I should start by saying I’m severely arachnophobic. So arachnophobic in fact that when a large spider (say 2.5 inches including legs) landed on my head and crawled down my arm, I screamed so loud the neighbours called round. I’m not proud, but it is what it is.
That said, I went to do a volunteering project with my work. There were numerous tasks, including painting, cutting down trees, planting, pulling weeds and transporting soil (shovelling and barrowing). The more artistic people volunteered for the painting and since I wouldn’t have been great, I wasn’t chosen for that task (I’m okay at painting, but not the level they were looking for.)
When it got to the garden however, I made it pretty clear that I was totally willing to labour, but really didn’t do well with minibeasts, so might be best felling trees and doing the digging rather than weeding / planting. I’ve also got a bit of experience felling trees and regularly train with weights at the gym.
Despite this, I couldn’t so much as dig out a bucket of earth without someone coming across and saying they couldn’t watch me do that heavy work because they were ‘a bloke’. I really couldn’t cope with that many creepy crawlies – okay very female – but I could lift and carry as much or more soil than the (older) chaps in question….
Guess phobias are okay, as long as they don’t interfere with the gender split of work. #MFIF