Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interesting Encounters at Work

First off, I am the only woman in my division.  Second, I am the only person under the age of 38.  So right off the bat there are some obvious differences when I travel with my co-workers.  Despite these differences I truly enjoy working with 'the guys.'  They are easy to work with, pretty funny and have adopted me as one of 'the guys.'  This is a familiar role for me - middle school, high school, college.  Ya pretty much my whole

But the point of my story is that whenever they leave for even a minute!  Other men around us decide they need to talk to me.  And since I am a professional (whatever that means???) I banter back and forth, and am as polite as possible.  Which means talking sports, explaining my technical work, speaking geek, and probably the most annoying/entertaining - listening to bad pick-up lines. 

When I first started these site visits my partner at the time (you guessed it - another older man by about 14 yrs).  Gave me a heads up of these encounters that may occur when he left to use the restroom or was finishing up in the other room.  I shrugged my shoulders and said, 'Ok.  Thanks.'  Well it did not take long for this to start happening.

Just for a little background on what I do, in a nut shell: I walk from room to room measuring and documenting data using a laptop and a laser measuring device.  The laser measurer in and of itself is ALWAYS a conversation starter or the ever popular, 'So what exactly is this for?'  'What exactly are you doing?'  'Are you going to get us a new building?'  Sure dude, whatever you want.

Well yesterday while I was measuring a gentleman kept hearing my measurer beep.  It beeps everytime I take a measurement.  When I made my way around the room and was near his desk he proceed to say, and I qoute "I'm sorry that your stud finder keeps going off around me.  I've been hearing it all day."  WHAT??!!

At another time I had to sit at one end of a small secure building while my partner and his escort went into the rooms and came back to report the data.  While I was sitting at the end I also had an escort.  This gentleman was either lonely or a player...maybe both.  He asked me about my work, any traveling I had done...blah blah.  I mean its akward to sit and stare at someone while they work, so in an event to make things less weird I usually banter a little.  Small talk if you will.  Well after a couple of minutes he would begin questions in this way, 'So what does a beautiful girl like you do for fun?  Have you been to the clubs? You are too beautiful to not go out.  I know some great places to go.'  Now by this point I had specifically told him about my HUSBAND.  He was getting super creepy and I could not discretely tell my partner what was happening.  So when we were finished working and I just had some drawing clean up and such I closed my laptop and said ok lets go.  As so as we got out of the building and started to walk away I told my partner and he could not believe it!  We laughed about it and then decided that we needed a code word or something so that he would know next time.  lol  Just part of the job I guess.

But don't get me wrong being the only woman has its perks.  Such as people are usually more willing to let me into their facilities without being mean.  Offer a place for me to set down my things, hang up my coat.  Even offer up a beverage :-)  Oh, and one time we even got a special parking spot, sweet!  Oh, and don't forget the great stories!

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