Sexuality and The Workplace

Harassment, innuendos, bedrooms and boardroom games….these are stereotype issues. I would like to talk about a different issue- personal life vs. work life and the need to date and find companionship.

I am single, divorced, and dating and I work a 40-hour workweek most weeks.  When I get off work, after stopping by the grocery store, I fix dinner and find my evening occupied by the things that I still have left to do (house chores, kitty-cat needs, writing to finish, etc.). I have found the men I spend the most time around are the men I work with. Quite a few of them are married with children and not available. The single men have issues such as overtime, job commitments, and laundry when they get home. Most of us do not have a lot of time, energy and effort left over to find that “special other someone” and most of us cannot connect in the workplace where the job we work is our first consideration. This leaves a lot of older, single, independent people (including myself) wondering how and where we are supposed to meet someone else to be with.

On-line is a first-line answer, until everyone lives over 60 miles away and no one wants to chat face to face.  Then there are economic considerations, such as spending money for dinner just to “meet up” for the first time.  The workplace becomes somewhere more necessary to find potential mates and the opportunities are full of pitfalls- some of which follow:

1)    “Never sleep up”. If an attractive man is in a position above you, he is immediately off limits.

2)   Do not “Do the office”. No one ever gets serious about someone that has been in bed with everyone.

3)   “If he wears a ring it is not the thing”, then you are just cheap, used, a secret to be ashamed of.

4)   Partners at work cannot partner. Competition and infighting is rough as it is. A personal disagreement cannot do anything but ruin a working team effort between two people.

I have had a relationship with someone in my office before.  He worked part-time behind the desks that I was full time on.  We moved in together and although we talked over our personal work issues at home, we never brought personal into the workplace.  We did always drive home together and arrive together. Knowing we were together still caused problems for some people.  When the relationship went south, my job went south.  I left my job and the relationship still did not work out.  As a single woman, looking for a long-time companion, I find options are not easily available and the workplace does not make this easier. On the other hand, I value my capability to sustain my life and my needs more than a “throw-away” relationship that can take those from me. Perhaps one day, we will become people relating to people, even in the workplace, without stigmas. At this point, they still exist.

 

Thanking Mister Roboto

Unfortunately, we do not have to learn what it means to be human. Humanity is defined in Merriam-Webster Online as “human beings collectively”. It is not a warm, fuzzy feeling or a certain set of criteria, rather humanity is the state of existing as human animals together. Some would claim that we are human beings because we transcend the animal. I would argue that if we transcend the animal, we are no longer human for this reason: to fully realize our potential as human beings we must not lower ourselves or raise ourselves from our own natures and existence, we must accept ourselves and strive for bettering what we accept. Denial of part or all of the human being’s natural states of existence in the name of seeking transcendence simply obliterates the right to continue to exist in human form. Transcendence can, in effect, become a form of dehumanization and this can be most clearly seen in the development of technology as human beings struggle to understand the implementation, possibilities, and evolution of our own knowledge.

Automation, when it first appeared on the scene in the United States with Henry Ford in 1913, was touted as both a way to free the common worker and an evil that would eliminate the need for men. We have come a long way since then in our societal acceptance and use of technology’s capabilities.  Our fear of uselessness and replacement gave way to understanding how to implement machinery and computers to create more efficient and productive styles of living. Today, we pursue the possibilities of rapidly changing and always developing technical improvements as an entire culture hell-bent on faster, better, and less expensive technology modifications for the masses to embrace.  Our machinery and computing systems evolve so quickly these days that learning the latest and greatest is the biggest part of evenings at home or of job security or of maintaining socially.

Transcendence of the human state through technology is not dehumanizing in the manner of eliminating or replacing man. Technology’s transcendence is dehumanizing man by causing human beings to forget. We are losing the knowledge we have possessed before, forgetting the things of animal, plant, and mineral that please and keep us, and distancing ourselves from basic needs that are removed from our everyday consciousness.  We are forgetting ourselves in our headlong pursuit of purer and better knowledge.

Human beings do not have to be taught to be human. By our very nature, we discover our own strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities. However, I do believe that we do have to be taught to remember the knowledge we do not regularly use, explore, and train ourselves upon. With the passing of the Information Age and the dawning of the Age of Communications we have removed our innate natures to a distance created by the dehumanizing forgetfulness induced by advanced technology.  I am thankful for technology. I am happy with advancing our developments to enhance our lives. I hope we remember to remain human.