In our article — Men of Summer, Women of Winter — we investigated the differences in sport presentation on television based on the male and female form.  Today, we take that analysis a step further with the mysterious and dangerous notion of — When Did You Know? — and its deadly role in the workplace.

Here’s the scenario:

1.  A longtime female worker was recently fired.

2.  Her supervisor, a female, knew about the firing from her male manager for many months before the actual firing.

3.  The worker and the supervisor are not just workers.  They are friends.

4.  Everyone in the office are shocked and outraged by the firing.

5.  The worker and the supervisor worry what will happen to the worker in this rotten economy.

6.  The husband of the worker wants to know when the supervisor found out about the firing.

7.  The husband of the supervisor wants to know how long the manager had been planning the worker firing before telling the supervisor.

8.  The office is initially strictly divided into male and female camps.  The women worry about the future of the fired worker.  The men want to know when those in the chain above the fired worker found out about the plan to fire her and why the worker wasn’t told months ago that her job was in jeopardy.

9.  When the women in the office hear the men’s want to know; that becomes their new, urgent, mandate, too.  The women drop their concern for the future welfare of the worker and they want to know when the chain knew the firing was in the air.

10.  The men in office, upon hearing the women’s concern for the worker’s welfare, do not honor that mantle.  They stick with their original perversion:  “When Did You Know?”

What do you make of this transitional switch between genders?

Were the men right to wonder why and when?

Is it odd the women so quickly joined the men while giving up their concern for the worker?

Did the men have a more universal view of the office politics at play — When Did You Know?  — because that would materially influence their past and future provenance with the company while the fired worker had no investment for anyone moving forward?


  1. I would also have wanted to know when those in the chain above the fired worker found out about the plan to fire her — for the sake of the worker, because she could have found another job had she known she was going to get fired like that. I imagine the women joined the men for that very reason.

    1. Yes, me too. I want to know who new what and when they knew it. Withholding that information is a power play.

      I do like, though, that the initial female instinct is to worry more about survival of the friend rather than their own “manly” self interest moving forward.

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