A dude working in schools.

Working in elementary schools as a guy is weird. I routinely sit in meetings or conferences where the female-male ratio is 20-1. Often times, I am the only person in a building with a Y chromosome. This has taught me quite a few things over the years.

1. Bathrooms
I never, ever have to wait for a bathroom in the schools. I essentially have my own suite. Sometimes I want to change to get rid of the “Men” and “Women” signs and just change them to “Erik” and “Women.” It’s mine. The women’s line will be six deep and I move right on in. It’s like having a FastPass to relief.

Downside? Sometimes at educational conferences the ratio is so lopsided that they will temporarily convert a men’s room to women’s room and I have to go to a different floor. Other downside? Occasionally a school will simply have a unisex staff restroom. Anything ugly is assumed to be my fault. That’s all I’m saying. I see the dirty looks.

2. Power
People assume I have power. At least a couple times a year, a parent will storm into the main office, point at me and say, “You the principal? I’ve got a problem.” First off, it’s pretty much November and it’s kinda sad that you do not know your kid’s principal does not have a penis. Just saying. Second, the only reason I’m even in the office is that I forgot to sign in this morning and rumor has it that my supervisor is coming to the building. I’m simply trying to doctor the sign-in sheet to reflect the fact that I’ve been here a few hours. Please yell at someone who can actually address your concern.

I will stand at the bus line with three women who outrank me and who are quite frankly far more competent than I and the bus driver will pull up, open the door, point at me and say, “I want something done about this kid.” You. Bald man. Swing the Hammer of Justice. Please stop assuming that I have power just because I’m a guy. If you take a little time to get to know me, you will find that I am actually rather incompetent.

3a. Dudes are inconsiderate, selfish and dumb
Dirty little secret. Apparently women complain about their significant others as much, if not more, than we do! When I hear about some of the moronic stuff that guys say or do, I can only shake my head. A really cool friend of mine recently told me that on a first date she mentioned that she is a vegetarian. I would assume a natural response would be “How long have you been a vegetarian?” or “Tell me about your diet” or “How did you make that decision?” Nope. Rico Suave broke out, “Interesting. I’m a vagi-tarian.” First (and only) date.

Single guys or those of us who have wives who will inevitably wake up and realize they can do better..you do not have to try very hard. All you have to do is sit back and wait for the idiots to shoot themselves in the foot. It sounds like it’s not a matter of looking good. It’s a matter of waiting for everyone else to look bad. The stories I hear, and I hear a lot, about dates, boyfriends and husbands are absolutely mind-boggling. I can only conclude that there are a lot of inconsiderate, selfish, and dumb dudes out there.

3b. Women dig dudes who are inconsiderate, selfish and dumb
Sorry, but these guys sure seem to be getting a lot of dates. The vagi-tarians of the world don’t get past date one, but there are a lot of “This guy I’ve been dating a year is so selfish and he does X,Y,Z.” Maybe you should give up on Putty. I’m guessing 3b is not going to be popular. Just a trend I notice all too often with too many incredible women. Aim high my friends. Aim very high. You deserve it. I’m glad I don’t have a daughter. I would have set impossibly high standards for her.

4. Diet
I will never, ever get chocolate at an educational conference. They will sit out a dessert tray with a row of lemon bars, a row of chocolate brownies, and a row of sugar cookies and after the piranha-like frenzy is over, I’m left looking at a tray with a center row that looks like a tornado’s swath of destruction. I am not kidding. It looks like when you were a kid picking through the carton of Neapolitan ice cream and leaving the crappy strawberry row for your dad.

On the plus side, I am in no hurry to hit the beverage cooler. There will ALWAYS be plenty of non-diet sodas for me to choose from. The teachers who were slow walk away from the cooler with a bottle of water muttering “They never have enough diet” while I blissfully take my choice of the non-diet poison.

My job is OK. I really enjoy working with a staff that is predominantly women. I generally get along with women better than men anyway. I have a real hard time with inconsiderate, selfish and dumb and I generally find very little of those traits in the schools. Sometimes it can be a little weird being the only guy but the positives far outweigh the drawbacks and I have made some incredible friends who mean a great deal to me. Just occasionally leave a Twix for me. That’s all I ask.

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