Working Women; Episode 305 & 301
So. You're a working woman your mother your wife your a good friend your lover your student. You're a civic volunteer. You want to spend time at your job time with your children time with your partner time with a friend time for yourself. You want to do it all and you want to do it perfectly. Is this you do you feel you're being pulled in a thousand different directions. If so you may be suffering from the Superwoman Syndrome an ordinary woman trying to meet extraordinarily demands. Join us for a special show on the superwoman and grab a pencil and paper so you'll be ready for our superwoman quiz. National presentation working women is made possible by J.C. Penney between a Halston 3 action window and one J.C. Penney serving America's working women from coast to coast.
Hello and welcome to working women. Every woman thinks she knows a superwoman. You know that Dynamo named Jennifer or Amanda who is faster than a speeding three year old more powerful than an Exxon executive and Able to leap into the passion mode in a single buyout. Meanwhile you're barely coping hoping that your collapse in bed and not the dairy case you may think yourself a failure because when you try to live up to magnificent Amanda you can't. But there's a good reason why. Superwoman is a myth and ideal no woman can match. She exists only in the minds of overachievers and perfectionist. Are you trying to live up to this impossible image. To find out let's take the superwoman quiz. First take all the roles that apply to you then give yourself three points for each choice. You were a woman balancing multiple roles. Wife partner. Mother stepmother. Homemaker. Worker outside the home. Volunteer. STUDENT.
From here on out pick the one that applies to you and write the school which is next to it. You tend to deal with things as they occur. Always often sometimes seldom and rarely. You're a perfectionist and everything your work marriage home parenting and social life. You feel guilty. You were uncomfortable delegating tasks at home or at work. You feel you can't spend money on or ask for help with household chores so you do them yourself. Out of your school and move it back to the quiz later in the show.
Do you often feel loving yet resentful towards your family. Challenge get unappreciated at work. Well-intentioned yet overcommitted in your obligations overworked yet stubbornly perfectionistic in your standards. Well it's an easy syndrome to fall into. Listen to an anecdote. Soon as I pull up in a driveway. I really feel a surge of stress as I get out of the car and I come bounding to meet me. It's a great moment. Need all the responsibilities I suddenly have to take on again as soon as I get home. I'm on duty now. There's just so little time in the evening and my son often says to me only I only get to see you for three hours every day which is very true from the time I get home he goes to bed at 9. That's very kind. There's a
talking doing that has to be done. I listen most of the time to the children. So much of the time though. I'm doing sort of a sorting routine in my mind. I have so many subjects I'm concerned stacked up and fall behind one another that I'm just mentally rearranging priorities all the time. Listening with one ear so that I can make a comment that makes sense but also trying to save time by figuring out some other obstacle that's an hour away. Bills that haven't been paid money that might not be there. All kinds of little problems that household life generates. I feel very bad when I can't listen and give them my full attention. I feel very guilty about it. They don't have another or they can turn to.
I'm not attentive and tell their story too. I'm the only one there. You have to do the math. I think everyone every mother compares herself to her own mother. Compares her children to her own experience as a child and wonders how it stacks up. Is she giving them the time that her mother gave her. A working mother's guilt springs from the strikingly different life she lives from that of her own mother. Her first role model was always there when I came home from school and I'd had a traumatic day in third grade or whatever it was she was there to listen. She advised me on my terrible problems. Dinner was always at a civil hour. Six o'clock everything was ready. We had always wonderful dinners. Usually desserts would follow.
The washing on the ironing was always done when you needed it. The house was clean. The whole house whole scene was in order and under control. I don't feel that way about my house. At all. I would not for a minute say. I work harder. Than my mother did because her hours were certainly as long as mine are now. I just think the stress involved juggling so many different responsibilities is different. And has learned computer technology well beyond her job description as a secretary. You'd never know it from her paycheck but she still enjoys the challenge. Enjoy looking up things that I've seen that somewhere but I'm not sure how it works let me go back and find out. And it's a thrill to see it really work out and meet you know the needs of the staff the nature of work stress. For me usually comes from having either too much to do and too little time.
