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“WWW!” another acronym I like!  Working with women has been made such an issue by both men and women alike. The comments range from really terrible experiences to very good ones, with the former seemingly being more common than the latter. I mean we all may have had a horrible boss or colleague at one time or the other but how many of these were women?

Some women I know have nothing good to say about their senior female colleagues and some guys pray that they get to work with only guys when starting a new job. Well, I just started a new job and I work with four women including my boss. Four women! “Wow!” Some of you may cringe at the thought but it has been a fairly pleasant experience thus far. This recent experience made me look back to my previous experiences working with women.

My first job was at a bank, and right out of training school I was posted to a branch near my house as the clearing officer. I met Dupe my “oga” who was due to go off on a 3-week training the following week so I had to learn in under one week all I could about processing cheques. So my every working moment was spent with Dupe as she taught me how to carry out my functions. Dupe was of a very pleasant and cheerful disposition and we got on fabulously well. We lunched together, went to the head office together, and talked to the marketing officers and customers together. She complimented me when I seemed to get the hang of everything given the sharp learning curve. When she left for training she called me from time to time to check up on me and always took my calls whenever I had issues. Sadly at the end of her training she got reposted to another branch and I didn’t get to see her until her wedding a few months later. Well you might argue that perhaps it was because I was new that’s why she was nice to me but I beg to disagree. Some people are just nice in and out of work, unlike some others.

This would include my good friend Daisy. Daisy and I had been neighbours in school for two years and although she was a year ahead of me we became close friends, and even kept in touch even after she graduated. You can therefore imagine my joy when I discovered that she was my teammate when I switched banks. My new team was a “marketing” one with three other people including my boss. I was still a graduate trainee and the runt of the team so I knew that I had a lot to learn. I therefore counted myself lucky to have a friend on my team. Not! Maybe it was naiveté but I foolishly expected her to help me along the way by taking out time to put me through the more practical aspects of relationship banking and other aspects of the job. I was wrong! She was impatient and snapped a lot. Yes, there was a lot of pressure on the job but I had thought our friendship would have counted. To say the least I was hurt by the fact that she would allow work affect our friendship.

My hero came in the form of another woman, Shade. Shade was an Assistant Manager that transferred to my unit a few months after I did. A genuinely nice person she took time to explain things to me. She was firm but very patient. If she did not know something she would admit it and together we would plan a course of action to solve the problem. How very different she was from the others. She stood up for her teammates and was quick to back me up and defend me. She was herself both in and out of the office. I had other female colleagues who would be really sweet out of the office but once they got in through those doors in the morning, they would turn really mean. I had to try to learn to use different techniques for getting different things from different women I had to interact with on the job. While charm worked for some, no level of charm could interest others.

At my next job I worked with just one woman. She did not like me and the feeling was mutual. Perhaps her issues with me stemmed from her own personal insecurities, but I didn’t take to well to her poor attitude towards me and work in general. After a couple of blow outs my interactions with her became limited. However, it wasn’t long before her attitude with me spread to the others in the organization and before long she left.

Now I do not know what is responsible for some women’s varying disposition to work? Guys joke amongst themselves and attribute it to PMS, menopause, lack of a boyfriend/husband, or children. I must admit that all these reasons may be valid to a certain degree. Another reason for women’s tough-as-nails attitude in the workplace may be attributed to the desire to succeed in a male-dominated environment, to break the proverbial glass ceiling. OK, that may explain the way women treat or handle men in the workplace but what about the way women treat each other? I have known women to pray for male bosses and colleagues, offering supplications for the transfer of their female “ogas”. So why are some women cruel to other women in the office? Is it the petty jealousies or deeper stuff? But on the other hand, I have heard both men and women complain about how difficult it can be to work with men. So perhaps, it isn’t a gender thing per say, but more of an attitudinal disposition or maybe clashes of various character flaws in an office environment. Who knows! Presently, I am thrilled with the women I work with and couldn’t have asked for better female colleagues!

Although I am quick to wonder, if my good working relationship with my female colleagues has more to do with me being older, mature and wiser? Perhaps, if I worked with my friend Dupe again, I might be able to see through her actions, as her just being purely professional and not take it too personally? Maybe the men who complain about their female bosses/colleagues do so because their ego’s can’t accept taking directions from women? Whatever the case, I do think sometimes it might be unfair to generalize and characterize certain genders as difficult to work with, because as examples from my own career transitions and the lovely ladies in my current job have shown, working with women is definitely not as bad as some might suggest!

