Liz Jones: Why be nice to minions? They will only throw another sickie.

I recall that in my first management position, in the early 1980s, the Head of Personnel would wince as she reported the previous month’s sickness statistics for people working at the plant (Beecham Toiletries, Maidenhead). Month after month, across all age groups, and whether they had children or not, the average female employee took off markedly more days for ‘sickness’ than the average male employee. Maybe it’s simply another reflection of Dr Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory – compared with women, four times as many men are work-centred. And of course more women than men can rely on being financially supported by a partner.

My thanks to Chloe for this.

3 thoughts on “Liz Jones: Why be nice to minions? They will only throw another sickie.

  1. “People cried, all the time, even when I merely asked them to move desk. People were off sick, all the time. As a boss, you never, ever received a thank-you.”
    In a microcosm of the problem. All the “emotional intelligence” guff boils down to wanting to be liked, to all be friends. And of course it doesn’t work.
    Time and again women report a preference for male bosses because they are fair and consistent. Being emotionally unintelligent means men don’t enter into and feed the emotional turmoil caused by being “nice” in order to all “gel”.
    Even the Chief Medical officer points out that women are off sick twice as much as men. Again not a popular thing to say. This could be because women malinger, say they’re sick when looking after kids or are just more sickly. But whichever it is (or a combination) it is pretty clear overall women need more help to stay in work.
    And if moving desks causes trauma one can see why “stress” is to top reason for sickness and why women aren’t clamouring to get into more varied jobs or those without the safety of a nice desk.
    Unfortunately being the “boss” is usually a lonely place where the most one can expect is respect. So a “thank you” and choccies will be a rarity. This isn’t some plot by patriarchy but about leading people.
    Though not scientific my observation is that men appear to be able to respect a boss or colleague while not liking them as a person, it doesn’t seem to be the same for women. Their lack of the much derided ability to “compartmentalise” their work life gets in the way. I wonder is this the result of team sports etc. or some deeper nature?
    It seems the Swedes have unwittingly hit on a good solution of having their world beating industry be a male production while women work in the state sector more able to make all the “reasonable adjustments” necessary for women. One can tell its unwitting as they constantly rail against it and thing a solution might be to reduce the productivity of their men. What fools when their sex “segregated” economy produces the tax income to fund their social experiments.

  2. I hear it every day from my manager wife (usually 97 – 100 % female environment, currently 94% female, always 6% short staffed due to maternity leave and at least a further 9 – 12%, continuously , for ‘sickness’). One of the things that comes through, time and time again, is the inability of those who make the final recruitment decisions (always female) to see the obvious flaws in those they appoint.

    My wife hates working with and managing women.

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