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Things are Equal in the Workplace, SAID THE MAN TO THE WOMAN

Things are Equal in the Workplace, SAID THE MAN TO THE WOMAN

It had been an insane week at work, one that left me in a cocoon from the real world. Needless to say, the news I did catch this week kind of left me happy to be out of the loop. But I did see something about a vote? About equal pay for women? Or something? And how it was VOTED DOWN?

I don’t know; I clearly didn’t do my research here. And for once, instead of actually reading up on it, I just charged into a conversation full of piss and vinegar and said I couldn’t believe that it would get voted down.

And a guy said, “Why is that vote even NECESSARY?”

And I said, “I know, right? IT’S 2012, Y’ALL.”

And he said, “No, I mean, why is it necessary because women already have it equal in the workplace.”


So I thought I’d start a catalogue here. Most of our readers are either working ladies or moms who have been in the workplace at one point in time.

So let’s talk about how things are NOT QUITE EQUAL, wanna?

I have three stories that always come to memory first when I think of “women in the workplace”:

  1. I had a guy bring me a bunch of bananas on a weekly basis. He said it was because he knew I was trying to eat more healthy, and I thought it was very sweet of him. Whenever I’d start to eat a banana, he’d come and find a reason to talk to me. IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME AND A HELL OF A LOT OF BANANAS TO FIGURE OUT WHY HE WANTED TO WATCH.
  2.  I worked for a manager who was very sweet. He was very much “above board” .. to the point that it almost hurt my feelings. He was so worried about the possible appearance of impropriety that he would not speak to me when I was alone. He would not allow me to close his office door behind me if it was just us in there. For my birthday, he offered to take me to lunch, but his wife would have to chaperone us. I could not be trusted, apparently. It was so odd. And it really did hurt my feelings, like I was suspect ALL THE TIME. (.. looking back, it could’ve been the bananas.)
  3. When I came to work for the space side, we were a relatively small team. I was kind of a person who knew random bits of “how to”s in our office, and it wasn’t at all uncommon that something would malfunction and people came tearing through my office looking for me. One afternoon, a man came in, bellowing for me and me alone. He needed me NOW .. it was an EMERGENCY, he said .. and I needed to come right away. I left my lunch half-eaten and my project open and unfinished and left to go help. We passed about six other members of my staff – all men – on the way back to his meeting room. I hurried into the meeting room to about thirty men sitting in there. “Okay,” the gentleman said, “.. we can continue now that a girl is here to take minutes.” I KID YOU NOT. I still remember the flush and the fire that consumed my face when I realized that he had hunted me down because A) I had ovaries and B) that meant only I could take his minutes.

(#1 and #3 no longer work at my company.)

SO! What’s your story? We all have a couple, and I can’t WAIT to hear yours.


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