Tag Archives: Workplace

VK

At lunch today – the boys were giggling and laughing to get in the lift in time – then I got in the lift – silence

Sarah

A guy at work calls our support team the ‘admin girls’. The team is women aged 35-60. When I told him they weren’t girls he complained saying ‘oh come on, I’m not allowed to say anything’. He doesn’t realise how patronising and undermining that is.

RP

Apparently, me being invited to give advice to Government was considered less important than an internal news story about the correct way to dispose of agar (not down the sink apparently) by our news team. When a male colleague was then subsequently invited to also join (on my recommendation to the parliamentary team) it made it to the front page of our external website. I am now measuring my worth alongside powdered seaweed, as apparently I don’t even make it on to the same scale as my male colleagues!

May

I am a lawyer and I used to work at an international justice organisation, where I had to prepare all my advice in French. My head of department, an old French man, would check the contributions from the non-francophone lawyers. On this occasion, after checking my 10 page complex legal document and finding approximately 5 errors, he told me that I could not speak French at all, but luckily I had nice legs.

Adrienne

I am feeling battered. Today I had the experience of being “depersonalized” by a man who I work with in a way that I haven’t experienced before. We are peers – equal roles on opposite sides of the client / provider fence and we’ve had some frustrations in the recent past. These are largely due to the enormous stress we both face on our respective sides of the work we’re engaged with : big teams, politics, shifting demands, challenged decision-making and so on… I feel frustrated because he operates from a single base and doesn’t seem to appreciate that it is extremely hard for me to “just pop in” to his office for a chat whenever there’s an issue – Getting there takes an hour from where I engage with my team to get the work done. He is also oblivious to style he uses to engage with me, which is very directive ; his tone implies – most of the time – that he is actually not interested in hearing my point of view. This means that his expressed desire for me to “just come and chat” is undermined by his manner; what comes across implicitly is “come here so I can shut you down”, and needless to say I am reluctant to do that more often than necessary. He is frustrated by me because being bossed around tends to rub me up the wrong way and at times I respond quite vehemently (surprise!) – particularly when I believe there may be a better way of doing things, or that there are things he’s failing to consider. He is a man who is used to being the Head Honcho, and he doesn’t like being challenged. Up to now I have managed to absorb what I believe to be increasingly personal levels of criticism, but yesterday – at our client’s request – I posed a question by email to another team who are themselves facing pressure. It was a very simple question – I just needed information… and as I say, I was asking on behalf of our client, but the person who responded was obviously anxious about the context in which it was asked. They copied in their superior, and the man in question above, expressing a concern that I might be about to push work in their direction. I quickly explained this was not the case, providing a short but direct explanation, and assumed the matter was settled. On turning on my laptop today, however, I found an email that disturbed me profoundly –– and I am at a bit of a loss as to how to how to deal with it. He has emailed the person to whom I posed my original question, saying “we are having some difficulties with this person and her method of comms. Apologies.” I’m not sure quite which part of this has me more enraged or upset….. • The fact that he has the audacity to interfere in this exchange in the first place, completely ignoring the context I had subsequently provided, which I believe had resolved the concern…. • The fact that he has copied in a still wider audience…. • Or the fact that he has referred to me as “this person.” On the whole I think it is the last item that has me the most freaked out. I am copied in on the damn email after all!! WTF is up with referring to someone in the third person like that? The way it feels is that it is a way of trying to depersonalize me – the woman who he is finding hard to control. It feels like an attempt to “put me in my place” in exactly the same way that a drunk in a pub might refer to a woman who’d rejected his advances as “that slut.” My emotional response to being both publically undermined and depersonalized in a two line email is the same gut-wrenching feeling that I have experienced when being sexually harassed (which happens a lot more often to ALL women than most men might think.) If I had a partner to discuss this with I would, but in the absence of that I am putting this out there as a way of taking the burn out of it.

Murray

Im clueless to why I can’t get a tatoo aged 16 with With content given I have to be 18 yet I can learn to drive at 17 and i can gamble and have sex at 16 my mind has been set in this tatoo design for two years and I haven’t thought of changing my mind I wanted it as a symbol of something I have struggled through 16 years epilepsy I want a purple ribbon to show others an to look at an be proud

Sienna

When I first started to become really interested in programming and robotics and when I told adults this one of the most common responses I got was that it’s a really good career for me because I’d be able to work from home and raise a family… I was 11.

A

Im a support worker working in residential care and a male colleague recently told me that I’d make a wonderful house wife. I was making a pot of soup at the time and cleaning the kitchen. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I generally get on with this colleague and have got used to his passing comments praising me for being ‘lovely’ or ‘sweet’ but suddenly I realised that I felt so angry and upset that he is constantly undermining me. I now feel that I need to prove myself and remind this man that I’m an ambitious person and while I would like to get married one day this is not my goal in life! I’m also upset that in this line of work women, such as myself support men with personal care while the male staff can only support men. Strikes me as sexist because I feel uncomfortable assisting men who might enjoy the attention from a woman like myself.

Helen

I had a job in a café and bar and I was introducing a new colleague to the workspace and his tasks. When our boss walked in he would only speak to my colleague and ignore that I was there. He ended the conversation with the instruction for the day: “Daniel, there are not so many guests today because the weather is bad, so this will be a quite relaxed day for you. Helen is going to clean the bar today, so if you want, you might join her.”

L

During my internship, the boss was really kind of sexist without realising probably. He adressed me and the other female intern with cute names but he never did that with his male employees. We were working on some educational stuff for kids, and he had these great ideas about ‘girl planets’ and ‘boy planets’ *sarcastic eye roll*. One time he had a big delivery of paper that had to be carried up the stairs. I asked if I could help, he said “No, I need strong guys for that”. Oh there was the time I was asking for some tools at the school’s workshop and the guy working there kept talking to my friend, even though he only followed me because he had nothing better to do and he probably never even touched a hammer. When I mentioned the latter the guy tried to defend himself by saying, well but if he gets a girlfriend he has to know how to fix stuff right. (the friend has a boyfriend btw). But what made me really angry about female/male stereotypes was when I worked part-time at a kids toy store. I’ve seen a lot of boys being dragged away from the barbies and other ‘girly’ stuff by their parents, being told: “nonono, that’s for girls, not for you”. One boy could choose a present and he chose a playmobile camper. His mom then tried to talk him out of it for like 5 minutes, telling him “no the camper is for girls, you like the cool pirate ship better, right?” Luckily he kept saying he liked the camper the most, so in the end he got it. (like wth, that stuff is unisex as f*ck). Oh and when parents are looking for a blue version but we only have pink ones left. A guy asked “are these the only ones left? Because it’s for a boy” I replied “Well maybe he’d like a pink one” and then the guy laughed and said “luckily he doesn’t.” I do think that’s where it starts though. Little boys get told the barbies are something to be ashamed of, so they start to see girly stuff as less worthy. About sexual assault, I usually don’t get much ‘negative attention’ from guys, but one time when I went out with a friend at night. My friend just found out she likes girls so I promised to go to a lesbian bar with her. We got approached by multiple guys assuming we were both lesbian and also somehow into having a trio with a guy (yes, let the logic sink in.). I must say I have good hopes for the future though. Especially in films lately there has been a slow but steady improvement of female representation. I hope it keeps up and society changes for the better.