Egoistic Men Working Under Egoistic Women

Hmm did I just pass the whole of May without a single entry?
Okay, I’m not a prolific blogger anyway.
I’ve been lending a hand over an event in the past weekend, and the pissed-off-ness that built up as I tried to do my job gave me some insights into some of the people I’ve worked around with since secondary school.
I hope this doesn’t sound sexist, but it’s a fact: I always run into problems when I’m placed in direct subordination to women.
Probably the earliest I could remember was in Secondary One and Two in English Drama Society. I’ve told friends about how I was scarred and disillusioned when Grace Lee told me that the other girls were badmouthing about me and saying that I was trying to impress the teacher whenever I tried my best to get in the act. I lost much of my confidence over that issue, and became very withdrawn and afraid to give my best during those Drama sessions. But very likely, another reason why EDS was a mini-hell for me was because of all the bossy, opinionated ladies that squashed our ideas down whenever we were discussing how or what to act out.
Now, on hindsight, the bad experience I had with these girls set the tone for me when I interacted with my new classmates in Junior College. People like Teddy and Hong How could never understand why I seemed to dislike the girls in my class so much. It was probably not "dislike" in the beginning… It was a distrust, which later biased me to view whatever happened in negative light of them. Not all of them were the insistent-and-untactful type, but I had this generalization that girl’s school girls tended to be more domineering than co-ed school girls, so I gave them a wide emotional berth from the start.
The most obvious fall-outs I’ve had with women was with Cynthia in HQ21SIB during my NS days. She was the first chief clerk I came under. People around me would tell me how surprised they were that I had not gotten pissed off at her attitude yet, because so far, she had quarrelled or turned off most of the boys that were sent to help her. One-by-one they had requested to be posted somewhere else or they snuck off to help other chief clerks. Actually, I WAS pissed. But at first I swallowed it all, ate humble pie, accepted all the blame and glares that she heaped on me… Until I tipped over and totally ignored her and showed her how pissed I had gotten. We never talked after she got the hint that I was really angry over something, but I think she never bothered to find out what she had done wrong to make her best clerk eventually take the path of all her other clerks.
In university, for some modules, I’ve had to work with ladies too. But one thing about ladies was that they are more concerned about the overall result than guys. Guys tend to be more relaxed about the outcome, and not show frustration or blame over the slightest step that was imperfect. Some of the ladies in some of my project groups, however, were always so overly excited about some tiny parts that weren’t perfect, and always give that kind of look as though they felt you weren’t taking it seriously. I seriously detest this kind of psychological warfare: live and let live, please. I don’t nit-pick your work for the slightest mistake, can’t you show the same courtesy too? Once again, not all my project groupmates were like that. Only those that were overly excited, insistent and indulging in covert blame-mongering tactics really pissed me off, and they pissed me off real quick.
At least, at the very least, I’ve never had such an experience working with the ladies in NUS Buddhist Society. It’s surprising. Even though I had alot of conflicts of opinion with Katrine, she never once rode roughshod over me. She always made the effort to be polite, at the very least. And I appreciated that. In fact, I probably pissed off many of the ladies in NUS BS with my own ego. I’m ever quite apologetic about the way I always seem to shoot down Suey Lein’s ideas. I never meant to appear to be against her, so I’m really glad that she’s willing to forgive me. The other (more senior) ladies in NUS BS always set a tone that I believe to be ideal: frank, but tactful. Never to pressure blame unto others. Always willing to listen first, talk later. Never openly criticising others or shouting down others halfway in their tracks.
Yes, I have an ego. But, short of reducing my ego which takes time, there are two ways of handling my pissed-off-ness when I have to work with such women: (1) let her know; (2) swallow my anger. I have been taking option 2 this weekend, because I could not figure out any way I could do option 1 without showing my anger. So rather than hurt her, I suppose my fellow Buddhists would have had me keep the fourth precept for the weekend. But I do hope one day someone can communicate her shortcomings to her though, otherwise she would run into more conflict if she worked with even bigger egos than mine.


  1. Cindy said,

    9 June 2008 at 22:24

    Well, I always knew u\’re egoistic. (wahaha) But good thing I never felt tt they were \’coated\’ with anger – at least I always thought you are objective (thought).

  2. Cindy said,

    9 June 2008 at 22:26

    \’they\’ as in ur comments

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