Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tarzan Goes To A Meeting

I am back from Washington D.C., however, I left a SIGNIFICANT part of me behind... or a significant part of my behind...or a significant amount came out of my behind...and I left it there... or something.

I think I mentioned that the project I'm working on is the exploration of a potential merger.

The personal dynamics of the meeting were pretty fascinating.

People holding similar jobs can't help but feel awkward with their counterpart wondering who might be the future boss of the other.

Despite the tension, the whole group needs to work together to conduct the proper due diligence analysis.

I was struck by the difference in the way men and women handled it.

Early on the first night I sat with a group of women. They were evenly split, half representing one group and half the other. The conversation immediately turned to topics that create unity.

The women talked about how many children they had, the kids ages, the particular challenges they faced with children that age and the stresses of being a working mom.


Soon all the women were laughing together remembering when they were 13 years old and three-way calling boys.


"Ask him if he likes me and I'll just listen."

Remember that?

The women immediately created a sense of camaraderie and common ground with one another.

Later that night I was seated with a group of the men.

They immediately got down to the business of establishing who had more power.

They "one-upped" each other, interrupted, disagreed, argued and became combative.

They puffed up their man chests and beat on them with their hairy fists.

I half expected them to swing on a forest vine performing a Tarzan yell.

Men are so weird sometimes.

I left Washington thinking that before a meeting begins men should be required to go to the bathroom as a group.

In the privacy of the men's room and away from the women they should just get it over with... drop their pants, get their measuring sticks out, establish rank and THEN come out and have the meeting.


Me Tarzan. Mine Bigger.

Tarzan

71 comments:

Tabba said...

Thank god we don't establish pecking order by lifting our shirts....
The guys would really like that.

Anyway, and I hate overgeneralizations and stereotypes, but it is just the way we (women) are wired....to share, to relate.

squire said...

I would be a loser, "the water is always cold at my house", hehe

Tessa said...

lol sounds like there was wind in DC from more than ONE source. :) Glad you made it back safely.

B. Goldenwood said...

SHRINKAGE! (laughing) Your story sounds very much like a Sienfeld episode... and I will definitely be thinking of it throughout my work day today.

Great post!

venessa said...

Women are generally socialized to be more cooperative.

I like your solution. When should we start lobbying?

Sayre said...

You had male stuff going on at your meeting - I had it at lunch with my family! It was pretty funny, actually.

Jennifer said...

Isn't human behavior fascinating.

carmachu said...

That tends to be why I have more women friends then men. I realy hate playing the "who has the biggest one" game.

Bon said...

i've noticed very similar patterns in many of my own work environments, except those in which individual women have been isolated and gained power and then try to act like men and often that's even worse.

i think gender's a performance rather than hard-wired, for the most part, but i generally prefer the ways that women play, workwise.

and i wonder whether i'll be able to raise O to do more than just thump his chest and show off how he's hung? i mean, obviously that's important...but wouldn't it be neat if we could start socializing boys to establish commonality too? do y'think it's possible?

Erika, Plain Jane Mom said...

Well since I'm officially a man now, I have to point out that blah blah blah... Mine is the largest.

ali said...

it's amazing that men think the one with the biggest cock wins...but really, we women just want a man who doesn't behave like a cock.

Kim said...

the fight to be alpha male never ends...

I sometimes wonder how much different our world would be if women were country leaders in this world instead of men.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Another reason why I left corporate america. The dick fights. Ugh.

jen said...

excellent. it's incredible isn't it...i so love being a woman.

cronznet said...

The gender differences in behavior are fascinating. My favorite is the well-documented and personally-experienced male behavior of switching topics until they find one the female in the group can't contribute to. It happens almost every time I'm the only gal in a group of guys.
As for Tabba's comment, I also think it's interesting that for women, the more endowed she is the less her intellect/power is assumed to be.
Fascinating.

Misa Gracie said...

Funny enough I'm more comfortable meeting with the chest pounding ape men than the I want to be your best friend women. Something about the "Oh, you don't have children... why?" that makes my skin crawl and I get all sweaty and sometimes mad. With the guys I can make a joke and then move on.

Sometimes I feel that women judge me by my malfunctioning ovaries. I don't want the pitty and can't stand the "if it's meant to be" comments.

Sorry - I love my Mom but I hate Mother's day more and more each year and so far this year is the worst.

karrie said...

I'm not sure what it says about me that I usually got along better with guys when I was working?

:)

The Medium Swede said...

