Monday, March 16, 2009

He Said, She Said

This past Thursday I woke up with a crick in my neck so horrific that every time I lifted my arms, it sent a very intense, very painful shooting sensation up my neck. Apparently I am 24 going on 85. I tried getting in the shower and fighting through the pain, but I couldn't even wash my hair (or put it up so it was just a limp gross mess around my face). So I made the executive decision to take the day off and lay in bed groaning and watching Tyra's special on babies in beauty pageants. 

And the next day I didn't feel much better, so I took that day off as well. And even though I was legitimately in pain and definitely wouldn't have been able to sit at a computer all day much less get on a bus to get all the way downtown, I still felt guilty for taking those days off. (I guess that means WG1 and I are just really great Catholics because we write about feeling guilty a lot.) Since I felt so guilty, I had a panic attack on Sunday about how I was so sure I was going to walk into work today and get fired. 

See, when I felt like I was going to die from my neck pains I sent an e-mail to my boss saying I felt ill and all I got in return was a "Feel better". That's it. After I spilled out my guts about how I went white in the face when I moved my arms and how walking across a room was a small triumph. That's it. And when I sent an e-mail the next morning talking about my progress, I got zero response. So you can see why my heart started a thumping.

At my job back in New York, The Boss would have probably sent me a care package, told me to go get a massage, and fed me vitamins the day I came back from work. Because she was a 'she' and would often refer to me as her third daughter. She heard sick and her maternal instincts went into overdrive. I think a lot of women hear the word sick and immediately google the symptoms and send all the research they found on how to kick that flu in the ass to their friend/mother/sister/co-worker. I even googled shooting neck pains to make sure I wasn't dying from something other than inflamed joints. 

In my short career, I have only had female bosses and it's taking me a while to get used to a male boss. I'm used to getting lots of compassion when I'm sick or talking about my shopping purchases at lunch. 

My new boss is a 'he'. And his response was, "Feel better". He meant well. But his main concern wasn't my health because he doesn't think of me as a fourth daughter. He was probably thinking more along the lines of 'who is going to put together my weekly reports for Friday's meeting'. And for that, I couldn't be happier. He sees me as an employee. I already have parents thankyouverymuch.

Oh and just in case you couldn't guess, I did not get fired today. 

Have any of you experienced the difference between male and female bosses in your careers?

25 comments:

mylittle20slife said...

I currently have female bosses and it definitely is different. However, I have had great male and great female bosses and not yet had to experience a non-communitcative male boss like you have described. just let it roll off you... at least he said feel better!

Blaez said...

my boss is female and could careless if i was sick or ill as long as i was at work and kissed her ass all the time.

that girl said...

AHHH! i am SO commenting! yes, WG2, i have something to say about this.

i have always had female bosses and until just a few months ago when i got my new job, i thought all bosses were over-dramatic, moody, nice one day/mean the next, competitive, emotional, nit-picky, perfectionist to the point of "just kill me now, please," etc.

and basically, you know the movie, Devil Wears Prada? um, YEAH.

but now ... my man boss is like a dream compared to my old female bosses. he's totally chill, emotions don't control him, he's trusting, easy to work with, never nags, high expectations but in a controlled sort of way (i don't know how to explain it), but anyway, it's awesome. i love working, finally. no more female bosses for me, ever again. female bosses are the WORST. blahhhhh!!!

Lindsay said...

I've either had female bosses or elderly male ones. I'm not sure if the men were worse because they were male or because they were old and cranky.

Jessica said...

I soo know how you feel. I have female bosses and it still gives me a panic attack to call in. I usually panic the whole day, and ruin my day by getting a sick stomach or headache from all my guilt. Ridiculous!

Amanda said...

Yes, women bosses tend to be more sympathetic/empathetic but in my experience they also expect more.

20s Enthusiast said...

I can totally relate! When I was in college I had a female boss who would truly act like my mom to the point that sometimes I wouldn't even work because she was too busy listening to my life stories and making sure I was well fed.
Now I have a male boss and I am CONVINCED he is a robot. But I like him and I like his style and like you said sometimes you need a boss who is not pretending to be your parent, you just need a boss!

High-heel gal said...

My bosses are currently male and yeah, they aren't very motherly when it comes to calling out. In fact, I just called out today and was so happy to get my boss's voicemail instead of him. Well that, and I'm technically not sick, but taking the day off for a job interview in NYC ;)

JulyBug said...

I have to say I've had both male and female bosses and all of them have been completely indifferent when I was sick. I think you just looked out the first time.

