Saturday, July 18, 2009

Women Really Hate Each Other

Retail pharmacy is slowly turning into a woman's profession. I don't think there's anything wrong with this at all. Woman make just as good pharmacists as men. However, in my experience (and generally speaking of course), women tend to bring MUCH more drama into the workplace than men do.

I spent two days in a row last week as the only man in the pharmacy surrounded by 5 women. I'm a quiet person by nature. I tend to just go about my business and let everyone else talk. And talk they did!

First there was the hour long conversation about how their pansy husbands refuse to stand up to their "wretched" mothers. Granted I'm a little rusty on my relationship linguistic abilities, but I'm pretty sure by "standing up" to their mothers, they really meant that they should do whatever their wives say and tell their mothers to go to hell at the slightest hint of a disagreement. It's all about control I think. They want to be in control of their husbands, and their mother-in-laws represent a huge threat to this control.

(As a related side note- Ladies, a good guy loves his mother. Therefore, if you married one of the good guys, don't be surprised that he doesn't always immediately take your side whenever you happen to disagree with his mother. I'll lump myself in with one of the good guys here. We spend the majority of our lives giving our mothers the utmost respect and obediently following their orders. Do you think that immediately changes just because we marry or enter a long term relationship with someone? You women should learn that even though we might love you more than anything in the world, we'll always respect (and fear) our mothers because their influence played an integral role in making us the good guys that we are. Therefore, you have to understand that we're not going to take your side every time you disagree with our mothers, and you'd be better served picking your battles carefully to avoid needless frustration... for both you and us.)

Then, after one of the women left work, this gave the other girls a wonderful chance to talk about the other girl behind her back. "I can't stand it when she does this." "Did you hear what she said to me yesterday?" "Oh my god, did you see what she was wearing?"

This is the pattern every single time I work. All the girls act friendly to each other when they're working together, but they're nasty when their backs are turned. I just don't think women can coexist with each other peacefully. At least I've never seen it.

I think back to college and my ex...

She had a bunch of different roommates, and she couldn't stand most of them. She got into huge fights with her first roommate over how they wanted to arrange their dorm room furniture. Sounds trivial, right? I thought so, but apparently this was such a HUGE deal that she had to request to switch roommates after the first semester. Miraculously, she got along with the next roommate. Then, she moved into a quad where her and 2 of the other girls ganged up on the 4th girl because they all decided they didn't like her. That girl didn't even make it a semester before she transferred out of the quad.

Contrast that to my college experience. I lived in a triple with the same roommates for 4 years. During that time, I can't remember us having a single disagreement larger than not agreeing on which dining hall to eat dinner. Basically, our existence consisted of going to class, coming back to the dorm, watching Sportscenter until lunch, going to lunch, going to some more classes, then watching Seinfeld until it was time to go to sleep. Maybe throw in some basketball a couple times per week, and repeat that for 4 years straight. No drama. No arguments. No problems at all.

Even at work, there still are some rare times where I'll work with all male pharmacists, and those days go so much smoother than days when all women are there. We don't partake in useless gossip. We talk, but it's mostly about sports or to make the occasional wise crack. Otherwise, we just focus on our work and get the job done.

Men, in general, seem to not have the same kind of animosity towards each other that women do. I can't explain why woman have so much more trouble getting along then men do. All I know is that if you stuck 10 women in a room together for several hours, there's a high probability that they'll walk out hating at least one person in that group.

If you stick 10 men in a room together, there's a high probability you'll come back several hours later and find them playing poker and watching some sporting event on television.

I think that pretty much sums up the difference between the sexes. Sure, I'm generalizing as it's certainly not the case for ALL women. Just the majority it seems.


Anonymous said...

It's funny, when a guy complains about someone's appearance or personality traits, I think of them as a wuss, 'acting like a woman'.

I think at a workplace we women are forever in a competition at the job about how well we have been treated, or will or presently raising our children, or whatever the popularly perceived womens' role in that little society.

When we perceive that we will be considered deficient or inept or too ugly to raise children to carry on responsibly in society we try to up the ante, say something to 'get something on Maggie Marmelstein'.

