I was sent to a single sex school. So that I would learn independence. The ability to pay for myself, open doors for myself and that girls could do science and maths. That an ineptitude to do certain things may be because you were lazy or lacked the physical or mental ability, not due to being a woman but because you were genetically disabled.
Then I reached the real world and discovered that actually it is not sexism but politeness that dictates a guy opens a door for you or buys you coffee… the same way you stand up to let an old lady sit down on the bus. A sign of respect. Not because someone is trying to get into someone else’s (granny) pants.
Now I’m stuck in this strange world which has blown up about famous successful people who have been abused or harassed. I’m not going to lie either. I had a job interview where the (male) interviewer admitted after a few drinks (it was an informal interview) that one of the selling points for me for the role over someone with the same qualifications and experience was I was a woman. It would look better to the board.
I should have been insulted but living abroad with a foreign qualification has meant I’ve spent a lot of time fighting to prove I’m equally competent – nothing to do with being female. Some things are what they are. Life isn’t fair and if the dice are going to roll my way on this one so be it because they could just as easily roll against.
I do feel bad for anyone who has been a victim. Of course it could happen to me. Of course I believe women get a bum deal when people think you might pop a baby – or you did pop a baby – with regards to climbing up the career ladder. It is easier to excuse men as still 100% invested in their jobs. But this is partly because most men still don’t ask for shared parental care, not just how companies view it.
It’s up to you to change mindset. It’s up to you to show your company you think co-parenting is a thing if you are a parent. It’s up to you to not be a victim. It’s up to you to believe you deserve to be there. Of course I’ve gone into meetings that I haven’t really ‘owned’. Where I’ve been insecure. But that was because I was badly prepared or out of my depth. Never because I was a woman. And never, so long as I’ve know I was in the right and informed, can I honestly say I have been treated as a lesser participant in those meetings. It’s up to you to own the moment rather than have the moment own you.
#metoo is only a thing if you let it be a thing.
My company allows for remote working – in a sense. In theory I can connect to wifi and then access the server and continue work wherever I am. This is particularly important because I could be in a few different locations while I am ‘at work’.
Lately though I’ve been having an issue. When I connect to wifi at home and then the server, I get a blue screen dump within two minutes. Without fail. This means I can work off anything that is only internet based but I can’t actually save anything back where everyone else, including myself can find it again.
I tried to tell IT this. So they removed my wifi drivers. When they did it I did question at the time if this wasn’t a little bit like sawing off the branch I was sitting on with me still sitting on it but hey, they were the experts. For an hour after that we struggled with the realisation that to reinstall the driver I required the internet. Which required wifi. Which I no longer had because the driver had been removed.
Anyways after bothering a load of other people it all sort of worked out.
Except it didn’t because the computer still crashes at home. So I’m sorted of back where I started.
I guess they are saying don’t take your work home with you as the thing seems to work everywhere else?
Filed under technology, work
I read a really trashy romance novel once (go figure, my friend thought it would make great holiday reading for me. I don’t know how she can know me so well and yet so badly). I can’t really remember much about the book – obviously the girl got the guy in the end.
What I do remember is the statement that it can only be good if you are in a queue to get in, because New Yorkers love to queue. It’s a stamp of approval on the eatery.
Same thing here too… usually for places that serve meat for some reason. Generally speaking this means I miss the next big thing because I am too lazy to hang around long enough for it to happen. I rely on happy coincidence. I’ve brunched once at a very trendy modern fusion Indian/Iranian spot once. But only because when I walked up to the door they let me be a walk in. Gracefully. Even though I was clearly smelly from the gym and said I would be joined shortly by a girl and a pram. I am happy to extol their virtues to others (the food was also good) but not to queue to get in. And at certain times you do queue.
So my friend suggested we go to a place known for quality but cheap steaks. Guess what? There was a queue. We thought at just before 7pm we weren’t that far behind in it. Turned out it was just the queue to get your name on the list. The wait was estimated to be 80-90 minutes. I wanted to walk right there.
For the sake of friendship I agreed to place us on the list and go somewhere. We went for a drink and I fought to find a signal in the bar we were in so I had to keep popping out to paranoidly check if we had a message.
When we went down an hour later to be informed the kitchen was shut due to some or other electrical problem.
They offered if we emailed them on our return they would give us a free drink. Didn’t really help me all that much as they still hold a no reservations policy and for the sake of £5 for a drink, my sanity would still be stretched.
