Someone at work trying your patience? Your boss using you for a punching bag and not a sounding board after an ass whooping by his miserable wife last night? To top it all, the office boy brings you the wrong cup of tea when you asked for coffee instead? Those are certainly ingredients to a perfectly sucky day. Not one for the impatient/reactive kind indeed.

How must one handle such a day? Well for starters make sure to expect your day to go downhill and only in that direction once you get a slight preview at the beginning of that awful day. Next, tell yourself, over and over and over again and over if need be, that this too shall pass. Lastly and most importantly, remember that when this day passes, there will be a lot of embarrassed faces who will have lost their cool and you don’t want to be one of them so if currently it feels like you’re being disrespected and made a joke out of, it can be corrected just the way you like but in time. That specific day, however, is not time yet for corrections so let things roll out the way they are.

My largest concern at work has always been how well the senior most staff member is treated by the head of the department and in contrast how the kitchen boy or the office boy in that work place is treated. For all women it is important that the kind of work environment they accept to function in, has a proper work ethics system. Where women are treated as equals and not lesser. In my case, I prefer to work in a place where women are treated as such equals. And that no man has to prove his superiority to me and in another instance not suffer from inferiority complex from me. Yes, its true. Not all women go through the same experiences. There’s one kind, which is most of my friends: The Damsel at Work. Then there’s the other kind, I am part of this category: Misinterpreted Lioness. Both of the kinds suffer from male ego, one way or another.

All women at work are aware of the fact that the tasks given to them have to be met, but the male ego keeps pestering her to remember to do it, undermining her ability to do it and once she has finally done it, finding an excuse to continue to make her miserable by finding, if not making up, a flaw in her execution of that task.

I have not been able to relate to many women about the strange experiences I’ve had with the not-so-fairer sex. Well for starters, most men at work hit on me, oddly I don’t scare them at first glance. If Im lucky I find a father figure at work, whom I can hide behind if im not feeling much like a lioness. :p jokes. These men, who were hitting on me initially, end up either accepting me for the work colleague that I am and just that or being constantly effected by me negatively whether I intend to make them feel that way or not. They will either feel they’re not good enough for me to talk to, because my work ethic says im not here to make friends. They feel im too strong-headed, because ive got my head buried under the piles of work and don’t spare time for idle chit-chat ever. Sometimes simply, they feel their manhood is at stake because I am calling the shots. I don’t get what it is about men and superiority complex that only a woman can listen to a man directing her about how a task is to be executed. When a woman carries out the same role, he will hesitate which tells me how incapable man is because he can’t help himself follow a simple work ethic. I have failed to let my colleagues know that I wont celebrate soon after they’ve carried out the task. I wish I could tell them that their imagination in which I am jumping from one wall to the other with a huge grin on my face celebrating the female’s victory over male ego, is only their imagination. Id have to give these men the kind of importance that no man has yet deserved from me. Hence, there is absolutely no chance that Id have the capacity at work to dwell in such childish joys. Yes I enjoy getting to the finish line before any colleague of mine in a task to meet targets. But that’s just my competitive nature and it applies to both sexes. Those that end up accepting me for a smart work colleague don’t try their luck too many times after an initial failure, thank God. Among this kind, some try to be too friendly which is responded with blank stares by me followed by a meagre forced smile. I thoroughly enjoy doing that.

No work place is perfect, neither more professional nor more ethical. But one has to try to remain as best one professionally can and ethically correct. No doubt women have it harder than most men in the work environment. Try as we may we can never be treated the same. But hey, trying never hurt anybody, plus point at hand, we can turn on the female charm when we want. Before the male lot raises fingers, let it be publicly known: Men set this precedent as legitimate themselves. WE do it because YOU have made us believe that WE CAN.

On an average Monday morning like most, sometimes Wednesdays, keeping your cool and as one of my old friends says, remembering that there are all sorts of people you are forced to interact with at work, will help you get by smoothly. Afterall, its called work for a reason, we can’t choose characters in and of the work environment to our preferences. But if you got out on the wrong side of the bed or your boss did, if you have not slept well or are dealing with personal issues that you don’t even have the time to address due to your strenuous work routine, which is basically all your life has become. Then owing to the demands of financial stability and career prospects, taking time off is out of the question. Here’s what you do on most days that aren’t going like you hoped it would.

Your recipe for success: First, a dash of just being nice, no matter how much you’d prefer to fire your verbal spear at someone’s jugular. Next, a pinch of remembering the day (the only day) that you, too, were possibly this annoying and third, a hearty dollop of self-control.

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Comments
  1. Nida S Malik says:

    I like your recipe for success although I have one of my own that I use for myself and that keeps me going.

    “A hearty dollop of self-control” – that’s by far the best one.

  2. Alexie says:

    LOL. I laughed so hard in places. Very well written and spot on, Maha. We experience the same beyond Pakistan borders.

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