I work for a sexist. There are no other words to describe it.
I could sit here for hours talking about all the good qualities he has but there is no getting around the fact that my boss is, without a doubt, a sexist.
If you browse the internet looking for “sexism in a workplace” you can find all the details. You’ll mostly find numbers. How much a man earns compared to a woman or how much sexism affects one country compared to another. But what about daily life? Let me give you an example:
In September, when we came back from the summer break, I walked into my boss’s office and gave him my resignation.
At the time he made a big scene; telling me how precious I am to the company and making loads of false promises. He talked for a good half an hour before asking me the reason for my choice. I told myself that I had nothing to lose and so I said:
"Although I am aware that paying the rent will be a big problem out of work, I’m leaving because I'm tired of working for you. I do not want to have anything to do with you. Things here are badly made, the employees haven’t got proper contracts, I have been working for three years without one, the pay sucks, the salary increase you promised never arrived, nor the career advancement, you’re cheating people and the thing that really disgusts me is that none of my ideas are recognized, usually you will say that they suck and then a couple of days later, you will come out saying that the idea was yours and was that it was great. I worked a lot, perhaps too much, to re-float a company in bankruptcy and all you’ve been able to do is yell at me because I was sick for a couple of weeks. I would say that I have really good reasons to leave."
Now, a normal boss would have kicked me out of his office at this point, but do you know what he did instead?
He told me something really disgusting:
"I know what the problem is! You're tired. You could not go on holiday during the break and now you're nervous and fed up. You know what the solution to this is? A man. You need a man!"
I could not believe it. "A man??"
"Of course" - he continued - "a man who waits for you at home, who takes you out for dinner, who pays your bills and buys you nice clothes. A shoulder to cry on when you've had a bad day at work!"
I think I did not kill him because then the police would have charged me on account of the hormones. Yes, because it's easy, too easy, nowadays to blame the hormones when it comes to women.
Obviously the conversation went on and I told him that what I had said was not to be attributed to a missed holiday or the lack of a man, and that in any case my being, or not being single, is a private thing and none of his business. I reiterated some concepts including my being an adult woman, independent and professional and you know what? He rejected my resignation not caring about a word I said. For him the problem was simply the lack of “a man”.
Why am I still here then? I don’t know. Maybe at the end of the day, the rent to pay scared more than I thought ... Either way, I regret my decision every day.
A week ago I asked for a new timetable, my boss immediately assumed that my request must be due to the age of my parents and the fact that, as a daughter, a woman no less, I have to look after them. Not that, you know, I just wanted a new timetable.
My parents are fine… better than me to be honest. It just seems impossible for him to think that I may have other things to do in my life that do not include a man, a baby, cleaning the house or looking after old parents.
What if I were a man? I know exactly how things would have gone and do you know why? Because it happened to one of my colleagues two years ago. He did exactly the same thing. Like me, he tried to leave several times and asked for a different timetable. To him, however, the boss said yes.
He used to work just few hours a day for double the money I earn, he took all the days of he wanted without any explanation, he was arrogant and rude with customers and colleagues and when he left he deleted all the content on his computer. But still, my boss recognized that despite the fact that he was a jerk, he was better than me because he's a man.
He has a penis. For a few centimeters of meat in the right place, a person who had sunk the company and got away with full pockets, he was still better than me. He was ‘better’ than me, the one who did her best to save the fucking office, working all day every day, the one who managed to reunite all the colleagues in one friendly group, the one that is doing three jobs in one and taking a pitiful wage.
I do not think that the figure of the boss has ever been a likeable one to the employees, but this one has a higher gear. He’s a liar, a charlatan and a sexist.
I often hear him saying things like "your colleague does not need the money. She can wait a few days more to get paid! Her husband will pay for everything " or other far worse: " she should find a man. How hard can it be? You women just need to apply makeup, brush your hair and you can easily find someone to take you home…”
And these are just some of the phrases I hear daily, which is sad because he is not a complete idiot. I mean, he has some genuinely good qualities and if you’re in need he is always willing to help. So why can’t he open his mind a bit? It is unbelievable that in 2016 there are still people who think that a woman, without a man by her side, is not worth anything.
And the funny thing is, that even when he recognizes that a woman did a good job he can’t avoid it, he seems to need to say nasty things.
Right now, I am home. I didn’t go to the office today but I didn’t spend my day in bed watching TV or reading a book! No, I worked. Even with the flu, I work from home, with my computer, because without me he has no idea how that place works! But if you’re thinking that he will be grateful to me for helping him, even if am sick you’re wrong. In his mind, I’ve already been blamed because I am too delicate and I get sick easily. Things that usually don’t happen to a man of course.