:: off on the wrong foot ::
...some kind of awkward journey

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Wednesday, January 31, 2001

i'm fighting with a moral issue today. the other evening (ref. this) i spent a good amount of time on the phone with Dell customer support. most of the time was spent waiting for the tech to follow the Dell troublshooting guide and tell me what to do next. we're talking minutes of silence here. i lost complete faith in the tech when they decided that my modem's problem of not detecting a dial tone was fixed when the modem start dialing after the tech told me to set the modem to dial without detecting dial tone first. (no, that sentence doesn't make sense to me either - it's designed to convey my personal frustration.) i finally got the tech to listen to me, and they finally put in the order for a new modem. yes, it would have been easier to go to the store and buy one, but i'm poor and my computer is still under warranty for another 2 years. so if i can get free replacement parts, i will take them.

you may be asking, "so, what's the problem here?" well, i can't help but feel that my frustration with the tech was enhanced by the fact that the tech was a woman. it's totally chauvinistic. i had less faith in her support skills because of her gender. through the phone i could hear her neighboring male techs on their support calls, and i found myself wishing that i could talk to one of them.

i'm all for women in science and technology, seeing as how i am one of them. some of my closest female friends are in the IT industry and are very successful at it. and then there are even the superwomen, like meg hourihan. but the female population also contains a large number of flakes, airheads, fluffy women, etc., who through no fault of their own have no technical skills at all. they just were not encouraged to be interested in science and technology. fortunately, with the help of different organizations, young girls are being exposed to these fields.

now i have to evaluate my reaction to this situation. why did i feel so uncomfortable with a female tech? would i have had more faith in an equally unskilled male tech? can i really expect others to have faith in my technical skills when my faith in my sisters falters? it's just so strange when you dish out the same prejudices that you fall victim to.


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