Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Horror Stories About Being a Woman in the (not so) Professional World

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Glass City
    Posts
    2,610

    Horror Stories About Being a Woman in the (not so) Professional World

    Inspired by ZG's Story
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    circa 1990:
    Same county, another hearing, transplant Yankee commissioner, in the middle of one of my cases: "Young lady, we're out of coffee, go make us a pot."
    I thought we could use a thread for the ladies to share professional horror stories.

    A few years ago I had a scoping meeting to attend in a male dominated society/nation. As part of my punishment for being a woman and daring to attend a business meeting, they decided to cancel the day meeting and instead have a dinner meeting. Sounded great to me... until I showed up at the "restaurant", which was actually a bar that featured no food and half-naked lady waitresses and bartenders that served us in panties and a man's button down white shirt, unbuttoned of course.

    The gentlemen at the table proceeded to stick their faces between inappropriate places on the waitresses and make perverted jokes about women for the entire night. We did not discuss business at all. I stuck it out. Had a beverage. Made nice-nice and then left after the guys were all wasted and drooling on themselves.

    Edit: I should add that I had to travel 4,000 miles over 15 hours to attend this meeting... each way.
    Last edited by TerraSapient; 19 Jan 2012 at 2:03 PM.
    Occupy Your Brain!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    in a meeting
    Posts
    8,489
    wow, that is a horror story

    I can't share mine because I have a non-disparagement clause in my agreement but I have some pretty bad stories to tell - best told over a drink...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    the old north state
    Posts
    2,739
    I can't think of any particular incident at the moment...I have had someone ask me for coffee before as they propped their feet up on a second chair in the office. My main pet peeve is being touched...I can't stand when men (yes, I have only encountered this with men) touch my arms or shoulders when speaking to me at work. Obviously anything else would be grounds for charges. I was sexually harrassed at a grocery store a couple of years ago on my lunch hour when some guys where following me in the store and making lewd comments about my backside. I wish I would have handled it differently at the time by embarrassing them, but I told the manager who couldn't do much because they had already left.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  4. #4
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,752
    Blog entries
    5
    At a developer's certification meeting at a state agency I was 1 of 2 woman in a room full of 40 people. One jerk introduced himself to me and asked "so what little do-good project are you working on?" My response was "A $20 million mixed use redevelopment project in City XYZ." He ran away.

    More recently my GC told one of the subcontractor's who poo-pooed my presence at a job site and asking some questions "Dude, she has a bigger set of balls than most of us around here." Awkward, yes but it was said with fondness. We do enjoy a great working relationship so I didn't take offense.

    Like TS I've been suckered into the evening "meeting" at the gentlemen's club as well.

    I've been told in a room full of general managers that I was giving a presentation to by and old fart GM "No offense but you are like 20 years old and don't know shit about the restaurant business?" That was the third time he interrupted me. I shot back with "Well I am 27, have the same title as you, and obviously know something because I am up here teaching you about something you should already know how to do. So if you can't control yourself and be quiet you can take a seat out in the hallway until I am done." He turned 10 shades of red and purple and was quiet for the remainder of the day.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,747
    I wouldn't call this a horror story, and it's kind of amusing after the fact.

    As a planner for 8 years in a county with a bunch of retirees in the late 80's-early 90's, it was not unusual to be called to the counter, introduce myself to the retiree(s) I'd been called to assist, and be asked "Is there a man we can talk to?" Or to introduce myself by my first and last name, and be asked "Is that Miss or Mrs?" Me: "Ms". Them: "What?"

    At my next job, I had to deal with a realtor who simply refused to speak to women professionally, except a tech or admin if he had to, to get to a planner or engineer. He was maybe 40, a scrawny little guy maybe 5'2". He would not return phone calls from me (would call back to my boss to see what I wanted), whenever he came in would ask for my male boss even on my cases, and in meetings, if I made a statement or asked a question, he responded to any male county employee in the room. He pulled the same crap on women in every department he dealt with.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,837
    This thread needs a soundtrack.

    Like ZG, I've had to deal with men who seem to have issues working with women. There was one 30-something guy at a firm that had partnered on a project with the company that employed me at the time. I was the project lead on our end, but I could never get the guy to return my phone calls. My boss was breathing down my neck about when the project was going to be finished, so I persisted. He finally called me back, and when I asked a few simple questions, he responded irritably, saying something like, "Don't you have anything better to do than bug me?" Although my boss had no role on the project, the guy was quite friendly with him. Long after I'd left the firm, I heard from another female colleague that he had treated her like crap, too..

    It surprises me when it's someone in their 30s or 40s, rather than an older gentleman who never really got used to the idea of women professionals. One of my business partners is over the age of 60, yet he has the utmost respect for me and my work, and has never, ever belittled me.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,752
    Blog entries
    5
    When I worked for the Drago Lady a few years ago we had an SOB Pig that worked with us from time to time in the NJ office. One day I was speaking with a consultant on the phone regarding the investment prospectus that I was designing about some edits and changes that needed to be made. SOB Pig came and stood in my office door and asked me if that was Phil on the phone because he needed to talk to him too. I said ok I will transfer him when I am done. Apparently SOB Pig decided I was taking too long on the call and he came back 5 minutes later, walked into my office, and hit the speaker button on the phone-while I was on it-and said "Phil this is SOB Pig, I need to speak to you when you are done so don't hang up!" I don't know who was more shocked me or Phil and Phil said "No problem." and when I took him off speaker he was like "WTF was that all about???" So we continued on with the edits to the print package and SOB Pig comes back in front of the door to my office and makes like he was going to come in and touch the phone again. I was faster this time and hit the mute button and told SOB Pig in a raised voice that if he came one step closer to me or the phone without asking permission he was going to be sorry. He scurried down the hall like a rat. I finished the call and the secretary came in and said WTH was that all about?

    I sent an email to Dragon Lady about SOB Pig not understanding boundaries and professionalism and she said she would talk to him. Next time she was in town she suggested that he and I "talk it out" and she would mediate it. I told her the only talking that needed to be done was her telling him that he was wrong and not do it again. She said she thought he had "issues" working with women and I told her that was too bad because he worked for a woman owned firm. She handed it to him and the secretary and I engineered his exit out of the office not too long afterward for other reasons.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,221
    I am getting robbed!! I never get to attend scoping meetings at strip bars. You would think that being from Detroit and all that would be acceptable.

    These types of things seem totally bizarre to me. I would be canned in a second for doing something like these.

    Maybe we do have some class in this town after all?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Men don't get Wonder Woman
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 27 Sep 2013, 3:53 PM
  2. Replies: 17
    Last post: 20 Jan 2012, 3:45 PM
  3. Public hearing horror stories
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 29 Sep 2008, 11:04 AM
  4. Public transportation horror stories
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 42
    Last post: 07 Jan 2007, 5:51 PM
  5. Wedding Horror Stories
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 73
    Last post: 14 Aug 2002, 2:31 PM