The Balancing Act Of Managing Men

The Grindstone | June 19, 2011 - 2:30 pm

My name is Lindsay. But at my day job, I also respond to dear, honey, sweetheart and kiddo. Kiddo is the one that really pisses me off. In three years of working with a sales crew comprised entirely of men, I’ve gotten pretty use to pet names. In the beginning, I frequently reminded people that I preferred to be called by my actual name. In response, the sales crew told their manager that I was difficult. For some reason, the pet names were important to them.

After sitting down and discussing this with my boss, I had to make a decision. Would I quit my job over a couple condescending affectations or was this something I could deal with? Obviously, I chose to stay.In the course of work, I learned that the men saw pet names as a way to make me feel like part of the group. They couldn’t say, “Hey Asshole” so they said, “Hey Darlin”. I understand that those things don’t seem like equivalents, but I guess they are. More than anything, my male co-workers just wanted to make me one of the guys. That included lewd jokes, crude stories and plenty of unsolicited stories. I chose to deal with a group of men who often forget that we’ve moved past the days of Sterling Cooper. But I made a conscious decision that I would choose my battles. And even though I backed down from the pet name ordeal, there were certain things I would not tolerate. Read more…