When Women Rule the Office

by Beth WiesemannSeptember 6, 2012 

There’s been a long-standing argument that if women ruled the world, we would have much less war and violence. This is a dangerous argument to have in mixed company because inevitably there is one man – obviously, the only unmarried one in the group – who points out that women would be starting wars every time they had PMS. Ha-ha-ha. I think married men understand why I say this is dangerous. They know that you can’t really tell just by looking at a woman if she has PMS. You only really know when a silly comment falls out of your mouth. And by then, it’s too late.

In reality, PMS is nothing to worry about from a global standpoint. War is something that requires daily focus. What kind of war can you truly hope to get going when you only feel like doing it 2 or 3 days a month? No, when it comes to the idea of a woman being more likely to start a war, I would be far more concerned about whether or not the world ever planned on having a 50% Off sale on shoes. Since that’s not really feasible, I think it’s safe to say that women are no more likely to initiate any violent global mayhem than men.

On a much smaller scale, I do think that current statistics on college enrollment disparities along gender lines do seem to indicate that the office will be dominated by women in the future. As for myself, I can tell you that I’ve never worked in an office where men were the majority. I can only imagine what the differences would be.

Right off the bat, I do know that in a male-dominated office, the thermostat would be covered in an inch of dust because it would NEVER have to be touched. It would be set once and forgotten about. My office is filled with women who range in age from mid-20s to....well, let’s just say, a little bit beyond the mid-20s. The actual temperature means absolutely nothing to us. I can have icicles forming around my nose hairs and there will always be at least two women with a fan blasting away on their desks. I’m at that age where a sudden hot sensation could be any number of things. It could be a hot flash, a rage-induced surge of adrenaline, or a broken thermostat. On the bright side, air conditioner repairmen should see this as job security because I’m pretty sure thermostat switches were never meant to be toggled back and forth like a video game joystick.

One thing I’ve come to learn over the years about a female-majority office is that when I walk into the room and see a crowd of women clustered in any part of the room, I know it means one of two things: baby or puppy. Never will you see a look of absolute indifference on a man’s face like when there’s a group of women standing around cooing about something. You could set the baby/puppy right in the middle of a man’s desk and unless it spits up on his tie, a man will continue talking on his phone, whether there’s actually someone at the other end of the line or not. On a personal note, while I’m a sucker for both a baby and a puppy, I have to say that I prefer the puppy. They’re much more likely to happily come to me and let me pick them up. I find some babies to be rather fickle and standoffish in this regard.

In contrast, when I walk into a room and see a group of men gathered around someone’s desk, it means one of two things: You Tube highlights of an amazing play in some sporting event or You Tube highlights of someone doing something stupid that results in a horrible injury. Again, on a personal note, I’ll take the horrible injury every time.

The absolute worst thing about an office full of women is the difficulty to lose weight. This is because women love to plan buffets. A man is never going to think to himself, “hey, next week is Jim’s birthday. I have that dip recipe that I’m dying to make with my new Pampered Chef® hand blender.” I used to think that the reason women love buffets is that we have some deep seated maternal need to feed others. Now I realize it’s because no matter what we might say to the contrary, we don’t really want to see each other lose weight. Admit it ladies. When you wake up in the morning and you can’t zip up your favorite jeans, you don’t want to hear anyone yapping on about the two pounds they lost that week. You’d bake cookies yourself to sabotage everyone, except that you know you’ll eat half of the raw cookie dough while you’re baking. But when someone else brings in cookies, you’re more than happy to encourage everyone else to eat one. Think about it. What’s the first thing you say when someone else refuses to eat a cookie because they’re concerned about their weight? You tell them they’re skinny and shouldn’t worry about their weight. What you’re really thinking is, “go ahead and eat one. Eat more than one. If I can’t zip up my favorite jeans, why should anyone be able to zip up any of their pants?” If I really wanted to be supportive, I’d slap that cookie right out of your hand if I saw you pick it up. Of course, the down side to this idea is that, like men, I can’t tell if you have PMS or not either; therefore, a maneuver like that is liable to get me killed.

I honestly do feel bad for men in the office. (Well, except for that earning more money than women thing, but I digress.)Deep down, men are very private people. What horror they must feel when they have to sit in a room full of women who have a tendency to over share. Yes, we are considerate enough to go into an empty conference room to call the gynecologist to schedule a pap smear. But other than that, we pretty much lay it all out there. Not only will we reveal delicate details about our own bodily functions, we’ll share details about our kids’ bodily functions, our pet’s bodily functions and on an especially bad day, our parents’ bodily functions.

We also like to diagnose each other’s medical ailments. If we don’t know the immediate answer, we’ll pop onto the Internet and thoroughly exhaust every possibility there. Then while doing that, somehow we’ll come across a picture of Brad Pitt without his shirt on and then share that with everyone. Then we’ll look up more pictures of Brad until someone else claims that Ryan Reynolds looks better with his shirt off, which of course, prompts us to then look up several pictures of Ryan Reynolds. Now, if we’re being fair, we wouldn’t like it if a bunch of male co-workers were ranting on about sexy pictures of Katy Perry or Megan Fox. But it’s not because we’re offended; it’s because we know Katy Perry can zip up her favorite jeans and we hate her for it.

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