He was supposed to be on a conference call with me, we were doing a presentation to other senior North American colleagues. We had prepared for it over the past week, had done a run through the day before. I was doing the initial talking, and would hand over to him for his section. He was late, I had one of the men in the meeting give him a call… no answer. I started without him.
We got to his section and he still hadn’t turned up. I swore silently, apologised to the meeting participants for what would no doubt be a ‘bumbling through’, and presented his content myself, inelegantly and awkwardly. He showed up 10 minutes before the end of the meeting, to cat calls and derision from everyone. He was terribly, awfully apologetic, he had mistaken the start time. I let the furore on the call die down, he was still apologising.
“Jerry, sit at the back of the class and be quiet”.
There were sniggers.
“Okay…” he replied. *silence*
I laughed and finished off the meeting.
Afterwards, he was so so sorry, he felt just horrible, he said he wouldn’t feel right until he made it up to me. He offered to help with similar meetings in other regions (which may well be 2am in the morning for him), sincerely and genuinely wanting to make amends. I wasn’t angry, but I was annoyed, I didn’t reply to his messages.
Later that day, I sent out an email to Europe and Asia Pacific, volunteering his services for these midnight and early morning meetings without checking with him further.
He sent me this response:
Thank you Ferns!
He *thanked* me for punishing him. And, lower case sign off?!!! Really?!! So funny!
That just about made my day.
Oh Ferns, I think you have one here…lol
Wait…His name was Jerry but in the tags there's the name Tom. I'm lost…(I also stopped speaking in third person because there was too many people crying out it)
Serving B: “Oh Ferns, I think you have one here…”
Funny isn't it? I quite enjoy the 'is he/isn't he' thing (though it is idle musing only and not actual interest in him).
I was going to go back and check if he had *ever* signed off his emails with lower case, but I was too damn lazy. He is not the type to casually throw typos out into the world.
I'm going to agree with Serving B. Hahaha. Isn't life just fabulous?
Brids: “Wait…His name was Jerry but in the tags there's the name Tom. I'm lost…”
TOM stands for The Other Men. It is the catch-all category for casual mentions of interactions with men who don't warrant, nay, deserve their own tag.
AngelSam: “I'm going to agree with Serving B. Hahaha. Isn't life just fabulous?”
laugh Yes! This moves him from 'vanilla submissive' into 'BDSM-ey type submissive(????)' territory.
I find it quite amusing to think that he might be posting his version of this somewhere… “There's this woman I work with…” Heh.
These tales from the workplace really delight me! It makes me wonder if there's a Domme hidden in the ranks of my coworkers whom I interact with often, trying to figure out if I'm submissive or just very accomodating…!
Anonymous: “It makes me wonder if there's a Domme hidden in the ranks of my coworkers whom I interact with often, trying to figure out if I'm submissive or just very accomodating…!”
Yes! It is difficult to tell.
Submissive *acts* in the workplace can be for any number of reasons. Off the top of my head, I can think of 5:
1 – he is subordinate
2 – he is sucking up (politics?)
3 – he is just helpful and nice
4 – he has a little crush
5 – he is *gasp* submissive
I'd was thinking numbers 3 and 4 in this case, he has just maybe tipped into number 5 (I really should go and check if he has *ever* lower cased at me before!).
I expect there are any number of equivalent 'non-Dommey' reasons why a woman might *seem* dominant in the workplace that don't mean she is (but I do think I have nudged at the number 5 level with chastising in a very familiar way and following up with 'punishment' without further discussion about it).
It is still making me smile.
I like this post. He was wrong and accepted it without blaming or making excuses, and he took the derision with grace. I think that the lower case sign off was a further act of humility.
He may not have actually seen your punishment as such though because after ignoring several messages, he may have been greatly relieved to know that you still found him to be useful.
In any case, it takes a fair amount of inner strength to behave so in such a manner and if more people handled their missteps in such a way, the world would be a better place
This just makes me grin…lol
It has been my experience that men are craving being sub to a woman; in work or bed. Maybe I just make the acquaintence easily with a certain sector.
slapshot: “In any case, it takes a fair amount of inner strength to behave so in such a manner and if more people handled their missteps in such a way, the world would be a better place”
You made some good points, but I wanted, specifically to ask about this.
People can own up to their mistakes, handle them well, and make amends without being at all submissive about it.
That's taking personal responsibility, and I completely agree that people should do that.
Your response here, though, seems to suggest that his behaviour was 'normal' and desirable for 'people in general'. Do you think so?
Faith: “This just makes me grin…”
Charlene: “It has been my experience that men are craving being sub to a woman; in work or bed. Maybe I just make the acquaintence easily with a certain sector.”
