Have you ever experienced sexism in the workplace? It drives me insane. I won’t mention where I work but I have a story to tell. I was hired to work in a predominantly male work environment for a local electricity company. I’m a Payroll Specialist / Human Resources Assistant. It is a fairly small but growing company where I am able to see the owners on a regular basis.
Now before I spill the tea, keep in mind I served 8 years in the Air Force, was deployed to Iraq, and I’m the only girl who has 3 brothers. I say this to say I have some pretty thick skin people. And to be honest, time after time I have tried to make excuses for this sexist behavior. I would tell myself, “He didn’t mean to say that, or that was inappropriate but I’m sure I took it the wrong way.” Well not today dammit! These men went too far.
Today it flooded near my office. The office manager, who happens to be the only other female in the office text me around 7am to ask how bad the flooding was on my side of town. I happen to live closer to the office and she wanted to make sure she could make it to work safely.
Not one time did the owners call or text to give instructions on what to do. It was clear that they expected us to still report to work. But being that some streets were flooded near the office, the office manager contacted the Purchase Order tech to see if he’d made it into the office prior to the Flash Flood Warning. He let the office manager know that the area around the office was now flooded and he was flooded in. The office manager instructed me not to drive into work while it was raining.
She tried reaching out to the owners to update them on the current events. After taking almost an hour to respond, the owner made light of the situation and said he’d be at the office in 30 minutes and upon arrival he’d let us know how bad the flooding was. Once the owner arrived at work we received a text stating there was flooding and multiple wrecks as well as vehicles trapped in water. He asked if we’d wait a couple hours and he’d check to see if the area was clear prior to having us report to work.
At 9 am we were notified that the area was clear and we needed to report to work before lunch, which was 11am. Not only did the owner not check the area, but he laughed when myself and the office manager got stuck driving around trying to find a clear way to the office. Keep in mind all the men that work in the office drive a truck so they were fine, but we would have gotten trapped in our vehicles which he later joked about. Needless to say my fiance was not happy.
We finally arrived to work and tried to get settled in after all the hustle and bustle. The owner avoided myself and the office manager for an hour and then all of a sudden you could have heard a pin drop in the office. The owner had decided to take all the guys to lunch and did not offer to grab us anything, being that we spent the last hour trying to get to work and missed lunch. Without warning he’d decided we didn’t deserve lunch because we reported to work later than the others.
Jokes were being made that the weather wasn’t that bad and we could have swam in. Obviously I didn’t find this funny at all. Why were we being punished for his poor planning? If we’d had an extreme weather plan in place this would have all been avoided. Furthermore these men are filthy. They leave crumbs from their lunch and snacks everywhere. I feel like I work with the cookie monster. But to top that off they have the audacity to expect myself and the office manager to clean it up. I’d die first. And to be honest I feel sorry for their wives. The owners also allow the men in the office to leave early on a regular basis and leave the women to “man” the office and lock up after leaving.
My fiance gets so upset. He knows he would never feel right leaving women in a bldg alone especially with it getting dark so early. But the owners clearly don’t care. When does it stop? When do they stop treating us like we are beneath them or as their servants? When do they realize we deserve the same amount of respect they give their mother?
And when do we put our foot down? How do you tell the owner he’s a sexist pig? Maybe that’ll be mentioned in my exit interview…