Dealing with women in the workplace

In a recent discussion on this blog, related to my (satirical) post Guide to dressing like a loser, a reader remarked that the best way of dealing with women in the workplace was to “friend zone” them. I don’t think this is a good approach at all, but maybe my interpretation of the friend zone is different from others’. In my view, being in the friend zone means being a woman’s little bitch: emotional tampon, walking wallet, factotum, mover — all rolled up in one. You probably don’t want to be any of that to any woman.

So, let’s take a step back and consider the options. Well, the best one is to work in a field in which there are not many women at all because, quite frankly, if you work in a women-dominated industry you are fucked. Even just having a minority of women can be a real drain. Raise your hand if you ever witnessed a woman cry at work in an attempt to either get attention or get her way, for instance in order to get out of having to do something she didn’t feel like doing. Yeah, I thought so. I’ll let you in on a secret: not even women like working with women.

So, let’s assume you didn’t go into teaching, PR, HR, or any other bullshit field out there. Instead, you’re “da man” and wave your accounting, finance, or STEM degree around, or you learnt a trade. You may still have to deal with women at work, though. First things first: do not try to bang a female boss, coworker, report, or customer. Female customers are a bit of a grey zone. If you have female reports, it’s only a matter of time until one will hit on you. Keep your dick in your pants, Jose! Banging a coworker means drama. Even worse is when a female coworker hits on you. I’ll have a story on that in a moment. Oh, and if you bang your boss, you better have a plan B.

We have now established that you should avoid entering a female-dominated industry and if you can’t do that, for whatever reason, then don’t try to get laid at work, and don’t become any woman’s bitch either. But what else should you do? It’s quite simple: just don’t engage them. No, don’t be a dick, but if some chick happens to bump into you at the water cooler over and over, don’t make any small talk. You’re busy and on your way. You’re there to work anyway. If you have lunch with your colleagues, don’t sit down next to a female colleague, if possible. Don’t do any small talk, don’t ask her how her work is going. If you have to collaborate, keep it professional. On a related note, don’t ever pick up her slack. That’s something I’ve seen quite a few times: women who rather spend time on Facebook than getting her work done, and since you are “so good at this, couldn’t you just do?”. No, you fucking can’t because no matter what it is, your plate is full. Of course you are polite in all your interactions. If keep an anonymous blog as a creative outlet, then feel free to use as many expletives as you like.

Quite frankly, a lot of this is self-protection. At my current job, for instance, they have a protocol for yearly evaluation meetings with your manager, and one of the topics is “sexual harassment”. Yes, it’s a standard item they have to cover, according to “corporate policy”. I think this is completely bonkers. So, how do you avoid problems? Well, that’s simple: keep your distance. Don’t joke, don’t flirt, don’t ask your female colleagues anything about their private lives, and don’t share details about your boring existence with any of them either. Don’t get drunk together at a corporate party or a business lunch. Oh, and don’t party with your colleagues on weekends either. Keep your private life separate. It’s pretty basic, if you think about it.

I was teasing you guys before, so I’ll regale you with not one but two stories of female colleagues putting me in a difficult position. Both encounters happened years ago, but they taught me some good lessons. The first was with a woman in her late 20s I shared an office with. Let’s call her X. There were only two other dudes in that room, so it was better than the typical “bullpen” setting. Our group infrequently had lunch together. One fine day, X wanted to have lunch early, the other guys were stuck in a meeting, and she wondered if I wanted to join her for lunch. Looking back, I should have seen myself frantically waving a red flag. Yet, I thought that, well, she’s a colleague so whatever… We had lunch, and as it was a warm day, and working hours were flexible, we ended up sitting in a park. After some moments, and quite surprisingly for me, in fact, she hopped on my lap and asked me whether I wanted to massage her shoulders. That was a seriously messed up situation, and not just because I really didn’t find her attractive. I gave her a half-assed shoulder massage for about half a minute and said that we should probably get back to work. Well, guess what happened then? She felt rejected, stopped greeting me, and one of the consequence was that she tried interfering with my work by doing her best to get some drama off the ground, thankfully rather incompetently. Bitching about me to my manager behind my back was just the start. Glory days!

I learnt my lesson, but not well enough, apparently, as I ended up in another tricky situation some time later. I had a colleague in a different department, she was in her early 30s, but still very hot. It didn’t take much to conclude that she must have been very popular with the guys when she was in her prime. I didn’t even say much to her, albeit she once had to let me know that I’m “very tall”, and somehow she managed to slip into a conversation that she was “only 32”. Whenever we crossed paths in one of the hallways, she gave me a warm smile, and I smiled back. Basic courtesy, right?

