Women at Work

Fast approaching the six months mark at my new job, I realised that work is always going to be slightly monotonous, slightly interesting, slightly leaving me wanting in terms of the money I get. It is heartwarming to see all the women around: pursuing their Master’s and Doctoral programmes, working as academic and non-academic staff; to the point that there seem to be more women than men in any lab at any given time in my department. (This is where I say a silent Yay!) There are two kinds of women at work, whom I have decided to detest. The first is a woman of power, she has several people working under her. When she takes on a female unmarried PhD candidate, it is with the directive that they will remain single until they finish their course of study. And if they are already married when she takes them on, they are ordered to not get pregnant until after they are awarded their degree. Her opinion is that women will neglect their studies and/or career once they get married, and both cannot be done with some success simultaneously. I find this obnoxious. How does somebody have the right to issue these mandates? The other is a woman so blatantly misusing the space her job and her boss give her. Every fortnight, she takes a number of days off. Every alternate day, she stays in office for not more than six hours. Every single time, her reason is family or kids or some other inane thing. In these six months I have observed her: not once has she taken initiative, always preferring to stay in the background or not stay at all, wanting to do work that wouldn’t require much of her, trying to push her tasks onto others but never failing to take credit. I find this disagreeable. Why does she want a job, and the resulting benefits, but not be willing to work even a little bit? Why does she conveniently hide behind the I-have-a-family trope? Is it because of the second kind that the first kind feels justified? Note: I understand “six month anniversary” is incorrect, but I don’t want to say “monthiversary” (the latter feels wrong). I then discovered the word “mensiversary”, but even that isn’t satisfactory.

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