I am the old dog in this story.
I never took a Swedish driving license you see. During the late teens & early 20s, I was too broke to shoulder the cost and did not fancy getting into debt. A license costs a shirt, a leg & an arm in Sweden.
Striding strongly into my 30s, I have decided to have a driving instructor do this with me.
I can’t remember when I felt as daft as I have felt while learning to drive. It is like being thrown into a maze for the first time. Drunk.
I have felt daft before, of course. Many a times. Sometimes on a daily basis. Working in an IT department can do that to you. With colleagues who have been at it since before the days Nokia 3310 was the best phone around.
Thinking & talking about some new way of executing some old activity can turn into the most intimidating &/or condescending situations you can imagined.
Looks that say without a word:
“oh, dear; little, pretty one. We tried that in 1993 & it did not work. It will not work now either. Didn’t you know that? What do you know then?! Why are you even here? Are you one of the quota group? women in tech or black women in tech? can you get us some coffee & take some notes while we talk?”
A condescending smile follows. You can’t report this crap to HR so don’t even waste energy thinking it.
You see the look. No one else sees the look.
You see the smile. No one else sees the smile.
You hear the tone of voice. No one else hears a pip!
You feel the being ignored. No one else sees your being ignored.
Someone else repeats your words as if they were news coming from Computer Power user or BBC.
Everyone is nodding their experienced smart heads in agreement.
You say in your I am gathering my wits around me voice. In your strong woman voice. In your I know my crap voice.
Everyone shakes their extended experienced smart heads in consensus.
You see the pity they feel for your pretty little head. You feel sick.
You get your knickers in a knot against all sense. One way or the other, you play your few angry cards.
All your nice kind helpful knowledgeable experienced colleagues can see the hard knots in your knickers & the angry cards that YOU threw on the table
on the floor if you really went for it.
It is impossible to prove the shit that is happening to you. If none of your fantastic not-angry colleagues acknowledge that they also saw the discreet actions; the discreet actions did not happen.
You are bonkers. You’re on the way to hitting the wall. Being sent off on sick leave.
Still, me learning to drive made me feel dafter than I have ever felt.
Like running in circles surrounded by rules no one understands, but everyone, seems to live by the same said rules.
And the rules were written by experienced smart heads in total consensus.
You don’t feel me? Try learning the Right of Way rules.