a woman boss = an awful experience
I know, it’s a pretty harsh statement to make but it got your attention, didn’t it? And, unfortunately, in my case, it’s completely true. So the title should probably read ME + a woman boss = an awful experience. It should, but, I’m not going to change it because I doubt I’m the only woman who thinks this way.
Penelope Trunk over at Brazen Careerist posted about the idea of paying ones dues in the workplace and it got me thinking about my work experiences, and in particular, the experience of working for a female boss. It’s something I’ve wanted to write about for sometime now, I’ve even started one or two postings about it but never quite felt right about publishing them. The emotional aspect of it keeps getting in the way. Even after 5 years have passed, I guess I’m still bitter and angry about this. (And yes, I know, I am a holder-on-of-things. I’ve already established this and freely admitted to it so there is no need to remind me.)
Well, emotion and all….
I think that many successful women have major unresolved issues that they feel the need to take out on those who work for them, especially if that individual is of the same gender. It’s that whole, I paid my dues, so you must now pay yours mentality. But does this really explain why so many women bosses are just so damn bitchy? Out there in the rat race, why can’t women be nurturing and caring? I don’t want another mother, that’s not what I’m saying. But, please someone tell me, where are all the mentors? Why are women bosses so freakin’ mean?
What the hell did I ever do to deserve being treated like shit? They hire you because you graduated at the top of your class from a prestigious university, because they want someone who can think and be independent. They hire you to be a “fresh” perspective, to offer a “youthful” point of view, to bring new ideas to the table. But then they shoot everything down before you even have the opportunity to finish what you were trying to say because, as they like to remind you, what do you know about anything. You’re so young and naive and inexperienced. Blah, blah, blah.
Okay, so I know that what I’m saying here is totally based on my own experiences and is a crazy generalization that I shouldn’t be making, and especially shouldn’t be blogging about. ‘Cause knowing me it will come back to bite me in the ass somehow. Ah. But, why not? It’s not like I’m lying or anything or naming names or going on about how my first female boss felt it necessary to tell me, along with a room full of reporters, that I was a mere child who would never amount to anything unless I stepped back in line and wiped her ass. Okay, so that’s not exactly what she said, but it sure sounded a lot like that to me. But she did call me a child and it was in front of about 15 reporters. And I thought that having to communicate through digital voice recorder with my boss at my first post-college job was bad, at least HE never came out and flat out told me that I wasn’t going to amount to much in my life.
Why is it so hard for a female boss to take a young woman and want to help her. To sit her down in her office and say to her, when I started in this business, it was me and 15 guys and I had to pay my dues, but lucky for you, times are different and you don’t have to go through the same crap that I did. Instead, you get the whole schpeel about how when she was your age she had to start at the bottom and work her way up pushing and proving herself at every turn. She had to work 80 hour weeks and didn’t have time for a boyfriend. (Which somehow is supposed to be the root cause of her still very single status.) That no one was there to help her, to give her a hand or offer her a break. That “they” wanted her to fail at every turn and how she was determined to prove them wrong. How since she had to sacrifice, so do you.
Women, I swear, are SO much worse then men. I can almost forgive a man for his sexist behavior (okay, maybe not even almost forgive it, but at least somewhat understand it and blame society for it) but from a woman, it’s just so damn hard to see why it has to be this way.
And I know, it’s not this way for everyone. Maybe I just had two really bad experiences. Maybe?
So I won’t write off the idea of working for a female completely. At least I don’t think I will. But the next time I’m faced with the decision, it won’t be an easy one. That’s for sure. I guess you can say that I’ve learned my lesson the hard way.
What are your thoughts on this?