[My work schedule has stabilized and my writing sabbatical has ended.]
Last week, I ended employment at my dead-end job and began employment with a better one. The two schedules overlapped and totalled sixty hours. Quite a burden to bear, but the paychecks will be nice. Regardless, the culture of my new employer is radically different from anything I’ve experienced.
I cut my teeth in sales on construction sites. Very masculine. This new place? The exact opposite. I may as well be selling dildos, as the vast majority of our customers are women. Corporate refers to the customer as ‘she’ due to this reason. Also, of a crew of roughly twenty women and two guys, I’m the only straight male. The other guy is a bottom. I’m the sole beacon of masculinity in their feminine world.
It pays off, too. Women of all ages are receptive, which disarms them and sets up sales easier and quicker. Men appreciate my ability to find something good for them in short order. I was hired for my “transferrable skills” from my other sales job, but I wonder how much Equal Opportunity Employment played a factor. Was I one of the “guy” quotas required?
There are differences working in this strange, feminine environment. All of my previous bosses have been men in result-oriented, masculine roles. Not at this place. We don’t hammer our customers until we hit our numbers. We “create experiences”. We “service her needs first, then ours”.
The incessant validation drives me crazy. Why should someone be congratulated for expected behavior? For example: one coworker answering a question correctly was rewarded with excessive praise. “That’s right, Kimberly. Thank you very much for the great answer” Why is proficiency praised when competency is expected?
This is greatly different from the previous masculine environments in which I’ve worked. Praise was doled infrequently and only upon achievement of great tasks. It makes me uncomfortable to be rewarded for menial duties.
I hear “Sorry!” about eight hundred times a day. Whether it’s crossing another coworker’s path or the slightest miscommunication, every action is tagged with apology.
I believe men and women handle stress similarly. However, women outwardly display those symptoms more frequently. My closing managette was visibly frustrated accomplishing new tasks. One store leadette was highly flustered opening day, yet everything was operating smoothly.
It’s an interesting experience. I much prefer the masculine world of logic and emotional repression.