20130128

Big Deal?

Anyone who has ever really read anything I have written knows I write for me.  These are my opinions, my memories, my things I want to never forget. One day when my memories start to fade I can come back here and laugh and shake my head; essentially, this blog is my public diary.  You, the reader, just get to sit and hear the story.  Sometimes (in fact most of the time) I verbally share these stories with others.  That's where I am today...I verbally shared my story with someone that now has me in a predicament.  (Predicament isn't even a good word for this, but it's serious.  I want to laugh and make this a joke, but I can't).

I recently posted something about an incident in which I was involved (the recipient of what can be called a disrespectful (perhaps sexist) conversation).  This same post was something that I verbally shared with a superior.  That superior took this information to someone who took it to someone else; without my knowing it my story was at the top of the proverbial ladder.   I have no idea where it has gone from there.  On the more local side, I anticipate that I will have to sit with a human resources director of my company and discuss the issue.  That's fine, I want to tell my side of the story.

I want anyone that might read this to realize that I am thankful to work for a company that cares enough to go strides for my well being.  I like to know that they saw a situation that obviously bothered me and they chose to do something about the situation.  They in no way want me to feel uncomfortable.  They in no way want me to feel intimidated.  They only want to provide the best work environment for me.  But, with that said, I feel like a mountain has been made out of a mole hill, and frankly, THAT has me feeling worse than the initial incident that brought about this predicament.  Part of me, the paranoid questioning part, has me wondering if this has become what it is because someone along the chain is afraid of a lawsuit.  Is that why anyone cares?  They are afraid of a lawsuit? (A different blog for a different day).

So the initial incident involved two men.  The first man indicating they stop work while the engineer was present; the second man indicating he had no respect for the engineer, and the first man then pointing out the engineer was female.  You can go read the post for the particulars.

I initially only shared this story with anyone else because of the insecurities of the first guy not wanting to do work with the engineer present (and in general to go along with a whole "things that were disrespectful" dialog that I've never even told you about).  Why was the guy insecure about working while I was there?  Was the work shoddy?  Were they doing something they shouldn't?  Why so worried?  Since I was telling the story, I shared the whole story.

Was I bothered by it?  I guess so, I obviously made a point to share it both verbally and in a blog.

Did I feel offended by it?  Not really, it was part of a larger story of being disrespected.  That larger story had me feeling worse than this smaller story.

Did I feel like it was sexist? I guess it might be, but no, it takes a lot to offend me in those terms.  A lot (I have seen a lot on job sites, I shrug and go on)!  Simply because I believe the first guy was pointing out that I was female to the second guy does not make what he said sexist necessarily.  Perhaps there was a hushed conversation that I didn't hear that I should be offended by but I didn't hear it.  Perhaps I'm used to being assumed as a male so that I think nothing of it (I sometimes don't even correct people anymore).  Perhaps I should be offended, but I'm simply not.  I feel like it was a "foot-in-mouth" situation.  If it were two women having this conversation, I would have felt exactly the same.

What does it all mean now?  I have no idea.  I assume the team will hear a lecture or see a memo about not being disrespectful.  Frankly, an "incident" should not have to happen to remind people of this.  Maybe that is a good thing in general, and hopefully the only thing that really happens.  For me, I feel guilty, probably not the emotion I should have.  I feel guilty because this blew up, I feel guilty for tattling when I didn't mean to do so, I feel guilty that someone who had a foot-in-mouth moment might get in trouble.  I don't feel victimized and maybe I should.  Maybe that's a whole larger problem I'm not seeing.  I don't know what it means.  What I do know is that a small incident that I took in a very joking and trivial manner has become a big and serious issue.

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