Don’t allow yourself to be ruled by the needs of others

Today I am worried about my sister.

I have seen to many woman be taken advantage of by their employers because they feel needed. I know of secretary who donates 4 or 5 hours a day of unpaid labor to her employer because she is needed. I knew a secretary who gave up her vacation time because she was needed. I know a woman who is doing the work of her boss and her work at the same time and being chewed out for not doing it all well enough. She puts up with it because she is needed.

None of these woman are trying to climb the career ladder. They would be perfectly happy to keep the jobs that they have. Indeed, there is no real prospect that they will ever advance up the ranks. And none of them are in positions where they need to be worried about their job. They would be indispensable even if they limited themselves to doing as much work as they were being paid to do. Yet because they feel needed they kill themselves trying to save the world from the pile of work that is not being done.

It is not that men never get themselves in similar situations. I myself have gone above and beyond the call of duty some times. Doing that occasionally is part of what make a good employee a good employee. So I would never argue that one should never gives anymore then one absolutely has to. But doing it occasionally is one thing. Allowing ones life to be destroyed is another thing all together.

And I rarely see men putting up with the kind of abuse that I routinely see woman putting up with. The few exceptions are well paid ambitions men who are trying to climb ever higher on the career ladder.

I expect that as the economic climate worsens, that will change for a lot of men. When a job is hard to get, it becomes harder for anyone to say no. But men who are abused in this manner will be putting up with the abuse because they will think that it is in their best interests. Not because the feel needed.

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