Women- Know Your Limits!

Farewell to the misogynistic east..

Well ladies, hope you have your pinnie on. Rustled up a batch of scones before breakfast? Waved your husband off to the office before a busy morning of embroidery and The Daily Mail?

Sadly, I am not one of these ladies, and I work for a living. I have developed and managed several successful businesses. I can do accounts and marketing, and excel at providing an exceptional level of customer service. I am a creative thinker. Embroidery may not be part of my repertoire, but in my time in this office I have learned valuable new skills such as how to make a mean cup of tea, to ‘give the table a wee wipe’ and achieved countless PBs in the running-to-the-shop-for-some-biscuits dash.

I have lost count of the times I have been asked to ‘sing a wee song’. Discovering little known facts, such as architects only like white toilet tissue, has been my daily reward.

If you could gain a washboard stomach by holding a smile listening to such tales as “ my dishwasher wouldn’t work last night- had to get her some headache tablets”, or my personal favourite, ‘women can’t wait to get a man to marry them and change their name’, I would be wearing a boob-tube every day to display my six-pack with pride!

As the time has come to move on from this forward-thinking 1940’s office and move to pastures new, I have been looking back at my contributions and discovered my greatest achievement- not taking one of my bosses* to a tribunal.

Regardless of wide ranging legislation and massive changes in attitudes throughout society, so many admin-bitches (like myself) face a daily battle to refrain from punching a colleague in the throat.

I am not talking to the enlightened reader here, but in offices throughout the land, sexism is rife! In so many workplaces, admin-bitches are faced with what highly respected (ahem) crime-toot author Jo Nesbo calls “stupid, self-assured men ruling over smart women with a fear of heights”. This fear is on the decrease. This is not a call to arms, merely a warning.

It has not been entirely doom and gloom in the world of the architectural practice, and I have been privileged to work with some amazing, warm, funny and talented people. People with a sense of humour. This is how a structural engineer responded to a 30 page mission statement emailed in relation to a £60m public money job;

A manifest

for what is best

surely you jest.

What we design

is super fine

sharp as a pine (needle).

Coordinated frame

no clash with same

no excuses lame.

It’s what we do

engineering true

no grief for you.

Structures we scheme

are like a dream

creme of the cream.

Then I awoke

on past mistakes did choke

and with sweat did soak.

We’ve all been caught

perfection not sought

and trouble bought.

Manifesto we’ll read

seek to meet the need

and follow your lead.

Learn from the past

get things right first, not last

checked out before it’s cast.

Then we can put up our feet

no mistakes repeat

and your requirements meet.

Won’t that be neat!

 Work, no matter where, does not need to be dry, or miserable, or sexist. Put a little joy in your day. Be kind to admin-bitches.

 On Friday I move from the mysterious east to the majestic centre, filled with fresh promise and after work drinking.  I pass the mantle on to the new girl. She can make the tea.

*this does not apply to the eccentric one, the earnest one or the hot one.

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