Posted by: Rob | October 9, 2009

The Pregnancy Game

My employer is big on diversity in workforce planning and is almost renowned for the number of female engineers it hires.  So, it goes without saying, the majority of the engineers in my workgroup, the facility and perhaps even the site, are female.

That, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.  I’ve noticed that most women engineers have a quite different approach to problem solving and getting the job done.  Neither better nor worse.  Just different.

Most of these gals, though, are younger and haven’t been in the job much more than 6 or so years.  Which, of course, also places them squarely within the optimum child bearing years.

And, it turns out, we’re in the midst of a baby boom.

I arrived late for a team meeting the other day, because of a conflicting project meeting, and our leader immediately pulled up a powerpoint show that represented the “cultural moment” from the meeting start.  For my benefit.

I looked at the screen.  The first slide showed an ultrasound picture of an embryo and was top captioned, “Guess who?”  Then the words “SURPRISE!!!” and “I’m 5 months pregnant”.  I had a sinking feeling.  I looked around the room and all eyes, the majority of them female, were upon me.  Expectant looks.

“Well,” I said, “I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday and I learned a long time ago to never make comments, ask questions or guess whether a woman is pregnant or not.  Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not going to guess.”

Disappointed all, the pregnant one outed herself and, ironically, she has the office next door to mine.

The meeting continued without further ado, but the funny part was the discussion as the meeting broke up.  I was, of course, merely an eavesdropper.  Our leader had brought the ultrasound pic powerpoint back up on the screen for the benefit of folks attending the meeting following ours.  Jay, the pregnant one, commented that she had been asked by others viewing the ultrasound whether or not she had swallowed a pearl necklace.

I almost choked when I heard that line.  As the other women made comments about how, “No, you can tell that that is the baby’s spinal column,” all I could think was if she had indeed swallowed the pearl necklace, then she wouldn’t be pregnant now, would she?

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Responses

  1. oh, man… you could have been sent to ‘sensitivity training boot camp’ if you’d let that one out…

    i’m in a strange spot at work at the moment, regarding diversity. i now work for a black woman engineer, who heads up minority recruitment for the entire corporation as an ‘additional duty’.

    we had lunch a few months back and she said “I want to have the most diverse branch in the corporation”.

    i said “Wrong goal, sister… you want to have the BEST branch in the corporation that happens to look like a fucking rainbow!”

    so now we’re tag teaming it… my objective is ‘best’. she’s got the paintbrush. gonna be interesting…

  2. Lolz 🙂
    Makes me think of a one liner (well two) I heard a while back. What’s the bird of peace? The dove. And the bird of love? The swallow.
    *grin*

  3. tee hee


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