I have learned that in an agency environment, irrespective of how much you would just like to be yourself, you actually SHOULD NOT. Quite a bold statement to make considering we are living in a world whereby companies employ you to be yourself and no one but. Having said this, of course, I feel the obligation of explaining myself.
Get the hint…or lack thereof!
It occurred to me that for the bubbly and friendly females who have the natural capacity of just expressing friendliness to everyone in a workspace, that this can and most likely will be interpreted differently to well, mainly the male counterparts. I briefly touched base on this topic in my previous article about the differences that set JHB apart from other cities and whilst I may have been correct in my generalization, I may have missed a very valid viewpoint on this topic. You see it has come to my understanding that it may not be just a big city thing but more a big company thing. You know big companies whereby, to the HR team you are just a number? With over 200 staff to deal with at one branch, it is no surprise then that unwelcomed flirtatious advances never see the attention it so greatly deserves as the offense that we all know it to be. I say unwelcomed because it is in no way mutual. Yes I have found a few co-workers to be attractive in the past (a specific boss included) but unless I have give you the inkling of interest or lust…don’t follow me to my car in the hopes I would find that attractive. No. It is just creepy.
Sure, to the young 19 year old intern who wants to climb the ladder unnaturally fast, this is a welcomed gesture, but to the rest of us who have adhered to years of work etiquette and good ol fashion corporate ladder climbing, it just becomes an insult and an inconvenience we would much rather like to forget leave alone entertain.
It concerns me little more than most that in a day and age such as this whereby gender equality SHOULD be at the forefront of our baser instincts, men still resort to THEIR baser instincts of judging females not by merit (as they should) but rather by the clothes they wear and how they wear it. At what point do you think that just because we are in your environment that we would welcome what you think to be purely normal behavior. And more than that, at what point do you think that your need for instant gratification and ego stroking makes for what we would find in any way attractive?
I guess I can rant all I want about the insecure yet career driven men I am surrounded with in my workspace, but the sad reality is that unless their mind is conditioned otherwise, they will always be the annoyances I have painted them out to be ????