One of the guys

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Written by: Jehan Daal

I remember my first real job interview after graduation. I was applying for a twin job as marketing employee and buyer at a construction company. A company with only three female employees. By the time my job interview ended, I knew that the employer would hire me.

“You will be the only female in the team. Men can be rude, are you sure that you can handle it?” He asked me.
I nodded. “I have worked with men before, I will be fine.”

As expected I came in rooms with posters of barely dressed women on the wall. In a world where they made jokes about women. In a world where the suppliers called one of the guys after I placed an order, because what does a woman know? But also in a world where they would tell you the truth about your performance. Your proposition was great or it sucked, either way, it never depended on if you noticed the new shoes they were wearing. In a world where they could fight and drink beer together afterwards.

A colleague hang up after a conversation with his girlfriend. Not a happy one. He sighed and said out loud: “WOMEN!” He looked at me, to test his new young female team member.
“I know, do not look at me. I love men, you love women. I am the smart one here. So tell me, what is your excuse?” I continued typing.
My team mates looked at each other and started to laugh. “Snap! This chick got balls.”

One week later, the guys were talking about grabbing dinner together.
“Only the mechanics and the male colleagues. No females, they only nag.” The others agreed with him and I remained quiet. It was fine by me.

I grabbed my stuff in order to go home.
“Jehan! You have not responded yet about the dinner on Thursday.”
I turned around and looked at his face. Was he joking? No, he was bloody serious.
“This Thursday. It will be fun. Males only. I assume that you will join us.”
Another team member said: “I will drive you home that night.”
“Great, I will join you.”
I left the office and I looked down at the babies. I smiled and shook my head.

Only a couple of weeks later, everything changed. The suppliers asked for me and refused to do business with my male colleagues. My team mates loved to tease me every now and then, but they always stood up for me. That was when I realized that, even with my breast size, I was one of the guys.



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