January 8, 2009


Let's start off on the same page: the exclamation point in the title is not one of excitement, but of the type of complete, at-the-end-of-your-rope utter frustration I'm sure every woman experiences about men at some point in her lifetime. Why am I so frustrated? Let me count the ways.

1. Office temperature. My (male) bosses seem to think that 61 is an appropriate office temperature all year round. In my and my frozen coworkers' opinions, it is never an appropriate office temperature. All year round I have to wear a coat to work because I will likely end with hypothermia if I don't. I know we don't really have a winter here, but during our approximation of that wonderful season, I have to wear gloves to work so my fingers don't turn into ice cubes and fall off while I attempt to work. I bought an electric kettle so I could have a hot drink any time without having to leave my office.
So my coworkers and I adapt. Some of them adapt with electric heaters. Which my bosses are opposed to, because they are dangerous (we can still have them, though, because the CEO is female and understands). The obvious solution? Set the temperature at about 72, year round, and get fans! Duh! But is that what happens? No, of course not, because heaven forbid they have to have a fan running when we have an air conditioning system. Our office power bill? About $1,000 a month, year round, and this is a one level office, 6000 sq.ft. My house is 1600 sq.ft., and our power bill is usually less than $100. A simple estimate puts the office power bill at $375. Even if we doubled that, it would save us $3000 per year.They want to cut costs (as always), but heaven forbid it start with the power bill.

2. Bosses who need checking up on. That's right, one of my bosses actually tells us to bug him about getting things done. Why? Because he has 'so much on his plate' he 'forgets'. Here's my question: why should it be my or anyone else's job who is not specifically an assistant to make sure the boss gets his work done?! We have our own work to do and projects to remember all the details on. No one is helping us. We make lists and put reminders on a calendar. If we forget to do something, we get our heads get bitten off. When he forgets to do something, he doesn't get in trouble, we do! He does not have an assistant, but he shouldn't need one. That's what Outlook calendars, PDAs, and to do lists are for! Everyone else has to make do (including the other boss, who does just fine).

3. Men who don't listen. Specifically, I'm talking about my husband, and I'm not talking about me saying something and him forgetting when I ask him about it a week later. He doesn't actually listen to what I say. I can be in the same room with him, looking at him, and speaking at a normal (or even loud) volume. I finish what I'm saying, and generally expect a response. Do you know what response I get? Myself, asking him if he heard me. To my and his knowledge, he doesn't have physical hearing problems. He hears me just fine if he wants to interrupt me (and when he does is about the only time I know he's listening). When I ask him if he heard me, most of the time he says "no, I'm sorry". Sometimes he mixes it up by saying "I'm sorry, no". Here's the kicker: when I don't say anything, he notices, and asks me what's wrong, or gets mad because I'm "just sitting there like a bump on a log". Then, when I say he never listens to what I say, he develops amnesia and denies it, and gets even madder because I dare suggest that he commits such an atrocity.

And finally:
4. Men making inappropriate statements around me. Two specifics here: my husband and my father-in-law. My husband is less annoying in this because he's my husband, and our level of familiarity is expected. So when he talks about things related to the toilet, or his digestive tract, or any number of other disgusting things, I understand a little. I still let him know that it's disgusting and he needs to remember that I'm a Lady (yes, in the old sense of the word;that's how I think of myself), and he needs to treat me as such, but I do understand a little.
For his father (who is much, much worse) there is no excuse. I am his daughter-in-law, not his friend, and he needs to remember that. He regularly asks me if I would like to bathe him, leans up against me, and talks about his doctor appointments, my husband and I sleeping together, his 'ding-a-ling' (no, I am not making that up) and generally acts like a lewd old man. Which, in my opinion, is what he is. Beyond the occasional lean and his 'jokes' (yes, he actually thinks it's funny to talk about those things), he has never actually done anything inappropriate toward me, and I don't think he would, but the thought has crossed my mind. No doubt he would take offense at that, but my opinion is that when you act the part questions are bound to be asked. Especially considering that he does speak about these things around his grandchildren. I grant that they are only 3 and 1, but that shouldn't matter. Especially with the three-year-old, they are getting old enough pick up on this kind of thing, and they don't need that. They are both female, and could easily learn that it's okay for other males to speak about it because "Pawpaw" does. That is not going to lead them into anything good. Does he care or even understand that? I doubt it, and it scares me, especially for my own children.

Those are my main complaints about men for now. I could go on, but you're probably already wondering if this post will ever end. Let me help you out: The End!


Outnumbered2to1 said...

Okay, I had a similar issue with my fil and I will tell you, just lead by your example. I can not even tell you the change that has transpired in that family and I adore him now. He is so respectful and loving and realized that I was not going to entertain his crud jokes.

Oh, and on the office temp...my husband does HVAC design so by default, everyone comes to him to complain about the temperature in the office. He designed the system and he set it in zones to maximize control. Still, there are issues.

Ross said...

That post was funny! Even if you may not be laughing. Yeah, you're f.i.l seems a bit off... oh well.

SabrinaT said...

Yikes! my husband is driving me a bit nutty these days as well!!