OT - What Year Is This Anyway? 1850?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mme_curie68, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    I am the manager of a department of two at my company. My co-worker, who happens to be male and I are tight-knit because we have to be. We are responsible for making sure our company works on and produces FDA and DEA compliant pharmaceuticals.

    A woman who formerly worked for us handled all the DEA matters for the company, but she is now only working for us on a part-time basis and doesn't want to continue long-term.

    Therefore my co-worker and I have to go get trained by the DEA. The only seminars the DEA is holding in 2006 are in Atlanta or Ft. Worth Texas.

    So I put in a request that both of us go for training in April so that we both get trained up to the same level of performance at the same time - seemed simple, right? The President of my company approved our training off-site at the same time.

    My boss, who is only a Vice-President, decided he would pull a snit fit and call the President and complain that we both just can't be out at the same time for "coverage". (Nevermind that when I was on maternity leave, my co-worker was able to take time off, etc. with no apparent problem).
    So he convinces the President that yes, we both need to be trained but have to go to different training.

    My co-worker has to go to the April training in Atlanta. I have to go to the training in May in Ft. Worth. So I just asked my boss what exactly the problem was that he had with both of us going to a seminar for two days, midweek, when we could ensure that we would be available in the office to sign paperwork, etc. at the beginning and end of the week etc.

    And he said to me "I really don't understand why you and x have to be out at the same time. What possible reason could you have for insisting on traveling together? I mean, after all, you still need two airfares and two hotel rooms, right?"

    I literally had to show it to a male co-worker and ask if I was misunderstanding his language and perceiving an insinuation where there really was none. But it read just as loud and clear to him as it did to me.

    I replied to my boss that my only "ulterior" motive was getting us trained - we are very close to some commercial production and we need to be very clear on what is required and what is not required. And then I told him that I did not appreciate the insinuation of an inappropriate relationship.

    Then I went to the President with e-mail in hand and told him that my boss was extremely unprofessional to even hint at a suggestion of impropriety the way that he did and that I was profoundly insulted.

    Surprise, surprise, a couple of minutes go by and I get an apology e-mail (the boss was working from home) AND the President comes back upstairs to me to make sure that my boss apologized to me and says he didn't mean it that way, it didn't come out right, etc.

    I did have the wherewithall to respond that I certainly did think that my boss meant what he said, but that now he wanted to take it back so he wouldn't get into trouble.

    In the course of my career, I've had to overcome a lot of anti-female prejudice (most hard-science people -chemistry, physics are male) my first supervisor out of college told me to my face that he didn't want to hire me because I was a woman but that he was overruled - then had to admit to me that I did the job and did it well.

    But honestly, this is the new millenium or so I thought. You go so far, then one day when you're totally not expecting it, BAM! it comes up and smacks you in the face again. If I had been a man, that comment would never have been thrown into the ring, even though it is possible that two men could go on a sexual "business trip".
    Madame Curie

  2. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    ...was your immediate boss as the self-absorbed and hugely idiotic manager in the Dilbert cartoon. Honestly -- if my eyes would have rolled any bigger, they'd have fallen out of my head!

    You hit the nail dead center. His implication was that there was a sexual relationship between you and your co-worker. Either he has reason to believe this is true (obviously not likely), or his ham-for-brains is actually living back in 'mid-century' as all the designers are calling it these days and thus believes that if a man and a woman are together, sin must rear its ugly head! Frankly, there just ISN'T another way to interpret his comments.

    Which makes me wonder a lot about him -- if this is his initial reaction to a dual-sex, co-worker business trip, you really have to wonder if this is the way he conducts *himself* out of the office. What a credit to the company he must be!
  3. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    RIGHT ON! Nice job standing up for yourself. I'm really glad that it worked out and that your boss had to apologize.

    Unfortunately, things like this happen a lot (and don't necessarily resolve as well). But I'm so happy that in your case it did.

    You have every right to be frustrated. As I'm sure you know, as you've run into lots of sexism in a male dominated profession and academic realm, sexism is not dead. There are still horrible injustices (and downright irritating!) abuses of power.

    HOORAY FOR YOUR FIGHT AGAINST IT! YOU ROCK! :D
  4. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    Madame Curie, may you have the happiest

    International Women's Day

    tomorrow!

    best thoughts, in sisterhood