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You asked...
Thinking about my life, what is important to me?

That I enjoy my life in my body, because I will only live once.
That I have companions on my journey, because otherwise I will be lonely.
That I have work to do, that is not what I thought I would do when I woke in the morning.
That I have work to do, that is worth the doing of it.
That laughter and growing things and music and books have their spaces in my life.
That there is time to write.

You asked about my ambitions for life and work.
I expect a long life - my grandmother lived to be ninety-seven. My ambition is to live it well.
I wish for meaningful work. My ambition is to fulfil it and move on.
You ask about having children. I want to quote Khalil Ghibran:
"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself."

You ask about my experience of career development and support.
I have sat with friends and explored ideas long into the night.
I have been told by a man who wore red socks that he would not talk to women.
I have been told by a woman that my body will bar me from the company of my peers.
I have been called the blonde computer.

Or are those answers about workplace culture? You ask about that too.
I remember the manager who went quiet when I said calling people on weekends was unreasonable.
There was the company which only asked for weekend working at the beginnings and ends of projects and in the middle sometimes too.
There were the men with big bellies getting drunk in the Chinese restaurant,
and congratulating themselves that they were not at home with their children.
Their wives were not there to have an opinion
but the company of women is not all it's cracked up to be either.

Have there been role models in my workplace?
There was the woman who got sacked because she asked for the promotion she had been promised for doing her job well.
There is a woman who wants to make her country work better. Is she a role model? I have never worked with her.
There was the man who threw the sheaf of paper at me and told me to get out of his office.
And the manager who hit the trainee programmer because they had both been working on the same program.
Yes, there have been role models in my workplace. Most of them modelling roles I do not wish to undertake.

Why do women leave work? Perhaps for the same reasons that men do?
Because there is no more work to be done here, so we move on.
Because we look at the work on offer and decide to do something else.
Because we have better things to do.
Because bad work does not need doing.
Because we don't want to work with these people, or perhaps, sometimes, they don't want to work with us.
Because sometimes work does not matter very much beside other considerations.
Because we will die, soon, and then there will be no more work.

But I don't think these were the answers you were looking for.


The survey is at www.project2840.com and is live for one month. I'm glad they are trying to address a problem, but I don't feel their answers will tell them anything particularly useful to people's lives.

I think I owe this one to Jo Walton, and to her poetry reading at Novacon. Thank you Jo.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
17th Nov, 2013 12:06 (UTC)
That survey has the most assumptions inherent in it for anything I've read in a long time. I'm disappointed in Opportunity Now, they are usually more sensible that that. And what is with the 28 - 40?
17th Nov, 2013 13:26 (UTC)
I had trouble with the 28-40.

I could have some real, non-poetic, answers for them too, but they haven't asked questions that will elicit them.
17th Nov, 2013 13:12 (UTC)
18th Nov, 2013 13:40 (UTC)
Not sure whether you are concurring with emmzzi o[Unknown LJ tag]r with me, but thank you for the comment. Nice to meet you.
17th Nov, 2013 19:02 (UTC)
I really like that poem, very much.
18th Nov, 2013 13:38 (UTC)
I'm so glad. Thank you.
18th Nov, 2013 17:47 (UTC)
They lost me at the assumption of binary gender.

[ETA:] that is, there are definite issues relating to gender presentation and actual or presumed sexuality that tie in with how people get on in different workplaces.

I flicked through some of the other questions and concluded there were too many other assumptions made for me to figure out how to answer a lot of them.

Edited at 2013-11-18 21:53 (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline M

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