Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why I prefer to do a Man's job.....

I've worked at a lot of different jobs in my life. If I were to write up a complete resume I would have to include bartending, cashiering, bakery manager, cook, grocery manager, telemarketer, receptionist, autobody detailer, lab technician, horse trainer, photographer, truck driver, bus driver, and writer...amongst other things.

When I look back over the years I've noticed a trend, a gradual evolution from traditionally "female" jobs toward more traditionally "male" jobs. My friends have noticed as well, and some have even asked me; "why do you like to do man's work?" So I'm going to try to explain....

For starters, I've never looked at it as "girl jobs" vs. "boy jobs". I just look at it from the standpoint of "Can I do it?",  "Do I want to do it?", and "what does it pay?" As a divorced Mother of two who didn't receive child support, it was my job to be the provider, the "hunter-gatherer", and let's face it....boy jobs generally pay better. So there's one reason; Money.

Another reason would be that I was a tomboy, Daddy's girl right from the beginning, the son my Father never had.....so Dad taught me about power tools and farming and driving. He also taught me to believe in myself and told me I could do anything I set my mind to and if I wasn't physically strong enough...use an equalizer. That's what they make jacks and dollies and wheelbarrows for. Therefore: reason number two would be: it comes naturally to me.

Reason number three would have to be that I just plain like to be active. Given the choice between being stuck indoors at a desk or outside playing in the dirt....I'll be outside almost every time. It's just more fun to me, and when it's fun it holds my attention. I *thought* I was choosing that lifestyle when I became a photographer...until everything turned digital and I found myself staring at my computor 15 hours a day.....and truthfully, for awhile I didn't mind, because it was a convenient excuse to avoid a bad relationship. But when that relationship ended I no longer had an incentive to hide behind my computor screen, so when my photo biz experienced difficulty, it was an easy decision to turn it back into an occasional hobby.

And of course, we must also consider "politics". Indoor traditionally girl jobs usually also means working with women and women are.....well, not always fun to work with. Men are much easier to get along with in my experience, and being Daddy's girl, I grew up surrounded by men so it's easy for me to slip into the roll of "just another one of the guys". Until recent years I never encountered problems working with the guys. But in the last 2 years I learned that when someone spreads unkind rumors about you, some men take that as an invitation to make rude advances, so I've discovered an aspect of working around men I had never encountered before and I have to admit; if that's what other women usually encounter, I can see why they avoid doing boy jobs. But it isn't going to stop me from working around men....I've just decided to remove myself from working around THOSE men (if you can even call them men, pigs would be more accurate IMO.)

But the biggest reason I choose to do men's work is this: I just want to do my job; whatever it is, and not have someone always looking over my shoulder, monitoring my every move. I like some freedom and independence. Just give me a job and let me do it. That's why I love driving a potato truck. The task is simple, yet challenging, but most importantly; I can just do it. I get in my truck and just go. I'm alone in the truck, I don't have to carry on mindless conversations with people who have nothing interesting to say. I don't have to "put on a show" by dressing a certain way or behaving a certain way or saying the right things. I can just be myself. When I'm hungry, I eat. If I need a bathroom break, I take one. If I'm exhausted from too many 15 hour days in a row I can park at the end of the field and take a nap and no one bothers me because I get paid by the load, not by the hour. I don't have to wait for a scheduled break time or ask permission from some kid half my age on a power-trip. I have yet to find a girl-job that gives me that kind of freedom and independence.

But that doesn't mean I'm NOT a girl at heart. I am. In fact, I'm all woman on the inside. I think many would be shocked at just how female I really am. I'm the one that hops out of my truck to save a catapillar from being squished. And I like to surprise the guys with homemade goodies after we've had a couple rain-days...not because I want anything from them, but because I honestly love to cook and have no one to cook for. I go home at the end of a long day of bouncing around in a dirty potato truck and love to soak in a hot scented bubble bath. Sometimes I go home and put on a skirt for the evening just because I want to feel like a girl for a few hours.

Truthfully, if not for the fact that I have to work to earn a living, I would be perfectly content to just stay home and be "Little Suzy Homemaker" and fill my days doing all kinds of "traditionally female tasks". I love to grow a vegetable garden and make pickles and bake a variety of goodies. I enjoy doing crafts and running errands for other people. I actually think ironing is fun and folding laundry is relaxing. Call me weird, but that is how I feel. But since I do have to earn a living to keep a roof over my head, then I figure I might as well find jobs that suit my personality.....and in my experience, that usually means doing a man's job......