This… is Dick

25 Feb

I should have known from the first geriatric wobble that Dick* was going to be a problem. Up until Dick, my working life was positively pleasant. I work in a quiet office, with a handful of generally quite pleasant ladies, but when Dick arrived it was like throwing a fox in with the chickens – feathers were ruffled and shit started to fly.

Take away the fact that he has a nasty habit of leering at my boobs given the slightest opportunity, Dick is highly incompetent. He’s been a volunteer since around 2,000 BC and in that time he’s managed to piss off more staff members than my organisation has had the opportunity to hire, all the while doing what amounts to bugger all. Yet we persist in letting him in the door. Partly because volunteers – even bad ones – are hard to come by, but mostly because Dick has a network of equally pompous and incompetent cronies friends who we have to keep happy.

While I’d like nothing more than to change his building security code – which really isn’t all that necessary since I usually have to let him in after hearing him fumbling around getting his code wrong at least five times every morning – I do realise that an unhappy Dick is a PR nightmare. An unhappy Dick is not good for donations and like an STD, Dick’s negative gossip would spread far and wide if we dared remove the condom of false flattery, even just the once. I get it, but I don’t have to like it.

So with a big event on the horizon, I’m now stuck with a daily dose of Dick and I’m none to happy about it. Who would have thought I’d ever say that?? In fact, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve actually grown to hate Dick. The only saving grace is that his natural name lends itself perfectly to his character, and making fun of it is about the only solace me and my equally perved upon colleagues get each day.

Anyway, today – thankfully – turned out to be a Dick free day. You see, sometimes our boss realises that by Friday we’re all too tired to suck up to Dick, and pries him out of the office for an hour or two, most likely for his own protection. So today, I have time to think. And while there’s not a lot going on in that mush for brains I now have, there’s a few ideas brewing that I’m getting pretty excited about.

The first is that next week I start a graphic design course! Exciting! In fact, I was so excited that I started looking around at fancy WordPress themes that I could customise with my fancy new design skills, until I realised that I was using the tightarse version of WP that doesn’t allow for custom themes. Then it all got a bit too hard for a Friday lunchtime, but I figure in time you’ll see a cool new theme on here that has been designed by yours truly!

The second is that I’m super nervous for The Boy who is sitting the first of his primary examinations today. Once he passes all eight exams, he’ll be a ‘boss’ which is, I think, a super cool title. As in, ‘what do you do?’, ‘I’m a boss…. what do you do’. Of course he’ll say this in his scrubs, all ER like – which by the way I LOVED when I was a kid. Mmm… Dr Carter the ED intern? Totally knew I was going to marry him and have his babies one day.

This brings me to my third thought of the day, which is that I am mortified my mother actually KNEW about that primary school crush I had on one of my teachers. I found it mentioned in a letter she wrote to my gramps 20 years ago, and might I add that at least I had good taste because in that same letter, mother, you also admitted he was super cute. I can’t exactly remember who it was, but from memory he patched up my knee one day after I’d scraped it falling over. Clearly I’ve not outgrown my ‘knight-in-shining-armour’ phase.

The final thought of the day is an interesting one that The Boy bought up last night. He wondered whether I worked as hard now as I did before I was pregnant. I’ll be honest here, like I was last night, and the answer is a resounding no. I can definitely confirm that my mind wanders a lot more, I take more breaks, I’m slower, less efficient, and all around less engaged than I was six months ago. And it’s not as though I don’t try – it’s more that now I just don’t care, and after a few hours of sitting at my desk I’m more than ready for a nap which usually makes the latter half of my day decidedly unproductive. Henry kicking me all the time is also pretty distracting, in a really good way.

So, should I be paid less? Probably. But the sad fact remains that as a woman, I already am being paid less than my male counterparts. For all Australia argues that this isn’t the case, talk to any chic you know and you’ll soon see that she’s earning less FOR THE SAME WORK as a man in the same role. Part of it comes down to simple discrimination – largely because employers realise that women of a reproductive age are going to take time off to start a family, and part of it is because women generally suck at asking for what they’re worth.

There are a lot of other complex factors that come into play here, none of which I’m going into because I’m not about to have a big whinge about being undervalued because I have a vagina. I’m just happy to point out that yes, I am not as productive pregnant (as I suspect a lot of women aren’t) but for me that’s part of the risk you take when you employ a lady. And if you then think employing women is a bad idea, you should probably go out and buy a copy of Half the Sky, read it, and then try to argue that the world was a better place when women stayed at home.

*His real name

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