The runners November 28, 2011Posted by mareserinitatis in feminism, societal commentary.
Tags: runners, work, working environment
From the title, you might think I’m going to be talking about jogging. Not so much. Nor will I be talking about Logan’s Run. Nope…I’m going to be talking about a type of person who annoys me.
I was reminded recently of a trip to Washington, DC. I was there for a conference, and a friend who lived nearby decided to visit. We weren’t sure where to go to dinner, so we met someplace and then grabbed a cab. The driver gave a suggestion, and we went for it.
The restaurant was a very upscale ethnic place near Embassy Row. After my friend and I were seated, I noticed something very strange about the wait staff. I thought it was just me, but then, when our dinner was presented, it became obvious: they weren’t acknowledging my existence at all. All questions were directed to my friend, and when I answered, they would wait for him to repeat what I had just said. They wouldn’t look at me, they wouldn’t speak to me, they wouldn’t hear when I spoke.
The food was fantastic, but I left feeling a bit demoralized. I’m sure my friend was sympathetic…but I think he was amused more than anything. I can’t help but wonder what they would’ve done had I gone to the restaurant with another woman. Would they have ignored both of us?
It’s easy to blow that kind of thing off when it’s a place you’ll only visit once or a fluke. It’s harder to deal with that sort of thing when it’s someone in a professional setting.
Admittedly, I’ve not run into anything as overt as the experience at the restaurant, but I have run into a couple men over the years who simply have no clue how to interact with women colleagues. It’s bad enough having a conversation with someone who stares at your chest…but it’s not much better when they refuse to look anywhere near you. You wonder if they even hear you.
And then there are the times when you try to talk to them, and you get the feeling they’re running from you. Literally. You ask them a question, and the best response you get is a terse, one-word answer. Maybe two, if they’re feeling dangerous. As soon as they’ve muttered their answer while looking the other direction, they turn to leave. They are done with the conversation, whether or not you are.
So these kinds of men are runners. They run away from women. It’s strange because the ones I’ve known have been married, so it’s not like they’re not around women at all. They simply have no idea how to act around a woman who is not a family member or friend…and apparently it’s never occurred to them to treat a female colleague like the rest of their colleagues.