 

 

30 Comments

  1. nollywood

    February 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Nice

    • nne

      February 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      nice ke? This is very dumb! What does bad personality & bad management skills got to do with gender !?! This TJ dude, I am beginning to percieve you as one who has got issues with women, are you a SEXIST, cann’t you write an article without mentioning women, who did this to you ?! In a work place, there would always be people with bad attitude, that is purely human nature, gender, age & color has got nothing to do with
      it ! Isi odikwa gi nma, silly boy !?

  2. Personal Shopper

    February 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm

  3. soneno

    February 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    bullshit

  4. D Pretty

    February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I presently work with two men as my ‘ogas’. Am very happy cos they are the most understanding beings i ever worked with. I’ve worked with women b4 and they were really nice to me but i’ll rather stick with the men.

  5. anonymous

    February 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    my boss wen i was doing my nysc was a woman she is the nicest person i know she was like a mother to me till today i still feel like am indebted to her fastforward to today my boss in my new job is a man he is the worst person i know he can frustrate a goat (as sturbborn as a goat is oo)

    • awe

      February 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      lol at frustrate a goat!….very nice piece Tj missed you. during my internship, my boss was really bad. it was later explained to me that the reason for that behavior was probably to frustrate me into having sex with him. for now that’s all. do not know which gender i’ll work with next…all i ask for is grace

  6. jay

    February 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    this originates from the partial culture towards women in the corporate world,for instance,when a woman says she’s tired-“shes lazy”,when a woman talks about her kids at work-“she’s being soft”!or when there’s an idiot driving stupidly in front of your vehicle you just have to assume its a woman…but duh it turns out to be a dude!!..anyways,not to digress, yes, some women are hell to work with but it goes both ways,people should take cognizance of the fact that it all has to do with personality and how you as an individual affect the people you come in contact with..#quit stereotyping.

  7. eesha

    February 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I’ll rather work with a man o! some women have got attitude and envy issues big tym. Guys r more understanding and approachable. Just my own ten kobo sha.

  8. Naveah

    February 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    If I had a choice between working with a woman or a man, I would always pick a man hands down! I prefer the way men communicate, they are straight forward about what they require and as long as you toe those lines, you are straight BUT women, lawd have mercy, if they are having PMS, God help you, If the baby sitter ran late, God save you, if the husband was a jerk that morning, run for cover LOL. You just never know from one day or the other with them. It just appears that with women, if they don’t mentor you, they want to crush you. It appears that with women bosses there is always a feeling of threat as if the new employees job is solely to aim to replace them. I am a woman and I am not meaning to cast aspersions on my sisters but I have never had a problem with the men I work with but any issue I have had at work as always been with a woman. The lady I currently work for as been an exception and I appreciate her for keeping it objective and about the work at hand. Me, I just grateful for my job, if I had to work for a bitchy woman, I would do whatever I needed to do to avoid falling into any wahala with her because I like my paycheck coming every two weeks. I am glad I work at a place where a boss would have to do a hell of a lot of work to get an employee canned.

  9. quadron

    February 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Nice article and like you said there is no one size fits all. The worst boss i have worked with was a woman, but looking back in hindsight and been sincere to myself, there were also things i did wrong, but failed to admit at that time. It is easy to judge a boss, but also try working in their shoes for once and see how much pressure they have to take and shield their team from. Another thing i would say is that the Nigerin culture breeds a high-level of unprofessionalism and you can see this when you have worked with people from other cultures. We love to take the piss and may be that is why ogas, either male or female acts as assess as well sometimes. Its a shared responsibility, no one person group or gender should carry it.

  10. joinmecelebrate

    February 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Some pple do not have a good interpersonal skill and that is a problem. while others have personal issues at home which conflicts with their working relationship. others lack exposure, they are educated, but they are not exposed. while some do not have a good communication skill. All the issues raised i see in my bosses in the office. but i hv developed the right attitude to work to oppress their fears. While men at work place do not like their ego deflated women do not like being disrespected!

