Night Of The Living Caitlyns

Story: The Lucrative Linux Job Offer I Turned Down Total Replies: 19
Author Content

Apr 26, 2014
12:55 PM EDT
The Interesting LXer Article I Decided Not To Read.


Apr 26, 2014
1:18 PM EDT
Heh-heh:) Our favourite Slackware reviewer:)

Apr 26, 2014
1:26 PM EDT
@ kikinovak:

My good grief! I expected that kind of ugliness from someone like notbob, but what - is it international?


Apr 26, 2014
1:31 PM EDT
I felt a disturbance in the force.

Apr 26, 2014
2:37 PM EDT

You are an embarrassment.

Apr 26, 2014
3:20 PM EDT
That's right kikinovak. Ignoring the skipping record of "I ... am ... a ... victim. Look ... at ... what ... I ... put ... up ... with" is just embarrassing. You MUST pay attention to and agree with every squeeky wheel to be a good PC member of LXer.

Apr 26, 2014
4:54 PM EDT

Je t'embrasse aussi. (Translated by Bing)

Apr 26, 2014
9:01 PM EDT
Browser72: I am NOT looking for sympathy. I am not a victim here. I'm not unemployed so, fortunately, I have choices. However, an IT department with 400 people and no women proves without any doubt that there is a huge problem at the company in terms of hiring and retaining women even if there is no discriminatory hiring policy at the moment. Note that I NEVER claimed there was such a policy. Add that the job has been open for months, they called me again on Thursday to try and get me to change my mind (the event which prompted this article), and that the position pays above market wages for it's location and yet it's still vacant. What does that tell you? It tells me there is a problem in management or corporate culture that drives qualified applicants away. In other words, there is a real problem with the company even if your own prejudices blind you to it.

The other comments, well... not worth replying to.

Apr 26, 2014
11:35 PM EDT
Caitlyn, I am uncomfortable at any time when I comment on a story/thread like this, but I'd like to ask a serious question. Do you suppose that the firm could have recognised the problem and might actually be trying to moderate its gender policy and asked you because you were a very high profile person who could help them change the culture at the organisation ? That would possibly explain the forceful comment by the manager, purely because he was determined to make the new situation work with the idea of getting more women onto staff ?

I'm possibly wrong, but it would be nice to think that the above was the underlying situation.

Apr 27, 2014
12:13 AM EDT
The lady doth protest too much.

Apr 27, 2014
1:04 AM EDT

....then he should have explained himself properly. If one can not explain him/herself properly as a leader of 400 people, one shouldn't be there in the first place. And just as Caitlyn, I have walked out of a job a few times, because I didn't and still don't want to work for a...s . And I have never been out of work for longer than a day in my whole life


No, there should be more Ladies who protest more and louder.


Apr 27, 2014
2:00 AM EDT
Francy, it's quite possible he honestly didn't know of the impression he was giving. It may have been an entirely new situation for him as well, in fact given the all male situation of the firm, I think it's very probable it was, and anyone can be caught on the hop, experienced or not. Now, I am NOT trying to make excuses for him - but simply trying to look at both sides of the situation.

Also, I very seriously believe in gender equality. If a person has the physical and mental skills for a position, gender is irrelevant - as long as the person wants the particular position. The worst situation we have here in Oz comes about because of what is called equal representation in which women are put into positions purely because they are women, not because they have the skills. And that to me is repugnant and patronising.

Now don't mistake me, I back caitlyn here, but I am playing "devil's advocate" because I do suspect there are underlying currents in this matter that none of us know. The fact that they re-contacted caitlyn is extremely interesting.......and adds some strength to the argument that the manager is seriously trying to rectify a rather large problem. But again, hypothesis, hypothesis and only caitlyn and the manager himself can answer those questions.

Apr 27, 2014
2:47 AM EDT
Ridcully: I will admit that I had to go with my gut feelings and based on my experiences. I can't know for certain what the environment would have been like had I taken the position. I do know that the interview with the manager was about an hour long and left me terribly uncomfortable. In a previous interview a different man who quizzed me expressed surprise that a woman could do the job. My impression, from the entire interview process, was that the environment would be hostile. Could I be wrong about that? Of course, anything is possible. Usually, though, I'm a pretty good judge of people.

