Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ladies' Mid-Morning!

When I was but a wee lass, there was a group in my high school called the "Society of Women Scholars." It was a group for the ladies.

Although I was both a) a lady and b) kinda brainy, I refused to join because it was an exclusionary group.

(The second reason I refused to join was because the aconym was "SOWS." Seriously. WHO PICKS A NAME for a WOMEN'S group with THAT as the acronym? And, although I look back now and think I was probably pretty durn cute and should have been running around in halter tops quite a bit more than I did, at the time I felt the usual young-lady insecurity about...well, everything. So I think I also just did not want to be associating with something with a name like SOWS, like to give myself a fighting chance.)

I didn't - and don't - like exlcusionary groups NOT because I am so open-minded and open-hearted that I just love everyone and everything the same. (As we established, I don't actually have a heart, just a shrivelled little nub of an organ that keeps the venom circulating regular.)

Rather I cannot stand everyone and everything about the same, and so I don't like exclusionary groups because I think you are all a bunch of shaved monkeys (when I say you, I mean THEM, not YOU, Reader[s], I mean the Other People, the ones who don't read this) so why bother dividing you up into classes and colors and genders of shaved monkeys and making distinctions about it. Most of the time I'm too busy being racked with despair that I am trapped here with the lot of you all (Other People) on this, the only planet we know of that I can survive on.

But, occasionally, despite this, sometimes I cannot help but notice that certain kinds of shaved monkeys aggravate me in particular ways. Again, ultimately, the quantity of aggravation is about equal, it's more Style Points.

So, with that preamble out of the way, today, Ladies, let's discuss some Style Points you've been accumulating. The following is directed at you because I keep hearing something similar from quite a few of you every week, whereas I cannot think of a single instance of a guy doing this. And I talk - literally - to hundreds of people every month so screw it, I'm going to make a distinction.

First of all, let me say I know first hand the conditioning we go through to be cooperative rather than competitive, to always be inclusive and considerate, and all that other stuff. And, actually, that is all good stuff.

But that said, when I ask you "What are your current job duties?" your answer should NOT nearly exclusively contain the pronoun "we" unless you are, in fact, applying for a job with your conjoined twin.

You might be working as part of a team. You might feel like giving credit where credit is due. It might feel weird to toot your own horn. But guess what? Your team is not going to get you this job. Your modesty is not going to get you this job.

The purpose of an interview is for you to draw for me, the interviewer, clear connections between what YOU have done and how that will fit in with a new position. And if you kept telling me how "we did this" and "we did that," I'm going to wonder what the heck YOU were doing at that previous job besides trailing along behind all those other folks.

So, ladies, say it with me now: I. I. I. I.

If you did it, you can take credit for it. So say it.

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