Whereupon I kind of agree with Vox

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About women programmers.

When I first started at my job one of my coworkers was a strange little troll of a woman who gave off this air that she knew what she was doing. Her primary job was the development of a match-up tool that took two different kinds of data (apples, and oranges), and then allowed the user to line them up to see how they compared. This wasn’t a tool for just anyone, it was geared toward people in our field, and specifically, people in our building. More specifically, the Boss.

When the list of “To Dos” kept growing longer and the list of “Finished” never got any bigger, he brought in a friend and outside consultant to help motivate her. The primary method by which this woman was to motivate my coworker was by staying on top of her. The two did not get along; the consultant woman still works with us and she Knows Her Shit. She’s been in the business since before I was born.

After at least a year of nothing getting done, the Boss started to inquire as to why the shit this was. Well, it turns out my coworker in question worked unusual hours whenever she could get away with it. Ten to eleven, then twelve or one until two or three, and then home. She claimed to be logging in and working from home, “I was working on this at home until 10:30!”, but the “To Do” list remained intact. So the Boss cut her hours to match when she was actually there.

Her argument was that she was disliked because she was a “working mother” and such. The reality was, her husband was about to be making enough money to allow her to be a stay at home mom and she was doing the bare minimum to get by until then. Eventually that threshold was passed and she quit. The “working mother” thing really pissed off the other women in the office, all but one of which was a working mother (but none of which were coders or programers). All of them were able to get their work done.

When she left, the project fell to me. I hadn’t even looked at the code. Not a jot. I’d never used that programming language. Not a line. Never even looked at it.

Within two months it was up and running to spec.

Why? Because I did my job and didn’t try to use my genitals as a pass. Not All Women Are Like That but the ones that are really suck to work with, and it can be really tricky to get rid of them. If not for a fortuitous timing issue with some funding issues, the Boss would have had to somehow prove she wasn’t putting in her hours while trying to avoid her ready-made claims of victimhood.

In the two months it took me to get it running correctly (and learn the language), I didn’t once work overtime. I took off two weeks for Christmas. I had other tasks to handle. But I showed up, put in my eight, and got the damn job done. I couldn’t have said, “They don’t like me because I’m (anything).” I have no built in excuses. I’m a white straight dude — we are the least protected class out there. Without that cushion I had to actually Do My Job.

So maybe we should stop giving people cushions and let them fulfill their damn destinies themselves. They’d probably be better off for it.

Maybe that’s why I love Bendy so much — she had to work her ass off to get everything, and so she appreciates everything more.