Women

Guest post by my girlfriend: 58-year-old woman devotes her life to a humdrum job

A topic that used to come up quite a bit in my conversations with my girlfriend was the belief of some women that they could have it all, i.e. a career and a fulfilling family life. As we all know, this just won’t work out. I also pointed out to her that old single women are tragic figures. While men often have hobbies they devote a lot of time and energy to, women are rarely that single-minded. Thus, the question is what they would do if they fail at securing a husband and having a kid. Some turn into crazy cat ladies. Others devote their life to a questionable cause. My cutie is currently dipping her toes into working the private sector. In this context, she met a woman whose very existence is an example of the latter.

I recently encountered the pitiful case of an aging, #strongandindependent woman at my workplace. To be fair she didn’t personally express such “woke” views, but I think I saw and heard enough to infer that she comes close enough to the stereotype. Let’s call her Gladys. Gladys’ title is “Administration Manager”, but that just means HR. I’ve seen her handle a range of tasks from more stuffy matters like employment paperwork, to the most trivial answering of the annoying chime of the doorbell in our open-plan office. Oh, she also gets the company’s owner his coffee! Have I mentioned that she totally adores him? I’ll get to that again later. Having been employed by the company for 15 years when it’s been around for 17, she’s virtually a dinosaur and by far its longest-serving employee.

It’s this long-time service that she takes great pride in, and her status in the company is reflected by the fact that she has the luxury of one of only three personal offices in the entire office. Apart from her, the owner (of course) and the Managing Director, everyone else has to suck it up in an open plan office.

Gladys is the sort of woman who likes to have her voice heard, speaks unnecessarily loudly, and cackles in a childish and high-pitched manner when no joke has been made. She also over-shares and as a result I get to hear a lot about her, unsolicited. My jaw dropped when she proudly told me of how she puts in 12 to 13-hour days and has been doing so for years, even at her previous employers. She typically comes into the office at 7am and leaves at around 7pm. When I learnt of this, the question “Do you have a husband and children?” immediately formed on the cusp of my lips, but I had the good sense to stop myself from uttering it for fear of triggering something in her, and making life hard for myself in this company. Gladys justifies her long hours by saying that she’s always been motivated by the desire for her boss to be proud of her work. Hence, she constantly goes the extra mile. According to her, it’s not a legacy that she wants to leave behind, but the simple wish for people to speak well of her whenever she comes to their mind.

I kid you not, but she’s gushed to me about how the owner is “a wonderful human being” and how “we’ve been through a lot together.” She then proceeded to explain to me how she had expended painstaking effort to earn his respect and trust in the fledgling days of the business, and now that their partnership has come this far, she can “literally” ask him for anything and he will provide. It is as though her biological instinct to nurture was applied to the growth of the company (which is grudgingly commendable, by the way) instead of children, and that her high admiration of its owner parallels an innate feminine desire to look up to a lifelong partner. This was truly bizarre to witness. But of course, that’s probably just my internalised misogyny speaking!

I’m quite certain that it’s going to hit her hard when she retires. That at the end of the day, the company she gave all of her waking hours to for two decades or so — moves on and runs as usual. Oh, think about the feeling of being replaced and the sense of loss! Her purported goal to be spoken well of by friendly acquaintances in the corporate world just rings utterly hollow. It’s astonishing, and I don’t get why she doesn’t see that. Even if this were to be achieved, which, given what I know, does sound quite plausible, what does it matter if she has to walk into the sunset alone? As Donald Trump would phrase it: Sad!


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24 thoughts on “Guest post by my girlfriend: 58-year-old woman devotes her life to a humdrum job

  1. She doesn’t seem like a bad person at all. Here this woman has made a productive living, takes pride in her work and dedication–not a welfare sponge, not popping out kids on the dole. Western society would be much better off with more people like her.

    1. That is an interesting perspective on that matter. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that her priorities are misplaced?

  2. In previous centuries, women like her would be nuns.

    I tried to comment about this on one of the Jordan Peterson posts on the other blog but apparently the comment didn’t go through and I can’t really be bothered writing it again.

