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 life...lol
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!