Oct 27, 2007

Greek geek gal grunts

The network technicians' seminar I'm attending has turned out to be challenging for the majority of my "classmates". Nearly all of the young people attending this seminar are either in it (a) because it's free (b) they're hoping to acquire a certificate with as little studying possible to add to their CVs and better the chances of finding A job or a better job.

I can sympathize with their need, but to be honest, most of them don't know squat about computers - not to even mention computer NETWORKS. There are a few die-hard geeks, hungry for the advanced stuff, gritting our teeth with polite patience when the neophytes continually stall the seminar’s syllabus with newbie questions.

The instructors are doing their best to accommodate the mixed levels of the class. They mingle with the computer geeks during coffee breaks, allowing us to set forth our more sophisticated inquiries. I am the only woman running with this seminar's ultra-geek pack.

I am used to being a minority in my field of work. In 1997, I was the only female attending a Microsoft workshop in a huge college auditorium, where I stood out like "a fly in milk" (Greek saying). Thankfully, things for Greek geek gals picked up along the way but not in a big way.

I sense, that like any Greek he-men, the male instructor and my male counterparts would prefer to be hanging around with the luscious, tight-jeans clad blond with big, batting eyelashes that has trouble understanding that the screen is NOT the computer. Instead they are seen chatting with lil' ole Flubby moi.

I know it may sound like a cheap excuse not to improve my appearance, but throughout my career it is moments like these I'm glad my "outsides" don't leave room for any sexual insinuations and men talk to me like an equal (not at my chest). Self-condemning as it may sound, I'm grateful that my fat bottom isn't a come-on to check out my ass when I bend over to fix a network cable.

It's hard to make your mark as a woman in all-guys sector without having to put up with a lot of undercurrent flirting and I, personally, find it nauseating to see men swing the caveman club over their shoulders whenever a decent looking woman crosses their paths.

I am woman, hear me roar.
And you, my young blond classmate, stop meowing for Pete's sake.
It gives men a reason to think they can pet you.
Someday you'll want to roar and they won't believe you.