Running into full time line either you go to the source of the problem and you say this is not going to work out. It's not a risk to life I also have other things that are important to me so I can put this stress at home is a lot different stress it is permanent. If I've got a problem at home the only one who can resolve it. I can't usually go to somebody else and say let's work this out. If my son is failing in math. No one's going to for me. I can talk to my son I can. I can try to talk to the parties involved but at work you other people you can lean on. You can delegate work to other people. Often that's it I'm overloaded helping out at home. There's not usually someone to take the overload off your shoulders.
Like many two paycheck families Ann and her husband each work full time shifts on opposite schedules and a husband a concierge at a downtown hotel. Works from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. They chat once in the morning before and turns the care of their 3 year old son over to him and twice a day they talk on the phone. There's very little communication very little sharing. Little things go by and I know I say to myself oh it's not worth the trouble to bring it up because he has other things on his mind we only have five minutes to talk or I won't go into it. So things that happen during the week kind of get passed over. You know when you're a working mother. There is so little time for your children. First place which are my first responsibility I feel. That my time for myself is me as a man and there are moments where I feel extremely frustrated and
confined. Totally nailed down. I want to break off and spend a year in Connecticut writing obscure verse. But. That's never possible. The ideal world would be for me to work part time at a job I enjoyed. Maybe writing but writing that a part time schedule would give me time to write at home to read. That they haven't done their life. If. There were necessary things in our family life
been better for myself. It's. Going to rain by the time I get home and I get the kids and I take care of the details. It's 10 o'clock and I'm exhausted and I have sat. Very stretched. Stretched to the limit sometimes I feel a very limited and is feeling the enormous expectations of our culture yet the minimal support it gives us. Are you feeling those expectations too. Now let's get back to the superwoman quits. Look at your score. If you scored 35 points or more you're a full fledged superwoman 28 to 34 points. Things seem out of control 21 to 27 points. You have many superwoman
characteristics 14 to 20 points. You're doing pretty well. Thirteen points or less. Congratulations. Things seem under control. If you're concerned about your score Stay with us as we meet our recovering superwoman. Marjorie Shea That's author of The Superwoman Syndrome raised to be the perfect wife mother and homemaker. She expected this and more of herself as she built her practice as a family therapist in that practice. She frequently works with super women and their partners who are seeking balance in their lives. Marjorie welcome to working women. Thank you. First I'd like to talk about those viewers out there those women who think I do have lots of things and it doesn't bother me I'm thriving quite well I managed to go to work take care of my kids do volunteer work and I'm perfectly happy with women. Well I think we call those normal women because they are having a balance in their life and I think that's wonderful. Congratulations to those women. But there are many women who don't have a balance in their life. They can be married with children they can even
be single and they don't necessarily have to be working either I find that super women are what I would call career volunteers. Essentially a superwoman is any woman who is trying to balance a whole series of roles and trying to do it perfectly. You see the single woman often tells me that because she doesn't have children or a husband she doesn't have an excuse. People expect so much from her parents friends employers and the career volunteerism under the gun. Because again she doesn't have the excuse of work. So today super woman can be almost any woman who is feeling stressed and polled by performing a whole series of roles you've got the syndrome. If you're feeling uncomfortable in the role. What are some of the psychological and physiological symptoms that go along with being a spy. Well that's the syndrome. What I hear from women all over is how fatigued and exhausted they are that they just never feel like they're up to
snuff. One woman recently in Chicago told me you know I'm not a superwoman. A lot of people do not. But I have to tell you I've been exhausted for four years. And it's interesting because she talked about you know I went to a clinic and what I was hoping as I would hope they had a little bit they could find something wrong with me a little bit of a little bit of thyroid. And she said I felt very upset when they didn't find anything. I hear that from women all over. They talk about headaches. Talk about stomach aches rations were up and down their legs or their stomach ache. Now the other. Those are the physical symptoms. But the other symptoms the psychological ones are sometimes more difficult to recognize because in many ways our parents teach us not to recognize them. And you were growing up what happened when you felt despair. Sorry depressed or upset. Essentially what would happen is if parents were not upset. But people who are
