groundhog day

He didn’t see his own shadow so much as a shadowy splotch on my x-ray, indicating that my foot is still fractured. I have at least another 4 weeks in this stupid boot, then another x-ray and checkup to see if I will be free. It’s already been 9 (!) weeks since I broke my foot; what’s another 4? My only consolation is that the weather has been very dank this summer, so I’m not missing out on any prime beach time (she says, like she’d ever go to a beach in the first place because there is sand and bugs and sunshine and OTHER PEOPLE and those things are awful).

Dank.

I did attend the “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” Lunch n’ Learn at my workplace last week. It was interesting-ish: we were sorted into groups based on the categories of the self-assessment, going where our lowest score was. My lowest score naturally came in “Look”, but went into the “Act” group. When asked why, I said that I thought the Look category was bullshit and that I had no plans to count my personal style as a workplace negative. That was fun.

I don’t know that the group exercise held much value for me, as we only had 10 minutes to discuss the common “mistakes” and suggestions for improvement among 11 people. Those who were the loudest had their topics of choice discussed, and while I’m sure I too suffer from varying degrees of wanting too much to be liked/not caring if I’m liked or not, it wasn’t my number one issue. I will likely pick up the book and read through the advice myself. To be honest, I’m not at all certain I WANT the corner office: I want to create and drive and learn and DO, not try to control it all.

A neat idea did come out of the talk, though. My co-worker Karen and I were talking after the session about the points that were discussed (we were in different groups), and our intern Kerri was drawn into the conversation. She had questions about the why of some things – why the coffee, why she shouldn’t always be the one to take notes – and something dawned on me: I learned these things after years of working in government and corporate jobs. No one ever sat me down and said “okay, here’s how to be adult woman: go”. So .. why *don’t* we? It’s so much easier to instil good habits than to try and break bad ones. I emailed a bunch of people, basically volunteering (it’s a bad habit I have) to lead a session with the new co-ops (or anyone else) each term that goes over stuff: how to be heard in meetings, how to communicate, how to make friends without becoming the team baker, what happens if you abuse Reply All, etc. Things that you aren’t specifically taught, but pick up after throwing a fit the first time you’re asked to serve coffee to all the men in the room or the 10th time you’re told to take meeting notes because you’re a girl and obviously all girls are secretaries. That sort of thing.

I don’t know if it’ll take off, but I’d love to do something like this (along with every other excellent idea I have that usually involves shaping terrifying young minds into my own image: boobs and purple hair for everyone).

JPEG image-3767ED3EE557-1

art via filter.

i made this and i'm stupidly proud of it so i'm posting it everywhere.

i made this and i’m stupidly proud of it so i’m posting it everywhere.

who run the world

GIRLS (as long as we’re dressed appropriately)

Tomorrow at work I’m attending a Lunch n’ Learn for women in the workplace, based on the book “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office“. It’s about the “unconscious mistakes” women make at work that sabotage our careers, which, okay. I get it. There are many women for whom this stuff isn’t second nature. There are women who are shy and unassuming yet still smart and ambitious and want that corner office. There are women who are actively denied raises and promotions because they are women, and that really sucks and must be changed. Millions of young women are entering the workforce, and a lot of the advice in this book are things you pick up after being in the workforce for a few years or more.

But.

The book was first released in 2004. In the grand scheme of someone’s career, 12 years is a very large chunk of time. What may have been seen as a corporate mistake in 2004 is a non-issue today, or at the very least seen through a very different lens. I’m sure that a lot of this book is still valid for “traditional” careers and positions, but as someone who works in tech and has been lucky enough to work with some awesome people who saw past my uterus, a lot of the advice given is baffling. There’s a self assessment worksheet we were asked to do, and some of the questions are making me downright angry:

  • 19. I’ve selected a hairstyle that is appropriate for my age and position.
  • 26. I take care to wear accessories that complement my clothing.
  • 40. I don’t apply lipstick or comb my hair in public.

Why. Why are these things. If someone writes a book for men and how to get ahead, are these questions included? Are ANY questions included beyond “Are you male?” “Are you white?” “Are you rich?” “Here’s your key to the executive bathroom!”

