Past & Present

This week, I flew across the country for a business trip that lasted most of the week.  The last evening, I couldn’t sleep, so I headed down to the hotel bar for a drink and some reading of the WSJ.  Eventually, a little old couple came and sat down next to me and we started chatting.

The woman asked me why I was in town, so I told her.  She responded, “You are one of those young women that I read about that travels around the country for work and has one of those jobs that the men used to have.”  Then she asked what I did and I told her.  She said, “That is a big job!”  She proceeded to tell her date about my career and he didn’t quite get it.

She then looked at me and said, “Things were so much simpler for women when I was your age.”

I assured that although I am a busy person, I am happy.  She agreed and said she could tell.

I couldn’t help but wonder what she meant by simpler for her.  We were in a bar, so I didn’t want to get into a super deep conversation, but it has been driving me crazy.  Now I wish I would have asked.

She asked me how I liked working and if it was stressful, etc.  Of course I told her “I love my job, but it is also the reason I drink.”  We had a wonderful evening chatting about work and other things, like her date and lingerie football.  I had so much fun with these two that I bought them a round before I left. 

Anyway, I have been struggling with her statement all day.  For several reasons — I know I am in a male-dominated line of work, but I work to make my position and organization a woman-run organization.  I avoid getting into pissing contests with my male competitors, I try to be progressive with my staff and the goals and objectives we embark upon, and just try to have fun with work.  But it also makes me wonder, how much more “simpler” did they really have it?  I mean, there was the whole womens’ lib movement since then, so apparently somebody wasn’t happy!

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.  ~Timothy Leary




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