10 Things You Will Learn From Working In A Mostly Male, Mostly Blue-Collar Environment
- There’s a right way and a wrong way to wear a hard hat. Balancing it on your head as if you’re undertaking a finishing school posture exercise is the wrong way.
- Referring to it accurately as gossip might be considered the height of unmanliness, but that stuff is better currency than loose smokes at a supermax prison.
- Because there are so few women, one of your coworkers will go to the trouble of memorizing each one’s footfall patterns. One day, you will wear loud shoes and he will chide you for throwing off his “research.” Against your better judgment, you will continue to speak to him after this creepy revelation.
- There will be drinking. You are not obligated to participate, but you should be a good sport about your coworkers’ imbibing. This may include genial eye-rolling, ducking the hardest of the drunken shoulder punches, and steering the conversation away from anything that could take a turn for the Iron John.
- You will wait for someone to bust out the “females” or try to dumb down production lingo for lady brains, but it will never happen. You’ll feel like a pre-emptively judgmental slag and redouble your efforts to memorize all the possible forms of welding in case there might be a quiz at some point.
- There will be cologne. Most varieties will be benign, but one will be metal-scented and smell like how you would imagine taking a seizure feels. In a not entirely bad way.
- It’s possible to make your own jerky. From scratch. Possibly from an animal that you yourself killed. Do not ask too many questions about the process.
- Men wear the same pants every day. Or they own multiple pairs of identical Dockers. Probably the former.
- Just because you have a vagina, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a dudebro. No one will notice that you have boobs, let alone that you make an effort to wear different pants each day. Pants they don’t want to get into because you are already ensconced within their bro ranks.
- There are still middle-aged guys out there who use “party” as a verb. Their offices are down the hall from yours.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”