don't often recognize that they feel sad depressed anxious. They have a whole series of kind of stressful anxiety feelings that they just think are a part of normal life. How do they deal with other people. Well those are the personal symptoms. If you're feeling upset if you're feeling physically poor then that can lead to your interpersonal relationships that might result in anger or being upset irritability a wide range of symptoms a lot of conflict perhaps with spouses children and even coworkers. I'd also like to ask you why. And you touched upon it a bit why women are predisposed to this syndrome. What is there about our upbringing that makes us fall into this perfectionist mode. What you see most women under traditional circumstances were brought up to be wives mothers and homemakers and as such they were brought up to be either not self-oriented men on the other hand were brought up to be self
oriented because that's what was required in order to effectively work in the outside world. This major difference then predisposes us to do a lot of things traditional and absolutely Lucian in ways we were a brought up to take care of other people much before our selves and therefore we have difficulty delegating. We always say yes to requests for time for energy. We find it difficult to remain focus because anybody can interrupt us. I say that super women essentially have an open door policy an open refrigerator door policy an open car door policy that we're always open to whatever happens to us we end up being reactive. Most have not been brought up to be that way. They have been brought up to be more focused and to be able to take care of themselves better. What you're describing now is raising your child to be nice and cooperative and giving. Are you saying that we should not do that with our daughters or we should do more with our
son. Listen I think there's not enough caring in the world suggesting that we not be nice is that when the whole focus of your life is meeting other people's needs that very often what will happen is that to give to a stranger on the street to a telephone call to people who may not be that important who are just passers by in your life. I think that we need to do is to focus on the important people and the things in our life and continue to bring our caring behaviors there but not by all those other things. Your husband Mort touched on a chapter in your book as a matter of fact about women about men and the way they react to this whole situation would you like to comment on that. Well I think a part of the conflict we see between men and women these days really has to do with this very very different socialization. Women were
brought up to be other oriented they tend to give and give. And give and give some more men were not brought up that way they were talked to. And that's that so many women feel like they give so much more than what their husbands or partners give back to them. And you know wot they're right but at least we know why. Another aspect has to do with the home you know arguments about the home are one of the leading causes of violence here in the United States. One of the things that we have found that I think is just fascinating is that the home is another workplace for women. Think about it. How much work do you do on an everyday basis you if you work outside the home you work there and you work at home. But man find rest place they don't feel responsible for the home. Most men come in and they've been raised to take better care of themselves. They will read the paper they will watch television. They don't have that sense of urgency that you and I would
have. To do things that we have. And I think one of the things that we have to be doing is to begin putting some limits to just how many errands and chores that we spend after our work hours in the home. I wanted to touch on one thing that's been concerning. It's the whole idea of perfectionism. Now that must mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people and I think I'm doing a pretty good job of taking care of my home but I'm sure there are other people here who think Oh dear she's not anyplace close to perfection. Where do we come up with those limits what are those parameters of perfection. Well I think that we want and try to excel in certain limited areas but when you bring perfectionism to a wide range of areas everything from how your kitchen looks to how you look to how meals are prepared or how you do a project their work then what that tends to do is to not allow you to be perfect. Thing you're
working so hard to take care of details and be perfect speed spinning your wheels. Well we have found is that performers pick performers learn how to focus on what is important and try to be not necessarily perfect but to have high expectations for a small number of areas. You can then control how it is you spend your time. I think women try to be perfect because they're so afraid of making a mistake. They don't want to be criticized they don't want to bring about anger in other people and again this is another fascinating difference between men and women. Women are horrified of anger and conflict. They'll do anything to avoid it. And I think deal with anger in a much more sort of matter of course way. And they may strive for perfection in their work world. But women try to be perfect in world's work.
