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Thread: she-planners

  1. #1

    she-planners

    This thread may have already been discussed in the past, but I really need to vent. We had several customers at our counter the other day, so I popped back there and asked the next (male) customer if I could help him. He approached the counter, looked over at the male INTERN, and asked him, "Is it OK?"

    I've been a planning director and have had similar reactions in the past. For example, one visitor at city hall asked to see the Community Development Director. When I emerged from my office, he said, "Oh, I wanted to see the planner."

    Humph!

    Anyone else have "gender" stories to share???

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I see it happen in our office too.

    I have a similar story - Not gender, but age. My first Community Development Director job was attained at the ripe old age of..... 24. I was hired by an Administrator, but the Council's avegra age - I kid you not - average was was 68.

    I had to work extremely hard to prove myself, and some of the 'old timers' had a difficult time being advised by a whipper-snapper.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Just today the Senior Development Officer and I (I'm a Senior Planner) were in a meeting with an architect and a real estate manager. The architect would ask questions, and if I answered he would start interrupting me. If the Senior D.O. (a male) answered the question, he would listen to the whole thing. I was giving him tips to get through the process of redistricting his property... if he didn't get anything out of it, too bad... I'm not repeating it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I spent 8 years as a planner in a small (7,000 pop) FL town. We had a LOT of retirees. It was very common for me to be summoned to the counter and have some old fart say "I was expecting a man". I would reply "Maybe you'd feel more comfortable talking to my secretary. His name is Steve". And here would come Steve with his long hair and earring. Always enjoyed that. It also bugged me that all the women were Mrs. John Smith; don't any of them have their own names??

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Cramped office space, zoning administrator was outside my office in an open area. Fellow came in, she explained the code and the need for a rezoning. He said "I want to talk to the MAN in charge. She brought him in my office, I explained everything the way he was already told, and said the zoing administrator would help him fill out the forms. Then I introduced him Jane. (I don't think he ever came back.)

    ZG, according to my 1955 etiquette book, a widow is Mrs. John Smith; a divorcee is Mrs. Mary Smith.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    This has never been a problem in the communities in which I have worked. They do not hire women for professional or management positions.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Ms. Goodwrench? I think not!

    I know one area where maybe I'm am just a bit sexist. I won't go to the hassle of explaining a complex automotive problem to a woman working a counter at an auto parts shop or repair place anymore. I have tried being ďMr. ERA Ė give that little woman working the counter a chance at your ignition problem,Ē but after the fifth or sixth time of getting blank looks back or the ďwhy are you bothering to explain this to me Ė canít you clearly see there are men hereĒ look, Iíll wait for a man to talk to. I have yet to find a single woman working in one of these places that knew the mechanical side well enough to be anything other than a token hire or ďcounter candy.Ē Iím sure some women that have serious automotive experience must exist. They are just rare at this stage of our evolution. Donít bother with the glass hood argument. Iíve heard it.

    Now, in the professional world no problemo~! Iím Mr. Sen-sa-tive. But in certain domains, Iím sorry but they ladies have yet to gain a foot-hold. Why the converse is also true. I would starve working for tips at a Hooters. Not that I donít need a Manzier, its just that they are not an attractive pair.

    I think I just violated all the PC laws I could in one post. I guess now the Feminaziís will cancel my keynote speech on Germaine Greer Day at the Department of Womenís and Gender Studies at DeVry University.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    Re: Ms. Goodwrench? I think not!

    . I would starve working for tips at a Hooters. Not that I donít need a Manzier, its just that they are not an attractive pair.
    OMG hot coffee in the nasal passages!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    females

    I've discovered one female intrusion in a male domain. I get a lot of my fishing stuff at Manda's (A last not a first name.) south of Akron. The 30ish female who runs the small fishing gear shop knows more about lures, reels, fish finders etc. than any male I have ever come across in similar circumstances. Its a pleasure to do business with her and to ask important questions like what are the walleyes in Lake Erie hitting this time f year.
    WALSTIB

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Some men are just troglodytes.

  11. #11
    My girlfriend is also a planner and she gets the "Oh, I wanted to see the planner" comment a lot. She has also been in meetings where applicants/developers will shake all the guys hands and not hers and direct questions at male planners.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My local Honda dealer has an excellent female service rep. I agree, they are few and far between but then, the inner workings of cars just don't fascinate most women.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I've had lots of clods assume that I am my boss's secretary. It's even worse when our nitwit of a receptionist makes no effort to correct the assumption.

