||[Jul. 2nd, 2009|07:46 pm]
When I got my job last year, I couldn't have been more excited. Everyone was so nice, so open, and I was impressed at how equally treated I felt. When I made mistakes or was corrected for doing things wrong, I assumed it was because I was new and didn't know everything, and that I would learn and get better. |
Now I'm starting to realize there is a lot more politics in the job than I thought. It is no secret that I am usually completely oblivious to nuances in social situations, I don't pick up on innuendo, and it takes me a while to catch on to under-the-surface issues that sometimes manifest themselves in group situations. It's just the way I am--I don't get involved in drama, I am nice to everyone, and I just want to do a good job. Because of my disadvantage socially, I feel vulnerable in the group settings as if I am walking in to a potentially "dangerous" or toxic situation. It is not a good feeling, particularly when I have to be with the same group without a break for many days on end.
In some groups, depending on the leader, I am noticing a lot of gender favoritism. I don't think that it is intentional or that the crew leaders are bad people or being malicious. But it gets really frustrating and discouraging because I feel like I have to work twice as hard as any male to get even half the amount of respect. I don't feel victimized or uncomfortable, I just feel like on some crews the women are corrected more often for doing things "wrong", are treated like they are basically stupid when they do make mistakes, or like they weigh the group down because of their lack of understanding.
Maybe not every girl feels like this at my job, but I know some do. I hate sensing the annoyance of crew leaders or team members when I ask a question or if I don't do something their way. Many guys at my work are not scrutinized half as much--in my opinion, because of their ability to make friends with the (mostly--if not entirely--male) crew leaders. I may not have the guys' sense of humor, crack the right jokes, or get to know my leaders on a personal level, but I get up on time in the morning, I don't complain and I volunteer to do tasks. I don't slack off and pay attention to what is going on. I carry my weight and do my best to learn and do a good job.
It makes me really dread going to work because suddenly I feel like I'm the little sister, that everyone teases when she says something dorky and who everyone criticizes when she can't get something right the first time. You know, I may not be as smart as some people, or as strong or as fast but I keep up and I get everything done that I am expected to accomplish. I eventually get it right and I do it in a reasonable time. I'm not exactly sure how to deal with this situation because I don't want to bring my own personal hurt feelings into it. But I do notice that the undergraduate men enjoy the luxury of being buddies with the crew leaders, slacking off and making mistakes without a word of criticism from anyone, and I often see girls on these crews working harder and getting teased and criticized much more often.
In my years as a younger sibling, I've learned to take a joke. Even when it's at my expense. I can laugh at the stupid things I do and say and still feel good about myself at the end of the day. What I can't take is being treated like a little sister when I'm at work. It is demoralizing and extremely disheartening, and makes me feel bad about myself. Ugh.