That is part of the reason I never agree to wait in a queue. It’s like getting a dress tailored for you. In theory, great idea. In fact. You just don’t know what you are committing to.
There’s an hour of life I’m not getting back and I am still craving steak as a result.
I’m watching this thing on BBC about how a celeb chef is fighting obesity in Britain. He was going on about how the major cereal companies don’t put a traffic light system onto their products like supermarkets here do to warn you if an unhealthy element is in high concentration in the food. Lots of the parents with him said they used the traffic lights. I made pfff pfff sounds in the background. I tried to use it once. I landed up substituting a traffic light that said high in sugars for a ‘healthy eating’ yogurt only to discover it was stuffed full of colourants and that funny taste in my mouth was artificial sweetener. The ‘better’ product was far worse than the original. I switched instead to a low fat natural yogurt and started adding my own fruit into the mix instead.
So I was in Holland and Barratts and looking for a snack or two. This is the ultimate in ‘health food store chain’. It is the perfect one stop for vitamin supplements, wholegrain wheatgerm and manuka honey. It is also the place a sales assistant once chased me down the aisle with the enthusiasm of a true evangelist that I should eat according to my blood group to be healthy. The assistant claimed the store had trained them for this. I’m highly dubious of that. It felt more like a hari krishna had got into a Baptist church and was looking for converts- I do not mean that sacrilegiously but the guy was seriously converted to this blood group thing. Personally I refuse to follow a system that says my blood cells dictate I can’t have steak or peas or something because I’m not an O positive or whatever.
The fact of the matter is I can’t really call H&B a ‘health food’ store either. Who’s kidding who? Raisins, which I believe some Americans call ‘natures goodness in a box’ – who puts them in a box for petes’ sake! – are full of sugar. Bombay snacks are full of salt and fat…
Basically everything in moderation. Unless like me you aren’t too sure where the off switch is.
I was standing outside the bus stop last weekend. It was unusually warm – proper summer. These northern hemisphere people do not adjust to this. Aside from wearing dodgy inappropriate clothing to try get as much vitamin D exposure as possible, tempers fray. Partly because of transport issues but I believe the heat plays a factor. They still walk as fast as they do when it’s cold to keep warm. Then they overheat and get grumpy. They don’t realise that in hot places people just move extra slow and think extra slow when it gets too hot to literally not get hot and bothered about stuff you can do nothing about – like weather.
Anyways. The bus was there but the driver wasn’t letting us on. If they do it’s an additional health and safety thing I believe because then he is effectively taking responsibility for you on his bus even if it’s not time for the bus to go anywhere yet. You could still fall off a stationary non-moving chair and nut yourself on the bar on the way down.
These Americans came up behind me. Americans are a funny sort. They can be giving, loving, generous, friendly, intelligent. They can also sometimes be incredibly obtuse and need a few months out of their native land if they are from some small hick town to understand how the rest of the world works.
This lot had one of them singing the first line of the cartoon Spiderman theme tune over and over and over again. Like that was not annoying. They then went into a full rant about why this bus driver had the nerve to not just open the bus up and get moving now that they had arrived and were ready to go (as if he was waiting for them). That, at the very least he should let them go inside the bus to wait. Which made no sense because they were, all three, able bodied and boarding early would save maybe 30 seconds if that for them to get in and it was like a hot tin can pressure cooker in the bus so why the bus driver was even in there I don’t know. (UK municipal buses are NOT airconditioned).
They were quite loud in their rude tirade about the bus driver being a horrible man. I am sure he could hear them and this purposefully made him delay letting us on even further, especially when the one girl commented that her app said the bus should be leaving now and it clearly was not.
They then leaned over and started to comment disparagingly on the fact that I was playing Candy Crush while waiting to board (yes, this is a guilty pleasure of mine when standing around). It then occurred to me they may not realise the bus driver could hear them. Maybe they also thought he couldn’t understand them. Whether because they thought American English was a whole different language to British English or because they thought he was a foreigner. Because the way they were talking about ME certainly alluded to the fact that they thought I was either deaf or unable to interpret what they were saying. Kind of like when South Africans are stupid enough to think that if you speak Afrikaans in London noone will understand you. Well, yes. Someone will. ALWAYS. And if not perfectly, enough to understand if you are insulting them.
I was so tempted to ask these three if this was the case. But then I thought, it’s too hot to waste energy on this. And honestly, I’d just annoy myself because anyone dense enough to think people in England can’t understand your English is certainly not going to understand when they are being told off.