An Office Full
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We still love pieces rejected by McSweeney's (if and only if they include a real rejection letter). Here is proof:
The Rejection Letter From McSweeney's
Thanks for sending us this piece. Unfortunately, we will not be able to use it on the McSweeney's site.
I thought it was quite good, but it's more of a straightforward personal essay than we generally run on our site.
Sorry for the delay in responding. Best of luck placing the piece elswehere, and please consider submitting to McSweeney's again in the future.
McSweeney's web editor
IMPORTANT NOTE: Everyone who has submitted writing to McSweeney's, either the website or the print version, should read the note at the top of the submissions guidelines page: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/submit/. Thank you.
Gender dissimilarity. Beyond the actual physical, I never really noticed a huge difference as a youth. I guess none of us do. Even as I grew up a little - I'm not finished yet, and don't plan on finishing anytime soon - the differences seemed small. There seemed to be no great variation in governing principles or moral code, excluding of course that girls smell and spread girls' germs.
Now I'm here, solitary, as an oasis or a small pacific island. Well, I suppose that's not quite accurate. I think Mururoa Atoll would be the closest I would come to the splendour of a pacific island in this ocean.
Yes, I'm the only male in an office of ten. It's been a steep learning curve. I keep expecting a plateau. What do they keep saying on that beer ad?
I guess it started with the forty-something theatrical woman. She bolted into my office one day, closing the door behind her and announced that she was there to "molest" me with her photos. Top hat, tails and fishnet stockings. Nice. Uncomfortable laughter followed by thoughts of "Do you think I could slip out that window without her noticing?" Now if I was a male - which I am quite sure I am - and went bolting into her office with pictures of me in my g-string... Now that would be molestation. No verbal warnings, no written warnings, thanks for coming, don't come Monday.
Okay, so that was an extreme case. Generally most of my work-mates are good for a laugh or two, but then there are the gender jokes. Long-winded descriptions of women's ability to be caring, sensual, tender... how emotional yet well balanced and generally beautiful their gender is. They carry children and then perform the miracle of giving birth. Men are good for lifting heavy stuff and fixing shit. Thanks. I have two women who sit either side of me at work. They love saying things like "typical male" and sharing anecdotes with the whole office about how great the males in their lives aren't. It's all in good humour of course, and I have to admit that I laugh more often than not. So what do you think happens when I share a "typical woman" anecdote with the world? They throw paper clips at me. Again... thanks.
I observed the other day a group of ten-year-old girls at my sister's birthday party. It seemed that every party game they played was a myriad of complicated rules and uptight emotions. Bridget played the epitome of a great woman in the making. The rules have changed, but she isn't going to tell you that until you've broken them. It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. I can live with that... well I could, if it wasn't for that fact that half of them change their minds every five minutes. So anyway, I shared this little gem with the others in the office come Monday morning. I think that almost all of them had nightmarish stories about ten-year-old boys that could make a party of 50 pre-pubescent girls look like a walk in the park on a sunny day with a nice cool breeze, a sun hat and a never ending bottle of ice-cold, filtered water. Yeah, yeah, okay. You did better than me... again.
Don't get me wrong. My work-mates are great - oppressive, but great. They're just... well... female. It doesn't make them any better or worse than me. Just different. The best of friends, the sharpest of enemies in a battle of wittiness, they're
Brendan Murrell didn't get rejected here