Friday, October 10, 2008

"This is a man's world..."

I don't know who sang the song, but it's true. This IS a man's world, and I'm trying to work in it.

This blog has, up to this point, been merely a place for me to express my (strange) thoughts and ideas on the events that unfold within my realm of knowledge.

I have recently become painfully aware that I am, at times, fighting an up-hill battle in my workplace. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, read the next paragraph. (Those who know what I do may skip the next paragraph)

I am the ONLY female out of 30 or so employees in my department at work. I'm a designer at an Architecture & Engineering Firm in Toledo. There are approximately 5 women in the entire 'group' (SBU) who are engineers or designers. 5 out of 100-150.

Being a minority (YES, I am a minority being the only woman), I feel that I must constantly prove myself. I work longer hours, and accomplish more, than my male counterparts. I work harder, smarter, and faster than them. Oh yeah, and for less pay. But I have to.

Disclaimer (for the information below): I am known to give people a "hard time." I joke with people, but I am never dis-respectful.

I have a certain co-worker with whom I've worked closely for the past 2 years. He has, in the past, given me "a hard time" in return for my wisecracks. In the past year, he has done considerably less engineering work (he's the engineer to which I'm the designer), and has expected me to do all the engineering and design work.

In the last two months, his wisecracks have turned from the somewhat-complimentary (calling me "queenie" - my alternate email address is cad queen_) to quite dis-respectful ("we get our testosterone from her"). This behavior has escalated in the last week so much that a LIVE grasshopper was left on my desk. (I don't like to be startled, and a LIVE grasshopper will definitely startle a person when it jumps in their face when they don't even know it's there)

The story isn't over yet.

The department manager asked me into his office today. When I entered, the jokester was there, and they had obviously had a conversation. I was chided for "not doing work to meet deadlines." This was so far from the truth that when I asked the manager 20 minutes later, he could not give me a specific example.

But not being a spiteful person, I chose to leave it be for the weekend, in the hopes that the joker will realize he went to far (because he obviously didn't get it when I told him he was toeing the line today) So I'm here, venting to you, beloved reader. Hopefully, over the weekend, he will realize that he went too far. If not, I'm going to be forced to ge to the manager about it.

A lot of people don't realize how hard it is to be a woman fighting for a place in a man's world. It (for lack of a better word) sucks. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and takes all my focus and energy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

James Brown.
Men feel threatened by a woman with brains. "Decorative as well as Functional" is especially threatening. Call your mother. I have no experience here.