“I know, let’s play 18 holes in the cold and rain!” said no woman, ever.
Yet, that’s what I found myself doing on a recent Monday morning with my senior management and a customer.
Me, three middle-aged men, and a cooler full of beer.
Did I mention that it was freezing and raining? Also, I had a fever…and a cough…and I hadn’t slept in 48 hours. Jealous?
As I begrudgingly laced up my golf shoes, quite possibly the only shoes I own that don’t bring me joy, and tried to make conversation between popping Tylenol and black-lung sounding cough attacks, I thought, “I am never doing this again. I hate golf. I hate being cold and wet. I hate talking about sports for six hours. I hate that I didn’t have the stones to say ‘no’ to this day of misery.”
When I finally made it back to my hotel that night, more tired, cold and feverish than before, I called my fellow golf-averse road warriorette and asked what she would have done in the same situation. Would she have golfed with a cold/fever on a rainy day because it was for a work event with senior management? Her answer made me feel better and worse all at once. She said she would have suffered through, as I did.
I appreciated that she and I make poor life choices in a similar manner.
But I realized that this is ridiculous behavior, specifically, a classic case of women not knowing when to stop apologizing for being human.
I admit, part of me wears not being human with a badge of honor. I’m proud that I can tough it out and do anything asked of me, and do it better than anyone. However, as I get deeper into a business world where I am still outnumbered by men, I’m beginning to learn a thing or two about the difference between apologizing and owning. So I called my favorite male co-worker and asked what he would have done.
“Are you kidding me?,” he said. “F*ck no, I wouldn’t have golfed, and, what, gotten sicker? I’d have stayed in my room, ordered room service and gotten work done, and if my boss had a problem with it, oh well. F*ck that.”
Apologize vs. Own. Lesson learned.
Journey On, Janes.
Do you choose to be human on occasion? What stories do you have of life lessons you’ve learned in challenging work situations? Tell us about them in the comments section or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org