Child raising all the different areas of the expected exam room. I'd like to focus for a minute on the superwoman who is a working woman outside the home a paid working woman outside the home. Now it seems that if you are going to choose a job and if you have the opportunity to hire someone to take care of your home you do. It's only those women who are working outside the home who don't have a very large income. We're having this problem is that true. Are there women who have the money anyway and still refuse to find help. There are many women who economically can afford to buy help. But don't you see women generally have great difficulty delegating even when they have money. If you have a household you have both people and money resources and by and large what we have done as we have brought a horse and buggy techniques into our homes we do what our mothers and grandmothers did in terms of a listening help and most of the time we don't
know one manager at the University of California told me. At the work world I would never think of hoping that my secretary would type a letter. But she said you know that's what I do at home. I hope that they're going to help me she said. I would never think of in the work world work so hard that I come in dragon face and in just showing you how hard I'm working and think you know someone's going to see how hard I'm working they're going to pitch in and help volunteer. Yeah that's right. But I do that at home. I would never think of in the work world order or complaining or demanding or even withdrawing. Well just do it and I won't say anything. But I do that at home. So a part of the difference between what we do in the work world and at home is that we don't use human relation techniques that make sense and that can be for any economic level. Yes you've touched on something I'd like to explore for a minute. Those characteristics were
characteristics of at the workplace for people suffering from the Superwoman Syndrome. Well if we have an open door open refrigerator policy at home we do that at work too. Women employees tend to allow themselves to be interrupted much more than man. I think one of the things that we find is is that it's so difficult for a woman to close her door and do uninterrupted work focus work. It's so difficult even when you have a secretary to say please hold my calls I need to. Be involved with what I'm doing. Women tend to be much much more available to people around them. You know that is good in some ways but if it keeps you from focusing on and concentrating on the work that you were hired to do then you're going to be pulled apart again. I think women again have difficulty saying no and they also feel so deuced by possibilities now that there are so many options to us. Sometimes it's not all the chores and errands that get us into trouble
it's this opportunity that possibility that we don't want to say no to anything and our predisposition to saying yes to everything also will get us to throw into trouble in the workplace Very quickly give us a couple of tips on what we can do to get our lives back in order. First of all as I said before put limits on the sheer number of chores and errands that you do. Number two never say no immediately. Say let me think about it can I get back to you tomorrow. Check yourself before you say yes to an invitation and three cars of our time. Don't look for don't find it. Carve out time for yourself and the important people in your life and those are three ways that you can regain control. Thank you very much margarine. There are those super women who rush to work every morning in a dress for success business suit and running shoes no less. Our favorite curmudgeon Fran Liebowitz who watches and scorns this aberrant behavior has this to say
in it in a just world these people would be in prison. But in a just world. The fashion police they were going around and arrest them. And it just your average citizen would make a citizen's arrest to say I'm sorry but. You can't let that. If I was a dictator which is as you know I often envision. That when people either I don't know not just together I hate the suits Dress for Success. Those are the worst I think ever invented including the clothes of the 60s which I also can't stand I couldn't stand in their real incarnation I can't stand now. But those clothes those fake men's suits. Those little Times and the skirts I think those women who want to be I just want to stop progress or something. I sure think that you were mentioning you know with shoes. And. They're still not going to get what they want. Women are not going to be in the same position of business men are into they're willing to be as ruthless as men are. Then they can wear prom dress.
You know it's not like that where it's having. The combination with the running shoes particularly horrifying. Thank you friend and thank you for joining us. See you next week. I'll be here. So should you. National presentation of working women is possible by J.C. Penney featuring the Holston 3 collection Windham and unplugged. J.C. Penney serving America's working women from coast to coast.
Day. When our son Adam was 10 weeks old teacher Marty Tomko was torn with guilt about returning to work. Her pediatrician told her Marty the baby looks great but you look terrible here this prize winning teacher talk about the trade offs she thinks is as a mother with a full time job this week and working women. Day.
But. Do people accept you on those terms very easily have the accepted the Beverly Sills the star recently reached 50 million dollars for the New York City operatives. But is there somebody who can take me seriously at this point. That's opera star Beverly Sills who is now the director of The New York City Opera. She talked with me about her life and the future she's determined will be a whole new challenge. That and much more on working women. National presentation of working women is made possible by J.C. Penney featuring the Halston 3 collection Windham and J.C. Penney serving America's working women from coast to coast.
