At work today, a lady with whom I used to work sent several pointed e-mail messages to me about a meeting that I had been invited to by my boss. Being an “invitation” from my boss, I accepted. Apparently, this former co-worker didn’t like my being there and as I mentioned, sent me three separate e-mail making it, and I quote, “crystal clear,” that the meeting was for Sr. Mgt. only and that basically I wasn’t invited.
I’m a pretty bright guy usually, and I got her intent on the first message, so by the third one, I was tired of playing and asked her if there was something personal going on that I should know about. Her reply, “It’s never personal, only business.”
This got me thinking about something. In my own personal experience, there are two type of professional women. There’s A) the seasoned professional who has raised kids and while she may be tough, she is also in touch with her softer side. Then there’s B) the youngish (under 40) woman who has never been married, doesn’t have kids and who, for whatever reason decided that the only way to survive in the business world is by putting her emotions on the back burner.
Thinking back on all of the women I’ve worked for/with, and whom I didn’t particularly care for, I discovered that almost without fail, each of them can be classified in this B) category. They have all been hard women, with little to no empathy for the people they come into contact with. And it’s not just me either, CareerMom has said on more than one occasion that she would rather work for a man than a woman and to a person, each of the female managers she’s had, has also fit this category B) description.
I don’t know why some women feel that this is necessary. Certainly there are men who act the same way, but I think that on average, there is an unwritten rule between men that says, “Hey, I get that you’re territorial and I’m not trying to get into your business. I also know that you have a family to support and I don’t want to jeopardize that. So, let’s figure out how we can work together to get this done howabout?”
So for the person who says, “It’s never personal…” I don’t dislike you; I pity you—in a “I dislike you and pity you at the same time” kind of way. While you may very well move up the corporate ladder, I think you’re going to find yourself very lonely at the top. There’s more to life than money; just ask all the stay at home dads.