Sorry if you landed here thinking that this post will help you understand the woman in your life better. Because believe it or not, as a woman myself, I find it impossible to understand my own species all the time. Which probably explains the difficulty in assimilating into my new (as in of three months) department which comprises of 12 ladies and 3 male bosses.
It has been a depressing week and yet only two days of it have passed. For no apparent reason, I have started to dread going to work and facing all that unspoken hostility exuding from my colleagues. I think I must be the author of my own misery. I have unwittingly allowed my own reservations to form fully functional friendships with girls to get in the way of building a healthy working relationship with them as well. They must have somehow concluded that I am the no lifer with three kids at age 29 years old.
Yet having caught up with three of my male ex-colleagues who are really more dear friends to me, I am reminded that I am still pretty normal. One of them commented that I have always been a lovable person and he cannot possibly imagine how my popularity could be so low in my current job. Neither do I. It feels so good to have this vote of confidence from those who know you well as it helps dispel whatever self-doubt I was beginning to harbour. That’s what friends are for, other than trying to get you drunk for the umpteenth time.
So instead of lamenting on how my likeableness have bottomed out in my current occupation, let’s brainstorm on ways to make life a bit more pleasant. Here are some of the divine rules of the ya-ya sisterhood that I must have flouted –
1. Becoming good friends with the public enem(ies) – I just cannot help it. I am an avid supporter of the underdog, the losers, the victimised, those who don’t have a voice and the road less travelled. Yes, it was for the very same reason my husband took notice of me. ‘Why on earth is that girl always hanging out with the losers?’ And honestly, if I have to sacrifice this principle in order to gain some popularity, then I might as well flush whatever that’s left of it down the toilet bowl. I mean seriously, why can’t the so-called losers form our own clique? Then we don’t have to give a damn what everyone else thinks.
2. Receiving favour from the male bosses – I cannot help this either. I thank God for His blessings and the divine grace to find favour in the eyes of those in authority, especially if they are male. It is not that I have an uncanny ability to flirt, flick my hair or bat my eyelashes but somehow the less superficial guys whom I have worked with have usually found me to be of pleasant company. And perhaps my bosses appreciate my frankness, my interesting sense of humour and lately, my increasing remoteness and vulnerability. And that is supposed to be threatening behavior.
3. Not knowing my territory – Just imagine the reaction of 11 lionesses if a new lioness were to join a pride. I am not sure if this actually happens in the wild without someone getting eaten up. Still this analogy aptly describes my place in the whole scheme of things right now. The rather stubborn nature of mine, having just been welcomed into the pride, has unleashed itself by daring to challenge the long established stronghold of the alpha female. Actually I don’t even know who the alpha female is but it doesn’t really matter. Challenging one is as good as challenging all.
Maybe this is the only area I can work on if I want to. I could try to be less stubborn, less different in my professional views because as I mentioned earlier, who’s to say one way is better than the other? I could comment less and accept more the quality of work produced by my fellow colleagues. According to my husband who seems more in tune to the woman in him, when I want to suggest something, it should be done in an informal setting instead of directly via email. However given the state of my friendship with them, that’s hardly possible.
My male drinking buddies, since we shared that tower of San Miguel, told me to introduce these girls to them. Hang out, drink a little, joke and flirt together and very soon they will make me popular even among the ladies. Thanks guys, whatever are friends for?