Men at Work

I work in an open plan office, and there is an expectation that everyone work reasonably quietly. And I understand all the theory behind this... interruptions at work decrease productivity; noise reduces concentration levels. I have (alas) a rather loud laugh, and I tend to talk loudly on the phone when someone at the other end talks loudly. I periodically get "the look" when I forget to restrain myself. I do try.
I have noticed, however, that all protocols about quiet do not apply to discussions about football. I had thought I would be free from this for the next few months. But no... apparently last week was draft week, coaches are finding new positions, funding has been released to develop the Punt Road Oval, and some footballer has been picked up by the police and deregistered by the AFL. I know this because these developments are apparently so exciting that full volume discussions in the middle of the office are completely justified. So are football observations yelled out from a side office into the open plan area.
Now I do not object to this. I think such discussion build a sense of workplace camaraderie. However, it does provoke in me a few questions that I'd like feedback about from my "online sisters".
1 What is it about men and football? Tell me your own "men and sport" stories.
2 What are the protocols in your workplace about who says what, and what interruptions are OK? Or not OK?
3 Can you think of situations where the voice of women in minimized and the voice of men is amplified... metaphorically, or perhaps literally?


mmm... Yes indeed what is it about men and football.. I am a football widow myself. while my husband is an avid 'couch footballer'. On the basis of the MarsVenus theory "men talk to solve a problem" football gives them the opportunity to be the captain coach and president of their club in the comfort of their own homes via endless hours of free to air and pay tv coverage, the numerous shows that predict the weekend to come and dissect the weekend that was not to forget those wonderful things called online forums! They get to solve all the problems of their club and even have the freedom to 'advise' the umpires in the errors of their ways and all without anyone anwering them back. There is just the occassional curious observation of their young child concerned their father has lost it by talking to the TV. I wonder if they are aware they are not being heard???
Janet said…

very politically incorrect - but sometimes I think the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" is the best approach to men and football. I took great fun one season in the office pools in selecting which team was going to win according to the names of the team - i.e. the horses (Broncos) would kill a rabbit any day. I had just about as much chance as anyone else in getting it right. Problem was, I began to show a preference for teams, and made up wonderful excuses as to why a certain team would win - i.e. the broncos would kick the tigers to death before they could eat the horse flesh.

Naughty me - I should have stayed loyal to my Qld team, but I gave up on them, and then they won the finals last year...

But the open office plan where everyone stays quiet just doesn't work for me too. I get a little passionate about what I do at times, and get noisy. I was delighted to find when I started a new job recently that yelling out to each other across the room was normal... there is only 4 of us so it works quite well.

Janet McKinney
Janet Woodlock said…
"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

Sigh... it's probably good advice, but pretending anything just isn't my forte in life. And I truly couldn't care less about the Punt Road Oval redevelopment, the names of the new draft picks, which coach goes where... not any of it.

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