Re: Summary: #$ -at- %#^&$# secretary stuff...

Subject: Re: Summary: #$ -at- %#^&$# secretary stuff...
From: "Hutchings, Christa" <cwhutchings -at- HOMEWIRELESS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 10:11:38 -0400

Here's a sideline on this: at a previous employer, I quickly realized
that if I really dressed up (dress, suit, etc.), I was treated by the
engineers/programmers as though I was clerical or administrative
support. However, if I dressed like they did (jeans, Dockers, etc.),
they treated me more like a peer. No more "Could you clean up my
low-level spec for me?", or "When you get a chance, I've got some
meeting notes I need typed up" (yes, I was actually asked this by a
senior programmer).

Chris Welch-Hutchings
Sr. Technical Writer
Home Wireless Networks, Inc.
Norcross GA (USA)
cwhutchings -at- homewireless -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: DURL [SMTP:durl -at- BUFFNET -dot- NET]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 1998 9:58 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Summary: #$ -at- %#^&$# secretary stuff...
> Thanks to you all. I think this is on topic, given that a
> significant percentage of us are female and encounter this struggle
> about
> our status as profesionals, apparently due to our gender. It's
> relevant
> to all of us because
> the trend is that, as a profession includes greater numbers of women,
> the
> salary declines.
> More than half the men said they'd been asked to take minutes.
> Of those, about half agreed and half declined. As you all saw, most of
> the
> men felt, "If you wanna pay me $60 hr to take minutes, I'll do it."
> IMO, most men don't see the problem, probably because they
> don't
> experience it. The problem I fear is that, once a woman takes on a
> clerical
> task, it
> becomes harder to explain why she won't take on the next one. I
> suspect
> that a male note-taker wouldn't be asked to type a letter,
> simply because the gender stereotypes reduce the odds of that
> occurrence.
> My answer to the interviewer was, "I'm willing to do it, but I
> have a concern that, by doing it, I'll be seen as clerical support and
> therefore have a harder time being treated as a professional when I
> interview the programmers and technical staff."
> He--literally!--waved away this objection and said, "In a
> perfect
> world, we'd have a secretary to do it. As it is, we all have to wear
> different hats."
> I reiterated my concern; he said, "OK, how about if we just do
> it
> among ourselves, not in front of the client?"
> I said, "If you're willing to take the risk, I'm willing to do
> it.
> Heck, I'll even let you open doors for me."
> After reading your responses, next time this comes up, I'll
> take
> the advice of the listers who pointed out that taking notes for my
> purposes precludes taking minute notes. I'll also ask if the chore is
> rotated, or suggest rotation.
> Thanks again!
> Yours for $100/hr rates,
> Mary
> Mary Durlak Erie Documentation Inc.
> East Aurora, New York (near Buffalo)
> durl -at- buffnet -dot- net
> > Mary wrote -
> >
> > Went to talk to a potential client today. Talked to the
> Project
> > Coordinator, the lead past them, apparently, because
> they
> > brought in the Project Manager.
> > He asked a few relevant questions (no cannonballs, no
> grenades)
> > and then said, "Are you willing to take meeting minutes and make
> copies?"
> > Does this *happen* to you gentlemen?
> >
> &^~~~
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF

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