Monday, November 20, 2006

The Dallas Trip

There really isn't much to say about the trip itself. I had two sales calls scheduled with some ad agencies so I had to get out there to do that. I had originally had this trip scheduled that week that I had that mystery pain but I had to reschedule.

So Friday I had to do the Working Mommy thing and I had to organize my schedule so I could drop the kids off early and still make it to the airport on time. My two calls were back to back because I wanted to get out on a 5 p.m. flight back home by 6 p.m. Of course my flight was delayed getting out but thank goodness for family. My husband was also working late because of the short week this week so he couldn't get the kids. My sister was gracious enough to pick them both up and to keep them until I could pick them up. I was eternally grateful! Which reminds me. My cousin Oscar sent me a really great article from the NY Times on working moms who have to travel. It was really well written and hit on a lot of truths.

There was one funny part to my trip when I arrived at the airport in Houston. I walked up to the gate and looked around for two empty seats. I'm weird like most people and I want a seat in between me and the other person if possible. I saw around 5 White men sitting together. Two across from three others. When I sat down I noticed a pause in the conversation and all of them glanced at me, as is natural in a circumstance as this. They weren't checking me out or anything, just a pause and a once over. I sat down on the seat on the end and went about my business double checking my stuff to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. (anyone who has traveled with me knows this annoying habit that I have of checking and rechecking my bags)

Almost immediately after I sat down the man 2 seats from me, obviously the ring leader or boss, started talking about some woman who they needed to bring with them next time. It was almost like I reminded him of this woman because I looked like a salesperson to him. He went on about how "well prepared" she always was and how she always had what she needed with her. She always had the "specs" whatever that meant, probably engineering lingo, and that she never told anyone that she had to get back to them with that information. Not like some other poor woman he complained about who was "never prepared" and always told people she had to get back to them.

I almost cracked up listening to him because I couldn't help but wonder if he says the same thing about the men who work for him. Do they always have to be as "prepared" as the women and do they have to have all information needed at their fingertips? I doubt they do. It's just that the standards set for women are completely different that those given to men. I glanced up at the men and most of them were looking at the man go on about training issues, etc. One younger guy around my age looked at me kind of embarrassed like he realized I was totally listening to this guy go on about "women" employees. Who knows, I may have been wrong, but it did seem like he was slightly embarrassed or amused or both.

It reminded me of a manager I once had who I really admired because she really knew her stuff. One thing I found very interesting about her was that whenever she went in to a meeting she took a huge folder of papers. So if we were sitting in a meeting talking about anything "X" and she could pull out a paper to answer any question posed. It was amazing! But her director absolutely LOVED her and she did well.

I'll never forget one time that I went in to meet with that same director and I didn't have the answer to something he asked me and he looked at me with the most obnoxious face and told me in an extremely condescending tone something to the effect that that was the reason why I was the worker bee. My manager, that same woman, looked at me apologetically, but I wasn't mad at her. I was mad at that jerk for his tone and manner. Thank goodness I didn't work for him for long and even better he didn't make it in the company. He pissed off one too many people and was gone shortly after that incident.

My manager on the other hand was a Latina woman who knew that the only way to move up in Corporate America was to go above and beyond and to do a better job than everyone else. She was the poster child for the hard working Latina trying to move ahead and she was kind and encouraging to other women too. She was great to work for and she taught me a lot about project management and communicating effectively with everyone involved in project. She was a mentor in many ways, simply by example. She's a director now at another paper and it was a well deserved promotion.

On to other matters. I'm working on revisions so I probably won't be writing too often these days. I am on vacation Wednesday through Friday and I'm looking forward to that. I'm also potty training my little man since I'll be with him 5 days in a row. Wish me well!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Usually "specs" means the specifications or detailed description for a piece of work. When I designed for AA's advertising and promotions dept., I had to provide the "specs" to the printers, artists, etc.
Rose

ShoeGirl said...

Sorry, I should have been more clear. We use the word specs in advertising too for the sizes of the ads. What I meant is that these guys looked like engineers and they didn't look like ad guys so I figured engineering uses the same term for something.