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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Lipstick On A Man Pig

Sometime in the 80s I had a short-term job at Nationwide Insurance's headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, assigned to organize their storeroom full of books and documents into a company library. It was a job that I enjoyed very much and I worked through it diligently, too quickly because that was the kind of sincere young woman that I was.


I had heard from some of the other ladies that the company was pleased with my work and that I might be asked to stay on, so I was not surprised when I saw the ladies informally gathering around me late one lazy afternoon. Also, I had worked for several insurance companies along the way and I was aware of the significant amount of time that they spent fiddling around, playing jokes, or simply not showing up for work so I wondered what game was up now. One lady trotted up to me and giggled, "He wants to see you in lipstick, ha, ha, ha." I said, "What, who, what did you say?" I knew this was not right. The ladies clustered around me and laughed openly at my discomfort. They pointed out a highly senior manager who was lurking in the far back of the open-plan office. One of them signaled to me, you better be nice and say you'll do it. The whole game was silly, so I threw in my moronic chip saying, "Well, if he wants to see lipstick on someone then he should put it on himself!" My entourage gasped and fled so as not to be associated with me and my insult of the manager. He slunk away, but I was not fired as I had assumed that I would be. Instead Nationwide offered me some highfalutin' permanent job handling a type of insurance policy that was so complex that "most people cannot understand it", but "We know that you can do it."


I declined, sensing a setup, suspecting that any insurance policy that is so "complex" that it is unintelligible, is most likely fraudulent and I would not be part of that. In retrospect I wish I had taken a look at the position, but I was not old enough then to navigate both potential fraud and the pig manager who wanted me to work in lipstick.


Lipstick On A Man Pig

collage by Annmarie Throckmorton 2022


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