One of the Boys

I love being one of only three women in my office. I work at a small technology company in Chicago that caters to the financial industry. We have 20 male developers and a few business development guys. I work in the Marketing/Public Relations department.

We spent one of our recent happy hours at Monk’s on Lake Street. It’s the kind of pub where you throw peanut shells on the floor. One of our developers, a 23-year-old guy who just moved out of his parent’s house, was trying out his pick-up lines on me. He asked me if I knew a good vet. I said, “No, why?”

He proceeded to flex his arm muscles and say, “because these puppies are siiiick!”

Then we have the “wiser” guys. These are the ones that make comments on Pizza Friday. We will be in the kitchen, in line for food. One of them will point at me and say, “Finally back where she belongs — in the kitchen.” They talk about Rocky Mountain Oysters and Cleveland Steamers and how they got a maid for life the day they married their wives. I learn a lot about the male species when I hang out with them.

Usually during the Cleveland Steamer conversations, another group of guys will make their presence known. This last type of guy is the paternal type. These are the veteran males who talk about the days when trading was done on a floor. They will remind everyone that there is a lady in the room and bring up the Bears or Mayor Daley or the snowstorm we had the night before.

We were doing a presentation in the conference room a few weeks ago. A message on the overhead projector came on saying we needed to replace the light bulb. The guys spent 45 minutes trying to figure out how they could reset the warning so that the message would disappear. It never once occurred to them they should just replace the small light bulb.

We girls left them there to figure it out and went out for lunch. We stopped off at the drugstore on the way back and picked up a 6-watt light bulb. We brought it back to the guys who were trying to present on a dark screen with the message still blinking in the background. We hadn’t missed much.

How many women do you think it took to change the light bulb?

Contributed by Jessica Titlebaum

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