take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Say no more 

My "profession" is one normally carried out by middle aged men. Or, should I say, middle aged boys.

I have since discovered that [Insert old company name] was quite unusual in the balance of male and female software developers, due to the fact that they actively sought to recruit non-IT, usually humanities graduates to train up. Presumably, this was because IT graduates would rather stick needles in their eyes than code the kind of old-school, legacy computer systems which have provided me with 8 years of "joyful" employment. Though I must admit that those needles have had a certain appeal to me in recent years.

Nevertheless, there were enough males of a certain kind to ensure that occasionally, Beavis and Butthead style fnarr-fnarring, prompted by the innocent mention of a word which in a different context might possibly be construed as rude, would be audible above the general hum of the air conditioning.

Of course, in my current department, as the only female developer (though not the only female in the department), the balance is very much in favour of schoolboy humour. Unfortunately, eight years of experience does not seem to have hardened me to this and I continue to open my mouth and put my foot in it (where "it" is a prime opportunity for boyish sniggering).

Emerging from the kitchen, bemoaning my now legendary bread products: "Oh. I've just got my baps out and they're all mouldy!"

When asked what I'll be doing that evening: "I'll be cleaning my rug"

Of a network cable: "I can't get it into the hole"

Of a tap covered in salad dressing: "Ugh! It's got a greasy knob"

Will I ever learn?

What I need is an innuendo parser. Something which will submit my phrases to a pre-check program and return them, cleaned of all possible double-entendres. Then I might actually be able to have a flowing conversation with my colleagues without the constant interruptions of guffawing, nudging and winking.

However, knowing my colleagues' considerable skill in dreaming up double meanings for the most innocent of phrases, I imagine that I would be left with... well, nothing. Keeping schtum is hardly an option, though. Given my propensity for constant gibbering, I can only imagine that I shall continue to boldly yet inadvertently provide amusement to the department.

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