The Pretty Girl in the Office Down the Hall

No girl has an office.

A girl may have a desk. I hope most girls get a desk at some point, because every girl on the planet should go to school. Once a girl reaches school age, she should have a desk in her classroom. I know some schools are going more free-form these days, so sometimes students will have a place at a table or even on a couch for all or part of their day, but most children, both boy children and girl children, should have a desk at some point during their school years.

When a person graduates from a college and then gets another degree and then gets a job in a building with offices that have real windows and doors, no one will say, if that person is male, that a "handsome boy is in the office down the hall." If that person is female, though, she's apt to be thought of as the "pretty girl in the office down the hall."

No girl has an office. It doesn't matter whether she is pretty or not. She doesn't have an office. If she has an office, she's a woman, not a girl.

Circumstances today reminded me of one of my prior lives when I put my fancy degrees to use working for a company that provided me a windowed office with a door and everything. The company I was with then had to bring in a lot of new graduates every year, because it took a lot of fresh meat to make the operation run. 

I remember one of those hires from late in my tenure there. She was a well-credentialed, demonstrably talented, and (I confess) rather attractive young woman. My office was just a couple of doors down from hers. I stopped by to welcome her on her first day. After that, I left her alone other than to say hello on the elevator. She knew where I was if she needed anything from me.

With my office being just a few doors down from hers, though, I couldn't help but notice the parade of dudes from middle management who found never ending reasons to knock on the door to this poor woman's office. Our mutual employer demanded sky-high productivity from both her and me, which was why there had to be so many new hires all the time to replace those who had burned out or just gotten fed up with it all, yet these paunchy balding dudes expected her to chat with them for several minutes apiece every day.

I'm pretty sure she didn't get a special dispensation to be less productive than the rest of us.

A jackass with a waning sense of virility and no awareness of his entitlement may think that there's a pretty girl working in the office down the hall, but he's wrong.

No girl has an office.