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The male receptionist

July 21, 2008

So, why can’t males be receptionists, secretaries and tea ladies … errr I mean tea men? You can’t deny they make great teh tarik can you?

I asked around and here’s what people said.

  • Men are supposed to be roving hunters. They can’t be trusted to remain at the same spot all day.
  • Receptionists and secretaries are jobs that require care and patience. Men are not capable of caring and patience.
  • Men are physically stronger so they should be doing manual labor.
  • Its such a waste to put a man there (this one came from a woman)
  • There must be something wrong with him.
  • Your company will be a laughing stock.
  • Never send a man to do a woman’s job.
  • Uhh.. why are you asking weird questions?

It was a simple situation. A company had a problem. The receptionist had gone on maternity leave. Everyone was going nuts because general calls were landing randomly at everyone’s desk. Customers were complaining. The company has a contract with a temp staff supplier but at that time, none of the available temps were satisfactory. So the suggestion came up, “Would you consider hiring a male receptionist?”

The comeback was a quick and emphatic, “No!” So ladies, don’t feel disheartened that women are discriminated at work because men are discriminated too.

So, anyone want to add to the list of why men should not become secretaries, receptionists and yeah, tea men? No, seriously.

Here’s a side question. Do you think profit overrides everything, including the desire for social conformity? If you agree that profit is king, what if a male offers to become your personal secretary for slightly less money? Would you go for it? Or would you rather burn a few hundred bucks more just to avoid being called … what’s that word … strange?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2008 9:17 am

    I’ve no problems with male secretaries, PAs, Receptionists or ‘tea ladies’. You’re assuming there are men that actually want to do those jobs though (with the exception of PAs, there have always been male PAs).

    The sexual discrimination thing – well, you’re talking about lowly paid, unappreciated positions. I really don’t think there are going to be men taking to the streets complaining about not being able to be receptionists. Conversely, at the top of the pyramid, it’s usually women that are excluded.

  2. Damien permalink*
    July 21, 2008 6:16 pm

    “You’re assuming there are men that actually want to do those jobs”

    You’re right and I had planned to blog on the “supply” side. When times get really tough, are men prepared to take up jobs traditionally treated as women’s jobs and vice versa. But first, the “demand” side. Are companies prepared to give jobs to the “wrong” gender starting from the lowest paid jobs on up. Based on actual responses, it looka like they’re not prepared to just yet. The lowest levels seem to be the most contentious. Surprisingly some of the stiffest walls come from a company headed by a woman ceo. Since not enuf data I take it as a coincidence.

  3. Daniel permalink
    February 25, 2009 11:50 pm

    I’m a 27 year old male receptionist… Is there a problem with that? If people think I’m strange…so what, if people think there’s something wrong with me…guess what…there is…I’m gay! By the way, did you know that male receptionists are better at what they do than females? Yes, that’s a fact! Google it!

    Hey you’re a male receptionist, that’s great! I don’t see anything wrong with being gay by the way.

  4. Bobby permalink
    November 14, 2009 3:20 am

    I worked as a secretary for a bit. This is, of course, relevant because I’m male also. The position wasn’t a bad job at all. I spent most of my day surfing the internet and drawing on my computer. The only real downfall was the little bit of teasing and the first couple days of embarrassment. But if you learn to laugh with them, you can actually change their attitudes.

    They would say things like, “I remember our secretary being a lot prettier.”
    I’d say back, “Oh come on, what if I threw on a wig and you had a couple beers in you? You know I look pretty good.”

    And as you said, times are tough, and I’ve applied to several secretarial jobs lately along with my tech support and customer service. But then again, what other people think about me is none of my business.

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