  11. bcgeorge

    February 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    There are always two sides to a coin, and as an engineer, I can add one to that “3rd eye projection”. Tales abound, as you have fully expressed in your article, of women being bad bosses to both men and women subordinates. However, sometimes, I think it’s mere perception, sort of urban myth but then, in all of my working years, from vacation jobs to Industrial Training and now over 4 years as a professional, the only query I have had(for a non issue) was from a female boss, the ONLY one I have ever worked with.. And yea, it happened on the same day I bought her lunch. That was almost two years ago and even though she doesn’t work here anymore, we still have correspondence, professionally and otherwise. Bad as e bad, she don gimme one chic before, so “ojoro cancelled”. LOL
    More so, there’s a unit in here where three different ladies have had to resign just because they have serious issues, sometimes escalating into fierce exchange of words, with of course their FEMALE BOSS!! Perhaps, that says a lot about nothing.

  12. missA

    February 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I quite agree with ur reasons why woman are the way they are in a work place. I pray I dont become such a boss, and i walways pray not to work with females cos our attitudes to each other. I have so far worked with 3 females,1 was tough as nails to everyone, 2nd was aloof to everyone, 3rd was a hard task master.. to everyone. at the end of the day, i think its the attitude they adopt to succeed in a ‘man’s world’.
    I still prefer working with men. More approachable especially to the opposite sex.

  13. Tola

    February 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Tj Okaro has come again. I could tell you were trying HARD to come off as a woman hater. Lol! I’ve worked everywhere! From a corporate environment to the adult entertainment industry, it all depends on the person. Ive worked with mean bosses both male and female. I was promoted recently and it hasn’t been easy.
    Imagine the male members of staff calling me “sweetie” and “darling”. What’s that? I over heard one of them grumbling about how “the small girl” is bossing them around. Lol

  14. Twix

    February 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    fantastic perspectives

  15. Overturned

    February 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    In my 7 years or so of working both in banking & outside it, i’ve had mostly good bosses, male & female but those i remain close to the females even though we no longer work together.

    Surprisingly, the only “wicked” boss i ever worked with is a man. I think the problem is that some people want to be babysat & therefore expect their female colleagues to pick up after them, help them with menial jobs, make their tea, buy them breakfast etc & i for one refuse to be treated like that. I”ll ask them to bring a maid next time, albeit playfully.

    It’s not a gender related issue, the person’s temperance, mood, attitude & your own attitude plays a part in ensuring you enjoy working with others. If you don’t have it, you just don’t have it, period! it’s not ur boss’ fault!

  16. Louda

    February 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    My boss during my NYSC made me have that idea that working with women was wahala. Was posted to a bank and was rejected, when I was going to work with her people who knew her warned me that the woman is a scorpion that stings I said I can cope I wont get in her way but hei, she got in my way most of the time. Any day she quarrels with her husband she starts barking from the gate and everyone will be on their toes till her tantrum subsides. She was just trying to outdo me when she found out most of our students were liking my teaching method and some refused to attend the classes on the days I go for my CD. My next job after NYSC I worked with a male boss whom I will say is a very good boss. I had also met a female boss that was more than a boss when I went out of the country to work. I admire her so much and look forward to being a nice boss like her when I have people reporting under me. I do believe it depends on the personality. Some guys can nagg too. Got this male colleague, he is not my boss but I discovered he is always looking for a way to find fault with me. One day I took it out on him and he was not happy but since then he doesn’t tell me you didn’t do this or you should have done that. Even when he calls on the phone and I say speaking he will say its not speaking you supposed to mention your name and say speaking.

  17. Damsel

    February 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I can relate with dis piece b’cos it is wat am experiencing at the moment.”She did not like me and the feeling was mutual. Perhaps her issues with me stemmed from her own personal insecurities, but I didn’t take to well to her poor attitude towards me and work in general”. I have worked with woman as boss before and she was everytin to me… mother,sister and friend.But dis present one is a pain.I prefer men as boss.

  18. Debby

    February 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Lmao @ Tola’s comment …calling u “sweetie” and ‘darling” in the office?
    My perspective will be that, it all depends on individual per se, I have worked with a woman who was my direct boss, she is FIRE, because it was my first Job after service, I almost gave up working, but as time went on, I found my way around her, not totally thou but i could adapt. As if that was not enuf, the MD of the company is “a volcano” dont even go there. It is a personality thing.

