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Working with Others Can be Difficult

Be an adult

I am a woman but I am also aware that working with a group of women can be difficult.

This is not a blanket statement regarding the entire gender, this is my opinion based on my own life experiences. I dislike my own opinion though. I don’t want it to be true.

Before social media there were soap operas.

That was the main source of entertainment for women that stayed home with their kids and once VCRs, or for my younger readers DVRs, came about soap operas could be recorded and watched on one’s lunch break. My grandma never missed her stories.

The popularity of soap operas makes me wonder if that’s where women of the older generation learned to be so conniving.

I once took over a position from a woman who had worked there for 45 years. The only training material I received from her was an 8 1/2 by 11-inch sheet of paper, only one side had typing on it and the margins were very generous.

This came as a shock to me because when I left my job after 10 years I passed along a 3-inch binder full of materials for the person who took it over. I felt like I had been left to the sharks so I proceeded to swim as fast as I could without asking for her help. Sometimes it is just as easy to figure it out on your own.

I was a member of a women’s social group early in my married years. Several members of this group and I were trying to set up an educational booth at our local county fair. There was to be a display conveying that we were a group that fostered friendships among women and serving our community. The layout of this booth was starting to cause some tension between the members attempting to set it up.

I was told during my university years that I would not find the same level of professionalism that I had witnessed in the communications department of Kansas State University in the public sector.

I was starting to see the wisdom of that statement as I watched grown women start to raise their voices about the placement of certain elements in the booth. Even as the youngest of the group, I was able to diffuse the situation by suggesting that we place everything else and come back to the items of contention afterward. As the rest of the booth fell into place, the hotheads calmed down and the argument ceased.

Women decades older than me commented on what a good idea I had had. I found myself disappointed that none of the older members had been able to facilitate the same result.

This situation happened almost 20 years ago yet it still has a place in my memory. Was my solution brought about because of my dislike of confrontation? Was I just tired of the sound of that one woman’s voice? Was I just hoping to get home early and spend some time with my then-ag teacher husband who was basically going to be living at the fairgrounds for the next week?

It’s hard to say now. I still feel a pinch of disappointment though because I have my doubts that any of those women learned anything because of my actions that day.



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