Men Behind Podiums

Attending conferences and meetings was an essential part of my career. These gatherings included, but were not limited to, staff meetings, faculty meetings, board meetings, and conferences. For some yet to be explained reason, men controlled the schedule and agenda for the majority of these events. So, while the gentlemen in charge led discussions, detailed rules and procedures, defended research, and pontificated, I learned. What I learned was that men have twenty-eight gallon bladders. I’m relatively certain it’s genetic.

In an effort to be of service to women, I’m posting a list of hints for those who attend male dominated events where extensive “seat time” is involved. I trust these suggestions will be helpful.

  • Don’t even touch one of the soda cans nestled cozily into the bucket of crushed ice on the refreshment table.
  • Bypass the coffee urn without giving it a second glance.
  • View the water pitcher on your table as a science project.
Ø      What happens to the ice cubes during a protracted meeting?
Ø      What happens to the print on your agenda when you hold it behind the pitcher?
  • Never add to the duration of a meeting by asking a question or volunteering information.
Alternatives to using these hints include products labeled Tena® and Poise®, seeking permission to leave the room (if I recall correctly from grade school, that would be raising one finger in the air), or staging a walkout.

Just sayin’!


  1. Okay, funny. But I find it a bit of a stretch (get it?) to imagine that you would be inhibited to such a degree that you would not walk from the room at your need, or even at your whim.

  2. Vanilla, yeah, yeah, and have all heads turn to check out who is leaving. Anyone who knows me understands how much I would enjoy that kind of attention. The bladder super-stretch gene is obviously passed genetically just to boys.

  3. No, the gene is passed just to young boys and the affect diminishes until gone at age 50

  4. Don, you should travel with my Hubby. The car doesn't stop until fuel is needed :) We definitly need a smaller tank!

  5. I understand completely!!! I have 4 hour classes and one break in the middle is just not enough! These classes were not designed for women!

  6. Captain Nancy, I think universities need rules about that. I had one prof who told us that if we walked out during his class we were not welcome to return until the next class. Very understanding guy! (Same guy told a woman she could not be in his class because she arrived ten minutes late the first evening. In his words, "the most important ten minutes of the course." He made her leave before he would continue teaching. She never returned to the class. What she actually missed was ten minutes of him bragging about himself.)