Why are you such a bitch?

I can’t tell you how many powerful women I’ve known who to whom I secretly wanted to ask that question. I know there are stereotypes, many of them unfair, about women in power being bitches, and obviously stereotypes = bad. But what is it, exactly, about certain women who are undeniable bitches who hold some power? I’m not saying all women in power are bitches. And there are plenty of bitches who aren’t in any position of power, so maybe it’s just the law of averages playing out. But it really rubs me the wrong way, particularly when women are bitchy to other women. Why can’t people just treat each other with respect? I know work can be exasperating, but why do people have to be consistently nasty? I find women to be a particular stripe of nasty with this stuff, and it’s really starting to piss me off.

A secretary at my job organizes group delivery of lunches in the winters for those who really don’t want to go out. She’s been doing this for a couple of years. She sends out a restaurant of the day and people email her their order and come give her their money. She collects everything and then labels each person’s order when the delivery comes in. She doesn’t get paid for it, or get any kind of bonus, and the majority of the restaurants she orders from don’t usually deliver but she went out and talked to the owner/manager and said hey, if we put you in our rotation, you’re going to get a lot of business regularly, so they agreed. It’s pretty nice is what it is. People continually take advantage of her and harangue her about it. One woman I work with purportedly gives the secretary, we’ll call her Rita, a $20 every day and asks if she can make change. Rita finally had to send out an email to the list that she cannot make change. Several people asked Rita to “float” her for a day here or there and said they’d pay her back, but didn’t. Many people complain when the order is later than scheduled delivery time, coming to her desk and whining, and others complain to Rita when their order is wrong – even when she has the email to prove that this is what they ordered, they never apologize. Guess who the people are in this email group? Women. Every one. Recently, the bitching got so out of control that Rita just said life is too short for this shit, and so she quit doing the lunch orders, because fuck you. And good for her.

A good friend of mine just moved back to Ohio and is trying to get acclimated to life here again. It’s a huge thing to go through, I remember when I did it about 15 years ago and it’s daunting. I sent her an email about a job resource I know about, a list of jobs that this woman maintains and sends out to people who subscribe. I’ve been getting these for years but there’s almost never a job in them for me so I just glance over the list when it comes out. Then I found out she posts them on twitter so I’ve just been seeing the alerts on there. I thought maybe there would be a nibble in the list for her, so I sent her the page to join where there’s a brief bit of info about the group and the email address to use to sign up. There is no info about any requirements to join or special language to use. Friend asked to join, saying a friend of hers referred her, and the list owner lady sent back a terse reply about how she needs to tell whatever friend referred her to the list to tell her what she has to provide to be approved for a subscription. “[your friend] earned an F in helpfulness because your note did not have the required information.” So I emailed the lady, apologizing, saying I really have no idea what she’s supposed to do, do I need to send you a note with her resume or what. Here’s part of her reply: “Sigh. you don’t read, or pay attention much. At the top of EVERY [list] is the following message, and a few months ago I had to send a STERN warning to subscribers (like you) who create more work for me (like I need it) by their oblivious disregard of my simple request…” It went on from there, and didn’t get nicer. I emailed her back and apologized, I said managing this thing is obviously causing you a lot of stress, maybe you should just let whomever wants to get the list to get it since this process seems so frustrating and difficult, and she fired back another email to me about what was wrong with that notion. Jeez!

There’s another pretty powerful woman I was going to connect my friend with, who is a sort of a headhunter in this area. But my dealings with her have been so nasty and completely unfruitful, I didn’t want to put her through the wringer twice.

I was recently telling the story of a woman boss I used to have, who once gave me a gift card for Christmas. This was a long time ago, and I was still young enough to get away with shopping at places like Wet Seal and Rave. She gave me a gift card for the Limited, and when I opened the card she said, “I know you like that Wet Seal store, but I think the Limited has much nicer work clothes, and I thought you might want to get some.” WOW. Another time when we were meeting about something, I was going over this report and she was looking at me really weird. She interrupted me mid-sentence and reached out and touched my hair and said, “Why do you wear your hair like that? It’s really not flattering.”



2 thoughts on “Why are you such a bitch?

  1. I really hate when awful women make us all look bad. If your friend is still looking for work in the area, send her my way. I don’t have thousands of Twitter followers but I do have a pretty solid network and I value the opportunity to help other job seekers. It’s tough out there, I know. So I try to help out in any small way that I can.

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