Thursday, January 23, 2014

Working Stiff

As you all know I left my previous job.

This would be the one that I transitioned at.

Now there were growing pains, but for the most part the company and colleagues were great. I honestly could not have asked from much more from them.

Still nothing lasts forever.

The first year was good after transition.

Then somewhere earlier this year things shifted.

I am not sure why or how either. To this day I am a little baffled by it.

Yes, the tone of conversation in meetings and between the team changed a bit.

Hey, there was a girl in the room now and they were on much better behavior. Not that they were ever bad about it but we all know men will complain about their wives. Frankly having worked in a department of mostly women when younger the same can be said for women complaining about their husbands.

Really both sides do it, even if they will not admit to it to the other side.

(I do wonder if the same happens with gay or lesbian couples. I have to imagine it does but I have not worked with many to know if they do it in the work place. Something to ponder.)

Still they did clean up their act with no prompting from me.

I even had my old manager apologize to the group once that if I was not in the room he would have had something to say about the woman we just talked too on a conference call.

I laughed and told him not to worry. She was being a bitch and I would not be offended at all. Seriously she was EXTREMELY difficult to talk to and reason with. Men do it and I call them assholes or jerks. Point is the label fit. Even if it some thing it is unpleasant.

Some people are just unpleasant period.

Now I know through all this perceptions changed regarding me. I also had to learn how I now fit into the dynamic of the team.

Which I thought I had done for the first year, but we had a number of engineers leave and get replaced. I feel that fact had something to do with it.

Some of the newer people seemed to have an issue with a woman being as smart or smarter than them.

This caused a few conflicts though minor.

I have never been a confrontational person. Ever. It is just not my nature. I have, however, learned to stand my ground in the face of much stronger personalities than mine. I have worked with a lot of arrogant or outspoken men over the years who cannot possibly be wrong. I have had them shout in my face or throw me under the bus. I simply learned to let my work speak for myself.

I am also not afraid to ask a person how they intend to make something happen. I hear it all the time with people wanting to install or implement some fantastic solution. At my old place of employment I would say "that is a great idea, but with no budget how to you plan to facilitate that implementation?" or "I would like to see that too, but there is no X resource available for that" or "Based on our current configuration that is not possible."

Or my absolute favorite:

"If we do that we will effect twenty-five hundred people."

Which usually gets management to raise their eyebrows.

I got the feeling that these other engineers did not like hearing the possibility of it happening might be no.

I understood this since I often come up with ideas and get told no. Usually because of budget sometimes because of the configuration of the environment. The difference with me is I would start smaller and keep moving little parts into place to eventually get it there.

I like new and shiny technology as much as the next person. I have just learned through management that sometimes I have to be practical and patient.

Still I think a woman NOT backing down from her position frustrated them. I also noticed it was the younger generation which I feel was more along the lines of they did not like ANYONE telling them no.

Whatever the cause was, it made my life difficult and I needed a change. I just felt it was time. This prompted me to put my resume up and see that I could find.

I generated a lot of interest early. Spoke to a number of companies and waited for the right thing to come along.

Even turning down two positions because I did not like to people interviewing me. Seriously is surprises me that people do not realize I am doing that. I have no issue asking questions in return and seeing the response I get.

I have worked for a number of managers either directly or as a consultant. I have learned that if you do not have a grasp of your environment and seem wishy-washy I am either not going to want to work for you OR I am not going to like working for you while I am there for whatever project I am there for.

I guess it comes from doing or seeing so many different companies and how they are run while I worked in the field as a consultant. When I started entertaining the idea of working for one company I want to get a feeling management knows what is going on. What they want and how to get it.

It makes my life more enjoyable.

Trust me I felt bad I was passing up these opportunities but I really wanted to find something I felt I would be happy with.

I was also looking rather hard at moving out of state basically I was not concerned with where anymore.

Eventually I got a call from a recruiter who mentioned a position in my home state that was in an area I always wanted to move too. It was one area that would make me consider staying in my home state.

At first I was skeptical when I was told who the company was. Though when I heard about the environment and how aggressive they were with technology I was very interested.

After three lengthy phone interviews I was given an in person interview.

Having gotten early interviews out of the way {link} I felt really good going into this one.

Coming out of it I felt even better. Although I was in there for a grand total of two and a half hours...

O_O was one of the best interviews I have ever had. The management team that interviewed me were simply amazing and it was very obvious that they had a an amazingly solid grasp of their environment. They also knew the shortcomings and were working on plans to resolve those. They just needed talent to do it.

I walked out of there wanting the job badly. I wanted to work for these people. I wanted to live in the area that this company was located in.

And I did not have to wait long. I was in for my interview on Monday, I got a call Thursday night that the offer was forthcoming. That I needed to have a drug screen(which I am fine with), to allow it to happen.

The truly crazy part is that Friday I was off to Paris, France with the boyfriend and which left me scrambling a little.

It made the trip even better and I was able to come back to work post vacation and turn in my two week notice.

That is the second time I have done that.

Seriously I do not plan it that way.

How is it so far?

Well in just a couple of weeks I can tell you that I love the place. I am enjoying what I am working on. The people are great and I am excited to go to work in the morning again.

There have been some interesting observations recently, but those are for another post.

It might never know exactly why things fell apart at my old job. It could have been my being trans, the history, the new blood's lack of respect for women, or something I am not even thinking of.

I do not know but it is not the first time I left a job because the climate changed so much. In years past it was not me either it was new managers who completely changed the culture.

We shall see what happens here with this one, but I am far more relaxed and comfortable here.

So good.


Stace said...

Shame that you felt you had to leave.

I'm quiet please that, so far, it's only been external people who have reacted like that to me (that one salesman who asked just how technical was I when I introduced myself - something that he hadn't done to the guys is still the worst!).

We do get shocked reactions to the fact that we have three women developers in the department, and one of them a team lead at that.

Here's hoping that the new place stays as good as it is!


Stace said...

Quite pleased (damn keyboard!)

Cassidy said...

Another happy post… this is getting to be a trend, Miss Kelli!

So happy to hear the new position is working out well. I look forward to hearing more about your other adventures too. Also, I second Stace's wishes. :c)

Have a wonderful weekend, hon!

Hugs & love,

Becca said...

How lovely to read this post. Its lovely to work somewhere you are appreciated and doing something you enjoy. Makes it all worthwhile ......

Boyfriend ? Have I not being paying attention?