Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Meeting Jenny

    So, a couple of weeks into the new job, and it's all a little different. One part of working for a large organisation that's new, is meetings. Most things that happen at my employer require them, what with there being so many departments that all need to talk about stuff and all.
    But they aren't so bad really. No doughnuts, but the coffee's good. And most of my colleagues are female, so I never need to worry about putting up a front in them. I just sit there mentally in girl mode, at peace with the world.
    One brought a bit of a shock yesterday though. A bloke from sales, or marketing or something. All shiny suit and brightly coloured tie. With a big knot. I could never master those. Hand shake, blimey, his dad must have told him that a strong handshake was a sign of virility or something, there's no need to crush! I'm not going to play that game, when you look like me you can hand-crush for England but it it really necessary? This might seem odd, but I've found people still think I'm a bloke without all that. More's the pity.
    Anyway, he's straight into the slightly domineering bloke routine. I get the impression he's not annoying personally, in fact I'd probably get on quite well with him down the pub, but he just seems so over the top in this setting. Do genetic girls feel the same way when they encounter someone like this or do they just not notice it, just part of the scenery?
    I feel as if I've crossed a line somewhere.


  1. One of my ways of protecting my male image when I was working, was to always give a firm handshake. Not a crushing one, that could be interpreted as an act of intimidation, I would never do that, but one firm enough that I wouldn't come off as a milquetoast.

    Perhaps the presence of so many females, brought out that guy's ego. I've know men like that. As soon as they see a female, they ramp up the machismo.

    Melissa XX

  2. I hate that. I'm sick to death of shaking hands with men who insist on turning a handshake into a dominance exercise. I once had to put my left thumb into the pressure point of a guy's elbow, just so he'd let go. "Can I have my hand, or am I going to have to put you into the hospital?" I asked. After that, I was "okay". I was pissed, and he was impressed with me. I'm just sick of all the macho BS.

  3. "These are the did-you-come-yets of the western world,
    the feather and fin rufflers.
    Pity for them they have no wisdom."

    Talking about this very sort of thing with friends, yes they do notice, but I suspect that it is more visceral when we experience directly for the first time what we have merely known about in a general sort of way...

  4. @Melissa: Now there's a word I've never heard before! A quick visit to a handy dictionary and blogging improves my vocabulary. I'm fortunate in one thing, I never have to worry about my male image, being very large does that for you.

    @Jaye: The Handshake Duel! I've never had to use a pressure point - yet. Well done!

    @Dru: The trouble is, having gained a slight Insight form the Other Side, now I'm metaphorically looking in the mirror, do I unconsciously project anything I shouldn't as well? Life was so much simpler when I was just a bloke with a secret!

  5. going 'the other way', i can say that as a woman i noticed and dismissed this kind of behaviour, but as a man it's harder to dismiss it because it's directed AT ME! and i find it both awkward and amusing - i'm not going to suddenly start playing this weird macho game!

  6. I suppose it's something we unconsciously learn in the nasty and aggressive world of the 13 year old boy. Some blokes obviously never leave that behind.

  7. The "crossing line" thing - I have to say, men are starting to look different. In the sense that it's starting to be strange to think this was a club I was once allowed to be a member of. Once upon a time I used to try and fit in with guys. Now I don't have to, that male state seems more and more different and distant.

  8. Sadly I can't afford myself that luxury and every now and then I'm uncomfortably reminded of it. I don't have to try too hard to fit in with the guys and I'm rather too good at it, what has surprised me is how much stress it was apparently causing me without my realising it.

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  10. When we have to attend school meetings for my daughter, I am normally the token male in the room. We sometimes joke about it. Even with the enmity we feel for some in the meeting, I truly enjoy just feeling like one of the girls. Estrogen rules!