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Tag Archives: Company I Am emplyed by

Women: What Are You Doing?

9 Jun

June 9, 2018

Recently, I was with my Mom and we were taking car service downtown. Mom takes this particular car service a lot. she knows the drivers and they know her. She’s a regular. On this particular day we were sitting in the back and as we approached the destination she leaned over to me and handed me the money for the driver. She wanted me to give it to him. (I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t pay for the trip. Simple. Mom wouldn’t let me.)

I have no idea why she wanted me to give it to the driver when she takes this car service all the time and pays herself. I started to ask her why but she said “because I said so,” which is good enough for me coming from Mom.

But this isn’t the first time. It’s not a unique phenomena that woman- independent, strong women- defer to a man when it comes time to handle money. I’m not talking about paying, I mean literally holding and handing money to someone.

Longtime readers of this blog, at least those who admit to reading this blog, may recall a trip I made back in my teaching days as a chaperone to a bus load of kids touring colleges around Boston. It was led by a very strong-willed female teacher. She set it up, arranged the bus, made hotel reservations, etc. Yet at the end of the trip when it came time to tip the bus driver, she handed me the money to give the driver. Why? She had been dealing with him all along, giving directions, etc. But when it came to handing him some money, this strong and in charge woman decided a man should do it.

Slightly more recently, when I worked at the Company I Am still not allowed to name, I went on a corporate trip with my group to Delaware. It was a miserable trip and you can read about it here. The highlight was the view from my hotel, which was a swamp. We got on a shuttle bus, me sitting behind the driver, one of the group sitting next to me, the boss behind me, the other group member behind her. I was not paying any attention at all until this happened:

When the driver asked where we were from, my boss literally kicked the back of my seat and said “answer him.” I had to ask him to repeat the question since I had totally zoned out as soon as I got on the shuttle, day dreaming about ditching all responsibility and going the heck home.

 

Again, when it came time to deal with a man, my boss, a woman who was not afraid to yell and kick my seat, deferred to a man to answer a question. I wasn’t the spokesman of the group at any other time, before or since, and other than a mumbled “hey” I hadn’t had any interaction with the driver. But when it came time to make small talk, somehow my boss, rather than answer him herself, wanted me to do it. Did I mention I was the only man in the group?

Why? Is this some sort of reverse chivalry? Do they think they are doing me a favor by having me do the stereotypically male things, like tipping and dealing with directions? Is there a kind of reverse feminism at work? I really don’t understand. So ladies, I ask you- what is this odd behavior all about? Is this a throwback to the attitude of some things are men’s work? Is this a set back for feminism? Or is this just the way things are? 

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Workplace Logic

24 Apr

April 24, 2015

They fixed the vending machine in my office yesterday.

This is a big deal.

Last Friday morning, we all arrived at the Company I Am employed by, (subject to change), and found the glass on the vending machine was smashed. Most of the bottom half was in shards on the floor, and the rest was still hanging there, shattered but still clinging together by whatever little cohesion the glass particles still had. I assumed someone tried to rock the machine to get out a stuck candy and it dropped too fast, but the consensus was the someone put their fist through it, and it did sort of look like that since a lot of the cracks seemed to radiate out from a point that was now laying on the floor.

The interesting thing is that it looked like no one had taken a single thing from the pretty much open machine.

Fast forward to Monday morning and the machine was still broken and wide open, but it had been looted over the weekend. About half the rows were empty, and most of the rest were missing most of their goods.

Untouched: Mandarin orange slices.

Fast forward to Tuesday and the machine was still broken and wide open. It was even emptier, but the orange slices were still untouched.8860e954e9ea8480e8c23238e054b395

And then yesterday, the machine was still broken but the Company had installed  a camera pointed directly at the vending machine and a memo went out that some people had been fired for stealing from the open machine.

People were fired for taking trail mix out of a broken vending machine that had been left neglected for days. OK, I admit that it was wrong to take anything from the machine, but to be fired over it?

In the five days since the glass was broken, here is what did NOT happen:

-No one put cardboard, plastic, or anything over the shattered glass. (Shattered glass is, of course, a big safety hazard.)
-No one turned the vending machine to the wall to prevent theft.

And especially bad:

-No one called the vending machine company to fix it. And believe me, the guy who showed up to restock it yesterday was major league pissed about that.

So rather than call the company to fix the machine, my Company installed a camera to catch candy thieves. There is a logic there, no doubt, but it is the kind of logic that usually only makes sense to the federal government.

 

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