Friday, July 28, 2006

The Benefits of Shunning Diversity

Working in a male dominated company is a mixed bag. While my inner feminist weeps, I have to admit it has some benefits. For example, there is the fun of watching your boss squirm and nervously fidget in extreme discomfort as you calmly explain why you are requesting a private office to express your breastmilk because otherwise you intend to do it in your open cube (note only middle management gets the benefit of "immersion with staff to promote openness". Senior management is locked away in a separate wing with full offices). Lets face it, for a mother returning to work bleary-eyed after maternity leave, and after nursing an infant 52 times a day at all hours of the day and night, your squeamishness on openly discussing breastfeeding fades. In these types of male dominated environments, lactation rooms are not real high on the priority list, though we proudly offer foos ball tables, slurpie machines, and streaming media of sporting events. You have to essentially freak out the men enough to the point at which they say- fine! Take it! Just stop talking about female body parts! (now if you want to *show* me some, that’s a different story). So as long as you can say "engorgement" without flinching, the world can be your oyster.

Another benefit is that there are less people in the ladies room. While two men chatting their way into the men's room is a common sight, there is a less common, awkward pause as a man realizes he has "caught you in the hallway" on your way to the ladies room and you aren’t intending to abandon your trip to chat with him. They tend to freeze with a look of confusion about 5 feet away from the door, as if they have been zapped by a canine invisible fence. This always makes me smile as I sail through the door, unaccompanied. As far as I am concerned, the less people in the bathroom, the better. I can't understand those people that want to make small talk in the bathroom. If I had my way, all bathroom stalls would have those full floor to ceiling walls and doors. Substantial enough that the post office would probably deliver your mail there if you slapped a number on it. Stuck with our flimsy metal dividers, I want to get out of there as soon as possible. I will only talk to people in the bathroom in extreme circumstances, like if I am with friends and I don’t want them to know that I’m neurotic. Otherwise, shut up.

1 comment:

elisa said...

Oh, i totally agree with you on the floor to ceiling door idea for public restrooms! i hate people that chat while you're urinating. Ugh. That's just disgusting!

I used to work in a female dominated office and that was the norm!

I love the dressing rooms at the mall where the door comes all the way down, i find that to be one of the best places to go nurse my baby and change my toddler! LOL