Author Archive

September 9, 2010

A tribute to an old friend (Part 2)

by madamsbob

WTF !? xD.

I dreaded waking up the next morning just as much as I dreaded seeing Julie & co. It was pathetic how they obsessed over the most mundane of things; my accent, my shoes and picking the right highlighter for notes. I simply did not understand why I still bothered to talk to them. I also did not understand why they insisted that I spend time with them. I was their new consort in the making. It was about time I started “following their footsteps.” Before I knew it, I was shopping, brainstorming and painting nails with them. Once Julie said to me, “It’s such a waste that you’re, like, a size 1 and you dress like a nun.”

I didn’t know what to make of that.

I trudged my way to my first class of the day – English (Reading to be exact). On my way there, Julie announced that she had color coded her notes, yet again. She had highlighted the important quotes – blue, the notes – pink, and the analysis – orange. She had done her homework. Glamorous.

I took a seat as the teacher arrived, urging everyone to hand in their homework and take out their copies of the novel. As usual, we discussed yesterday’s chapter in depth. The teacher had assigned a task for each group. Julie’s group had to act out a part of a chapter and analyze it. Their presentation went incredibly well…

…Until the teacher asked them a question.

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July 19, 2010

A tribute to an old friend, (part 1)

by madamsbob

As I read D’s narratives from fifth grade, I was pulled back to that brisk May morning when I set out for my middle school orientation. I wore a pleated skirt and a dress shirt which was the standard uniform in my old school. My father and I were expected at the guidance counselor’s office to discuss my academic schedule and arrangements. The car ride to the school was nerve-wracking to say the least. A wave of nausea and a string of questions jolted me at each traffic light. Will I make new friends? How are the students here? What if I get lost? What if the teachers hate me?

Since I had already finished my seventh grade, my counselor had suggested that I attend classes with my future classmates for a month till the school officially ended. My father and I pulled into the parking lot. As I got out of the car, I noticed that there was a stain on one of my black shoes. I got out a napkin and began scrubbing it clean. It was futile. This made me even more anxious. My father motioned me to hurry up and we entered the main door. I looked down at my shoes as we walked up the dark blue carpeted corridor. What if the counselor tells me to go home because I had a stain on my shoe? I looked at my father. What would he say then? I bit my lip as I felt beads of sweat trickling down my temples.

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July 15, 2010

All in a day’s work: How not to get butchered at an interview.

by madamsbob

via Flickr

I was requested to be present at an interview and ask a couple of questions earlier this week. I was told that this was an entry level position and the candidate was a recent college graduate. I would be in charge of the basics: the opening and competency questions.

There were five interviewers in the room including me. There was:
W – The Exec Manager of the team,
X – The Director of the department,
Y – The R&D analyst,
Z – The Database guru and
Me – The hot R&D developer 🙂

We expected the candidate to show up around 11, so we discussed how we should attack him. He looked fabulous on paper; an Ivy League grad, perfect GPA, Honors student, extensive research experience and a remarkable set of internships. While I was finding ways to actually help him through this interview, we heard a knock on the conference room door.

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July 12, 2010

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.

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