Beverly Sills started singing as a child and wound up as one of the most widely acclaimed opera stars our country has ever produced perhaps wound up as the wrong tour. After 45 years as a singer she quit cold turkey but she didn't retire far from it. She took over the management of the New York City Opera and in five years turned it from a financially troubled struggling company into a phenomenal success. When I talked with her recently in New York she told me she's still a long way from settling into a rocking chair. Beverly you have had an extraordinary singing career and now you're working as an administrator for an opera company. Tell me how that's changed your life. Well in the past of course I only have myself to worry about. It was how I felt in the morning and whether my costumes were ready and whether my wig was ready and whether I was one of them. What was my dinner going to be and it was it was a very. Self. Oriented existence. But now I
wake up I have. I would say 150 pairs of vocal cords to worry about. I worry about the singer's state of mind state of health. I worry about sets costumes worry about the backstage weather can work smoothly if we're doing a very complex production. I worry about box office but I worry about. What the ad looks like in the newspaper in the morning. It's just a. Constant. Round of worrying about other people now. Which didn't exist before. And. Do people accept those terms very easily. Fifty billion dollars for the New York City Opera. Somebody can't take me seriously at this point. That's a very predominantly male world administration and that there were no problems there at all.
No they shouldn't have been. I've been in the theatre forty five years at least of my of my life. There isn't a corner of that state theatre that I don't know I could like to show if I had to. I sang in a small regional companies who didn't have to like me when I came to do my mad scene from them so I had a life. I know a great deal about makeup I've been doing for 40 years. I don't say this in modestly it's simply if if you're a plumber for 45 years you get to be a pretty proficient plumber. Well I was an opera singer for 45 years so I really was all those years in the theater and I I really do know a lot about these things only because I've been doing them for so long. You loved your career in singing. Yes. How difficult was it to give up. Not terribly I had done everything I'd set out to do. There was very little left I mean in order for me to have another mountain to climb I would have first have to build a mountain and then climb it. So it didn't seem. Worthwhile I'd
sung every role I'd ever planned to dream double though now I found that I'm sorry it passed over but I would have liked. Right that was just silly. I never thought of that til now. But. There was literally I didn't need the money I didn't need to continue. I well I didn't become a singer as it was a marathon race to see if I could last longer than anybody. I. Set out. To accomplish certain goals I did that. I certainly had a good time. But I was a very fortunate singer. Because it's an all consuming profession and a highly disciplined art for. A lot of singers have had very little family life. And if they've had some it's not been very successful. I've been very lucky. I've had a. Very devoted husband who really didn't care whether I sang. Never involved himself in my career at all was never hanging around backstage
never wanted to know if it was me singing or a football event on television there was no guessing as to where he was. We're just what I think. Made our marriage such a good one because he always stayed his own man. I've also stopped cold turkey as it were you do not sing. I don't know that even in the show. No. Decision came from. I did quit. Cold turkey. Because I just don't see the sense of trying it out. To see what it sounds like. Probably wouldn't place me in that if it did I think. We miss independent at least you certainly impress us that way. What in your background has given you the gumption to go out and do all the things you've done. Written. My parents are very European So I think I was raised in the house. First of all with European
standards which are very very strict. My father ruled the house. My mother used to boast that he never knew what color the kitchen was painted because he never went into it. And if we had guests for dinner my father was always served first. And he spoke with huge periods at the end of every sentence and I think it gave us a kind of discipline. And a lack of permissiveness that forced us to. Take steps that we knew were we have the backing of our parents but that we had to bring to a successful culmination. If I brought home a 94 percent. Or Regence examination which was considered rather. Extraordinary in Brooklyn. He. Always asked me to come to the other six point. And while that might seem excessive it really wasn't. It never bothered me that he pushed me for that and it never. Bothered me that my mother insisted that I be multilingual.
