All in a day’s work: in the shoes of a Bob.

by madamsbob

via Flickr user yourdon

Please welcome our newest contributor, MadamsBob, to Subterfuge!

When F asked me to submit a confession, I thought, “My life is f-ed up as it is. Who would be patient enough to read my confessions?” That was, of course, before the feminist in me kicked into high gear. All my life, I have been regarded as a woman and nothing more. Yes, I am a woman. I am a woman and an engineer. Lately, many (men) have found it very hard to wrap their minds around the fact.

A man, with whom I had recently been in contact with (for professional reasons) had the audacity to make an offhand remark about women and programming. Being a programmer and a woman, I gave him an angry retort. He then decided to play to my vanity. When he realized that was to no avail, he decided to leave me cutesy emails, which prompted me to alert the HR department. HR, however, would take at least a month to take action. I needed immediate gratification.

I sat back at my desk and thought about those arduous, toiled over nights at the computer labs slaving over an unfinished project. The nights and days had been spent, sans sleep, to set up proper documentation and code syntax. While the guys stepped in and out of the lab to smoke a cigarette, grab a beer and marvel at their daily conquests, I ran out to the nearest vending machine to get my caffeine fix. In a way, I felt the need to lash out against a silly comment that he said out loud while others thought. I deserved to be where I was because of my hard work and I refused to let go of my grudge against him.

I looked over at a piece of faulty code on my screen cursing at the world why I, of all people, was assigned to validate it. A smile crept over my face as I glanced at the untidy, convoluted and bug-ridden mishmash. As a part of the global employee team squad, I could (very) easily access profiles and databases of any other employee in other departments. A quick check in the virtual address book let me in on his account ID and I was able to remotely login on his system. I planted the defective code on his system and sat back.

While he panicked over the angst of temporarily losing his computer, I couldn’t help but run my manicured fingers through my styled hair and smile with pride. It was a harmless joke for which I might have hell to pay. Though I would never stoop so low to employ my programming skills in such a way in the future, I was glad I was able to put it to such wonderful use.

I’ve learnt to embrace the curves of every narrow minded comment whispered by the men folk at work. It was the hardest of things. And the simplest of things.

6 Responses to “All in a day’s work: in the shoes of a Bob.”

  1. You wicked girl! 😀 (Do be careful, I would not want my MadamsBob to get in trouble! …even if it’s for a good cause.)

    I’d love to hear more about your experiences as a woman in this field. How DO you make a point to that crowd?


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