So, when I started at the railroad 5 years ago I tried pretty hard to blend in with all the testosterone because my estrogen stuck out like a sore thumb. "Don't apologize for using foul language in front of me. Chances are I've said worse." "No thanks, I can carry my own little 5 pound bag, you're such a peach." Not that I mind chivalry, in fact I love it. It's a dying art. Manners are great too. But five years ago I needed to be one of the guys. Sometimes I think that was a big mistake- hence the shovel in my office.
The other employees at my office are used to me now. They accept me as one of their own but are (shock!) ok with the fact that I also happen to be a girl. In fact I think it surprises them at times. You should see their faces if I wear a skirt; they always assume I'm on my way to a funeral.
So, why does a manager for the railroad have a shovel in her office you might ask? I had been working on a project to locate a new transload customer on our line and he needed to dig a hole and install a wind sock (safety procedure) as the commodity had some hazardous qualities. He asked ME if I would dig the hole for him. Seriously?! Now granted this guy looked like he had not done any manual labor IN HIS LIFE, but really! Just so you can get a mental picture- dude was wearing prada loafers, Polo collar shirt, and had a manicure. With clear polish. yeah. So I suppose compared to him in my sweet heels from target and TJ Maxx scored ensemble I looked more apt to perform manual labor. Boy did he get a surprise.
Needless to say yours truly did NOT dig any holes and superfly was outside digging in his shiny prada shoes. Ha! Wish I had taken a picture . . .