One fine afternoon I went to the kitchen to get some coffee, and, by some strange coincidence, moments later she appeared next to me. She wore a deep-cut dress, nothing overly slutty, still kind of “professional” but certainly one of the riskier outfits I’ve seen in an office environment. So, she stands next to me, far too close for my taste, says hi, smiles, then giggles, and then I noticed that she was flushing, i.e. she was getting sexually aroused by standing next to me, in a corner in the kitchen. Whatever skin area of her torso wasn’t covered by her dress I noticed turning light red. Then she assumed a submissive pose by looking down and making eye contact immediately afterwards. This made me feel rather uncomfortable. Even worse was that I really did find her very attractive. The amount of sexual tension between us was palpable massive.

Of course, I should never have given her any kind of encouragement at all. I slightly panicked because I had some vague ideas about how such situations normally play out. There was no way I was going to make a move — despite my enormous hard-on, which my slacks were only inadequately hiding — but there was the very real chance that she would make a move. If you’re getting ready to start fapping, I have to disappoint you, though, because instead of pulling it off Sleazy-style, lifting up her dress and banging her on the table while on the clock, I felt like a pussy and hurried off. Things were pretty awkward between the two of us for a couple of weeks afterwards.

Yeah, working with women can be really exciting. Even better is that whenever a woman hits on you it’s totally fine and never a case of sexual harassment. That’s yet another double standard. So, keep your distance, and act like a professional.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below, but keep the comment policy in mind.
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5 thoughts on “Dealing with women in the workplace

  1. This was an excellent post, with a very nice ending! On that note, do you have any plans of putting out another volume filled with “sleazy stories”? I wouldn’t mind reading some more of them.

  2. There have been a few studies suggesting that incidences of sexual harassment is not significantly impacted upon by the gender of the supervisor. The number of men complaining about inappropriate behaviour by female superiors was roughly in line with the percentages of women in positions of authority.

    I have had a lot of different bosses, and back during my education it was quite common for people to talk about how having more women in positions of power would be a good thing as women were better at dealing with people, more mindful of stakeholders, more empathic, etc. etc. I never actually observed this in practice, either in academia or the business world. Some women were better at giving an intial impression of being more “warm and fuzzy” but it was often a facade. As well, in offices that were predominantly female, there often was more interpersonal conflict than the norm.

  3. “This was an excellent post, with a very nice ending! On that note, do you have any plans of putting out another volume filled with “sleazy stories”? I wouldn’t mind reading some more of them.”

    Would appreaciate that as well. Especially stories that didnt happen or started in night clubs, but in “normal” settings like a nice waitress you see when taking a coffee break.

    But back to topic: Thus far i had worked in more than a handful companies in different industries and with different superiors. Worst experiences where when my boss was a woman and most colleagues where women as well. Touching in front of everyone or saying filthy things was daily business.
    Currently i work for a company where most colleagues and superiors are men. One women actually did try to hit on me on our christmas party when she passed by with her beer and caressed my butt. She’s good looking, does a lot of sports and has a tongue piercing. Maybe i ask her out for coffee, get her number an meet her after work…Lets see how it envolves 😉

  4. Nice post, Sleazy. Friend zone can be defined broadly… hopefully when men tell other guys to only “friend zone” a female work colleague, they simply mean to not bang that female work colleague no matter how tempting.

    Don’t sink your dink in the office ink!

    As for women in the workforce, I’ve seen good and bad. Rarely do people point out how women can game the system. Maternity leave is my favourite hypocrisy. Femmies will decry how women going on maternity leave “lose out” because the miss out on promotion opporunties, face time at work, etc. (Yet completely ignoring the fact that these new moms are, gasp, taking a year off from work.)

    I’ve known many professional women who’ve popped out a few babies. On their LinkedIn profile, you would never know, of course. Their profile shows that they’ve been a constant employee at ABC Inc. for five years…but this hides the one-year maternity leave[s] they took during that time.

    How is this important? Well, some professions are paid based on “years of experience”. So a woman with supposedly five years’ experience (but 1-3 mat leaves under belt) is going to be getting the same pay level as another person with same years of experience but NO mat leaves.

    How’s that for pay equity gap?

    1. In some European countries there are laws according to which promotions and pay raises, if they are standardized and based on tenure, have to be granted to women on maternity leave. If you ask a woman during an interview whether she intends to get pregnant, it’s discrimination (and she can of course lie). Once she has her tenured job — it’s very difficult in most of Europe to fire someone — she can pump out as many kids as she wants and basically make VP with her uterus.

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