Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
I’ve complained before that most of my married male colleagues stopped talking to me once they found out I was divorced. It’s a plague, you know? Wouldn’t want to catch that.
But there’s an up side, too.
After being in my new office for 14 months, I have finally decided to clean out the boxes of junk I brought with me from my previous job. I’ve put it off because shredding is so low on my list of priorities but also because the moment I put up all my plaques on my I-love- me wall at work and get my workspace entirely suited to just the way I want it, I’ll leave this job and go elsewhere. That’s just the way it is, always has been.
So I’m making my boss very nervous by cleaning up.
I opened up one of the boxes, removed various awards and trophies and realized immediately that the rest of the box will go into the shred bin. I’d forgotten about this box because the married male colleagues who used to borrow this material from me all the time have dropped out of site.
All of the married male colleagues who have emailed me over the past 2 years wanting to borrow this bit of material or that bit or my acquisition plan template or my risk management briefing or whatever great tools and techniques I’ve always had handy that they always felt free to ask for, well, those men have vanished too. Each one of them immediately after they shot me the email re- questing certain material, telling me what was going on in their lives currently and asking what was new in mine and how the kids and the hubby were. My answer back had always been very candid that I was now divorced and that I had moved to a new office. Most of them, I never even got a thanks for the material I had sent…that I had hunted down for them and sent to them.
Once upon a time, I had to explain to my new boss why I was answering mail and quickly researching information to send to colleagues who had moved away months-to-years before, whether they were majors who used to work for me who had moved to their next tour of duty on the other side of the country or negotiators I had worked with a handful of times on special projects. Once they got in trouble and needed something, I was the go-to girl…
…My favorite case, of course, being the guy who was promoted into a higher position than me…who called and asked for my 3,000-file stash…so that he could set up a new office identical to the one that I had already set up.
So I found a great way to get men to stop asking for my help. When they call and say, “Hey Lorna, how are you doing?” and I haven’t heard from them in 3 years and we haven’t worked together in 4, I’ll simply say, “Oh, how am I doing? I’m divorced now. Bye.”