For the past nine months, I have been working for my church helping to start another campus. The new campus staff, which included 3 guys and myself, officed out of our original campus for 6 months, while we waited for our office to be built.
Since I had been on staff for the original church campus for a couple of years, I actually enjoyed going to work every day there and seeing all my friends.
Most of the people I worked with at the original campus were female. I supervised a childcare ministry staff of 60 that were 95% women, and I was a volunteer in the women’s ministry so everyday I was surrounded by females.
I could always count on good conversations, a hug when I came in looking like I was having a rough day, and random notes of encouragement.
However, I could also always count on days of listening to drama, wiping tears, and nipping gossip in the bud.
I am typically not into drama, tears, or gossip.
Yes, I am a female. Yes, I struggle in these areas from time to time. However, when God structured my DNA I think He may have structured my ladder (if any of my former science students are reading this you better know exactly what I mean) just a wee bit different than most women.
I just don’t enjoy drama …whether it is fictional or real.
Soap opera, books, and TV shows that showcase women who can’t ‘get over it’ drive me nuts.
When women use Facebook to broadcast their daily problems on social media, I have to refrain from commenting in all caps “GET A JOURNAL! GET A COUNSELOR! GET A REAL LIFE FRIEND…NOT JUST FACEBOOK FRIENDS!”
(I know some of you women are now headed over to Facebook to look at your Facebook posts to try to figure out if I am talking about you. . . because that is what women do. Seriously. I am not talking about you, and I do not have you in mind. There is no deeper meaning. There is no name.)
I accepted the position to be a part of the church staff for a new campus knowing that at least for a while there was a good chance that I would be working on a staff of all men.
I knew that my weekday church office experience would look very different.
In my new office I never hear the words Pinterest or The Bachelor or Kohl’s . I am much more likely to find myself listening to conversations about sports or theology or the best burger in town.
The fact that I can actually join into a conversation about sports and theology more comfortably than I can reality TV and shopping has come in handy. Remember I am the gal that named her blog ‘Ponytailprincess,’ with the tag line ‘a grown-up tomboy learning to be a princess of her king.’
Last week was my birthday. I was excited about the day’s plans.
My dad was in town and I had plans to spend the morning with him and then make it to the office in time for our weekly scheduled staff meeting.
Some of my female coworker friends from the other church campus arranged to take me out to dinner that night for my birthday. In the back of my head, I really think that they felt sorry for me being in an office of all men on my birthday. They likely knew there would be no cool handmade gifts from Pinterest or great salad for lunch on my birthday.
My birthday plans were interrupted by a phone call from school.
One of my kids was not feeling well.
My plans with Dad were cut short and I had to text the guys at work to let them know that I wouldn’t be making it into the office because I had a sick child.
To my great surprise, I got a reply text with a picture that said, “Dang, we had a cake for you”.
I replied back. “Go ahead and eat a piece!”
That night Joe and I debated about whether or not those four guys took me at my word and ate the cake. We came to the conclusion, “Of course they did.”
We laughed about the fact that it is likely that if I worked in an office full of women that they would wait as long as it took for me to be in the office before they cut into the cake.
Men. They take us at our words.
“Go ahead and eat my birthday cake without me.”
Men interpret this to mean “Dig in.”
A woman would find deeper meaning, “Oh we can’t do that. Holly needs to be here with us. It won’t be the same without her. Holly really does want us to wait until tomorrow when she is here. She is just saying for us to eat it to be nice.”
Many women live their lives in frustration because they say one thing, but mean another and they expect the men in their lives to read between the lines.
When I said, “Go ahead and eat a piece,” that is exactly what I meant.
It’s a good thing because when they brought out the cake the next day, this is what it looked like.
and…it made me smile more than it ever would have if I had seen it before they cut into it the day before.
Better go throw on my tennis shoes and cap….it’s time to head to work!