on my lap, drinking a glass of wine and unwinding from a pretty stupid day at the office. I’ve had this job for 7 months now and I have to say it’s the best AND the worst job I ever had. It’s the best because I make decent money, and there’s plenty of opportunity for further financial gain. My office is in a beautiful area, and the clients are pleasant. It’s really not a bad gig.

On the other hand, my boss is a complete nut job. I’m not going to bother giving details because I lack the vocabulary to really express how crazy she is in a way that you would share my pain. Also, I somehow ended up being the designated “computer guy” at the office because once people find out you know how to operate a mouse, all of a sudden they stop trying to do things themselves. It takes me twice as long to get my work done during the day because I’m constantly helping other people with computer tasks. The other downside to my job is I work mainly with women. Actually we just added another guy, but he’s gay.

For most of my adult life, I’ve worked industries dominated by men. In an office full of men, you go to work, you work, you talk about women and sports, you work, you complain about work, you work some more, and you go home. It’s pretty much the same thing every day. Every once in a while there’s some conflict. Maybe you butt heads with a co-worker or someone drops the ball and mess up a task. In an office full of men, conflict is easily resolved by walking up to the offending party and saying, “Hey you fucking retard, you fucked up. Don’t do that again!” He replies, “Fuck you, you fucking fuck!” You call him an asshole. He’d calls you a dick. Then it’s done! Yes, done and back to business as usual. You can walk up that same guy 2 minutes later, and everything would be fine. (Keep in mind I’m talking about lateral confrontation, not how you would go about handling a problem with a boss or subordinate.)

Working with women is NOTHING like that. As I mentioned, I’ve been at my job for 7 months and, at least twice a week, without fail, I have to have a “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” conversation with someone. Never before, have I had to say apologize to a co-worker for hurting their feelings. Never in my career have I seen anyone cry at work and storm out of the room. And not necessarily because I made them cry. Sometimes they cry when they lose a deal, or when a customer yells at them, or they just remember something from their childhood and they start crying for no reason.

So yeah, my office is definitely a hotbed of emotions and sensitivity. Oh, how I long for the days when I could critique a co-worker’s performance without them taking offense. Now, if I say boo to someone, they think I’m insulting their very being or implying that they can’t do something as well as a man can. And if an argument with someone escalates beyond two or three exchanges, forget about it, they won’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Sometimes longer.

Look, I’m not a bully. Far from it, but when it comes to work, it’s just work, and when there’s a job to be done, you do it. When it doesn’t get done, or gets done poorly, there needs to be a way to resolving issues quickly without having to tip toe around people’s feelings. I kinda look at relationships with co-workers kinda like boxers. Outside the ring, you could be friends with another fighter, but inside the ring, you have to beat the shit out of each other in order to do your job. It’s nothing personal.

I have a feeling I’m sounding like a real douche right now. 😛

So here’s what happened today. The boss walked into our office, and said to Rosemary, “Rosemary, I want you to list Ryan’s property in the MLS Online and have Eric teach you how to post pictures of the property.”

A few hours later, Ryan walked in and asked, “Rosemary did you post the pictures yet?”

Rosemary: “No, I’m waiting for Eric to show me how.”

Me: “I’m ready. I’ve been ready. Let’s do it.”

Rosemary:”Ok, give me like two minutes.”

A few hours later Ryan walked in again and asked, “Rosemary did you post those pictures yet?”

Rosemary: “No, I’m still waiting on Eric.”

Me: “Waiting on me? I’m ready. Let’s do this.”

Rosemary: “Ok. Lemme just make this call real quick.”

The third time Ryan walked in, Rosemary blamed me again for not posting the pictures. I got pissed off and snapped at her, “For Christ’s sake Rosemary, how fucking hard is it to post pictures on a listing? While you were “waiting” on me, did you even try to do it? There are 5 fucking buttons to click on, and only ONE of them says ‘Edit Listing’! Did you even think of clicking on that?!?!”

*CLICK*

Me: “GOOD JOB! Now click on the button that says ‘Add Pictures’!”

Rosemary: “Forget it, I’ll do it myself!”

Ryan:”Oooooh, she’s mad at you now, Eric.”

Me: “Good! Maybe she’ll learn a little self-reliance.”

So Rosemary started crying, got up, sending her chair flying across the room, and stormed out of the office. She came back 10 minutes later, and didn’t say a word to me for the rest of the day. Granted, it wasn’t much of a “punishment”, but what a pain in the ass. Over absolutely nothing!

Monday, I’m going to have to apologize. I’ll have to pretend that I was stressed out over something else, and acknowledge that it was still no excuse for being so rude. Blah blah blah. But that’s bullshit! I go from the person trying to help her to being a heartless prick while she goes from being an incompetent retard to helpless victim. I bet she thinks that she was the one just trying to do her job, and I refused to help her. Whatever!

Anyone know a good florist? 😛

1 Comment so far

  1. Jay Morris

    I worked at a mostly female call center for a locall dealership here in AZ. It was a diffrent experience for me as well.
    It seems that the first thing in the morning before work started was to figure out what to order for breakfast, then about 15 minutes after ordering breakfast they had plotted the plans for lunch and snacks. This allways seemed to be the number one priority at hand..

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