Post Academic

The Queen Bee in Her Native Habitat

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on September 22, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionThe offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on “Mad Men” shouldn’t be taken as an example of a functional, realistic workplace. Yet a recent episode stuck in my head because a character displayed all the classic traits of a Queen Bee.
The Queen Bee is one of the most dangerous office types because not only is she smart, but she’s also ferocious–and other women are often the target of her wrath. If you’re a “Mad Men” fan, you know I’m talking about office manager Joan Holloway.

If you don’t watch the show, a quick plot summary for the Queen Bee episode in question: An male employee made numerous comments and left a lewd picture on Joan’s wall when she told him to stop shaking the vending machine. Another employee, Peggy, is appalled and gets permission to fire the employee, which she does. Instead of bonding over this as two women in a male-dominated workplace, Joan rips into Peggy for not minding her own business and letting Joan handle it her way.

“Queen Bees” still exist in the wilds of the Hamster World today. It’s more likely that they earned their position through talent rather than sexuality, but they still defend their turf from upstarts. Even if other women try to make friends with the Queen Bee, she’ll prefer the company of the men in the office.

Just because there’s other women in the office doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them. The sisterhood only goes so far. But a Queen Bee is special. Instead of tolerating you, she will do her best to get you out of the picture.

Tips on how to avoid Queen Bee stings after the jump! We didn’t want to court copyright drama, but we found an image of Christina Hendricks out of character from Wikimedia Commons, by watchwithkristin, under a Creative Commons license.