You are blessed!!
In bed, vanilla men will *always* love it to a point (the point *just* before they lose their hard on, start to back away and go 'You what?! HELL no!!…' heh).
At my work, there are many many (mostly) male-ego driven men that I deal with who will fight tooth and nail before giving up an inch of ground (even when they are completely wrong), so I have had very different experiences from you there.
I do think that there are certain work sectors where behaving 'submissively' is a desirable quality, so would be more easily expressed, but most private corporate machines don't work that way. Maybe academia, service industries, collaborative environments, government would be different…
However (wow, long comment, you have me thinking, thank you!), just because men don't express their submission at work doesn't mean that they aren't there, obviously. They may have no desire or need to 'be submissive' at work since it's often just the way that they express themselves in their personal relationship dynamic and not a general personality trait.
No, it's not the “normal” thing. Desirable yes, but definitely not the norm.
slapshot: “No, it's not the “normal” thing. Desirable yes, but definitely not the norm.”
I don't think my question was clear. When I take personal responsibility for something, I don't do it 'submissively'. I am mortified, I fess up, apologise to those concerned, put things in place to avoid it happening again, and I am done.
I do *not* offer to attend other meetings at ungodly o'clock if I accidentally missed a meeting in order to make amends (note that I say 'make amends' in that it doesn't actually change the original problem, it is a way of showing penance, of 'making it up to you', and a way to feel better about the bad thing…).
So my question was specifically about whether you think this part of it, the 'paying penance' is something that is desirable in vanilla interactions as a *part* of taking responsibility (we are in a context of work interactions, I think it is probably a different question in personal relationships)?
Thank you for clarifying the question. I had to think on this for a bit as it is somewhat of a sore spot for me. When put in the stark terms of “paying penance” for mistakes in work situations, I will admit that it rankles. No, it is not in the least desirable. It is not part of taking responsibility.
Yet, my knee jerk reaction has been to do whatever is needed to secure my position. I have gone way above the call of duty … yes, I have gotten up at O'dark thirty to resolve situations in order to “prove” that I am still “with the program.
Perhaps this means that I have not ever set proper boundaries.
slapshot: “I had to think on this for a bit as it is somewhat of a sore spot for me.”
Thank you for sharing, I didn't mean to put you on the spot, I was very interested because there are a few lines here, and I am kind of feeling out where they are.
“When put in the stark terms of “paying penance” for mistakes in work situations, I will admit that it rankles. No, it is not in the least desirable. It is not part of taking responsibility.”
*nod* It does seem to me to be well beyond 'taking responsibility'.
“Yet, my knee jerk reaction has been to do whatever is needed to secure my position… in order to “prove” that I am still “with the program.”
Ahhh… ok, yes. That makes sense, especially if you think that the issue has harmed your professional standing, or caused anyone to doubt that you are up to doing your job… I can see that.
I will do 'whatever is needed' *if* it will contribute to fixing the issue at hand, but not to 'make up for it'. I see them as two very different things.
“Perhaps this means that I have not ever set proper boundaries.”
Hmmm… maybe. I think there are a lot of factors that contribute.
In this example, I feel like his 'tip over' into that bit of submission dynamic is a combination of all of his behaviours, but one thing I have found common with submissive men is that feeling of devastation when they have disappointed me, when they have let me down. His reaction was closer to that, which I would not expect him to have with, say, my male colleague (I could be totally wrong there).
The submission element was in part about making it up *to me*, not to the company, not his boss (neither of whom would be in any way aware of this, or care if they were), which could be as simple as him respecting and liking me and feeling really bad or a submissive thing (the lower case though, tipped it quite a bit further!! heh).
I signed twice, just so you could be sure it was me… heh…
I definitely agree you have one here! When I first started flirting with my sub hubby before we were married, at some point the emails began appearing with his signing off with lower case letters….I soon had “her” in panties!
Suzanne: “I definitely agree you have one here! When I first started flirting with my sub hubby before we were married, at some point the emails began appearing with his signing off with lower case letters…”
*smile* That's so cute!
I have never really thought of what a great signal the lower case name thing is in a vanilla context. It can easily be dismissed as a typo if it's inappropriate, but for those who *see* it, it's a pretty clear signal.
OH yeah, it was in his apology. I've been there, many many times.
axe: “OH yeah, it was in his apology. I've been there, many many times.”
*smile* Well, I hope whoever you were aiming it at those many many times 'got it'!
*grin* are you sure he's vanilla? I mean after all who many of your coworkers think you are?
ScarlettLeopard: “*grin* are you sure he's vanilla?”
*laugh* Well, not anymore! He is solidly in the 'is he/isn't he' camp now with a lean towards 'he SO is!'…