Survival Tips For Working In An Office Full of Men

restroom sign male femaleThree weeks ago I started my new job. After 18 months of unemployment, and moving from the medical field to a tech company, there has been a fair amount of culture shock. More than anything, it has been strange to spend my days not only working with people my own age, but working with a bunch of men.

Honestly, I’ve always been more of a guy’s girl. I was a basketball-obsessed tomboy as I transitioned from childhood to adolescence. I know about makes and models of cars. I understand the importance of red meat. I grew up with a brother who hyperactively rough-housed with me. All of this background has helped me assimilate into my new workplace.

So with further ado…here are some tips I’ve compiled to survive working in an office full of men (and I say this with all the love in my heart) —

Barney Stinson
•The secret weapon, both in Ugly Sweater contests and working in a male-centric office, is glitter. If they’re teasing you, and you want to be left alone, pull out the glitter. It’s more effective than tear gas.

•Edible bribery works wonders. Especially if it’s homemade.

•Expect to be pelted with Nerf Balls, and practice throwing so you can hit them back. I sit next to a boy who is under perpetual crosshairs, and missed throws usually hit me. At least that’s what my boss said on my first day when I got a direct hit, square in my chest.

•Take compliments with grace. They will try to apologize with flattery, and if they can tell you accept their compliment as an apology, they will not act mopey with guilt the rest of the day.

•Say “thank you” when they open doors for you, allow you to walk ahead first in a tight hallway, or pay for your #PDR. It ups your chance of them acting like a gentleman and treating you like a lady.

•Expect to hear every iteration of curse words, except for the curse word itself. Apparently the boys in my office use a Filthy Filter.

•Don’t tease the “BroMances.”  They will always tell you that they are “just friends.”

•Never, under any circumstance, leave your workstation unlocked when leaving your desk. You never know when your screen will be punk’d with an embarrassing wallpaper, or secret settings will render your mouse unusable.

Aim to Keep The Bathroom Clean

So far the #1 perk for working in a male-centric office has been bathroom stall access. It took nearly 3 weeks before I walked into the restroom and had to wait for a stall. The day I had to wait an extra two minutes, I came back to my desk and the guys asked to make sure I was okay. I also know so much more about video games and sports scores!

They may tease me incessantly, but I know they care.

  • Let’s just say I hope I never have to work in an office full of men. I don’t think I could handle it!

  • Great post!

  • Amy

    Love it! I would much rather work with men than crazy women. (like me)

  • Lol, nice list. I’m sure it’s fun working with all those guys! ; )

  • Hey, don’t be bagging on the bromance. It’s a much needed part of being a professional.

  • Isn’t that what I said? I teased about it during my first week, and suffered some…consequences. But you must admit that where I sit, man-love is in the air.

  • I was wasting away on twitter trying to find something to cure my boredom – and POW – someone I follow tweeted this post. Now, I am not quite as bored. Thanks for posting nice material. – Frisbee

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  • Adrian

    I learned this lesson when I became a Scout leader. I typically work with mostly women, so it was a bit of a change. Biggest tip – don’t expect complete answers. You will get nods, grunts, and the occasional “sounds good” rather than the complete and detailed discussions you are accustomed to.

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  • JanetR

    These are some great tips for working with men. I just started a new job where my office is male dominated and everything you talked about is spot on. At my last job, I worked with all women and it was very catty and emotional at times. I’d rather work with men any day and besides, football throwing is a great skill to have as a girl.

  • UrbanGirl

    This is all nice if you possibly work in an office full of “gentlemen”. What about a shop full of jerks? Guys who are just right down mean and crude. The stress level is enough to make me sick. However, I have the best job that I will ever get and also work for the best company in town. What I have is not easy to get. I have to stay where I am at. I only WISH that the guys that I work with treated me half as nice as they do to you. You are very fortunate to say the least.

  • UrbanGirl

    You would be surprised. They can in fact sometimes be just as bad if not worse than woman. I do mean this seriously too.

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