Real people

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I was working at home the last couple of days, mainly research and planning (which now means I fully understand the tasks ahead of me for a particular project and it’s now scaring the heebie jeebies outta me!!), and it’s always a bit odd slipping back into the stream of commuters and co-workers. It’s akin to the feeling you get on your first day back after a holiday, but not as powerful and I guess there is a degree of paranoia attached – the joke asides about having a nice “couple of days off” wear thin after a while.

As the weather has been horrible I’d not even set foot outside the door and was thoroughly enjoying some fresh air until a guy wandered onto the station platform and proceeded to chain smoke three cigarettes in ten minutes, I moved as he lit the second one unaware or uncaring (or both) that he was covering three separate people with his smoke. But you know my feelings on that topic, so let’s move on.

There appears to be a new trend, or at the very least a repeating trend, amongst female office workers. Now, don’t get me wrong I understand the reasons and I don’t want to delve into the psychology of it (although I will in a second), but I counted 11 different woman all wearing business suits and trainers as they walked to work this morning. Is this the fashion again or was I just lucky to be in the presence of some smart ladies??

Speaking of which, a comment from the newspaper leapt out at me this morning. I can’t recall who exactly, but it was an editor of handbag.com stating that she was surprised that woman still felt they had to be attractive to get on in the workplace and that they felt they had to display some masculine tendencies if they wanted to be considered equal to their male counterparts.

The reason it caught my eye was because she was “surprised” which suggests a degree of naivety. Now, before anyone leaps down my throat, let me state that I don’t think it’s RIGHT that this kind of atmosphere is perpetuated but the basic facts are that in many work places it still holds true. One of the problems is that, a lot of the time, some men just don’t realise when they are being offensive as it’s “just office banter”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen into that trap in the past, and I’ll continue to do so in the future but I am much more aware of it than I have been previously.