I could make a lot of points about how difficult it is to be a woman in the workforce, but it wouldn’t be anything that Dolly Parton didn’t already tell us in 9 to 5.
I don’t believe for a minute that anyone reading this article is going to be confused by my lack of explanation, wondering what injustices I could probably be talking about. Certainly not any of the female readers, anyway.
Am I right, ladies?
Haven’t you had that boss who condescended you constantly while acting like your idiot male coworkers were business gurus?
You’ve been interrupted and talked over in a corporate meeting, only for goddamn Jerry from marketing to steal credit for the idea that he just freaking heard you suggest, right?
And hey, remember meeting an upper-level colleague who only shook hands with the men in the room, completely ignoring your presence?
Of course this has happened to you. Or if not this exactly, then whatever the equivalent is in your particular profession. It comes with the territory- we women must bear the slings and arrows of outrageous workplace sexism, and if we’re really unlucky then we’re expected to do it while wearing a pair of high heels.
Yes, the unfortunate truth is that being a woman in the workforce means a daily discovery of new and creative ways for The Man to shit on you. It’s tough trying to fight the patriarchy, and sometimes the only thing you can do is try to survive to fight yet another day. You have to pick your battles.
But you know what battle I always pick?
I’m not making the goddamn coffee.
If I had to boil down all of my bad experiences in a workplace into a single concept, and if most women were asked to do the same thing, the concept would be this: male bosses and coworkers don’t think twice about treating us like their secretaries.
You know what I mean. Being the girl on the team means that you’re the one who gets asked to answer the phone, to order lunch for everyone, to go around getting signatures on the birthday card, to greet any clients that walk in, to water the plants, to make a sign for the conference room door, to print this thing, to make a note of that thing, and, invariably, to make the coffee.
I refuse to make the coffee, and in my experience this is the single most satisfying action that I can take against workplace patriarchy.
I’m not your secretary; we have the same job title. You can make your own damn coffee.
I’m not the office den mother; I’m not here to serve you and take care of you. You can make your own damn coffee.
Do you understand that I don’t even make coffee for my husband at home? Do you realize that I don’t even drink coffee?
I don’t belong in a kitchen; I belong in a board room. You can make your own damn coffee.
I make thirty cents for every dollar that you get paid, mister.
You can make your own damn coffee.
It’s taken me a lot of years working in a lot of offices and putting up with a lot of bullshit to realize that this is where I draw the line, and I’m never going back. The day that I abandon my principles and make coffee for everyone in my office is the day that I’ll poison it, you mark my words.
Every pot of coffee that I don’t make is a victory for women everywhere. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s a much better start to the day than a cup of joe.