Tricia said...

I usually prefer male bosses. All the female bosses I've had have been bitchy and psycho! UGH

I have been the boss and that is hard too - the line between professional and personal is hard to navigate. :( Men seem to have a better time of it.

Bridget said...

Yesterday a friend of mine died, and my boss' response to my email that I would be missing tomorrow for the funeral was "sorry about that". I was a little hurt. I think if I had a female boss, she would have been much more sympathetic.

Adventures in Newlywed said...

I've had both male and female bosses - and have decided that I need to work for myself. No matter how nice they are, you're still working for someone else. Ugh.

Alicia said...

I don't think it's necessarily a female vs male difference. I'm a female manager and I don't really acknowledge when someone's sick. I ask them when they return how they're feeling and that's about it. I've had male and female bosses and at least one of each who's been caring and one of each who's been detached in that regard.

It's just different management style. I'm more of a work-is-work person personally, so I'd rather not get to personal in the office.

Lauren said...

Have you seen this story yet?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/03/16/cb.prefer.which.gender.boss/

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

Just this morning a friend and I were talking about how nice it would be to have a male boss. Females tend to be emotion driven, mean one day and super duper nice the next day.

vanover521 said...

I WISH I had a full-time job. Alas, no such luck here. Bad time to graduate college right now, huh? Poll says "yes"

Non Sequitur Chica said...

I prefer female bosses. Especially in my line of work, they want you to succeed and will help you as much as they can.

I have had one awesome male boss so it can happen.

Marcia said...

Hi, in my work carreer I've had male and female bosses. In my current job I've first had a male boss and now a female boss. It's a personality thing and the way a person works. I liked my male boss better! He was a peoples boss, while my current female boss only sees figures and goes for what she wants and doesn't look at the consequences. Take care!

Nicole said...

Female Boss 1 - wanted to be my mom, best friend and supervisor. I HAD to good morning every day or else she thought i was mad at her. She got jealous if i went to lunch with another girl on our team. She made racist comments alllll the time (although i dont think she realized it) i eventually left because of her.

FB2 - Was my boyfriends cousin. yeah NEVER again. She was ALWAYS in my business. I couldn't even talk on the phone without her in my face after i got off "who was it. what'd they say?" She was like gossip queen.

Now i have a male boss and i loooooove it! He doesn't care about my personal life.

Vampy Varnish said...

Yes many, many differences! Out of all my jobs I have had 6 female bosses and 3 male bosses. With the exception of my current boss who is female, all the females have been not so fun to work for. Hate to be sexist, but in my experience the women were way more helpless, depended much more on me and were a lot more moody.
The men I worked for were straight shooters, didn't mess around and were able to do much more on their own (for instance NONE of the women I have worked for were able to plug in a frickin LCD projector on their own, but all the men could!). I am happy to say that the female I work for now is most excellent and I wouldn't trade her for any male!

Ms. Salti said...

Yes... and I'd so much rather deal with "un-caring" male bosses than the drama that goes with female bosses. I've been having major neck pain too. Maybe it's in the water?

TudorCityGirl said...

You're lucky to have had a very kind former female boss!
I have always had male bosses. They leave you alone for the most part and yes, to calling in sick they always just respond with, "OK. Feel better".
They don't converse as much with you.
My one female boss last year was moody, back-stabbing towards others and an all-around nightmare. So I would take a male boss any day based on my experiences of 7 male bosses to the 1 She-Devil.

TCG

African Weight Loss Diva said...

Female bosses are arses to other females. I hate female bosses like hell. i had one during my housemanship and she was really really annoying and wicked. I was overjoyed when i heard her husband was cheating on her, God forgive me sha.

MO said...

Sorry to hear you had to call out 2 days, I agree, calling out EVER is always a guilty feeling! I have 2 young kids, so I feel like I'm always calling out. I have a male boss and he does the same thing "feel better"...and when I don't get a response, it makes me even sicker because I'm thinking he's pissed. However, every time I've had a female boss, it's like they get jealous or something and always gave me crap for calling out...always in my biz. So, bosses in general can be tricky, but don't feel guilty, you did nothing wrong!!!

The Smarter Princess said...

My past two jobs have been with female bosses and there is such a huge difference!

The men knew nothing about me other than my name and that I did good work. The women were my “office mommies” and literally knew about my family, my dating life, how I was feeling, etc.

When I had surgery a couple of months ago, my boss even called me to see if I needed groceries or movies from Blockbuster!