My office is always swarmed with ad-seeking staffers of different media houses from 9am to 4pm. Being an officer with the information department of the federal government, I am tasked with dealing with advertisements for print media houses of Punjab. She was one of those early morning visitors on one such working mornings. “Thank God, you’re here”, she said looking at me. She looked a bit tired. It is strange to see a visitor so tired. Morning hours bring victors with fresh, energetic vibes to my office. I asked what her problem was. “Ma’am, I’ve come for the advertisement.” I asked her which newspaper she was from. She worked for an Urdu newspaper. Not a mainstream. She took out the newspaper copy from her leather bag and placed on my table. “Madam, please give advertisement to our newspaper today,” she pleaded. I recalled when the ad was given to that newspaper last time. I told her that as per policy ads were being issued to their paper. “You need not take much pain,” I consoled her. She was, however, not satisfied. “Ma’am, please talk to my boss and tell him that you are giving the ad as per policy and also tell him that I have come to your office.” Meanwhile, my office boy offered her a glass of water. I was not astonished to hear her. It is a matter of routine for me that the marketing staff visits my office regularly for advertisement purpose. Their newspaper wants ads daily and our office tries its best to meet their demands. This visitor, whose name, let us assume is Saira, was staring at me and wanted to say more. I thought I have much office work to do and I have heard her demand and met too, so she should leave now. But she wanted to say something more. I thought I should listen to her. “Ma’am, I can’t come here daily.” “Of course, you need not come daily. Just text me, and I’ll take care of your paper’s ads.” But that was not enough. She went on,” My boss pressurizes me to daily visit your office. It doesn’t look nice to come here daily and even it’s very difficult for me financially as well.” Her organization did not provide transport facility. Most of the time, she was traveling on ride-sharing services to visit different places, which often cost her more than her entire salary. Though, I normally do not suggest something to visitors about their media houses policies, but I could not help suggesting her to ask her boss to raise her salary or give her transport facilities. She remained silenced for a few seconds and then said she had asked her boss many times but in vain. Poor or no facilities are a common feature in all media houses. But more shocking revelation followed. “Ma’am, you know today my boss said ‘don’t come to the office wearing shalwar kameexz. He wants me to wear trousers and a shirt.” How come one can police a female worker’s dress code? I asked her if the same condition was for male workers. “No. In fact, he says females look hot in trousers and shirts, which helps get good business,” she was crying. She further said, “Ma’am, I am thinking of leaving this job. I give so much time to the job but gets nothing in return.” She is not the first one with this plan. Other women coming from other newspapers have the same problems. Low salary but great demanding job. She said she had fewer options if she left this job. I was again thinking about where she would go after leaving this job. Is there any secure place for her where she can get a reasonable salary with respect? Other than office related ills, she has plenty of personal issues to discuss with me. ”Ma’am, today my youngest son is ill. I just video-called him to how he feels now. He has a high fever. I have come to the office and now roaming in different places to get business for the paper.” Last month, her job-related fare was Rs30,000. She showed me Uber receipts. Her salary is Rs25,000. “Today, I’ve come with my elder son on the bike. He has just taken his matriculation exams.” I stood up and ushered her out of the office. I came out of the office to see her son. He was an innocent boy sitting on the sofa. My office boy served him juice. She introduced him to me, and said wanted to send his son to Dubai for decent earning. As I said goodbye to them and returned to my table, she knocked on the door and said,” Ma’am, please remember my paper today.” I sanctioned ads for her paper. Now, it occurs to me I have not seen her for so many weeks. Perhaps she has left the job because of boss’s demand to put on trousers and shirt while on duty; maybe she is nursing her son, or perhaps financial constraints are stopping her to visit offices. From dress policing to low salary, pestering. tough working hours and indecent working conditions, they encounter plenty of problems every day to earn bread and butter. Whatever the reasons, working life is not a bed of roses for working women.