The book probably wasn’t written for women who work in tech, or in any industry where hair and accessories don’t matter. I know not everything can apply to my specific situation. It’s still off-putting, though – and I say this as someone who is actively trying for a promotion to Senior Wizard (my current title is simply “Wizard”, because I’m not the only one who has trouble defining what it is I do). I went about the inquiry in a way that the book doesn’t seem to cover: instead of coyly changing my behaviours to indicate to people that I am ready for more responsibility, I went to my boss and said “yo, promote me”. We had a meeting, talked it out, and now I have a list of direct actions I can take to get that promotion. And not a single item on that list includes “wear appropriate clothing” (thank god), “don’t put on lipstick at your desk”, or “girl you cannot pull off that necklace with that neckline, you are a walking DO NOT right now”.

I’m still attending the session because I’m sure there will be some good information, but I’m also curious to see if those specific things are talked about as valid or dismissed outright (or mentioned at all).

business.

let’s have another round tonight

Like every good tech company, the one I work for has a lot of swag. In addition to the usual range of t-shirts and stickers available to the public, there’s a series of limited edition, staff-only swag that gets handed out from time to time: bottle openers, beer koozies, flasks (so many flasks), growlers, martini shakers, kegs, beer bongs, jugs of moonshine, shot glasses, stomach pumps, etc. There’s a theme. Can you guess what it is?

As someone who doesn’t have an apparent drinking problem, I’m confused and annoyed by all the drinking-related items. To be fair, I’m confused and annoyed by almost everything – but honestly, it’s awkward being a non-drinker surrounded by a culture of binge drinking. I don’t get it. And I’m nearly always left out, because every event or celebration is centred around alcohol. Hit a milestone? Shotgun a beer! Building camaraderie? Ice someone! Team events? To the bar! Company outings? Booze is provided! And thirteen orders of fries, is that it here? WINE AND BEER!

That’s why, when I found a piece of company swag that I could actually use, I was excited. It’s a little reusable pouch with a first aid kit in it, and and someone who is frequently injured in stupid ways, I was happy to have a cute little safety kit to throw in my bag if I was feeling particularly perilous that day. During a fundraiser last week, the kits were available to purchase, so I bought a bunch to give to my friends and share my glee over having cute, usable swag.

I am so adorably naive!

Each kit contains:

  • Bandages! (super useful!)
  • An antibacterial wipe! (clean them germs!)
  • A vial of Blistex! (dry, chapped lips are unpleasant!)
  • Aspirin! (cures what ails ya!)
  • Breath mints! (not exactly medical, but thanks for thinking of my breath!)
  • A packet of Vitamin C drink powder (wait a second ..)

They’re not first aid kits. They’re hangover cure kits.

*sigh* At least the pouch it comes in is cute. If I find out you can dissolve the pouch in water to make emergency wine, though, I quit.

I promise I’m not straightedge, a teetotaler, or some freaky booze-eschewing evangelist. Drinking is fine. I even do it sometimes – in fact, just last month I had an alcohol. I don’t care if people drink. I’m simply struggling to find my place in a job that revolves around booze, and feel more left out than usual because I can’t relate. It’s by far the most difficult scenario I face in the tech world: not trying to navigate all that technology in spite of my uterus, but trying to advance in a culture that I can’t partake of.

pictured: one alcohol.

pictured: one alcohol.

i’m it

Renee gone done tagged me, she did:

So Kimli tagged me with that 25 things meme. But since this is a ‘blog and you already know at least 25 things, OR MORE, about me, I’m gonna do another meme that I wish I’d been tagged for instead. This one is the “list all the jobs you’ve had, in order.” Also, I tag KIMLI :)

Okay, let’s test that memory of mine!

  • Taco slinger in a tiny food court located outside the theatre at University Heights Mall in Victoria
  • McEverything at McDonalds
  • Reluctant Hostess at a car sales lot
  • Counter monkey at Consumer’s Distributing in Mayfair Mall (a “personal massager” was item #407122!)
  • Clothing jockey at a Cotton Ginny (to date my only real retail job)
  • Gourmet coffee cart girl – that’s right; I’m a classically trained barista
  • Voter registration card scanner
  • Co-Op student at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Parks (or whatever it was called back then)
  • Payroll Administrator at a jewellery store
  • Admin Level I at the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Various temp jobs
  • Executive Assistant
  • Technological Overlord
  • Columnist for Telefragged.com
  • Asset Manager at a software company
  • Columnist for Speakeasy’s game site
  • eSports Commentator on the Internets
  • On Call Sex Toy Peddler
  • Fetishware model
  • Miserable, suicidal receptionist at a horrible little company that manufactured train parts
  • IMAC Coordinator at the original Space Station
  • Technical Writer (same place; title change)
  • Project Manager for the nasty illegal space station 2.0
  • Internet Superstar for the above mentioned space station – seriously, it was on my business cards and everything
  • Technical Trainer and Documentation Specialist at The Lab

