Are You A Ghost Who Doesn’t Know That You're Dead, Or Just A Regular Woman Dealing With Institutionalized Workplace Sexism?
Each October, we dress up in terrifying costumes, carve ghoulish faces into our produce, and lurch through the cold, dark streets before dawn in order to make peace with an inevitable, bone-chilling fact of life: you've only got two months until your annual year-end review at work. But this year, as the veil between the living and dead grows thinner, and Steve from Accounts Receivable keeps using your coffee mug right in front of you like you're not even there, you have started to ask yourself some questions. Some spooky questions.
Like: why isn't your name on your company's website, despite repeated emails to your boss about it? Why does everyone keep talking over you in meetings, like you're not even there? Why was your desk relocated to a sub-basement supply closet while you were away last Fourth of July, and your old cubicle turned into an "office snack center/ nap pod/ massage bubble/ hands-free foosball hotspot"? How can all this keep happening to someone who has shown up every day and worked pretty hard for the past two years?
Based on all this eerie evidence, you may have come to a shocking conclusion: maybe you're a ghost who doesn't know you're dead, just like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense . You may have come to this conclusion despite assurances from your family, friends, roommates, romantic partner, and/ or student loan officer that you are very much alive, and just dealing with a sexist workplace that ignores your contributions because you're a woman. But how can you be totally sure?
Read on for our handy quiz, and learn whether you're a lost soul, doomed to wander the earth in sensible office shoes that your mom bought you as a graduation gift, or if you are just dealing with some scarifying workplace misogyny.
Are Your Ideas Ignored In Meetings?
When you're in staff meetings, do your contributions to the conversation ring out as clearly as the rattle of rusty dungeon chains — yet your coworkers keep talking over you, as if they heard nothing at all? Sure, maybe it's because they don't take the contributions of female employees seriously — but could it also be that, in a cruel twist of fate, you actually died a few months ago when you were texting "LOL dead" to a friend while crossing against the light at an intersection? I mean, how can you possibly tell??
Are You Passed Over For Important Projects In Favor Of Less Experienced Male Coworkers?
Do career-boosting assignments eerily pass you by, slipping out of your grasp like enchanted mist and into the clutches of John the Intern? They definitely wouldn't let an intern do that stuff unless you were dead and just haunting the break room! I mean, jesus, you have an MBA and John's not even done with undergrad yet!
Does Your Boss Ignore You?
When you think back on your interactions with your department head, do you realize that while you frequently talked to them about ideas for your team, your boss didn't seem to even register that you were there?
And how about all those times when you were working late, and your boss turned the lights out on their way out, as if the photocopier was simply printing tomorrow's morning agenda on its own? Maybe your boss thinks the copier is haunted and was just scared?
Are You Unable To Get A Raise?
Have all your attempts at salary negotiation been met with naught but the creak of distant stairways, and, somewhere off in the distance, the howl of lonely wolves and the hellish laughter of either the undead or Don from Order Processing?
Does Craig Keep Repeating Your Ideas In A Slightly Louder Voice, And Then Taking Full Credit For Them?
During all-staff brainstorms, does Craig regularly sit near you, repeat your ideas in a super-loud voice, and then receive praise and commendations from your bosses? Maybe Craig has "the shine," and is the only one able to hear your corporate restructuring ideas from the great beyond.
Give yourself one point for every question that resonated with the part of your soul that usually only comes out during therapy appointments or bottomless brunches.
0-5 Points: You Are Not A Ghost
I'm sorry that you had to hear it from me.
1-5 Points: You Are In A Sexist Office
I'm sorry that you had to hear it from me.
If you're being mistreated due to sexism at work, don't waste time trying to figure out if you are caught between the land of the living and the dead, and have been brought back by some surly teens messing around with a Ouija board; instead, consider talking to your bosses and/ or coworkers about why what they're doing is inappropriate, reporting these incidences of workplace sexism to Human Resources, looking for a new job where your talents will be respected, or, if appropriate, thinking about filing a discrimination suit.
Also, steal Craig's stapler. Craig is such a dick.
Images: Unsplash; Giphy