Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Men in IT

We have in our IT department what is snidely called The Wall of Skirts, a group of five or six women who know very little about technology, but are there to either protect the techs from the rest of us or, perhaps, to protect the rest of us from them. Anyone who's ever needed help with computers at work will tell you, when they think no one is listening, that, if you want real help, you have to get past the Wall of Skirts. They only tell you that when they think no one is listening because there's some sense that calling those women "The Wall of Skirts" is un-PC. On such occasions, I reflect on what a difficult thing it sometimes is, to try to chart the right course of action. Yes, dismissing those women as merely a barrier to the folks, mostly men, who can help you is probably wrong. But what's with hiring a bunch of women who don't know much about IT to take my questions and relay them to the tech people? Why can't I just talk to the tech guys myself? And, isn't it sexist to assume that it's better to have women answering the phones than men, even if the women don't know anything about IT? In other words, I don't think the problem is that folks talk dismissively about The Wall of Skirts. I think the problem is that a group of people were hired to help with my IT problems because someone feels that women are better communicators than men, even if the women don't know what they're communicating about. Hire people, men and women, who know about IT stuff and who have phone skills. But yesterday, almost all of the men from IT were over at our new office and I am even more confused about why everyone at work needs protection from them. They are a riot. One of them was up in the ceiling, checking something. Two more were in one of the rooms trying to figure out where some wires went. Another one was trying to get the phones to work. Others kept coming in and out to do something or other and tease the guy in the ceiling. They were just having a great time and I was having a great time hanging out with them. Finally, one said, "Your phone is working. You can call your boyfriend." And I said, "I don't have a boyfriend." And they all said, "What? No way. Of course you do." And I said, "Y'all saw how obnoxious I am." "No, no," another one said, "You're feisty and we like feisty women." That made my day. Feisty.


Blogger the Professor said...

Fiesty, yes. Very much so. How else could we be friends?

But you are also sparkly & shiny - playful without being childish.

3/20/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Steve Pick said...

No wonder we get along, Aunt B.

Way back in the 80s, Matt Groening did a Life In Hell cartoon called "How to Be a Feisty Rock Critic." And, to this day, there is at least one guy in the St. Louis music community who still calls me "Feisty" whenever he sees me.

3/21/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Well, then, I feel like I'm in good company, with the feisty.

I'm not sure how I feel about being sparkly and shiny, though. That makes me suspect I need to switch up my soap.

3/22/2005 08:44:00 AM  

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