The past few years at my job have been frustrating. I have tried to write about some of the issues, but it always comes out sounding angry, or bitter or something I don't really feel.
Simply put I work with very conservative males. In a large company with a HR department I probably would have flourished because they want diversity in their workforce. But knowing that I would not like all the ticky tack rules that go along with a large corporate place I chose a small business. I like to work and I don't mind stepping outside my job description if it means getting the job done.
Unfortunately for me I was asked by the president of the company to "take care" of a retired "paper pusher" whom he had hired to bring in work for the company. No problem. Said "paper pusher" stayed out of my way and I did the work. Then the plot thickened.
I'm sure you have all heard the analogy of the worker who is so productive they need a supervisor and then the supervisor needs a manager. The manager needs a director and the list goes on until the worker becomes unhappy and unproductive so they fire the worker.
No I didn't get fired, but at one time I had 5 different "bosses" telling me to do 5 different things. Just like in the movie Office Space.
I did, however, try to find a new job during this time. The market crash took care of that and no offers came my way. I also got stabbed in the back several times, thrown under the bus time and time again, and as my frustration mounted I worked harder. Make no mistake, I am no stranger to sexism. I also know I have problems with certain types of people, in this case male since there are no women in positions of authority here. So it was up to me to head off these problems by recognizing them up front. I quickly came up with a hypothesis.
The men who have issues with me usually know less about the job than me, they have overbearing wives, and they are essentially helpless if they can't talk. In other words, they are not real men because they have to have someone take care of them. They like to talk the talk but can't walk the walk.
Let it be known I do not suffer fools gladly.
Let it be known I refuse to apologize for working hard. Such men like a woman to defer to him. I am only deferential to people I respect.
The problem is with them, of course, but it does bleed over into my life at the office.
The ant survived, but only because she is lucky enough to have as her future president a real man.
How do you recognize a real man? After many many years of mistaken identity I have developed a sure fire way to ascertain a real man. It is very easy as it turns out.
A real man is kind. He is gentle. He is respectful. He is secure in his own skin. He listens more than he talks. A lot of men can fake this for awhile, but if you look closely and are very perceptive they will give themselves away, like a wolf in sheep's clothing.
A real man, my dear reader, is a man who can wear an apron and move around in your kitchen and look like a man doing it. He will not be helpless or uncomfortable. He will not claim to be a chef. He will be doing a woman's job and not feel inferior.
I work with some real men. I like them. I respect them. The ones who are pitiful excuses for men, well, this little ant marched into a real man's office and firmly stated that if .....names intentionally left out..... would ever have the authority to fire her she needed to find another job.
The little ant is happily productive again. She is valued by real men. She still does not suffer fools glady or kiss ass.