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Single Woman in the Workplace



For a long time, I was the youngest and the only single woman at my workplace. I am career minded and I constantly pray to God that the sky would indeed be my limit. While at work, I noticed that my seemingly young personality is appreciated by many of my male colleagues but not the women (especially the older, married women). For many months, a lot of women (not all) at my place of work were cruel to me even though I am diligent, and I manage to meet all deadlines (ok, most deadlines). I thought that I was giving all that was required of me in a professional environment.

Early this year, my boss walked into my office and found me screaming at a colleague; a married woman in her forties. I know what you’re thinking – that I am badly behaved… for screaming at a person who is much older than me! Well, I had had enough on that day so I exploded. I am a naturally calm person and a true lover of peace (even if I have to say so myself), so this was clearly an exception. My boss understood my stand point, he settled the misunderstanding between my colleague and I and till date, peace has been forced to reign at the office!

I tried to understand why these women disliked me. Why was it hard for me to get along with them as opposed to the men who were mostly friendly and professional at the same time? After several months of trying to find a suitable answer to my question, I couldn’t help but resolve that this hostility was a reaction to my youth, my wardrobe, and my freedom.

Before I decoded the cause of this cold war, I would suck up to the women who were cruel to me, and would even play dumb, hoping that if I continue to give them the opportunity to feel super relevant and superior in the scheme of things, I might make them happier and then they’ll find it easier to tolerate me. I carried on with this foolishness for a long while until one day when I took a long, hard look at myself. I found that my natural personality was disappearing and in its place, a very stupid girl was emerging (who my colleagues still didn’t like by the way). Of what use is good upbringing and education if it will be concealed each time someone feels threatened? I then resolved to go back to being myself and this has worked wonders!

It seems to me that many older women are threatened by younger single women. Shouldn’t they be happy? I presume that they have EVERYTHING already. I am yet to be married while they are. I have no children yet, but their homes are buzzing! Could it be that they miss the freedom that comes with single womanhood? Why did these women appear so jealous and spiteful? Why does it always appear that women hate each other? When I see girls younger than me, I tell myself that I have come a long way and I thank God for it. I’m grateful because now I’m better, and smarter, and a lot more WHOLE… and I keep getting better everyday. Why do they not feel this way when they see me?

I find it easier to work with men. Most times, the typical man just wants to get the job done while women will first take the time to let you know that you weren’t courteous enough or that your shirt is too tight. Women find it crucial to lay this unnecessary foundation before work can be done. Nevertheless, men are not completely without blame. Men that I have come across in the work place have sometimes been chauvinistic by accusing me of being “over-educated”, the sexual urges of men can sometimes constitute a problem, and their ego can be out of control! However, I still find that older women are more overbearing.

I am a woman, single and educated. I am career minded and I have what they call a “young personality”. This is my life for now and I have a duty to protect it from any form of abuse. If you ask me, I think I have done a great job so far and I don’t intend to quit now. I will continue to use this period of my single womanhood to enhance my career; now that I have all the time and freedom to do it.

Having learnt some of life’s lessons at my work place, I go into my office each working day, with my head up, determined to continue to work hard, to satisfy my employer and to earn a living. I am the young single woman in my work place today but I know that tomorrow will be inevitably different. In preparation for the future, I have made a vow to give regard and due respect to that young single woman who will be working next to me when I am married and much older, just as I appreciate both gestures from others today.