Think I am going to take a little break from re-living a bunch of hard work and talk about what it is like to be doing it.
I have a lot of apprehension about working in my field. I particularly do NOT like to let the public into my shop, or even folks we need for business purposes, like that jerk that picked up an assembly some time ago who argued with me about whether he could stand in our shop watching Brian weld without any protection. I like leaving our shops even less. I have resisted going to Louisville to work because of a long history of very bad treatment professionally.
Brian promised me it would be fine. That everyone would not gather around and stare at me as I worked and talk about “the girl doing _____…” like I was not even a person who was present. He’s been working on me a long time and I am sure he has been working FOR me on the other end too.
I am glad I went. Everyone was very nice, trotted out their best manners even when they obviously had a little trouble getting their head around me just being there doing what I do. Of COURSE people stared, they cannot seem to help it, but they had the grace to do it unobtrusively and never gathered in a group to talk about me in my presence.
I am aware that WHAT I was doing was every bit as astonishing to most folks present as was the fact that I was doing it of course. More about that later.
It took a few days to get past good manners – and I very much appreciated the good manners! Folks started asking questions about the process, and ya’ll know how I just love to talk about process! There was so much happening around me that I wanted to know about too, I’d never seen electricians wiring one of our builds, or talked to people who installed them, or seen the larger assemblies going together. I had a lot of questions myself and process people just love to talk about processes!
I was not the only female in the work area. This has only happened a couple times over my life. A VERY talented German lady does the 3-D cad drawings and extrapolates the drawings we need to work with from them. I am pretty interested in that, and in what she thinks about the refugee situation in her country and what she thinks about our culture as compared to her own. She grew up in East Berlin and we talked about when the wall came down. We took off like a freight train and I don’t think we’ll slow down!
By the second week I heard the first profanity. Big thud, and bad words came out. I’ve heard all that before and been known to say it too. Trying to keep my potty mouth cleaned up for the sake of the cockatoo who repeats those words immediately! They were getting used to me;)
By the third week I was just one of the guys. We were all getting to know each other and I like everyone I met very much.
Then someone walked in the shop to make a delivery or consult on something. He was visibly shocked to see me. But there was a layer of professionals between him and me. He did not have an opportunity to bring his shock over to make me uncomfortable. He did stare. But he kept his distance and he kept his mouth shut.
I can live with that.
Better yet, our kids are welcome! We can bring our youngest friends in to see how it all works. We are always building on more than one level and this is the most important one to me. The associations we can help our young friends make are how to change the world and this is the REASON we do this. Building opportunity, building our future.
Brian has had a key to the place pressed on him. It always happens eventually. We resist because we know what comes next but perhaps this round it will be a good thing. Remember one of the benefits I have never enjoyed working in my field is using the company shop time? Once I am signed off to the owner’s satisfaction on various processes, weekend and evening projects using some pretty darned spiffy equipment are suddenly available to me.
Wow. I had kind of set those things aside in pursuit of a far greater goal. Comes around and goes around again on many levels it seems.
Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:17 pm