I will add that this was not the only reason I turned the position down. This position was in a small southern city in a very conservative state. Having had recent experience living and working for a year in Huntsville, Texas and feeling very isolated and alone I really didn't want to repeat that experience. The money was good enough for me to consider it but the work environment did not instill confidence. For me to relocate there I had to feel this was a long term opportunity. On paper it was but I didn't feel like it was a place where I could fit in.

Every interview process should be a two way street. The candidate should be interviewing the company and evaluating if the position is a good fit. To me it seemed this one was not.

As I said, the position is still vacant. It's in an area with relatively few employers and relatively low wages. It offers the kind of pay I'd expect in New York, not in the rural South. Something is terribly wrong there because the skills they are looking for, while certainly requiring a lot of experience in the enterprise, are neither unique nor that terribly hard to find.

Also, seriously, 400 people and no women, as in zero. I haven't seen an all male department with more than 5 people and I've been in IT since 1980. C'mon, is my analysis of the situation in any way unreasonable? I think not.

Apr 27, 2014
2:55 AM EDT
My sincere thanks Caitlyn. It's a very curious situation and I back your judgement on this - completely. I would have said: "It tastes wrong.".......and I think your background info correlates with that assessment completely. Thankyou for being so frank and open on LXer as well. It takes a bit of courage to "tell the world". No, my assessment is that you have done the right thing by yourself; I'd have backed out too, had the gender situation been reversed. :-)

Apr 27, 2014
3:04 AM EDT
Ridcully, you are of course right in the argument 'as you present it'.

My reaction was more based on memories surfacing all of a sudden. Unfortunately, Caitlyn is fighting a lonely battle, and here is why :

Right now I am ( temp ) involved in the educational system, mainly Linux. My students are from 12 to 17. In the classroom the "male superior" mentality is very visible. However, if you look at the scores, the girls average is 15% higher, month after month, year after year. Of course, the boys can explain, always !

In all fairness I also have to mention that there are exceptions , in both genders.

But if this mentality is already visible with young adults, without being rubbed in by society, what can we expect when they are in their twenties or thirties.

OK, after this 2c I am out of this discussion. Note: I will reply on the Fungus thing later on. :-)


Apr 27, 2014
3:50 AM EDT
I would not have taken the job either - I would not want to be the only woman in a 400 man organisation. Its not very important why the team is exclusively male. That is not going to be a comfortable environment.

Agreed that all the clues make this a very odd situation and a turndown. The lack of any women is odd. The high salary in proportion to the skill set required is also very odd.

If you think about it from CM's point of view, its a big risk. You take an offer which involves leaving a fairly secure business which is well under own control. You move to a new social environment where you control almost nothing. Its small town, and CM sounds like a city person. It will be parachuting in to a world in which everyone knows everyone and is looking at you. If it doesn't work out, what do you do? Quit and move back? Restart consulting?

I would not do it. Now, gender and IT?

In the IT sector you have a high proportion of men with poor social skills of the sort that women, in a social environment, value and are attracted to. Its not a criticism of them in one sense, no-one is perfect. No one or very few is simultaneously an athlete, composer and poet. But this does seem to be a fact about the IT sector. There is a lot of slightly autistic behaviour.

There are work groups with a concentration of such people. In them there is also a shared resentment of women which comes to be a local cultural norm. It just results from a majority having a particular view and particular experiences. From the point of view of someone at the autistic end of the spectrum, he sees women who he desperately needs and wants to charm reacting to him with indifference or hostility. This is a puzzle which he needs to solve, and he simply does not have the key and cannot seem to figure out how even to approach it. He sees women as unpredictable and even hostile, and ends up defining them as sexual objects because that is the thing that is most problematic for him about them.

