25 January, 2012

A New Way of Working

"Hey" she took the seat next to me ready to burst with the news of the morning; News I didn't hear as we were quickly joined by others and the talk turned to doctors and cancer and the importance of actually making time to go to the OB/GYN despite our busy working mom schedules.
I sit tonight thinking as I have for the past few nights - how my work environment has altered.
Sure, i am in a new building, new people, new spaces... new people coming and going with different personalities.
But there is a change that is more atmospheric than any of that.
I went from a place of complete ease and comfort as a woman working in an all male environment to an environment where there seems to be no difference between men and women.
And that sounds weird, even as I type it, it sounds weird.
When working with men in the past, there has been a difference between the sexes. I don't mean overt and "out there" difference. it is more subtle in that it is carriage, confidence, experience. It is an ease of words and comfort with self - and maybe that is the result of working with retired military men?
And now... I am not sure if the guy next to me or the one around the corner realizes that I am female. I am not even sure that I realize he is male.
We are, as strange as it sounds, a group of professionals all sharing a building and a room and a job that has to be done.
There is no casual flirtation that often happens when women work with men.
There is no real male joking around.
And the language... clean as you can imagine outside of the office managers.
I could wear a sexy low cut dress or an uptight all black suit... and I am not sure anyone would actually know the difference.
Which leaves me wondering if we just don't have the time to look at one another or to know one another? Do we just not have the time to relax and build teams?
Do we just not care?
Given I spent the first part of my career disliking men looking at my chest over my eyes in a professional environment and considered myself a person with a brain over just a body... This is quite a new and odd feeling for me. i am now what I wanted to be... a professional, like many others... in a room of professionals. A brain with a body that is neither noticed or not noticed.
So I kicked off my shoes today and thought - I wonder if anyone will notice? And if they did, I will never know!


BigLittleWolf said...

Wow. It does sound odd. Sort of good, and sort of isolating. But very focused on getting the job done.

And yes, odd.

LesleyG said...

I went for years working in an IT environment with mostly men thinking they never noticed certain things about me and the other women in the office. Then, I quit that job but remained friends with a lot of the men to this day. And, well, I have learned they notice but they have just become adept at not showing it. In fact, they think I am crazy for assuming they didn't notice. So, maybe that is the case where you are, too?