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Sexism Is Heavy

, , , , , | Working | December 14, 2021

When I was twenty-one in the late 1980s, I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree, and I tried to find work in my field. Alas, jobs were scarce at the time, so, to pay the bills, I became a secretary. I soon learned to not get much respect from my boss and his colleagues. They figured that since I was young and female, I probably didn’t have much in the way of brains. I needed the job, so I gritted my teeth and put up with their sexism.  

One day, I went to grab something from the top drawer of a filing cabinet. I did what I always did: thumb back the release for the drawer and grab the handle with all my strength since it was heavy. For some reason, this time it didn’t “stop” when it was fully extended; it just kept coming, and I found myself with an armful of an extremely heavy file drawer.

Me: “Oh, my God, HELP!”

I got no response.


My boss came ambling out of his office, annoyed.

Boss: “What the h***’s the matter?”


Boss: “Ugh.”

He grabbed the drawer.

Boss’s Colleague: “Geez, is someone torturing a cat out here? What’s with all the noise?”

Boss: “[My Name] had a mishap with this drawer.”

Colleague: “You’re kidding. I didn’t think filing was something that even [My Name] could screw up!”

[Colleague] laughed. [Boss] chuckled. I glowered.

Boss: “Well, you’re okay now, [My Name], so get back to work.”

I was shaky for the rest of the day, not to mention in pain from strained muscles. No word of solace from any of the higher-ups, of course. Fast-forward to a few months later.

Me: “[Boss], I’d like to talk to you for a minute.”

Boss: “Is it important? Because I’m just about to leave for a meeting.”

He grabbed his golf bag as he spoke. Yes, he really did have “meetings” on the golf course that lasted for hours.

Me: “It’s pretty important. I’ve had an offer for another job, and I’m going to take it.”

Boss: *Stares* “Oh.” *Puts the golf bag down* “Where? Doing what? More secretarial stuff?”

Me: “At [Company], as an entry-level computer programmer.”

Boss: *Pauses* “A computer programmer?”

Me: “Yes. Remember my resume? It stated that I have my Bachelor of Computer Science degree.”

Boss: “Oh, yeah. I remember now. But aren’t you happy here?”

I was not touching that one.

Me: “It’s not that. This is what I’ve trained for, and the money’s much better.”

Boss: “I guess there’s nothing I can do to change your mind, then.”

Me: “No, sorry.”

My new job was everything I’d hoped. It was fun, interesting, and well-paid, and my coworkers respected me. As the final icing on the cake, one of those coworkers was the man who eventually became my husband. We’ve now been married for twenty-eight years.

Tell Me How To Say No To This

, , , , , , | Romantic | November 9, 2021

I used to have a male coworker who was a bit… off. One day, he came into work looking very worried.

Coworker: “I’ve got a serious problem. There’s this gorgeous young woman who takes the same morning bus that I do. We’ve gotten to talking, and she’s really nice.”

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Coworker: “I’m married.”

Me: “Dude, are you saying that she’s hit on you?”

Coworker: “Well, no.”

Me: “What do you talk about?”

Coworker: “The weather, stuff like that.”

Me: “That just sounds like polite small talk to me. Why are you so concerned?”

Coworker: “What if she does hit on me? I don’t think I’ll be strong enough to resist because she’s super hot.”

Me: “From what you’ve told me, it sounds like she’s just being friendly. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Coworker: “No, she wants me. I’m sure of it. Oh, God, my marriage will end!”

Me: *Losing my patience* “Here’s a crazy idea. If she does proposition you, say, ‘I’m flattered, but I’m happily married.’”

Coworker: “No, that’s no good. She’s going to come on to me and I won’t be able to say no.” *Sighs heavily* “The only thing I can do is start taking an earlier bus.”

Me: *Giving up* “Good for you, I guess.”

Ah, Men And Amen

, , , , , , , | Working | August 1, 2021

About a year ago, I would regularly go out for coffee with some of my coworkers. I stopped doing so after a while. These two stories are why.

Story #1:

Male Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name], how’s it going?”

Me: “Ehh, been better. My daughter’s boyfriend just broke up with her, so she’s really down.”

Male Coworker #1: “Don’t worry; she’ll find someone else.”

Me: *Touched* “Yeah, I suppose you’re right—”

Male Coworker #1: “Women have a knack for finding their next meal ticket. She’ll have another boyfriend by the end of the week, guaranteed.”

Me: “…”

On another occasion, a different male coworker made some really disgusting, racist comments about a political figure I admire, and when I called him out on it, he insisted that he was “entitled to his opinion.” I got up and walked away.

And I haven’t been back.

Way To Encourage Repeat Customers!

, , , , , , | Working | July 28, 2021

My husband and I go to a sushi restaurant for dinner. We are pretty much sushi newbies, so we just order whatever sounds good. When the time comes to pay…

Me: “I wish I’d taken note of what we’d ordered. It was all great, and I’d like to be able to order it again in the future.”

Husband: *Scrutinizing the bill* “Unfortunately, this isn’t any help; it just has a few hand-written squiggles and a total.”

Server: “Is there anything else I can get you?”

Me: “Yes. We’re just curious — can you tell us what we ordered? We’d like to be able to order it again someday.”

Server: *Condescendingly* “Sushi.”

Me: “Well, yes, but what kind of sushi?”

Server: “Fiiiiish.”

I gave up at that point.

Do You Know What “Volunteer” Means?

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 3, 2021

I used to take part in clinical trials for a little extra cash. The trials were easy; they usually involved visiting the clinic for about an hour a day over a week, testing different lotions on our legs to see how well they moisturized. Everyone who participated had to fill out a form at the very beginning. Apart from the usual disclaimers, it said that we were volunteers and we would be paid a certain amount of money for our time. As far as I was concerned, I was being paid grocery money to do next to nothing, and I was glad for the opportunity.

One day, about halfway through the trial, one of the other participants suddenly spoke up.

Participant: *Loudly* “You know what I just realized? We’re only being paid [total] for [time] hours. That’s not even minimum wage!”

She looked around the room with a self-satisfied expression, obviously expecting us to agree with her. No one said anything. In fact, we all pretty much pretended that we hadn’t heard her. Irritated by the lack of response, she said:

Participant: *Even more loudly* “They’re taking advantage of us! We should ask for more money!”

Along came a clinic employee, and I inwardly cringed. I’d done several of these trials, and I’d seen this lady before. She had NO tolerance for fools.

Employee: “I understand that you have a complaint?”

Participant: “Uh… Well, you’re not even paying us minimum wage.”

Employee: “That’s right. Remember that form you signed which said that you’re a volunteer? Volunteers, as a rule, don’t get paid, but we are paying you [total].”

Participant: “…”

Employee: “So. Do you still have a complaint?”

Participant: *Meekly* “No.”

Employee: “Good.”

She walked away, and I didn’t hear another peep from that participant.