  19. ThePersonWitTheBossThatCanFrustrateAGoat

    February 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    THE REASON WHY YOU CAN CONDEMN A WOMAN IS BECOS YOU DONT HAVE A BOSS THAT CAN ACTUALLY FRUSTRATE A GOAT NO MATTER HOW STUBBORN THE GOAT IS MY BOSS IS A MAN AND HE IS SOOOOO WICKED HE EVEN COLLECTED MY BBPIN TO KEEP TABS ON ME I CANT PUT MY NAME HERE BECOS HE VISITS BELLA NAIJA COS HE FOUND ME ON THE SITE ONE DAY AND SAY SO THATS WHAT YOU COME TO DO HERE ABI HE MAKES US CLOSE LATE IN THIS MAD LAGOS TRAFFIC IF YOU ARE THINKING MAYBE HE DOES THAT TO ME ALONE NA LIE HE COLLECTED EVERYBODY`S PIN O (25) STAFFS NOW WE CAN PUT UP ANY RUBBISH IS ON OUR STATUS AGAIN.

  20. bundle

    February 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    as for me, my boss is a guy and he`s the most petty, flippant, insecure excuse for a man….he actually told people that i was employed to take his job from him and that he would stop at nothing to make sure i don’t….

  21. Temiloluwa

    February 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Hmm, that’s all I will say.

    • ony_ema

      February 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Temi, i’mma join you and echo that “hmmm”. What an absolutely baseless summarization.

      And as for that statement about menopause/PMS/domestic issues/frustration being possible reasons why women act the way they do in the workplace. What the hell?!! My present job requires me to work in a majority male environment and let me tell you now, I interact daily with some of the *bitchiest men* I’ve ever met. Does that fuel my assumptions of all men in the company? No because it’s a factor of people’s dispositions and nothing else. I’ve worked with a female boss who was amazingly patient with my inexperienced self & and I’ve worked with a “good ole boy” of a boss who was a proper chauvinist and didn’t have any inkling of how to manage diversity in the workplace. My present boss is male and likes gossip a wee too much for my comfort. So please quit all this “women in the workplace” speculations forthwith, it’s unconstructive and lame.

  22. ANSLEM Ozor

    February 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    hmmm I neva read am shaaa but i just wan say to work with woman.. be ready to experience new things wey go fit shock u.. 270bd50d

  23. ade

    February 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    women are very hard t o work with, statistically 70% of women are very hard to with especially if there the boss and is not because of anything is just nature, women takes seriously than men,they out their best in anything so these makes people believe that women are very hard to work it.

  24. babe

    February 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    EHHHHHN!!! I agree 200 percent TJ!!!! Live o! I have worked with two diffÉrent male bosse§ in the past and although we had our issues, we always sorted it out and had a great working relationship. In fact till now, we still keep in touch and are quite close
    I started working with one woman, (for the first time) in July and OH MY GOD!! My life has almost been a living Hell!!! This woman has got to be the worst person on the surface of the earth! I have had weeping bouts in my bedroom because of this woman, Gosh! And to compound matters, she’s in her 40’s and unmarried! Its like she now takes out her life issues on me. As in! Is it my fault that nobody wanteod to marry her? Who will marry her sef? Who wants trouble? Kai! Beht I haf suffer in this world ooo, she appraised me recently and for things that were so obvious, she gave me sùch poor ratiÑgs… And don’t think I am dumb o, I am very intelligent, as in, I had the best scores to get into training school,but when I work with þhis woman, she makes me feel like I didn’t go to school, I DETEST this woman, I am seriously trying to switch jobs just bcos of this woman, I lurv my job o, but this woman makes my life miserable abeg
    @nne, just pray you don’t experience a bad boss, shikÉna

    • Dr. Dee

      February 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

      I am male and the worst boss I’ve worked for was a woman. I agree with you that personal frustrations and insecurities are the bane of most terrible female bosses. This my ex boss was in her late thirties and single at that time. People just need to be professional and keep their personal woes out of the office!

  25. cathy

    February 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    una comment ehn? hian!

  26. Donald

    May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    BN.If u no post dis,wettin happen yesterday go happen o….hmm..Anyway,I have personally never had issues working with any female Boss not cos they were good o buh cos i am simply darned good at chivalry.I had a female boss once,who had and has a lingering reputation of a hell-raiser and workers were snivelling like hell-dwellers,buh I noticed the problem was that she was used to gettin the nods at every whif of an air,so I confronted her,albeit reasonably on certain issues which normally my colleages wouldn’t to avoid hailstorm, and bahm!I earned her respect and we clicked n cliqued afterwards.point is,we must not shelve the fact that relatively,woman her more given to emotions which unfortunatly messes-up a stilted environment like a workplace.

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