Coming into a new work environment for a summer job is reminiscent of the first day of high school. Stepping into the office is much like stepping into the school cafeteria for the first time.
From a distance, everyone seems to be eating happily together as a school, but with time you discover that the student body is divided into well-defined cliques. Similarly, the office seems to be a unified group of employees. However, I have discovered that although you eventually leave high school, it never truly leaves you.
If the company is like a school, then the sales team is the jocks. This rambunctious group is comprised of all-male “manly-men” who believe in working hard and playing harder.
The HR women, on the other hand, are fewer in number and quieter in nature. Both teams work in a cohesive manner and are welcoming and friendly with each other, but the partition is still apparent.
My section of the office is geographically laid out according to gender. This division of the sexes was of course, unintentional, however it has had a major impact on the office dynamic. I sit in the ovary-friendly section of the office with five other women and one man.
Though our solo male seems to have strayed from his herd, the office boys club regularly ventures into the land of women so that they can invite him out for beers, ribs or 18 holes of manly bonding.
The women also perpetuate their single sex clique by going out for frequent girls’ lunches and discussing the latest Perez Hilton gossip and bashings in the office.
There is no rivalry between the bromances and chick fests; however, I have learned that, like high school, you eventually end up identifying with the clique that is most like you. The gender partition runs as deep as the Grand Canyon; you can be on either side, but having one foot on each cliff is not really possible.
Other articles in this series:
- My Corporate Summer: Crawling out of bed at 7:30 a.m. is never dignified
- My Corporate Summer: The input monkey in the corporate circus
- My Corporate Summer: Monotony, 10 files at a time
- My Corporate Summer: I’m a big kid now