Here’s the thing, I had this whole post in my head yesterday about International Women’s Day and I started writing it, and it felt really……….flat to me.
So instead, I read some great stuff, got inspired by a lot, and generally appreciated the positivity that I saw in many places about the impact of women on the economy, and the world as a whole.
There were also plenty of jackasses who just had to comment and post on things they know nothing about, but I mostly tried to ignore them, consider the source, and go on about my day.
I have experienced discrimination in the workforce because of my gender and been on the receiving end of a lot of disrespect, harassment, and overall condescension at times not just in the workplace, but in churches, and other public settings. I’m not writing about this to whine. I’m just telling you like it is. It is a fact that these things have happened to me. And if they’ve happened to me, logic says that they’ve happened other places, to other women.
But, as Forest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.” (today)
Today I want to say this: while I have worked in some less than desirable situations, with some very condescending men, I have also worked with and for some really good ones.
I was talking to one of my bosses today, who reads my blog, and he told me he always checks it to make sure I haven’t written anything about him.
Well, here you are.
The thing that I’ve always tried to remember about my bosses, men and women alike, is that they are just people. While I respect them, I don’t fear them. They pay me to do a job and as long as I’m doing that, I don’t think I have any reason to feel intimidated by the authority that they have.
This boss has known me for a long time. He’s always been someone that I felt I could approach and talk to, and he’s a good-natured, personable, considerate person. I also understand that, because of his position, there are times when he can’t come across that way. And I don’t envy his job.
Now before everybody calls me a brownnoser, remember that I write about people on this blog all the time. People I like, and…………other people. This fellow I speak of and I do not always agree on things. He knows that I’m not afraid to tell him when I don’t agree with him anymore than he’s afraid to tell me when he disagrees with me.
I feel like there’s mutual respect.
I don’t assume it, I believe it. Because he shows me in the way he listens to what I have to say whether he agrees with me or not.
When he asks for something, he says please.
He uses my name when he sends me an email and I’ll tell you something people, I’ve had people, men and women, just shoot over an email with something they need without a greeting, using my name, no please, no thank you. And it pisses me off. Because I expect the same courtesy that I show others and I don’t treat people like they’re nobodies.
The fact that this boss sets the tone of his requests to me with respect and appreciation makes me want to do the very best that I can do for him, because of the courtesy he’s shown me.
Yes, I get paid to work and I do what I’m supposed to do, but it’s a much more pleasant experience for everyone when someone who doesn’t have to, just by the nature of his authority, offer these niceties, and does it anyway.
I’ve made some mistakes in my job. He could have thrown a fit about some of them. But he didn’t. Quite the opposite, he was encouraging and understanding.
He also has a tender heart, though I think he often tries to conceal it with his business face.
I know, because at a very different and difficult time in my life, many years ago, he helped me. And you’ve never known true humility until you’ve called your boss crying, a new baby at home, a wrecked vehicle in a body shop, a husband in the ER, and no way of knowing how you’re going to pay your bills.
And there was no judgment in his voice that day. No lecture. I worked for a bank for Pete’s sake, I should know how to manage my money. He didn’t say that. He just helped me. And he was kind. And I have never forgotten that.
I have high-strung bosses and laid back bosses and generally just take the perspective that I work for everyone. I try to treat coworkers like I work for them whether I do or not, because everybody could use a little more respect. I also stand up for myself when necessary, but I find that it’s generally not, not often.
I get flustered and aggravated with my work just like anyone else, but it’s the people you work with and for that make all the difference in having a good job or a great job. And while the nature of my profession is usually pretty negative, the people I work with and for can be very, very awesome.
Even the boss. Some days, especially the boss, because, I have to say, he has been incredibly supportive and encouraging to me in my writing.
Not everyone is.
Some people pass it over altogether, some people don’t read it, but he understands that this is something that’s extremely important to me and anyone that gets that……well, they have my wholehearted appreciation.
So yes, yesterday was International Women’s Day. And I’m proud, so PROUD, to be a woman. To work with amazing women. To have been raised with and by amazing women. To just know so many fantastic and wonderful females.
But I told my daughter something yesterday: Women are not “less than” men. It’s true. But I don’t believe men are “less than” women, either. I believe there are still great strides to be made in the everyday battles women face for equality in certain parts of life. And as thankful as I am for the women I know, I’m just as thankful for the men. Like this boss who has been part of my life, career, and husband’s career for the last 15 or so years.
Is he perfect? Heck no. Do I want to dance on his head sometimes? Sure. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. But he is a good guy. One I’m thankful to call boss. And friend.