I've been able to adapt to situations easily. It was a way of life with us. I had a very happy childhood very secure where an extremely close family. To this day I had some difficulty with your. Career choice. I've had difficulty with young women on the stage. Nice women did not go on the stage and wear lots of make up. He had a lot of difficulty with. Women who wore strapless dresses hairdos and false lashes. He just couldn't handle it and so he was not happy with it. But once he got to see me perform. I think he did like my singing. He died. Tragically very young for him and tragically when I was very young and he never saw any of us really. Reach any kind of successful plateau. My mother says he certainly sees it from wherever he is and I but I do believe that. And I'm
sure he's pleased. I'm not really sure about the fact that I was in show business. I think he could have gotten over it eventually. I mean he was worried that I would not be a well-educated woman I am a well legit. Woman. I think. Once I got into the operatic world I think you'd have been. More relaxed just in the early days touring and doing. Operettas. Touring company just didn't like having to tell people that his daughter was. On. Some tragedy in your life. I know your children were born with handicaps. Tell us a little bit about that period in your life and how you overcame it and what you learned from it. Well today my my daughter was 25. Ordinarily good looking. Slim talented artist works makes a lot of money.
The only thing my daughter can't do that other young women can do is here. So I I don't consider handicapped at all. Perhaps in the very beginning until we. Got her communicating. She might have been considered that but right. That it's very hard to look at her and consider her and very feisty. She's a very very feisty kid. I'm afraid so. I don't consider her handicapped at the time. Necessary to get her educated and we did. We got her tutoring. Going. The boy retarded boy. Doing as well as he can he's comfortable and cared for. I think you know nobody escapes tragedy. I really don't know anybody who's been. Able to go through life without having something. Put on them. And I think that you know I did the best I
could. In my way my husband and I kept each other together we had a very difficult period. But I'm sure not half as difficult as the children themselves who had to struggle. And make a place for themselves in their own world and I don't think you can I think becoming morose just becomes a burden on other people. And it would be a terrible burden on my husband to have these problems to cope with as well as my. Mom. I just think it's a drag and I think. People who are who lean on depression and this as a way of life are drag and I do think you can pull yourself out of it I think your. Problems come from within yourself I don't know why. I guess people do go. To other people for help and perhaps that is a way I found that I had to take care of the problem within me first.
And I did. I just decided that I couldn't have my. Deaf daughter look at a face that was miserable but in love or see invisible things. We know that in the world there are a lot of inequalities gender inequalities are concerned and we look at them. From an insider's point of view. What exactly goes. As far as the singer is concerned. There is no man that can substitute for me in the mad scene from the right. Any more than I could substitute for a tenor doing in Rigoletto So as singers we don't have any problems. We've managed fine. In terms of conducting. We've not yet reached a point where a lady on the podium. Is still not a novelty. There's a lot of bussing when. People like Judy. And Sarah Caldwell. And.
Women mount the podium there still is not a woman in charge of a major. Symphony Orchestra. Based on what I know something's happened. However it will break the hind in our education. Because. 20 years ago it simply was not heard of to have a woman conductor. Young women were not really going in for serious study as conductors. Now they are because they do believe that somewhere down the road there is going to be a moment where it's not going to be such a novelty. Tell me what's on the horizon for themselves. Well I've been thinking about that. I'm not sure that's a New York City will be my last career. I've always I always said in the past that when as a singer that I would be carried out feet first from the New York City Opera. And actually was. In what I'm doing right now. I've turned the
company around. They are not bankrupt. They're not even debt ridden. We have very I mean there we have sold out houses. We probably got some of the best singers in the world that even the great international opera companies and the sun are grabbing them but they always come back home to us. But I do see one more career for myself. I don't know what it is. I'm certainly getting some very interesting offers that are totally outside of the music world and are in the corporate world. Some of which I find pretty quite interesting and something which I think that would just be silly. I don't know whether that's what I want to do. I still have a little bit of work left the city out for and I do want to. See that. Several things are accomplished there. But I think I will have one more career and I don't know what it is. And then I think I will just do nothing. But I have.
