When my cousin started law school, she informed me of a helpful new term: “hot for law school.” Once I stopped singing inappropriate Van Halen lyrics, she explained to me what it actually meant. Apparently, many law schools have many more female students than male. As such, guys who did not get much action as undergraduates suddenly find themselves to be rock stars. (“That guy is kind of hot…for law school.”)
In social work, this phenomenon borders on dangerous. It’s a female dominated field. Men in this profession are few and far between. Those that are around tend to either look like everyone’s dad, or also lament the lack of available men.
Dr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium social work school, this was rather pronounced. During a group project meeting, two other young women and I decided to tick off the straight men in our year. We came up with three. One was insufferably pompous and brought up the military-industrial complex in class at least twice a week. One worked full time in addition to attending school, and lived on Five Hour Energies, Red Bull, and napped whenever his eyes closed. The final one was, I believe, a myth.
Getting out into the trenches, it’s pretty much the same thing. There are days when there is scarcely a man in this office. Clients are included in this. Fathers are not nearly as present as mothers. A majority of people who receive services here are single mothers. We’ve had one single father in my time here.
So things can get a little crazy when guys show up. It’s like attending single sex high school. It’s great for your focus during the day, and you don’t have to brush your hair, but watch out if they hire a young, mildly attractive AP english teacher. (I mean, for example.)
I suspect that our receptionist was sabatoging mouse traps and leaving cookies out, because the exterminator was kind of cute.
Things really got out of hand when we had a young, attractive (objectively speaking), man transferred to our office to help clients with benefits. He didn’t do it for me. I thought he was kind of annoying and a little full of himself, But I was in the minority. Actually, I was the minority.
Female workers seen lingering too long at his desk were automatically assumed of plotting to carry on an illicit affair. Some might have been, I don’t know. Female clients could barely function.
I had to have a decidedly awkward conversation with a 17 year old girl, after she apparently decided to pounce, while her mother and I were in session. By the time I was done meeting with the mom, Male Office Hottie had taken refuge in my supervisor’s office. Apparently, this girl had been sitting on his desk, giggling, and stopping just short of jumping in the man’s lap. (But only just.)
Another client, a 42 year old mother who was facing sanctions on her public assistance case, refused to meet with this man. Why, I asked? Public assistance, this is his area of expertise! He can go with you to your appointment, and guide you through this drawn out, complicated process!
“Him? I can’t talk to him. He’s too sexy.”
Eventually Señor Hotpants had to be let go. Not for excessive sexiness, but because of lost funding. Many took a brief time for mourning. (Once again, not me. He’s. Not. That. Hot.) But I think we’ve moved on, as an office. I hope we’ve learned and matured from the experience.
At least we still have the exterminator.