Re: Stupid tasks (was Re: NEED HELP..PLEASE RESPOND)

Subject: Re: Stupid tasks (was Re: NEED HELP..PLEASE RESPOND)
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 22:38:07 -0500

Women tend to get REAL touchy about this, Dick.

Some 20 years ago I had unemployment benefits denied me because I refused to go on a job interview for a receptionist/typist position. In my appeal (which I won) I pointed out NOTHING in my work or educational background suggested I could handle this kind of work. Did my being female automatically make me a good typist? It was as sexist then as now.

Unfortunately sexism still exists in the workplace. It's not usually blatant, but it's there. Old ways die hard. We who are female are MUCH more aware of this because we're the usual victims. It makes us....shall we say a tad bent out of shape?

No one has asked me to make coffee recently. They'd only ask once, probably, too, I'm not a coffee drinker, and like most non-coffee drinkers, I make TERRIBLE coffee. I HAVE been asked to do clerical things before, and I've done them. If they want the world's best paid file clerk, that's not my problem. That task isn't going on my resume.

Jo Byrd

Dick Margulis wrote:

Sharon Burton-Hardin wrote:
>Always do stupid tasks badly with a smile. You will not be asked again.

Excuse me?

Look. The coffee needs to be made. The recycling bins need to be wheeled to the loading dock. The sink needs to be wiped out. The juice cooler needs to be restocked. [Intentional and appropriate use of passive voice going on here;-)]

If it is beneath your dignity to take your turn at these tasks, just whose dignity is it above?

I am so fed up with the Not My Job attitude I could scream. Everywhere I have worked (at least in the last decade or so), some people pitched in and some people didn't. Each group crossed gender lines, job categories, and organizational status levels. CEOs, VPs, managers, and worker bees all split into both camps--doers and shirkers. Next time you want to use a transparently passive-aggressive ploy like smiling and doing the task badly in order to avoid being asked to do it again, think about the message you are sending to anyone observant enough to notice.

Sure. We all want to be respected for our professional skills and the quality of the work we turn out. And it is appropriate to resist stereotyping. If someone says, "hey, you're just a tech writer. You should be the one to make the coffee every morning," you have every reason and right to resist. But to refuse on principle because you're too important to take out the trash? Get off it.



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Stupid tasks (was Re: NEED HELP..PLEASE RESPOND): From: Dick Margulis

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