A FEMALE READER writes:
You’ve had some great discussions at TTH about the insanity and dysfunctionality of the workplace in today’s society. The kind of discussions you can’t find anywhere else.
It’s a subject I would like to see discussed more.
It’s hard to find words to describe the mendacity, manipulativeness, corruption, and toxicity of the job market. If the problem were only the shortage of jobs, the scarcity of money–that I could live with. In times like that, we make do with less. My mom grew up during the Great Depression and she said, “Sure it was tough. But if affected everybody. You were all in it together.”
I do not pick up on any kind of “we’re all in this together” vibe in the current times. Everyone is afraid to say what they really think. I’m afraid to say what I really think. There’s been a sea change. The rules have changed completely. The old logic does not apply. What used to be considered good is now considered bad. What used to be considered assets are now liabilities. What used to work for you, now works against you.
LinkedIn, which is not optional but an absolute requirement, is a joke. Like all social media. People get on there and have stupid pointless discussions. No one will answer a straight question. People who would not give you the time of day want to connect with you, just so it can say “500+” connections on their profile. But those connections don’t mean anything.
I have no choice but to support myself. A few years ago, when I saw how bad things were going to get in the job world, I decided to get involved with professional organizations. I am active in four of them, in two at the board level. I’ve put a lot of time, energy, and resources into these associations. I’ve networked, volunteered, networked, volunteered, networked, volunteered–all those things people tell you you’re supposed to do, to get a job.
I have to say, I’ve enjoyed these activities on a personal level. It’s a great way to meet people. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned some things I didn’t want to know, but probably should.
At the same time, the fact is that it hasn’t moved the needle on my career–at all. It hasn’t helped me in the slightest. I thought it would. I thought it would demonstrate to prospective employers my commitment. Look how I spend my free time. Instead of watching sitcoms or hanging out in pubs, I devote myself to upholding standards in my profession, identifying trends, helping colleagues, promoting education.
I finally realized that it hasn’t helped because employers do not care in the least. Whether or not you take the high road in your career means absolutely nothing. They care about one thing and one thing only: your obedience. Your submissiveness. Your capacity to follow rules that don’t make any sense. Your willingness to be led around by the nose like a big dumb animal.
I have had workplace assignments that were nothing but prolonged exercises in testing your ability to function like a slave. They accomplished nothing. No work got done or anything.
The thing is–no one will tell you things like that. No one has the courage to say such things aloud. This is the type of thing you have to figure out on your own.
For the longest time, I’ve beat myself up for not having a more successful career. Now I see what a loser you have to be in order to make it in the job world.
—- Comments —-
I would like to second the observation of the female reader who wrote: “It’s hard to find words to describe the mendacity, manipulativeness, corruption, and toxicity of the job market. If the problem were only the shortage of jobs, the scarcity of money–that I could live with. In times like that, we make do with less,” with a resounding YES, YES, YES.
This needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
I have been in the workforce now for 37 years, give or take. That gives me a bit of perspective. When I began, things were beginning to crack up, but white married men still ran mostly everything.
To illustrate how things have changed, I worked for a honey of a man, who ran the department from the next desk. He smoked at his desk. To be nice to me, he refrained from smoking. I’m glad we no longer have smoking in the workplace….but I miss the atmosphere: MEN WERE IN CHARGE.
The worst environments to work for are those that are run by women, or demographically dominated by women, or run or dominated by homosexual men. These places are nightmares of bitchery, cattiness and all the words the female reader used above: mendacity, manipulativeness, corruption and toxicity. There are quite a few of these, especially in the so-called glamour industries.
My advice to any young woman is to work for a company that is run by a married man. Race not important, but odds are he will be white or Asian. The most important thing is that you work for a grown married man. They are obviously not perfect, and are not saints, and you always have to be very careful at work, but working for a straight married man will increase your chances of job satisfaction by an order of magnitude.
The female reader writes:
If dealing with intense competition in the job market were the worst of it, that I could live with–even if it means I get beat out a lot. But that’s not what I see happening. There’s a class divide between who has a job and who doesn’t, and competition has nothing to do with it. If it did, every time you went into a store or a restaurant, every time you dealt with an agency, you’d get fantastic service. The whole country should be working like a dream–because only the best people are working nowadays, right? I see tattoo-covered, slovenly-dressed, incompetent people with sullen attitudes on the job all the time. I’m like, I can’t believe someone hired you.
