Stories from My Past: Don’t tell anyone ok?

It is not easy for anyone to be respected in a job. Even though someone has the experience and desire to do a good job, you often have to prove yourself when you come to an office. So it is no surprise that I have noticed that many women feel they have to be “tough” and just like men to get ahead in the business world. There is a point to me saying this, just be patient.

Stories from My Past: Don't tell anyone ok?I was talking with a coworker and she let it inadvertently slip that she was sponsoring a child from a developing nation. I probably made a silly joke that she responded to without thinking. Anyway once she realized that I knew she told me “Don’t tell anyone ok?” I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone, but was curious and asked her why. Her response surprised me even more.

“If people knew I was sponsoring a child, they would think I was rich and getting paid alot.” she said.

“So let me get this straight I said.,” I said. “Don’t tell anyone you are a good person so they think your just a tough no nonsense woman right”

“Exactly.,” she said.

I never told anyone. I thought it was fascinating that when people act tough they don’t give others the chance to be weak as well. One of the things I have learned in IT is that everyone has computer problems, no matter how knowledgeable you are. Even I have IT problems that aren’t immediately obvious. I find the solution, but having a problem doesn’t mean you are less of a professional.

In an interview, or really anytime you deal with anyone else you have to show you are human and have weaknesses. When an interviewer asks what my weaknesses are I sincerely say “How much time do you have?” They usually laugh, but knowing your faults is part of what makes you effective. You not only have to push yourself to grow, but also know your limitations. When I sense there is a limitation that is best addressed by someone else, I tell them. I am not the answer to everything, and I don’t have to be.

Related Post

When to call a snow day

I have worked with many companies that aren’t really sure when to close the office due to a snow day. Forecasts are imperfect for sure, but here are some following experiences where they might wanted to have investigated further. All of these happened when there was a winter advisory and usually when the state declared a state of emergency.

  • Came in to work because there was no notification of a snow day. I was the only one there. In the next hour only 3 other people showed up. An hour later, the office was closed. The HR person apologized and “didn’t believe it was going to be this bad.” One of my coworkers at the time explained how her car slide and did a 360 in the parking lot.
  • Driving to work the weather was just terrible. Lots of snow on the ground and when I switched lanes, the work vehicle I was given slid into the side of the road and almost went off into the median. I called my boss and said I’m taking a vacation day and went back home. Less than an hour later the office was closed and I still had a vacation day charged to me.
  • A hurricane was forecast to come in the same day the board was meeting. Rather than change the board meeting, they had it during the day a hurricane was happening. Almost everyone was remote that day but some people who lived close, and it was crazy they were traveling as well. I was put up at a hotel across the street to support this. So in gusting winds that were knocking things over, I had to walk to work from my rented hotel room.
  • The weather was bad and it was -20. I was at work and my boss told me to finish something and then go home. When I finished I was the only car in the parking lot and buried under a ton of snow. Fortunately I was able to drive out but it was just crazy that I was told to finish something before I could leave. If there is an issue of safety, things can wait.

I am not complaining about these experiences, but rather sharing them to show that erring on the side of caution is better than trying to get the last bit of work out of someone.