Friday, August 17, 2007

Here in Diverse Facilities

I don't have a team anymore, I am a lone operator, I manage information under a wandering star. As a result, NGO X didn't quite know where to put me, but there was a space available in between Diversity and Facilities, so they squeezed me in there.

I quite like it really. I get to share the excitement when there is a genuine fire alarm (someone left a lentil burger unattended in the microwave) and offer the occasional second opinion on the appropriateness of various communications. I probably don't make my fair share of tea, but I do offer informal technical support. And generally, I'm pretty good at screening out conversations that don't involve me, so I'm easy not to disturb.

But yesterday I was restless, and listening in. The telephone engineer was attacking the PC of the Diversity Adviser, which has been playing up no end. She couldn't do any work, so she was sorting through papers. 'Did you know', she said, 'that British black and minority ethnic women spend more on clothes than white women?'.

No one said anything for a while. I was thinking that it's not hard to spend more on clothes than I do, wondering if that had anything to do with my ethnicity, and deciding it probably did a bit, but I wasn't sure what. Then the telephone engineer said 'well, that's because they feel the cold more, isn't it?'.

It was distinctly chilly after that.

joella

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