I agree with Karrie, I get along much better with the women I work with.

I do have to say that I feel men make a decision and move on while women tend to.... well not do that.

That being said, I have always preferred working for and with women.

Cathy said...

Love the restroom suggestion, but --

Most of the guys I work with would rather wander around peeing in circles around their desks.

mcewen said...

Maybe we should consider converting our 'glass ceiling' into a 'mirror' in the men's room?
Cheers

Abbynormal said...

hilarious and true.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

You seriously should have suggested that during the meeting. Call for a time-out and tell them to get it over with. Men, ugh!

Amber said...

I think that's how they resolve conflict at the White House....

Mama en Fuego said...

You know there would always be that one guy with the penis pump hidden in the last stall trying to throw the competition...

Trust me, big dick does NOT equal manly, intelligent or superior, just ask my ex-husband. HEY-YO!!!

Gingers Mom said...

You are so right. Men are totally weird. I think that is a fantastic idea. As long as the women got to judge the results and mock the the wee ones...

urban-urchin said...

i was going to say something but then I read Cathies comment about peeing in circles and I can't stop laughing...

Bob said...

I dunno, I've met my share of women in business who are into power and position. I think it is a matter of the way business is conducted in this country. People who are aggressive are rewarded. It's self-selecting.

freud has a lot to answer for.

Jen Magnuson said...

Thanks for reminding me that it is so much better to be a woman. We can be pretty hard on each other, but we can also be amazing as a group. :)

Her Bad Mother said...

Shouldn't they air their weenies publicly? You know, so that they don't just all enter into a secret pact to LIE about their weenies? Cuz they do that, you know.

Little Monkies said...

I wish I'd been a fly on that wall... ;)

Jenifer said...

Yup that sounds about right. I have sat on many committees and task forces and while the women were trying to get things done the men were talking about who could get it done best.

So true.

Lawyer Mama said...

Sad, but so true.

Natalie said...

Interesting and sad observation. Men would get so much more done if they were more like women.

Augs Casa said...

it's guys like that that give us good guys a bad rap.

Kelly said...

At this very moment my husband is out of town at a meeting meeting his counterparts at the company who's bought his company. I'm going to forward this to him, and ask him how he faired in the men's room!lol

The Queen Mama said...

Dear Lord, soooo true.

All the Tarzan talk got me thinking of Miles O'Keefe from "Tarzan, the Ape Man." Remember that movie? It was beyond horrible to watch, except for him. He was yummy.

Queen Heather said...

I agree! Just get it over with in the john.

That's so funny!

Lisa said...

Amen sister.

I used to do pr for an engineering/architectural firm. And a female coworker and I used to laugh after the meetings. About how they might as well be dogs trying to pee all over the walls. Cause yes, Ego plays a HUGE part in those meetings, doesn't it.

liv said...

Thanks for publishing a testament of evidence that would happily support most of my studies in Communication--soft science of the century. Seriously, the men are a silly lot, no?

QT said...

Too funny. I have had my share of domineering female bosses tho. Threatened much?

The Holmes said...

The oneupsmanship that most guys seem to feel compelled to engage in is so ridiculous. I always thrive much more when I'm working for a woman and I don't have to "prove" anything other than that I can do a good job.

mamatulip said...

Ah, it's been a while since I've seen a good cockfight. Thanks for the memories, Joy.

canape said...

I so don't miss that kind of meeting.

In non-profit work it's particularly annoying because you get these volunteer board members who are waving their magic man wands around for a couple of years and then move on. Meanwhile, you watch them come and go and try to clean up all the messes they made while they were busy being right while knowing nothing.

I don't miss that at all.

flutter said...

*scratches big man bulge and belches*

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

I used to have a couple of wormy coworkers that always had pissing contests in the middle of stupid meetings. Sometimes they can be arseholes.

Then I had a boss who was so sweet and kind I didn't want to ever leave him.

I just saw my most recent boss-man today. God I miss him.

BOSSY said...

Because rarely when women say, "Mine's bigger" is that a good thing.

Chaos Control said...

How I WISH I had three-way calling when I was a 13-year old! I'm afraid I was well in to my 20's by the time that feature was invented!!

Shauna said...

Great post! And so true!!

Cece said...

I enjoy watching men "one-up" each other! lol

amyerj said...

I love your observation skills. Dead on. I've been one of those women going through a merger and experienced the exact same thing.