I want one more shot at something one more challenge. And it does have to be a challenge yes that I do know. What more can we say. Coming up the inspiring story of a widowed mother who's working her way through med school. And a wry look at self-help. Other friend Liebowitz is an astute observer of the social scene who lives and works in New York. In spite of that fact. Or maybe because of it. She finds life amusing from time to time we're going to bring you her comments. Here are her views on her books. I don't believe in self-help. I believe in hiring help. I don't believe actually in possibility of change. Yes I think people buy these books because they want change something about themselves. I think it's a losing battle. You know I windsurf you know. Young people have probably been from these little children. Who are too smart
to buy them to begin with. So I think that. When you have said that you know like you're the kind of get used to it. Shake hands with and say hello. It's going to be there for life. I've never known anyone who made any real change in themselves. And the thing that I would most like change about the two things I most like change about myself you can't I'm excited to be taller and richer. I think they go hand in hand I think by that which I would get home. So I think if I was taller I would be rich. I don't need to buy a book for that I buy lottery tickets which I think are going to take care of it eventually. I disapprove of them and I find actually very unattractive. The idea that people want to change themselves so much and that they imagine they can get people who are helped by these works by the people who write them. Not the people who buy them. They save their money. Getting through medical school is hard enough but what if you are a widow with a young child and you
work part time. How do you do it. Well Marilyn Weber of Minneapolis Minnesota does it and she would laugh if you called her a superwoman. She has a special attitude about life a realistic approach. She refuses to squander her energy on grief regrets guilt or impossible standards. I need to get by. I do everything adequately. That's kind of my call. I just had to come to the realisation that I can't be in the top just percentile of my class. I have a relationship. And still in work. I can't do all of that so I'm not I'm certainly not apathetic about what I do. But I don't have to be number one at everything. When Marilyn was 21 and her daughter was 3 Her husband died of cancer. Faced with finding a job she resolved to think big. She decided to become a doctor. But just in case she didn't get into medical school she started first to become a physical therapist. Now in her second year of med school Marilyn still works part time in a nursing home.
The working situation could be a very emotional very trying situation. And you have to learn to be rational and say to yourself This is what I can do for this person. And realize that you can't you can't do everything for them. Some of these people I would love to bring them home and have them live in my house. But you just have to realize that you have to draw a line you have to say this is this is what I can do and this is how I can best serve their needs and then go from there. Marilyn spend 60 hours a week going to classes and studying. She schedules her time carefully so she can take care of her number one priority. Her active daughter nearly every morning I'm up at 5am and I study a couple hours before the rest of the world awakens and it's quiet and it's easy to do it at that time
you know that you know it was already night and then it really is and who usually my classes start at 8:00. I have classes generally all morning and then in the afternoon I either have labs or clinics or study time you know. My daughter gets home around 3:00 o'clock she goes to the gym four days a week and she has piano in choir and ballet and she has all these other activities so that's a priority so we arrange our schedule around it. And I know. Five nights a week I'll be taking her somewhere or doing something with her and then the other one or two nights with her left or my nights. And then I can make my own plans for those nights. So it's a tradeoff I make a commitment at the beginning of the year that she will be in these activities and she will spend this much time and then I arrange my schedule around that.