    The most annoying incident involved a guy stopping in my office and asking if I was the chief's secretary. His excuse was that my cube was close to the chief's office so he just assumed... Um, there is a male planner in a cube closer to the chief and did you happen to see the master's degree in planning on my wall? Idiots.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    What's worse is when people tell me "I'd like to speak to the MAN in the office" and I have to reassure them that I am a man. That makes for some awkward hilarity!

    My wife used to sub in high schools where teachers would chastize her for taking the elevator thinking she was a student.

  15. #15
          Downtown's avatar
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    I very often am mistaken for our director's secretary. Fortunatly, it makes him almost as crabby as it does me, so the unfortunate soul is treated to a run down of my degrees and work experience by my boss. Its pretty cool.

    When I was in SC, I got "missy"-ed and "Little Girl"-ed a whole lot. As in: "I ain't gonna let no little girl tell me I got to get me a septic tank! Who's in charge here!"

    sigh.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Originally posted by KMateja
    I
    When I was in SC, I got "missy"-ed and "Little Girl"-ed a whole lot. As in: "I ain't gonna let no little girl tell me I got to get me a septic tank! Who's in charge here!"

    "Please... somebody get me a nice, big man to tell me how I can build!"

    That only dealing with men stuff is kind of gay after a while, aint it? not that there's anything wrong . . .

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Maybe if there were more hotties in our profession guys would want to speak to the chick in the office...just my opinion...going back to my corner now.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    My first planning job was administrator in a county that had only had women and the chair of the planning commission was female and the person that gave approval for septics was female. So everyone was completely comfortable with that.

    Then I come to my current job and I am in for a rude awakening! The first big issue is why can't I take shorthand for the meetings, I am the Secretary aren't I?

    I had to explain that I was hired as the assistant planner and they had tested me for alot of things during my interview but shorthand was not among them. Heck, I am doing good to type...
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I think that women make just as good of planners as men do. Our historic preservation specialist is female, and she does a great job. She is very professional, works hard, and when she speaks people listen. I don't think that she gets looked down on just because she has made it known that she is here to get things done.
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I have the unique pleasure of having to deal with both the gender and race issue, especially now that I'm in the private sector.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  21. #21
    Cyburbian prudence's avatar
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    I guess I have never taken the approach that a woman in a professional environment was qualified or competent. I have met a few women planners that are chemically imbalanced...i.e.-crazy cat people. Those are the ones I generally dismiss

    A bturk explained earlier...my problem is being young in the position that I am in. Our office is quite young comparatively speaking, and bturk and I find ourselves having to overcome that. But that truly is insignificant in having to cope with either gender or race inequities.
    "Dear Prudence...won't you open up your eyes? "

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    No anti-woman practices here. Our Mayor is actually a take-no-crap kind of woman who drinks from a "Boys I'm Taking Charge Here" mug. The first letter of every word is highlighted.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    females

    What I have seen often, if a male planner puts his foot down, he's assertive. If a female does it she's a b****. It's the same as many professions.
    WALSTIB

  24. #24
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I am the only female department head for a small rural City, and I was worried when I first started here, being both young and female, about how things were going to go. I feel that the people that I work with and the community respects me and my position.

    There are times that I have been called honey, darlin', sweetheart, etc. Most are older people that come in to my office looking for help. I think they would call men "dear" or whatever too. I don't take offense to it at all as I know it's not meant in a derogatory or sexual harrassment sort of way. In fact, one of our councilmembers always calls me sweetheart when he see's me. He's very nice, kind of goofy, and like 90.

    It's the outside *professionals* (see Prudence's post) that give me the most problems. I think they try to give me a line of BS that they wouldn't give a male. We've had meetings with them, and they would direct all the questions to our engineer (a 65 yo male) with me sitting right there (knowing I'm planning/zoning). He'd look at them and say "why are you asking me, she's the boss?!" He has four daughters, so he is awesome about that!

  25. #25
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Being the only planner at my old job, I didn't encounter disrespect towards females that often. I did encounter the "race thing" more, though. Black residents came in and instinctively dealt with the water clerk, who is black. White residents went to me or the town clerk, who are white. Both the town clerk and water clerk shrugged it off as a "Southern thing."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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