Today’s market certainly suffers from the added plague of anti-discrimination, but other than that, it is fundamentally the same it has been for all of my life beginning in the 50s. Take a look at the wonderful movie The Apartment (1960, 5 Oscars) starring Jack Lemmon and the gorgeous Shirley MacLaine (sister of Warren Beatty, originally Beaty).
You need to kiss a lot of rear even if it means getting “chapped lips” as President Eisenhower once said. Just pretend to go along with the program, the same thing your boss is doing but can’t tell you. Do not buck the boss. If you are enduring a bully, get another job before quitting. Most bosses are company men, which is how they got there (exactly like Supreme Court Justices); so they believe in the bureaucratic way, or pretend to.
Something else is at work here though. Ms. Reader is wired and therefore should not be having this much trouble finding a good job. Or maybe I am misreading. She reveals she is not successful in her particular job. We can’t be successful at all jobs. Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were fired the same day. They were told they would not amount to anything. Ronald Reagan’s first wife divorced him and told him he would not amount to anything. A good friend was fired but now makes millions.
So my suggestion is to take a big chance at another job or to accept your limitations or both.
How can women complain about today’s job market? Don’t they got all the good jobs these days? Don’t they get all the promotions now? They did when I worked at two of America’s largest, best known corporations. Don’t women make more than men? Aren’t they the last to be fired, since they can play the ‘sexism card’? What, pray tell me, do women have to complain about WRT today’s job market?
Oh, and to the female reader who said she supported herself because she must, all I have to say is this: THAT is what you wanted! Isn’t that what feminism was all about? Wasn’t it oppressive, demeaning, etc. to have a man support you? So why are you complaining about getting what you wanted?
I don’t follow MarkyMark. His assumptions are disconnected from the real world. Women are favored in today’s job market for certain jobs, but that does not assure every woman of success. And, how does he know that the female reader ever wanted to be self-sufficient? Even if she did, that alone does not invalidate her observations of the job market.
A male reader writes:
I read with great interest the posts on today’s workplace.
My mother helped my dad run his business for most of her life. Prior to that, she was an administrator for the phone company, and she was very popular in a 99% male office (in a good way).
I once asked her how most women would feel if they worked in a mostly male workplace. She said they would find it wonderful.
How do you think men would feel working in a mostly female work environment? It would be a living hell. I’ve been there.
I love women. But I hate working for them, and with them.
P.S. Don’t print my name. My coworkers would kill me.
Further to “A Female Reader” and commenter Paul, specifically the female reader stated: “I have had workplace assignments that were nothing but prolonged exercises in testing your ability to function like a slave. They accomplished nothing. No work got done or anything.”
“Today’s market certainly suffers from the added plague of anti-discrimination, but other than that, it is fundamentally the same it has been for all of my life beginning in the 50s. Take a look at the wonderful movie The Apartment (1960, 5 Oscars) starring Jack Lemmon and the gorgeous Shirley MacLaine (sister of Warren Beatty, originally Beaty).”
Here’s the yes. What “A Female Reader” was describing were masculine dominance hierarchy tests. Men test each other all the time. Work is a Darwinian struggle of jostling, scheming, and turfing out. None of the 1970s Steinem/Marlo Thomas type feminists knew this because they were spoiled little girls throwing tantrums for a working world that never existed. These prolonged exercises are tests designed by men to weed out the unfit.
As Paul says, fundamentally this is the same and ever will be. And – The Apartment was a terrific movie. It should be required viewing for every young woman embarking on a career in this man’s world. There are always silly, naive young women who will believe the false words of a man who wants to bed her, and then desert her. That will never change.
But….the world has changed. Silly girls now think they rule the world, when Nature rules. And – there are now female and homosexual-run companies.
And, most harmfully, legally mandated and enforced “diversity,” which effectively devalues and destroys the sacred status of the married man with children.
The female reader responds to MarkyMark:
MarkyMark thinks there were all these men who wanted to support me, but I snootily turned them down. I never in my life met a man who wanted to support me. Quite the opposite. I met plenty of men who thought my name was “Gravy Train.” Who says men hate feminism? As far as I can tell, men LOVE feminism. They can’t get enough. It lets them off the hook completely. They have sexual access to a woman without having to marry her first. After marriage, they can expect her to support herself.