Topic of Note: Catty Women in the Workplace


Topic of Note: Catty Women in the Workplace 

M.D. Wright

1.24.2012

 

A friend of mine has undergone some pretty disgusting treatment in the workplace of late. Personally, it only confirms what I’ve known for a long time — following nearly eight years working in an office with over 700 women in my early twenties. I observed first hand that women generally cannot co-exist in the workplace unless they are on the extremes. What do I mean by extremes? Either they share in common the fact that they’re goody-two-shoes (rare) or they are equally trifling — if they can co-exist for any long period of time without undercutting one another or engaging in catty behavior. This is particularly true when the stakes are high: a promotion at the job, the affections of a targeted man, etc. etc. etc.

 

Men are hypercompetitive when there are high stakes, true. We know this. We’ve heard multitudes of stories of the sort. But for me, it is almost comical to sit back and watch women (those who ARE catty, that is, notice I did not say “all women are catty”) do these same things regardless of where you live, what industry you work in, the age, race, ethnicity or any delineating variable that you would like to use.

 

There are women who can co-exist peacefully with other women, but usually their sentiments aren’t shared consistently by other women except when everything is copacetic.

 

It is particularly disturbing when you have Type A and Type B personalities clash in these scenarios. One will try to walk all over the other, particularly if the other (Type B) is a perceived threat to the Type A’s personal agenda. I’ve seen some vicious things and heard about others, but it seems like this dynamic is not just isolated to the workplace. In fact, the workplace is a good microcosm of the world at large; particularly in New York, where you have such a sample of people from every conceivable background and walk of life.

 

When you see women battling each other (subtly and outright) for attention of men who aren’t even paying them any attention, you know it’s sad. The purpose for actually being on the job is trumped by ego and selfish ambition. The absolute worst example of this phenomena is when you have a team environment where the overall success of the team hinges not only upon individual efforts, but the collective harmony of the team — that cohesion, that unison, that synergy, that camaraderie (not best buddies that go whitewater rafting, but CIVILITY) and ultimately how well each can co-exist, and the catty behavior casts a dark cloud over everything that is good and well with the team.

 

Then you have those who will swear to you as surely as the sky is Carolina blue, that they “never hate on other women”, yet you put them in a situation where their ego can be tampered with by another woman that is a perceived threat or just makes their cervix hike up into their lower abdomen with that anger, and you’ll see the truth…

 

 

It’s like having Tiki Barber trolling around looking for ways to tear the New York Giants’ clubhouse apart, like he’s been doing for years now.

 

But I digress…

 

LET ME HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS/STORIES

 

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