The recession that the US is supposedly not in has just hit WAY too close to home.
Today I watched three co-workers pack up their belongings and leave the building, escorted by the boss. I did NOT, however, see the other 15 people do the same. Nor did I witness the departure of 5 of them on Friday. And I sincerely hope that I do not have to witness any departures tomorrow or Wednesday. Yes, that is how long I was told that this would continue.
That being said, I am thankful that when I was called into the boss’s office, I had another co-worker with me. Evidently that was code for “you can come back to work tomorrow.” I have to admit, I was ready to ask my “buddy” to hold my hand as he shut the door. Thankfully the first words I heard as the door closed were “you guys are safe.” It was a VERY long day, but in retrospect, I am SO PROUD of myself. Evidently, the way I saw myself as an employee is the SAME WAY my employer sees me.
As is evident in earlier posts (see Friday, October 10, 2008 "This is a man's world..." ), I know that as a woman in the Engineering field, I “need” to prove my usefulness. (Please, male readers, do not react to this. It is true, and has paid off, as you will see) Every day, I strive to do more: faster, and with more accuracy than the men who could be given the same task. I do so willingly and happily (99% of the time, if I must be completely honest.) When asked how busy [with work] I am, I will say’ “I can fit you in” before I will say, “Very busy.” I get to work between 6 and 6:15 in the morning, so that I have a good 2 hours to get work done, because I know that I can get more done in those two hours than I can in the following 6 hours. I worked an average of 47 hours a week in 2008.
I honestly believe that it is my drive to be “better than the guys” that saved my job. My male equivalent at work, although he had been with the company years longer than I, was laid-off today. He, with a wife and 2 kids, was let go. I, with a husband and no kids, was spared. To quote myself (and it was affirmed by the boss), “I work circles around him.” To the poor guy’s defense, his attitude HAD greatly improved lately, and it WAS noted by another employee before we knew anything about lay-offs.
Moral of the story: Yes, dad, please get me software and a laptop for PLC programming. I need to know more than I do now. And I’m in the thinking stage of going back to school.
“A woman’s work is never done.”