Secretary's Day

Subject: Secretary's Day
From: Carolyn Grismore <carolyng -at- CARECOMPUTER -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 08:26:54 +0000

I have to agree with Phyllis on this one. While getting upset
constantly may be counterproductive, doing so every once in a while
to make a point is sometimes highly productive.

I once worked in a strictly proposal environment, which means brutal
hours and lots of pressure. We all worked this way. I was the only
female in the group aside from the secretary. As a personal favor
one weekend, I typed a report for a co-worker. He used the Columbus
method and I type over 100 wpm so it seemed logical at the time. The
following week, at almost quitting time on Friday, he dropped a 20
page mess on my desk and told me he needed it by Monday. Ok. I
admit it was the end of a 100 hour week and I was tired. But I lost
it and blew up. By the time we got out of there I'm certain he
understood that I wasn't the secretary.

The next day I saw him and a bunch of the guys standing
together, looking in my general direction and talking. The guy I'd
chewed out the day before was emphatically shaking his head. I
walked over and asked what was going on. They hemmed and
hawed and finally told me they needed a letter typed, that the
secretary was gone, and I was the only one in the office who could
run the word processing machine. Of course I typed the letter for
them. I was, however, saddened that they couldn't tell the
difference between doing something as part of the team, and imosing.

The funny thing is that after that I was even more a part of the team
than before. They guys even decided they could use mild curse words
in my presence and I wouldn't dissolve. It's still difficult being a
woman in a largely male environment.

Carolyn Grismore

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