Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Do You Know How To Wash Lettuce?

I had arrived at a colleague's house for a work meeting (including lunch) during the vacation, and I was the first one there.

'Do you know how to wash lettuce?' asked the host, a male colleague who lived not far from me. 

'It's just that I've got some really important phone calls to make'.

Relegated to the kitchen with a slimy green cluster of leaves that had been bought with a 'Reduced' label on it, I eyed the rest of the salad vegetables also waiting to be washed, and cursed the oldest trick in the book of making a female colleague feel secondary as soon as she walked in the door.

I resolved to make the lettuce-washing last until the next arrival, at which point the host would need to take on the hosting duties himself.

He kept coming in to check how I was getting on, because of course there were the rest of the salad vegetables to be washed when I'd finished the lettuce, while he was making his really important phone calls.

Sure enough, I was still washing the limp bundle when the next person arrived (inevitably a man, because of course as so often has been the case, I was the only woman in the department).

There was an abrupt personality change. 

Heartily, my host bellowed; 'Who's for coffee?', simultaneously throwing me a filthy look and glaring at the leafy splodge on the draining board.

Two personalities! What a surprise and how depressingly normal. I'd love to be able to 'out' every male colleague who has humiliated me during my career but that would need a whole book. Hang on a minute...


Wilky of St Albans said...

One of the joys of having a gold-medal winning passive-aggressive mum is you learn a few tricks. Accepting that saying 'no' to the initial question would have been a bit rude, how about trying 'yes, but show me how YOU like it done'. Ok, so it makes you look a bit undomesticated, but it gives him a false ego boost and get's you out of doing it.

I'll get chucked out of Bloke Club for that!

Helen McCookerybook said...

That's quite a good strategy! The slow washing was a definite passive-aggressive technique. I also now can't remember how to write when we have meetings at work without a staff minute-taker. Man's job, innit.