Women’s Workplace Conflict
A few days ago, I was at one of my corporate client companies, consulting away as usual in my day job. A man and a woman were talking in the hallway right outside the office I was working in. They were discussing a work issue. A third coworker arrived, a woman, and asked the man a question about some paperwork. The man turned to the woman and gave her a very curt answer. He wasn’t rude. Just very curt. You know the way some guys get when they’re in “work mode” and aren’t super polite? Like that.
The woman glared at him and walked back to her office. Later I was told the reason the guy was curt was that four other people had bothered him about the same thing that day, and his patience was wearing a little thin. I’ll say again that while the guy could have been a little nicer, he was not rude to this woman.
A little while later, another coworker, a woman who had absolutely nothing to do with any of this, went to the now angry woman’s office to ask her a question about what she wanted done with a certain piece of paperwork. The now angry woman screamed, “I don’t give a shit what you do with it!”, then physically pushed the woman out of her office, and slammed the door loudly.
Of course the woman was bewildered at why she did that, and was now a little pissed off herself. For the rest of the day she was growling to herself, “Get your hands off me.” Being a woman, she immediately told everyone else in the office what had just happened, including me. I had already heard the entire thing, being just a few offices down the hall.
For the rest of the day, the angry, coworker-shoving, door-slamming woman hid away in her office with the door shut, and refused to answer the incoming calls to the office, which was her job.
For the rest of the day, people had to scramble to answer all the massive amounts of incoming phone calls because Ms. Angry refused to do what she was being paid to do. For the rest of the day, the morale of the entire office was in the gutter, with everyone gossiping, complaining, and being frightened to go talk to the original guy or either of the now two angry women. For the rest of the day, everyone in the office avoided the coworker-shover, even if they needed her input on key work issues.
Well, so what? What’s that have to do with women? Men lose their shit at work too!
I knew you’d say that.
For those of you who have ever worked in an office environment, take a minute and reflect on a few questions.
How many times have you seen a woman cry at work?
How many times have you seen a man cry at work?
How many times have you seen a woman get pissed and lose her shit at work?
How many times have you seen a man get pissed and lose his shit at work?
Want some more? I’ve got more.
How many times have you seen a woman gossip at work for long stretches about drama when she should have been working?
How many times have you seen a man gossip at work for long stretches about drama when he should have been working?
Here’s a HUGE one…
How many times have you seen a woman talking to her kids on the phone when she should have been working?
How many times have you seen a man talking to his kids on the phone when he should have been working?
By the way, what would have happened if a man had physically put his hands on a coworker and shoved him/her out of his office? Moreover a coworker who had absolutely nothing to do with the reason he was upset?
I have said before that I enjoy working with women and woman can be very effective in the workplace, and I stand by that. Of course men do drama at work and waste time on social activities when they should be working. But if you compare them to women, it’s no contest. As a professional consultant I have worked in the offices of hundreds of different companies over the last 25 years of my life, and I can tell you for a fact that women do this way more than men. It’s not even close.
There is no solution to this problem. This is how women are. Women don’t have the logic or emotional control to say “Okay, I’m at work now. I can’t cry or lose my shit. I’ll have to wait until I’m home to do that.” So instead people just cower away from it and accept it.
Yes, men lose their shit too, but men do it less often because A) they have a little more emotional control and tend to be more task-oriented (rather than feeling-oriented) than women and B) men know that if they lose their shit, they’re going to be called out on it, and likely punished for it. With women in the workplace this is often not the case.
Oh well. This all reminds me why I don’t have employees any more. Thank goodness.