In fact, during a mixed meeting, one of the dueling VPs was constantly flexing his biceps as he fidgeted around in his chair, gestured at something, or wrote on the white-board. We all (men & women) had lots of good laughs about that later.... especially when he was gone and the other (my) VP was left standing.

Karen Forest said...

Wouldn't the world be a better place if ran by women.......

Wendy said...

I was in a similar situation today. The biggest problem is that one of those tarzans is my husband. I just have to take him to the side and say stop it already. We already know who has the biggest...let it go.

Paige said...

id say something smart but im too busy looking at tarzan's pecs in this picture to think straight, capitalize or punctuate

kellypea said...

Always very funny! But I have to be the nay sayer.

Women are absolutely not always more cooperative -- you didn't say it -- a responder did. I have known women whose teeth are so sharp they draw blood on sight. Unfortunately, some of my employees may have thought mine were razor-like. *sigh*

Thanks for the hoots -- you always deliver!

Pgoodness said...

Men to the restroom - that would have been worth discussing! Great post.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

My goodness J! Don't you know it's not the size of the ship...but the motion of the ocean!

(hee-hee)

BTW- It IS the size of the ship.....sorry guys! :)

Metalia said...

AHH! Three-way calling; I totally forgot about that.

Starrlight said...

BEAUTIFUL!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

The one with the biggest dick is probably the biggest dick.

Fidget said...

ok you took a turn there. I though you were going to go for men take a group trip to the potty, share chapstick, pass paper under the stalls and get over the whole maCHEESEmo crap.. but i think i like where you took it better - it's more reasonable.

Grim Reality Girl said...

Although I agree with much of what has been said here.... I will admit that working for a man is easier than working for a woman. Not that I don't want more women at the top of the corporate ladder.... but my female bosses always have something to prove and they drive me like dog. It is easy to impress men at work as a general rule.... women are a tougher sell. Please don't shoot me.... I would rather have hung with the chicks that night too...

Yamagoo said...

Quite honestly I think our system of "I know you hate me, I know you're an asshat" upfront communication cuts through alot of the unspoken animosity that exists between women. We men mistakenly refer to that as cattiness, but I suspect it is much more important and insidious.

Since all women SHOULD know that they control all men, either directly (when we are enchanted by you)or indirectly (when the guy who is enchanted by you can kick my ass) you should really pay no mind to the silly monkeys as they play their silly monkey games. You shouldn't be surprised or concerned though when you see us doing those silly, smell-my-finger-fall-out-of-the-tree monkey stuff that makes you love us so!

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot...Moms if you see your boys doing this stuff...DO NOT INTERFERE! As a man in the PC world I can tell you...we need boys in the world today. There's too much of a war on boys...this (arguably stupid) behavior is natural for us testosterone slaves...as is doing dangerous stuff without using our hands....like riding our bikes...or peeing at 3am...
in the dark....
with the seat down....

We LIVE on the edge!

Bungi said...

I am glad i am a woman. Men are missing out on a lot... Tsk tsk.

Bungi said...

And can i blogroll you?!

allrileyedup said...

Oh, those silly men, always reminding why I'm so glad to be female.

On another note, that very first paragraph led me to believe you were going to tell a story similar to one I have about the time I clogged a toilet at a four star hotel. I'm sure you can guess why. I was in high school, no less. It was awesome.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Sometimes? SOMETIMES they are weird? how about all the time?

Heather said...

OMG, you so described most meetings I go to at work, especially when there are people new to each other involved.

The flip side is when the women are carping at each other and can't let something go. There are days I'd rather have penis measuring than emotional grudges.

mytoes said...

Real men that are secure don't measure themselves against others. Women always change the rules it seems to fit themselves in a relationship. If you and your wife/husband are good friends first before marriage then the game of who's in charge all the time stops. In a boardroom brains always out smarts big penis. ow childish can these so called men be?

wayabetty said...

Me Tarzan, you're Jane while beating on chest. That's too funny. Glad you had a nice time in the women group though.

Ghecko from RSA said...

Have had INSANE week myself and have just dropped in for my dose of Joy (Oh how I missed you!)....and CRACKED UP! I work in a real Alpha Male corporate environment and have often said that men in corporates remind me of nothing so much as dogs....In particular when they keep on reproducing the same sets of information in different formats depending on how manly their Excel / Word / PowerPoint muscles are. It is JUST like a pack of dogs circling a patch of ground and each one having to pee over the mark the dog before him left behind. It wastes time like nobody's business but it entertains me no end!