wife at the office

Sure I can multi-task. It’s in my job description right?

The last thing I do before leaving for work in the morning is to load up the dishwasher.

The first thing I do when I get to the office is to unload the dishwasher.

Anyone see a problem?

This is what I call the ‘wife at the office’ syndrome.  I don’t care how many degrees you’ve got, if you work in admin like me, its like the bra-burning and the vote never happened.  I am stuck in a 1950s timewarp, where all those menial tasks (especially in smaller offices) mostly end up being performed by women.

I’ve been working twenty five years, and it’s like time has stood still.   Why can’t the cleaners do it?  Surely that would be in their job description.  But no – even cleaners job requirements have evolved beyond what it is to be a woman.  All office cleaners are required to do these days is empty bins and vacuum the carpets.  Wipe or dust anything?  You’re dreaming.  Load or empty a dishwasher – you’re definitely dreaming.

Whereas me, I don’t have a choice.  The phrase ‘all other duties as required’ is written into the standard contract to cover off all those tasks nobody in their right mind would do from choice, in a professional environment.  So the tasks that even the cleaners won’t take on, get left to the women.  And 99% of the time it is women that end up doing them.  Nothing against you guys, I’m married to one after all.  But I know that at all of my workplaces, men leave their coffee cups in the sink and walk away.  And that’s because they are at work and they don’t consider it their job.

Well guess what – it isn’t mine either! Does it really come down to the whore/madonna complex.  Cleanliness is close to godliness – if we’re not cleaning and scrubbing we may as well we walking the streets?  I don’t know.  I just know that I’ve never been able to say ‘no it’s not my job’ or I have kind of said that but it’s fallen on deaf ears.

My current supervisor, a woman a little older than myself, told me this week, a guy was making his lunch and dropped part of his sandwich on the floor.  He walked away until the supervisor stood in front of him and told him to pick it up.  His response was ‘but you’re cleaning aren’t you’ because she happened to be washing up a cup.  Neanderthal man is alive and kicking but these days can be found in Armani.

I predict the ‘wife at the office’ will be there for the next hundred years, no wait, make that a thousand.

Join me for my next exciting instalment on how to open the oven without your mascara melting.

At the office.

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