I cleaned the carpets today. I cleaned the carpets six weeks ago. You'd never know it. Where does it COME from? Are there carpet gremlins that come out at night? Must be. I've learned to do a run with the soap, and then another run with plain water. Uck. Feels better now!
Ah HA! Teamwork and "Skills"
Teamwork. This is what I wanted to talk about. Teamwork and skills. Though I bet "skills" aren't what you THINK they are.
We had a little joke at work about "skills." Us girls have a set of skills located just below our shoulders and above the belly button. These skills allow us to be proficient in note taking, setting up meetings and projectors, etc. Yes, I was highly skilled. Okay, the double entendre releived the annoyance a bit, and allowed us to make lots of inappropriate jokes.
Funny though the joke may be, it has more than a ring of truth to it. I can't tell you how many times I was invited to meetings so I could set up the projector and take notes. Not because my OTHER skills were needed. Not to create a visual representation of a process or to find some form of waste. Not so I could provide input on robust methodologies to measure products or processes. Not because the other meething attendees all had broken hands. Because I was the girl in the area. Uniquely qualified for these tasks.
Which brings me to "teamwork." I'm pretty proud of the relationship I have with my husband. We have a great balance, and we pitch in and get things done. He stayed home with the boys for a couple of years. There were ways in which that was hard for him. Sometimes people would make nasty comments to him. Because he's THE MAN, and should be out winning all the bread. Well, it just worked better for us that way at the time. He did the laundry, vacuumed the floor, made dinner, did dishes. I also helped him, though he did the lion's share of the work.
Granted, I'm ALWAYS the one who cleans the carpet. But he's ALWAYS the one to mow the lawn and change the oil in our vehicles. It all works out. But we don't have much work that's HIS or HERS. And now that I am the one home, he still helps with the housework. He's making homemade refried beans today. I didn't even ask. I'm wildly in love.
Why can't this be true in the workplace? Why on earth is it so hard for the men to learn how to plug a projector into the outlet and focus it onto the wall? Why is his hand less capable of typing in notes? Granted, there WILL be situations where a facilitator skilled in taking and formatting notes is important, but by and large, why do you need a set of breasts in the room to get that task done? And why is it that men are less apt to hone that particular skill?? Pitch in and get it done, so the D cup can work on her process map.
Now the question remains: how does an employment candidate determine the level of cooperation and teamwork when it comes to the "woman's work" ?? Perhaps I should add a section to my resume!
- wash windows
- fetch coffee
- sharpen pencils
- drop off dry cleaning
- buy your wife's birthday gift