By: Chrysa Smith


Meet Violet, DoraLee and Judy. Three tough broads. Oops! Is that politically incorrect? Well then, you should hear Dwayne’s take on women in the hit musical 9 to 5.

My friend Ruth and I ventured on down to Philly to see the show this week. If you haven’t seen it or the movie, do so. It’s a funny take on the late 70’s workplace—which most of us, can—unfortunately, remember all too well. The gals are sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens, sex objects, incompetents at Consolidated Industries. So, when their fantasies about change in the workplace are shared, they realize that maybe they do have some clout after all. Three female brains can certainly outsmart one chauvinistic, leech of a boss, and so it falls into place.

During a seemingly normal day at the office, boss Dwayne winds up bound and gagged and ultimately harness-hung above his bed, as the gals dictate what needs to change around there. Dwayne, who is nobody’s fool, finds a way around this mess with the added plus of moving up the corporate ladder. That is, until his boss decides ‘up the ladder’ is to a developing South American country. Violet is promoted to boss, the girls change the way of the world at Consolidated and all ends well. Except for Roz—she’s the former workplace manager in love with Dwayne. A funny stump of a woman, the sexy scene with her on the boss’s desk is a classic. She doesn’t realize her plight yet—she’s still hopelessly in love with the cad of a boss and will follow him to the ends of the earth.

This is all based on the work and talent of Dolly Parton. Who, in part, digitally narrates some of the production and provides some comic relief as well as a hit song or two.

It all brought back my time at a former toy company in NYC, when I worked in the Consumer Relations (aka: complaint) department. A young, naive gal just out of school, I remember the bosses having a little nip at the desk after work, relationships with employees, alcohol at company Christmas parties and sexual comments passed to women on a regular basis. Gee, what ever happened to those good old days? Just kidding. Well, they were good in lots of ways, but I think the workplace has gotten a tad classier than it was. Least I think so. And so has the role of women. Which got me thinking about today—fast forwarded three decades when some really major companies have female CEO’s. And while I’m not a politically correct woman, nor do I believe in the ‘quota’ system, I still have to agree that we’ve come a long way baby—-and I’m sure glad we have. Now if I could only make as much money as my husband!