    But IMO, celibacy is pretty normal human behaviour, whether forced or voluntary. In Buddhist and Catholic/Orthodox countries there was always a substantial celibate religious population and IIRC there are statistics showing that about 10-20% of even the US population born around the early 20th century never reproducing.

    I think living a celibate life while working in a corporate environment is probably much less fulfilling than living such a life in accordance with one’s spiritual ideals, and being able to read and meditate, but maybe that’s my personal bias.

    1. What was the issue with your previous comments? I just checked the spam folder of the Aaron S. Elias blog. There was nothing.

    2. If my comments have been really lengthy they sometimes won’t go through. So I just have to shorten them and reply.

  3. Might have been on my end because I was typing on my tablet and the connection might have been intermittent. Anyway, not a big problem.

  4. My “testing” comment went through, but my lengthy post still does not. Is there a length limit to replies in this engine?

    1. I saw your ‘testing’ post in the moderation queue.

      There is no length limit as far as I am aware of. Could you please send me your post via email to ‘aaron.s.elias (at) yandex.com’? I’d like to have a look.

    2. Martin, there is indeed a length limit. 3 paragraphs will time out, so keep it short to 1 paragraph or so. Ive encountered this for months now.
      It must be some kind of bug though, as Aaron seems unaware.

    3. I looked some more into this issue, and posted a 1,000 word comment consisting of multiple paragraphs. It took a while to process, but it went through without a problem.

    4. It could be that the limit is more than 1000 words. I dont remember how many words I needed to get a timeout. Very weird bug. Does it work at 10.000 words?

    5. I’d say if this blog times out when you submit a 10,000 word comment, it’s not a bug but a feature.

    6. Jon, you’re concern trolling. Based on your posting history, it is exceedingly rare for you to write long comments. Consequently, I simply don’t believe you when you claim that you have encountered this problem.

    7. Im not trolling. In fact the experience feels similar to being blocked from posting, so it took me a while to find out I was not blocked because I randomly posted a small comment. So then I never post any long comments just in case. Because all my long comments time out. Thus absence of long comments is proof Im telling the truth. And it happened on both laptop and phone. I had these amazing rebuttals that I simply threw away, sad.
      Or do you think Martin is lying too?

    8. See, that is why I know you’re lying, because a timeout results in a 404 error. If you were blocked, you would get a notification about that. Furthermore, a block would be permanent, not random.

      I would believe you if you emailed me a long comment that I could not post myself.

      Certainly, the absence of long comments does not prove anything. Don’t be retarded. The next time a comment does not go through, email it to me. I’d love to have a look at all those “amazing rebuttals.” Your posting history does not support you in that matter, though.

      I believe Martin more than you, due to the fact that you have a history of concern trolling.

    9. I already deleted my rebuttals. In fact I thought the blocking of long posts was a secret measure to block ppl you didnt like from posting, like me. Being suspicious of you for that reason, ofcourse I would not mailed you about the bug even though Ive known about it for months. I simply assumed it was intended for the longest time and not a bug.

      Nope, Im speaking the truth here. Just because we disagree on alot of topics doesnt make me a concern troll. Im actually quite the virtuous person in real life, I have alot of empathy for others, Im a good person that thought to helpout Martin. I will make this post the last one on this matter, as it looks like Alek already resolved it and discussing it further is not interesting to me. Seriously I thought I was the smartest person in this room, but I was seriously impressed by Aleks knowledge just now. Props to Alek.

      And sure technically speaking its not a timeout, but dont go grammar nazi on me now, my accuracy slips when Im busy, so some of my posts can be of lower quality. Grammar nazis are almost just as annoying as real nazis.

    10. So all your long rebuttals didn’t go through, but somehow your three-paragraph comments like this one do. Also, look up the meaning of the word ‘grammar’. It does not mean what you think it does.

    11. I’ve had the problem for months. Lost many good lenghty comments.

      Basically the wp-comments php file times out while processing the comment and crashes. That’s typically due to resource restrictions on a webhost. They are cutting some corner somewhere to save money. This results in time outs like these.

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