Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Different Work Environment

I have written before that my civilian job is WAY different than my military.  One was is by gender.  I work on the fifth floor.  I am one of three men who work on this floor with 11 women.  And the two guys are out of town more than I am.  So I am often the only guy on the floor.

Many of the meetings I go to I am the only guy.  Or I am one of two guys among six or seven women.  Many of the women are in their 20s or early 30s so, as in Iraq, I am older than their mothers.

You could ask, "What's wrong with that Gussman?  Wouldn't you rather be in a room full of pretty women than with a bunch of guys?"

Sure, except I have to make sure exactly where I am before I make a joke.  Jokes among the men I hang around with primarily soldiers and bike racers, are put down jokes.  Some are coarser than others, but they they are part of marking territory, saying who is better than whom.  When I made a joke in the motor pool, it was at the expense of someone else.  And it was better if there were a half dozen others around to laugh at the object of the joke.

At work, we make jokes with no put downs, or a self put down.

In Iraq, if my roommate Nickey Smith had his friends in the room and I walked in he would say, "That's my Roomie.  'Cause of him, I live in a f#&king library.  Can you believe he don't listen to music.  Nothin'!!!!!!!"

Nickey would then make a joke about how fast I was going to bounce in and out of the room.  Usually I was changing to ride or workout.  While I was changing I would make a joke about how much Nickey was going to miss my white ass when we went home.

I don't make jokes like that at work now.