Thursday was typical for this geek girl. Six of my team went to a RAC Hands-on Workshop that was for database administrators. Several of the guys carpooled together from the office or their homes. No one asked the only female if she wanted to carpool and guess who got lost? Yep, me. Damn Google Maps!
I get to the workshop and go into the lab. I am the only female. I am the only developer. I am only one of two people in the class who is not a foreign national. Even the instructors were foreign nationals.
The morning was a struggle for me. It was a lecture. Not being a DBA, a lot seemed like a strange language to me. Also, the instructor had a very thick accent which I had a hard time understanding. It’s difficult enough to understand something you know very little about, but when you can’t understand what words are being said, it makes it doubly hard. I’m sure when Americans are in a foreign country, the native-born probably have a hard time with our accents also.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not prejudice. It’s just hard working with so many men from others cultures. Cultures where women are treated differently than they are here in America. It sometimes gets tiring not really being treated as part of the team. I am used to working with all men, but the state seems to have a very high percentage of foreign nationals in IT, and that is new to me.
After the lecture was a lunch break. Naturally, I ate alone. The rest of my team went out for lunch, but they wouldn’t think to ask a female to go with them. It’s not that they don’t like me or treatment me with respect. I think they are just unsure how to deal with a strong, smart, independent female. I used the time wisely and started reading all the instructions on setting up a RAC database environment.
After lunch, everyone got started on building their environments. Although I don’t think I will ever be doing this, I was having fun. Everyone was asking each other questions and seeing how everyone else was doing. I knew from chatting with others, as we were building our individual environments, that I was doing well. I was even with some and ahead of others, but no one was any further ahead than I was. Next time I turned around, everyone was gone! Even one of the instructors had left! It wasn’t even close to the time for the workshop to end.
I figured I may as well leave, as I really didn’t need the experience. I’m sure the instructor was ready to leave also. I thanked him and told him that, as a non DBA, I got a good understanding of RAC environments. He was surprised to learn I wasn’t a DBA. He also thought my manager had a good idea in sending me as it will make it easier for me to communicate with my DBAs.
I walked out alone. I was ready to be out of there. I was ready to go home. I was ready to get back into the world where men talked to women and treated them as equals.