Tuesday, March 27, 2012

invisible woman

I’m up north in Findlay, Ohio for a 3-day training class in project risk management.  It’s way better than what I usually do 7:30 to 5:30 every day.  There’s no phone ringing (my cell is silenced and put away until breaks), nobody is IMing me, no e-mails or meeting notices popping up, nobody stopping in.  I checked into the motel rather late last night and they had given my room away.  Darn the luck!  They had to give me the gigantic suite for $7 more per night.  Now I have to make due with a room 3 sizes larger than normal, two big screen TVs, a king-size bed, a recliner and couch, and a full kitchen.  I've lived in apartments smaller than this!    
There is something unusual about this class. 
There are 15 students taking the class.  Guess what, I’m the only female student.  To make matters much, MUCH worse, not only am I the only female, I’m the only person who isn’t an engineer.  How did that happen?  These classes are usually mostly information technology people.  Even the instructor used to be an engineer in the Air Force before he started teaching.  Toward the end of the day, we split out into groups to work on a case study involving a PC manufacturer who intended to bid on a contract to make PCs for a gigantic bank going global in 23 countries.  We were to come up with a risk matrix for the project and the engineering boys were unable to go beyond the quantitative analysis of the few items of historical production data provided in the case to look at the real threats and opportunities of a global technology project.  I believe they were totally incapable of doing any qualitative analysis of the contextual information provided to us.  They were polite (politically correct) but they sure as hell didn't want to listen to anything a woman had to say. 
I'm familiar with being the only girl

Oh well, no matter.  I have to study some tonight because I’m required to pass a test when the class is over to get credit.  I doubt I’ll stay with this company long enough to become a certified professional project manager, but it would make me look bad to fail.   

Still no word on my proposal.  I’m not complaining.  They want to take 15 business days.  The thing is 130+ pages long; 15 days is not unreasonable.  Anyway, I’m certain they will reject it.    
Time to work!   

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