Sunday, October 01, 2006

Even On Weekends

Today (Sunday) I was in the department to do a few things before the next hectic week starts. A senior colleague was showing a semi-distinguished visitor around the department, and stopped to introduce me. I have met this visitor several times before, but he never remembers me, so I just pretend that we've never met. That's fine -- he's old(er), some people are not good with names/faces etc. etc. What bothered me was that my own colleague described my research field completely incorrectly -- he confused me with another woman faculty member in our department. It's not a huge department, we all have our research niches, and the research field of the woman he confused me with is very different from my own field. I don't even look like this other woman. It was a minor but bizarre little event. I corrected him, and he was briefly embarrassed.


Ms.PhD said...


All women faculty are interchangeable, you know?

That's the only quality they can remember about us.

Boobs. The ones with the boobs.

Anonymous said...

How funny! Recently, the Director of the building that I'm in, asked to meet with me - to ask a question about something in my field. He essentially asked "Can 'x' be done?" and if I knew anyone using such approaches. I just sat there for a minute, stunned, because it is exactly what my laboratory focuses on. I told him that I have three posters up outside of my laboratory, in the hallway (that he walks down regularly), describing our work in this area - and that it's what he had to approve numerous times prior to grant submissions (he just has to sign off won my proposals with respect to facility/space utilization issues). We have published manuscript posted on a board outside the lab as well, all utilizing the same or similar approaches. This is the person that 'promotes' the laboratory and the groups research, and he didn't have a clue about what my laboratory actually does.

I think they just block us out. It's back to being invisible - I am constantly battling my own invisibility here.

Anonymous said...

we all look alike, don't we? This reminds me of the notoriously ignorant and tone-deaf David Brent in the hilarious (in a cringe-worthy way) original UK "The Office" series:

David: "This is Sanj, this guy does the best Ali G impersonation, Aiiieee. I can't do it, go on, do it."
Sanj: "I don't, must be someone else."
David: "Oh, sorry, it's the other one-"
Sanj: "The other what..... Paki?"
David: "Ah, that's racist."