Brown-nosers and kiss-asses [NOT 11/5/21]

Hi, friends!

Sorry I missed yesterday’s NOT, it was a day. And then I needed to make dinner. And then I was like fuck it, Imma read a book for a while and then just sleep.

We had a big meeting yesterday and a bunch of teams were on it. I’m in an IT org, so honestly a lot of the stereotypes about IT hold. Like regularly it’s me and 17 dudes on a call. Mansplaining is still common. Men regularly fall up into better positions. Etc etc.

One of the things that most annoys me is the double standard about how women get penalized for having small children but men have kids and all the other older dudes circle the wagons and praise him for all his hard work and being such a great dad and family man. Like I’ve seen the bosses fire contractors within a few days of telling them they were pregnant, nevermind that the contract term would still be over before the baby was due, anyways. But you know… contractors… so no worker’s rights.

So this virtual meeting. One rando dude from another team has his baby on his lap the entire time. Not only that, but like he’s keeping the baby engaged the entire time. Cute baby. Not disputing that at all. Very distracting on a call. It wasn’t a meeting requiring video to be on. Coworker pings me and she’s quite a bit younger than me, and she’s like “wow this is distracting” and I replied “oh you wait he’s doing it for attention and to get the other dudes to notice and praise him.”

Sure enough, we get towards the end of the meeting and a director is all “wow, let’s talk about so-and-so and their baby!” and several dudes follow suit talking about him and asking about the baby. Last week I was on a call and someone’s kids were crying in the background and I get messages like “ugh why can’t she get a babysitter?” but when a dude does anything with a baby, OMG he’s such a good provider, someone get that man a promotion!

Fucking brown-noser.



    • Gah. Failed to post the gif. Aggretsuko is the alter-ego I didn’t know I had until recently. She seems to be my perfect nonverbal response to almost everything.
      Sexism is enraging, especially in a “professional” environment.

  1. This is yet another case study of why video is so unnecessary most of the time. For that matter, open ended conference calls are usually a mess. These things happen when managers don’t do the pre-meeting work.
    But going on a tangent from cute babies and brown noses, I’m bringing up cute babies with black noses.
    Yesterday I took a roundabout walk to pick up my car at the mechanic, and about a quarter mile from my daughter’s high school I looked down an alley and saw three fox cubs. They were maybe the size of a house cat, bouncing around in the sun. That was pretty cool. Took the edge off paying for new front struts.

  2. I have a male coworker that is incapable of hitting a deadline, is inflexible in his thinking, is sneaky, and monopolizes and mansplains at every meeting. To the extent that I have trained my direct reports on the cat-herding techniques needed to get content from him so that they are not working nights and weekends to hit hard stop deadlines.  I imagine that he is a fine acquaintance but he is a nightmare coworker. It is the ass-covering lies and sneakiness and butting into work outside of his purview whilst failing to accomplish his own tasks that really gets me going. Arrrgh. Can you tell that I suffered through multiple hour-long meetings with him today?

  3. I can understand your frustration but from the opposite side of the spectrum.  I was a stay at home dad for my girls for most of their lives & was constantly made to feel like it wasn’t a real job & judged by the mother groups or just shunned by them.  I didn’t care because they were all drama & kids were awful when mine had manners.  Weren’t many SAHD back then but I luckily bonded w/ a couple good ones that kept me sane.  The saddest part was volunteering at elementary school & having little boys not leave me alone because no other dads would help in classes & you could tell they lacked a father figure.  I did my best while the mom volunteers would talk down to me like I didn’t know WTF to do.  

    • I have no ill-will towards stay at home dads! Dads are great!

      I just see men praised for the appearance of being a dad and rewarded in the workplace when women are still treated like they have divided loyalties and ugh so disruptive when they have to do stuff with the babies. It’s especially annoying because most of the guys I see get treated like the best dads ever at work… have wifes who are stay at home moms. They’re not even primary caregivers yet it’s like welp Joe here just had a second kid, better promote him because he’s a provider…never mind that he’s a complete twit at his job….

      • I get it & wasn’t defending the asshat in your story.  Just pointing out how gender stereotypes are harmful both ways.  I’m a feminist & raised 2 very strong girls though with slightly skewed ideas about gender roles.  They believe a man’s place is in the kitchen cooking for them!

        • Sure let’s recenter the conversation to how men are the real victims of a patriarchal society which benefits them to earn more money and have higher socioeconomic status, get treated better by doctors, etc etc just because thanks to those same patriarchal standards when men do any traditionally women’s roles people make assumptions about those men’s abilities. 

          • …I know it’s not what the routine was about but this kind of thing always sort of reminds me of a chris rock bit about people expecting praise for “shit you’re supposed to do”…in that one of lines is “I ain’t never been to jail” to which the response is something like “you ain’t supposed to go to jail you low-expectation-having motherfucker”

            …it’s that none of the people that fit the pattern you describe seem to be conscious of the fact that what makes it nominally worthy of making a fuss about is an apparent default expectation that guys don’t/won’t do that stuff…there’s an undercurrent of “look at you being the exception to the rule” that’s entirely infuriating

             …it’s not even that being a decent dad isn’t worthy of praise…anyone doing a decent job of being a parent deserves a bunch of that…but it ought to be the norm…so the fishing for compliments/performative side of the thing tends to make it come off like they themselves don’t consider it to be…which sort of undermines the case for praising them to my mind…although I guess that’s besides the point & possibly a different sort of unfair on my part

            …either way I can see how it would be a wind up to have someone do that during a work video call…hope today proves less aggravating

  4. Yet another example in which my work environment is surprisingly different. We do software support and there are more women than men on the team. Nobody gives anybody shit about kids or time off. No fucking brownnosers either which is the best part of all. 

  5. one of the guys i work with decided he needed to mansplains someones job to her after he found a mistake….dudes the meekiest milded mannered mouse ive ever worked with….you the type…its like they released him from a cult compound and let him loose in the real world with nothing more than a note saying good luck…youll need it
    anyways…..he does tend to go on…and on…and on when hes found something he feels needs adressing
    she practically bit his head off….it was hilarious…hes been hiding in the clean room ever since
    in other news…i pretty much missed yesterday….managed to get through work..but that was it…picked up tv dinners for the others and crawled in to my nest soon as i got home…..briefly woke up at about 21:30 to look at my phone and decide that was a perfectly good time to roll over and go back to being in a coma…
    i feel marginally less like im made of ill fitting parts now

  6. I’ve had someone give me shit about taking time to get my dog to the vet. I snapped. “You take a day every time there’s fucking 0.25 inches of snow on the ground, you go see a doctor every time your fart smells different. Every goddamn appointment you ever make is mid-day so you take the rest of the fucking day so a plumber can show you how to light a pilot lamp. You get the right to talk shit when you amount to some shit.”

  7. I see this more as shameless exploitation of cuteness than brown-nosing or ass-kissing but I do agree that the double-standard is really annoying.

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