November 17, 2011

About women & proving themselves.

When I initially joined IBM, I would tell k, "We have to reach on time in the morning and that means 9 AM sharp" and k, well you know, he likes to linger and blink and tune out and drink coffee s-l-o-w-l-y and basically do anything in his capacity to not acknowledge that the sun has risen and yes the day has indeed begun! So, after realizing where I was with the time requirements and where k was (we drove to work together), I compromised and said, "Ok, 9.10 and not a minute later than that. We gotta be at work by 9.10!" He sort of agreed because I guess he just didn't  have the energy for a full-fledged fight early in the morning!

I never got how k could be so casual about OUR NEW JOB AT IBM! I mean, we have to PROVE OURSELVES right? My mind would scream and his mind would give me one of those, "Have you gone mental ?" looks!

And thankfully after a while, he started working from home and I didn't have to negotiate our morning leaving time again. Now that I am again a new employee, I have all the same rules that I applied when I was new at IBM. I have to reach on time, I can only leave after 5 (4.45 may be ok if I don't have much to do that particular day), I can't take too many sick days (Yup, just told my body not to fall sick) and so on. And k still doesn't get that -- the whole "proving myself" bit. A few weeks back v~ and d~ had come to Alpharetta and v~ was talking about something similar at her new workplace and k goes, "What is it with you TamBram girls and proving yourselves at work?!"

And a few days back, I told him about this new girl who had joined our work place who said the same thing pretty much word to word and she was not even from India. And this time, it made me wonder too -- is it a girl thing? The strong need to prove herself at work because...because what? Just the fact that she has been hired (after multiple challenging interviews) is not good enough an indicator to people that she is good at what she does? Or is the default assumption that she will be taking more time off because of kids/family etc since traditionally she has come to do that? Maybe the 'pat in the back' for working hard is more important to us for some reason. Come to think of it. We do thrive on words of praise, don't we?

Gotta go now. Have some "proving myself" business to take care of!

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