Uninspired Natter

A lot of people have said very kind things to me over the years. Many have utterred inspirational words I’ll never forget. Maybe one day I’ll share those wonderful, articulate moments with you. But today, I want to share some of the more negative or embarrassing things people have said – the uninspired words I’ll never forget.
Upon showing a co-worker my engagement ring, she replied, “Well, maybe you can get a bigger diamond on your first anniversary.”

A particularly creepy professor I worked with pondered why all the smart women like me always take support positions instead of going all the way to the top. Why is that? Is it because women are so insecure? (I can’t quite remember my response, it was either “I work in support positions because they usually are more people oriented and I enjoy the challenges and rewards that go along with that,” or “Get out of here you creepy old man!”)

A female professor I worked with once asked me if I would join her for a chat. She took me to her office and proceeded to tell me that I was betraying all professional women by staying in a support position. Intelligent professional women are obligated to go all the way to the top in order to pave the way for the women who follow. She had decided not to have children so she could fulfill her obligation to all womankind by sinking all her time into her career and I should be doing the same thing. (I don’t think I responded at all. I just left her office, totally stunned. Additionally, I had noticed plastic bins of clothing, non-perishable food, first aid supplies and batteries under her desk. I had the heebie-geebies and just wanted to get away from her. Was she prepping for some sort of Amazon Research Scientist uprising?)

The owners of The Company loved to re-hash stories from the good old days during company meetings, where I sat with my co-workers as a captive audience. They’d go on and on about the days when it was just the 4 of them working out of a garage. And their first QA person … (wait for it)… (wait for it)… was their dog. She was one of their best QA too! She’d put her paw on the keyboard and, bam, the software crashed. Boy, as a hard-working member of their QA team I was really motivated by that story! I felt valued. It really made me wag my tail! To quote Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally “Is one of us supposed to be the dog in this scenario… Who’s the dog?” (Right now in my story I am not the dog, I’m Meg Ryan! Ha!)

Another great “The Company thinks QA people are stupid” moment. They were giving an anniversary award to one of their first employees. The co-owner of the company gave a little speech saying that they hired him right out of college as a QA person and he was sooooo smart and soooo good that they knew he just shouldn’t stay in QA, so that is how he became a programmer. Again, there were several intelligent hard-working QA employees sitting in that meeting – boy, did we feel good about our jobs. (Don’t worry. We got even by finding a ton of really evil bugs in that guy’s code and marked them all the highest priority possible. Heh Heh. Happy Anniversary “too smart for QA dude!”)

Here is one of my better blunders: one of my ex-co-workers is gay. While we worked together, she and her partner decided to have a baby. Her partner carried the baby and they did the anonymous sperm donor artificial insemination thing. One day, close to the due date, we were standing around the office nattering on about the usual baby stuff. Is it a boy or a girl? What will the name be? Is the nursery ready? Can you believe it’s almost due? Then I say, “I wonder who the baby will look like, you or Nancy?” Let’s just say that the pause that followed was pretty pregnant.

One Response to “Uninspired Natter”

  1. Russ says:

    OMG! That last one got me howling! Great stuff, Uninspired.

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