Men often too would evoke the same feelings, except that what he needs from them are impersonal and can be expressed in objective and technical terms, so that is a lot easier. He can get by without social skills in a work environment. With women, socially, he can't.

A workplace with a high proportion of people in the grip of this syndrome really is no place for a lone woman with any sense of self preservation.

Now, its a distribution. There are work places were there is a reasonable balance of the genders, and which are not wholly peopled by those on the autistic end of the spectrum. These are much nicer places for everyone to work. All one can say to women is, find them, because you'll have a decent time there, and be treated like a normal person instead of like an alien from another planet.

And if you are at the autistic end of the spectrum, look for such places too. You may initially not be as comfortable, but such places and groups have a way of finding and making space for everyone.

I have no idea what to do about the problem in general, or what to do about the problem workplaces and work groups. Self preservation however would say, don't be a guinea pig. Yes, if everyone takes that point of view they will continue and the general problem will persist. I agree. Its a great pity. Yes, it is. Doesn't mean any particular person should wreck themselves trying to fix it.

Apr 27, 2014
11:41 AM EDT
Quoting: be treated like a normal person instead of like an alien from another planet.

Exactly right, though some people insist on translating this as wanting Special Rights. You have to pay attention to those red flags; as Caitlyn said a job interview is a two-way task- you're interviewing the company. No amount of money and benefits is worth working in a company full of icky people.

Apr 27, 2014
11:49 AM EDT
Quoting:No amount of money and benefits is worth working in a company full of icky people.

Agreed. Caitlyn is fortunate to have the choice to walk away. Other women IT professionals may not be so lucky. Caitlyn, did you consider voicing, spelling out your first impressions to the manager? He may be unaware that there is an unhealthy corporate culture at the company. Glad to hear that your business venture options are healthy.

Apr 27, 2014
11:52 AM EDT
tuxchick: "some people insist on translating this as wanting Special Rights" It's usually women who do that (granted, only a vocal minority of feminist 'man hater' women, not the majority)

"No amount of money and benefits is worth working in a company full of icky people." If that doesn't sound prejudiced then I don't know what. How do you know those 400 men are all or even mostly 'icky people'? Or are they 'icky' simply because they are men?

You really need to get down from your high horse, there are just as many 'icky' women as there are 'icky' men in this world.

Apr 27, 2014
12:33 PM EDT
Quoting: did you consider voicing, spelling out your first impressions to the manager?

I applied for a job at our favorite rojo chapeau company, and was left wondering how they find their way out the door without guides. The job was listed last December, and they were all urgent about finding someone. It was listed as remote, and sounded tailor-made for me, so it sounded pretty good. Come to find out their idea of remote is 8-5 M-F in the office, with a work at home option for bad weather or other exceptional circumstances. So it's not really remote.

My first point of contact is this enthusiastic recruiter who painted glowing pictures of everything. Then there are multiple hoops to jump through, questionaires and this and that, which all add up to about 6 hours of unpaid work, because I'm not job-hunting while I'm on the clock at a job. The weeks go by, and after I bug them a couple of times I finally get hooked up with a hiring manager. This guy sounds like he's either crushed by life or needs some caffeine; there is no spark at all. We have a one-hour by-the-numbers phone interview where he's reading questions off a form, and for all I know playing Tetris instead of listening to the answers. Or cruising the help wanted ads. Then he says, in his dead tone of voice, that so far so good and the next step is some team interviews.

So more weeks go by, I bug the recruiter some more, and he has excuses like they're shorthanded, or it's end of quarter, which apparently brings the business to a halt. All I want to know is am I a candidate for the job or not. I still have no idea, or why they even bothered. It reminds me of the Microsoft and Google cultures of recreational job interviews and recruiters who spend their days bugging people, but never actually recruiting anyone.

So this leaves me thinking that it's not going to be a good situation to walk into because they seem to need a strong manager more than they need more worker bees, and it's going to be frustrating getting the necessary resources to do the job. Which is feedback they probably should hear. It seems like if you're about working and being productive, you have to stick with small companies or working for yourself.

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!