.. that doesn’t seem like very much, but there it is. ‘nee, you know my past almost as well as I do – am I missing anything particularly salacious or tawdry?

Next time I need to update my resume (which hopefully won’t be for a long, long time) I think I will just direct them to this post instead. That would work, right?

sexy potato

I don’t know what you’re doing this weekend, but I bet my plans are stranger (and potentially stickier) than yours: I’m going on a secret road trip to visit the Sex Cauldron/Potato Farm as a photography assistant.

Whee!

que sera sera

I’ve been giving some thought to what I’m going to be if when (optimism for the win) I get a new job. Being an Astronaut has soured for me, so I need to find a new code profession for what I do.

Job titles I am considering:

  • Farmer’s Daughter – Milking cows, de-egging chickens, having sex with strangers in the hay. Life could be worse.
  • Rock Flautist – Think Jethro Tull or the chick from the Polyphonic Spree. I’ve never played a flute before in my life, but the title “Rock Flautist” makes me giggle.
  • Executive Butter Churner – If I’m going to churn butter, you better believe I’m going to do it at the highest level possible
  • Secret Secret Agent – So secret, the other agents don’t know I exist!
  • Rogue ADAM Harvester – I spent the morning playing Bioshock, and frankly, those sea slugs look like they might be good on toast
  • Verbal Gymnast – Back flip! Cartwheel! Naked somersault! Handspring!
  • Professional Forum Troll – It’s a hard market to break into; there are already so many pros out there
  • Gordon Freeman – I don’t think I’ve ever wielded a crowbar, but I assume I would be excellent at it. The facial hair and silence might pose some challenges, though
  • You – I was Time’s Person of the Year for 2006. Why isn’t this on my resume yet?

I think I may need to give this some more thought.

25 years ago you really pissed me off

Confidential to the woman who wouldn’t lend me a ladder as an 8-year old, saying “No dear, because I’m pregnant – there’s a baby in my belly”: My question was “do you have a ladder I could borrow because I’m locked out of my house”, not “would you like to ride bikes with me and try this wine I found”. Also, I was 8 and not 4 – I knew damn well you were pregnant, and what that meant. I needed a LADDER, not a retelling of Waiting for Baby. You suck.

This old memory resurfaced last night as I was trying to fall asleep, and I felt it really needed to be addressed. My indignation at being talked down to was almost as fresh as it was the day I left my keys in my other jacket and couldn’t get into the house after school; proof that I hold onto my grudges for WAY too long. I did eventually get into the house though, without a ladder – all it took was a screwdriver to pry the screen off the window to the den, and I crawled on through. I really fucked up the window, though. My dad wasn’t very impressed with that, even after I had tried to fix my damage with a hammer. I had to PEE! What else was I supposed to do, wait the 2+ hours until someone came home to rescue me? I loved being a latchkey kid, though. I got into so much trouble my parents never found out about in the few hours I was left to my own devices each day.

Crap and hell – I’m checking up on my references, and I can’t find one of them. Space Boss Charlie, my boss from the original Space Station, appears to be missing. Space Boss Charlie was awesome to work for and he promised to give me a super duper reference, which I still need. Even the internet is failing me on this one. This is why everyone should have an overly detailed blog, people. How am I supposed to go all Private Eye on your asses if you don’t make it easy for me?

I am waiting for UPS. They apparently have a package for me that I owe $6.78 on, and I don’t know what it is. I love presents, even if I more than likely bought it for myself. The mailman is here too, but he went next door first. I am sure he has goodies for me because I’ve gone on another online shopping spree to cheer myself up. Also, I just love getting things in the mail like the fancy rainbow styli below.

This life of leisure thing sure is boring.