When childless women get together, then the argument is about nieces and nephews, or something else to raise the advantage point at work. Sometimes, it's all just an exercise to see who remains cool or trustworthy or takes the high road.

As an ugly woman, it's usually easier and more entertaining to work with a bunch of men!

susan said...

You also have to take into account that this is the way society views women. With any gender stereotypes, you have to take what society says. If society says women hate women, to what extent does that notion become a self-fulfilling prophecy? To what extent do women behave because society deems they to behave in that catty way?
I hate gender stereotypes, but I like how you acknowledged in your post that it's just that: a stereotype.

Brother Frankie said...

i have made the same observations, but in church settings...

go figure.

Be Blessed
Brother Frankie

Anonymous said...

You hit this one dead on Mike as much as I hate to admit it. I am 50 years old and a PIC, and I still work very hard at keeping my mouth shut. In a few years at the Home for Senile Pharmacists you may run across me mumbling peace...peace...peace be with you interrupted by occasional HIPPA protected golden nuggets that I
have stifled over the decades. By the way, I think I have Betty and I am not pleased.

Anonymous said...

okay, great observation, but whats new?

this is how women are. take it or leave it.

Steven said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this blog and it drives me nuts! I'm a female RPh and I prefer to work with male pharmacists. There is less drama and they are way more fun to work with.

Anonymous said...

I'm agreeing with the female RPh. I am a female, and I like working with men too. Guys are so much more laid back. The behind-the-back gossiping is also why I don't bring my personal life to work.

As for the wive vs. mother, it is a control thing. Then again, I know how you feel. I have been accused of not being able to think for myself by a (now ex) significant other. Agreeing with a parent over a significant other doesn't mean you are brainwashed; it may mean your significant other is *gasp* wrong on the issue. I figure if a guy is going to be like that, then I don't need to be with him. I mean, obviously our values in life don't match.

rinter said...

Mike you really hit the nail on the head. I've heard so much incessant gossip amongst the women wherever pharmacy I worked with a the laid-back men who didn't get all snappy about "so and so." Also as a lil trivia, the mostly women in pharmacy is actually nothing new in countries like Russia where pharmacy was always considered a women's career!

Anonymous said...

I thought I was alone in this observation. I was one of the few male lifeguards and the ladies would all bring in this drama into the workplace. I had no part in their conflict, and I just sat back and watch the tale unfold onto itself. What a show!

Anonymous said...

I am a female pharmacy student and I completely agree. As my current role as a technician, I would rather work with the male technicians than some of the females. The problem is mostly with the older female technicians, I don't think I've ever met such immature catty people until I started working with a large group of women. There is so much back stabbing, and gossiping, but then the same people will be nice to your face. I'd rather just work at work and not have to worry about all the gossip.

Peripatetic Pharmie Pete said...

I totally agree with Mike. I work with many different groups of pharmacists and technicians in my travel these days. I also had managed for years a department of 55 staff with less than 5% male. The garrulousness among the ladies has been a constant.
On the other hand, I can usually tell right away whether the owner/manager is male or female when I get behind the counter of a store I've never worked in. The store is usually better organized, tidier, and cleaner if the boss is female. It's just the nature of things.

Corrinne said...

I. Completely. Agree. I am a girl. I am not in Pharmacy, just a sales rep (cell phones, not drug rep) in college for psychology. I work as a "floater" and I work in 6 different stores. Luckily for me, most of my field is men. It is actually pretty aggressive. Whenever I work in a store with a girl... aaaagh. "my boyfriend is being a jerk" or "this bitch..." etc. etc. Drives me crazy. I suppose this is why I have all male friends. Why can't people just be professional? Leave your personal life at home!

Love your blog by the way. I will have read all of your old posts shortly. And I will probably comment on something that was posted months ago =)

Nello said...

Yep. Exactly like my work :S

It was a shame, we had a pharmacist here who I started working with, and she was really nice (to me, anyway) and everyone was really lovely to her face, but when she left, everyone (even the boss - also a woman) would then go on to have a bitch session about her. It happens with any of the other female co workers as well. One leaves, another will bitch about her, then she lives and they all bitch about her.

It's not so much a problem normally, until they start not working efficiently and instead spend 15 minutes talking about what a bitch each of them are in turn. It must be something of the female psyche .