I find I'm the kind of person that I need to have always schedule my time to get the maximum at the beginning of the week I sit down and plan how many hours I can devote to which subjects and what is upcoming in each subject. Every five minutes is scheduled. When I go to class. You have a 16 minute break between classes. I'll balance my checkbook write my bills out. I always have a book. So if I'm ever waiting for someone I can read. I'm not practical all of the time. Sometimes I do crazy things like a trip to New York or even a trip take a whole day off school and go shopping the week before finals. I've been known to do those kind of things so I don't think you can say I'm totally practical. There are a lot of things that help me in putting together my schedule and mostly a lot of it is organization but it's
also learning to rely on other people as well as yourself and letting other people help you with things like child care and. Things like. My daughter helps me with the housework. My family helps me with my diet or my friends help me with my schoolwork. Sometimes I lose my cool. Sometimes you just you just can't hold it all together. And there is a lot of pressure from every side and and it takes a lot of practice to to keep to keep a steady state going. But sometimes you do. You do fall apart. You come home at night and you cry. It's really important to be able to admit when you've made a mistake and and to try to troubleshoot and spend your energy troubleshooting rather than worrying about past mistakes. It's sometimes a real temptation to say I'm worthless. I can't. And what you have to do is just blow it off and say Well that
wasn't the right thing to do but what am I going to do next time. And that's what I try to teach my daughter so I would I just say I don't know anyone else who does all of the things I do. I think. Why it works for me is that I have a variety which I need. I'm not sure that. I would be able to deal with doing the same thing all the time. I need the stimulation from my daughter or from my family I need the theater the orchestra I need to interact with people the variety is one of the things that prevents burnout. I don't have to do this. This is something that I've chosen to do. The only thing I can't compromise is my daughter. It's not a trap. It's something that I want something that I've chosen. Maybe Marilyn Weber doesn't think she's doing anything special but I sure do. In the weeks ahead we're going to look at the Superwoman Syndrome that urge we have to be absolutely perfect in everything we tackle. We'll give you a quiz to measure how much of a superwoman
you're trying to be. And our interview with a therapist will show you how you can ease up. We're also going to talk about women in management with Tom Peters co-author of the bestselling In Search of Excellence. Peter says women take naturally to some of the best management styles because we tend to be people oriented. On the other hand he feels it may take us longer than it should to get into the highest corporate levels because of male resistance to our progress. Some of the work that we've done lately we found marvelous examples of women who are plant managers at the Dana corporation. But that's hardly a revolution. The exciting thing to me and I see it obviously for a bit of a parochial perspective since I live in Silicon Valley is even in the technical disciplines when they tend to be something like software where there isn't a mail history together with a such thing as a software engineer 15 years ago. We're seeing women entrepreneurs like Sandy Kurtz a good ass computer and so on because there isn't a track record that says it can't be done. And so I'm really optimistic in the long haul as we move toward a service society as the technology part of our companies move a little bit
away from you know steals and steal and ladles you know electrons flying around and so on but it's tough from the general perspective to be optimistic about steel companies and car companies and it's tough from the perspective of women moving through the ranks to be very optimistic either I'm afraid. Another upcoming program will bring you information on the highly controversial issue of pay equity that old question of why women make so much less than men pay equity has been called everything from a truly crazy idea to the number one civil rights issue of the 80s or exploration of the topic will bring you all the pros and cons along with a bit of how to. In addition we're going to examine the subject of women and self-esteem. Why is it that when something goes wrong men say who did it all women say what did I do. We'll get the answers to that and other questions from someone who's written a book on the subject. Everybody has at least one or two pockets one or two areas of their self concept that
is a little shaky. You know we interviewed over 300 10 women for the book in it wouldn't be fair to say that women generally hate themselves or feel miserable but we didn't find anybody who had high self esteem across the board. And as always we'll bring you close ups of real working women shown right in the midst of their busy lives. Women like the high fashion model who at night patrols the New York subways as a guardian angel and the puppeteer who found that the birth of her business meant the death of her marriage. We hope you'll make it a point to join us every week for working women. I'll be here. So should you. National presentation of working women is possible by J.C. Penney featuring the Halston 3 collection Wyndham and J.C. Penney serving America's working women from coast to coast.
- Working Women
- Episode Number
- Episode 305 & 301
- Producing Organization
- Maryland Public Television
- Contributing Organization
- Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Public Broadcasting Service Program NOLA
- PFIP 000204
Copyright Holder: MPT
Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maryland Public Television
Identifier: 36132.0 (MPT)
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- Chicago: “Working Women; Episode 305 & 301,” 1984-11-28, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 18, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-09j3v25w.
- MLA: “Working Women; Episode 305 & 301.” 1984-11-28. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 18, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-09j3v25w>.
- APA: Working Women; Episode 305 & 301. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-09j3v25w