I have been in Dallas all week and am finally home. Exhausted. Smarter. And certainly happier.
It was a productive week. Some training, lots of conversation, the inevitable year-end conversations about how things will be next year. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except me. I felt like I was out of the ordinary. Not in an extraordinary kind of way, but just not myself. And I notice that I am like this whenever I am around my coworkers.
I am trying hard to find my way in this sea of women, but it's difficult. I have been "one of the guys" for most of my adult life. Girls are sometimes mean-spirited, catty, and competitive with each other for no reason at all. Or at least some of the women I am around seem to be.
Throughout my career I have worked in a predominately male-driven environment. Some would even call my industry "an ole' boys club." And I don't disagree. That's probably why I feel that I fit in. I am smart, quick on my feet, never afraid of a challenge and can command the attention of a room with little effort. However, you put me in a room full of women and I become distant, aloof, quiet and even shy. I hate that! It's just that I don't feel the need to repeat what two other people have already said. And when I have something to say, I speak up. But I won't talk OVER them. I actually caught myself raising my hand to say something this week. That didn't work.
Now, that's not to say that I don't get along with women. I do. Very much so. But I don't understand the need for talking all at once, repeating what somebody else said just so your voice is heard, and the constant glances of "I told you so's" and "can you believe she said that's?" I see what you are doing and I know you just rolled your eyes at her. So. NOT. Cool.
I work with a great group of women. They are smart and know the world of marketing strategy as it relates to banking as well as, if not better than, anyone else I know. I have nothing but the utmost respect for their knowledge and know that I will learn much from working with them. But most of the time I don't find my job as challenging as finding my way through our meetings.