Working Guys and Dolls
Does being in some minority pressure people out their profession? In an office of whites, would lone Hispanic gentlemen feel out of place? Popular opinion would affirm that he would. Given my work environment, however, I feel as if I should have the similar reaction, even though I don’t.
Nearly every other active photographer in our office is a little different than I, although to say that is a little backwards — I’m the newcomer, here. To be sure, I’m a little different than most of the active photographers in our office.
Simply put, I’m a dude. Most everyone else isn’t.
Though my company is an equal opportunity employer, and ignoring for a moment that the office staff is pretty evenly split, the bulk of our field photogs are female. Of about 25 photographers, there were six guys when I started. Four of us were hired just this year, and one of us had the initiative to get himself fired before training ended.
Although there was nothing improper about his firing — he didn’t think twice about calling in sick whenever he didn’t feel like showing up, and this during training — I liked him well enough, chronic absence and all. Had he showed up, he might have been an ideal employee. Probably not, though.
Among the photographers, now, there are five guys. On one of our so-far rare reprieves, I asked why there were so many more gals driving to schools every day. Basically, she said:
Guys just don’t tend to last that long. Maybe they just say, “I have enough girl problems, already.”
After a pause and a bit of a chuckle, she noted:
Those guys who do stick usually don’t have girl problems.
Even as an adult heterosexual white male, I’m perfectly comfortable with the mostly female staff I see every day — my year or two in a sorority steels my nerves in that regard — and I can’t help but be amused.
In America, adult heterosexual white males are supposed to crowd out everyone else in from the adult heterosexual while male professions in construction, politics, journalism, high finance and the military. After a year in education and the beginning of what may be many years in school photography, I’ve managed to choose two fields where adult heterosexual white males are in the minority.
I’m either open minded or I really want to seem that way.