The Vagenda

Being A 5 Ft 2 Girl In The Workplace, A.K.A The Ten Most Patronising Things Said To Me By Colleagues In The Last Week

1. (Colleague, while bashing me over the head repeatedly with a cushion, apropos of nothing) “God you’re so funny! You remind me so much of my little sister! Yeah, I know you’re older than me – and what?”

2. (Completely different work colleague) “God, you remind me so much of my little sister!”

3. “You sneeze like a kitten.”

4. “You remind me of that girl from the Petit Filous adverts. Yeah, the one with the bob. The French toddler.”

5. “Fluffy. Yeah, we all call you that. I’m not sure why…I guess it’s either the way that your hair sticks up, or you’re like a puppy? One or the other.”

6. (On making my boss a cup of coffee and him drinking) “Seven and a half. Out of ten, that is. To be perfectly honest, your coffee isn’t blowing my mind.”

7. (On me eating chicken nuggets) “Look at her little mouth! Look at her little mouth eating!” 

8. “Were you very, very naughty as a little girl?”

9. “You almost set the laminator on fire? You’re ADORABLE.”

10. “Is Wophie grumpy? Does Wophie want a choccy biccie?”

4 thoughts on “Being A 5 Ft 2 Girl In The Workplace, A.K.A The Ten Most Patronising Things Said To Me By Colleagues In The Last Week

  1. I’m 5’8 and my bosses pretty much think that because of my height (they’re both shorter) I should be incredibly competent at everything, and keep giving me grave and disapproving looks when I can’t work out how to co-ordinate our calendars on Outlook, or put ikea furniture together properly. (the screw holes were NOT in the right places, and screwing into wood without pre-cut ikea holes is bloody hard). Still, I do still get the occasional insufferable patronising remark…last week my boss called me ‘baby cakes.’ I think I peed angry blood.

  2. I’m 5’4 and old enough to remember the assassination of Kennedy but it doesn’t stop people calling me ‘little one’ or the worst ‘young lady’ – I think their nappies must need changing, or they need winding.

  3. I hear you on both the sneezing and child references, I’ve even had a boy a teenager a decade younger than me call me an ‘infant’. Yes, I too am 5′ 2″ I’ve not only been told I’m at perfect pint-resting height, it’s actually been tried…

  4. I know your pain, but at the opposite end of the scale – I’m 5’11 – these are some of the comments I get weekly at work:

    (male colleague, 5’11, to female colleague, 5’6, standing next to me) “wow, she looks like your bodyguard – you should totally take her to tough meetings with you”

    (female colleague, 5’6) “oh my god, aren’t you tall!!” (looks me up and down, mouth all agape)

    (female colleague, 5’6) “blimey, you’re tall, aren’t you!”

    (male colleague, 5’11 watching me walk past in heels) “is it cloudy up there or is it just cloudy for us down here?”

    (female colleague, 5’4, watching me put on my coat to leave for the day) “that coat is long – I’d get drowned in that!”

    (a male manager to me when the whole team walked into a high-ceilinged building) “don’t hit your head on that ceiling now, will you?”

    Comments made to me outside of work by complete strangers:

    (man watching me cross the road) “oi love, you don’t have to run, you could just jump across surely?!”

    (woman on bus to another woman on bus in theatrically loud whisper) “my god, look at her! what a bloody beanpole!”

    (woman in supermarket watching me get something off a top shelf) “ee, you’re never going to need ladders you, are you?”

    Comments made by my boyfriend’s friends (I am an inch taller than my boyfriend):

    (male friend, meeting me for the first time at a wedding, has his new petite date, 5’5, tucked neatly under one arm – said to my boyfriend whilst I was standing NEXT TO HIM) “I tell you what, you don’t need one of those (points at me) – you need one of these (points under his arm at his date) – they fit better!”

    (group of family friends, male, all around 5’5, to my boyfriend – whilst I was STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HIM) “god, what’ve you got there, isn’t she a long one!” (lots of laughing)

    (erm, I AM here?)

    And so on, and so forth….much MUCH hilarity…

    Do short men get open comments on their height? Not on your nelly.

    There are a range of heights in the world you guys. Get over it and stop being so damn rude, damn it!