Thursday, July 19, 2007

Adventures in CubicleLand

It's becoming increasingly bizarre to me how many people know my name. I've never been popular, I tend to work only about 20 hours a week, and I'm not very social, especially with most of my coworkers (who are, let's just say it, men.) I don't like people coming into my cube for small-talk, and I don't go around looking for it. The only people I even care to chat with are the payroll lady, and a handful of the guys in my group (group being the smallest possible designation in this state-wide operation). So when people who work on the other side of the building, who I've never seen before, call me by name--it's strange, to me. I don't wear my badge to identify myself (I only grab it if I walk out of the building when someone happens to call me at work) but usually keep it in my purse. I don't walk through the branch trying to get to know people. My work with people in other groups is limited. I don't eat lunch in the break room trying to get to know folks. Seriously... I'm pretty quiet and keep-to-myself at work.

So when people who I don't know know me... well... it's just surprising. Obviously, it's probably not too tough to remember the one girl in the scarf working in signals management, instead of the dozens and dozens of middle-aged male engineers working all over the place.

And that's another problem; I figure the ration of men to women here is probably like 15-1. Where might this cause the most trouble, do you think? Naturally, the restrooms. This came up in a safety meeting yesterday when the unit head (just some bigger boss) explained that yes really, they do "meet code." Whatever code that is. If the building had a more matched ratio of men-to-women, there might be even usage. As is, there are four stalls in the ladies room and most of the time they're all empty... that is to say, usually, there is nobody in there... so we women can pee in total privacy. The men, on the other hand, must have to wait in line or something. To start with, everytime I walk past the restrooms (and I pass them when I take the shortest route to my boss's office, and back...) there's a guy going in or coming out. Since it was brought up at the safety meeting, I'm guessing this is a big deal. I remember one of the guys in my group complaining about restrooms before, that it was an issue... well, it must be.

I just wonder... how bad is it really?

and then consider this to be a perk of being a woman working in a male-dominated field. Private restrooms. :-) And with two sinks I don't feel I'm holding up a line when I make wudhu either. (What line? I'm the only one there.)

This morning I came in to find two different cubicle gifts. (1) A nameplate to match the building's color scheme, although the place to hang it is conveniently obscured by a large pillar, and (2) a stack of business cards!! My very own business cards, regrettably marked with my work phone number (and I still haven't set up my voice mail for that phone...) and work email. But they look pretty cool... I could actually consider handing them out if I marked off that number and email and wrote my real email/phone on the back.

I feel so professional now. I should start taking lunch breaks, huh?

1 comment:

Amy said...

Bite me.