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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - Altitude

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited July 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Altitude


Altitude
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/altitude

A Name by any other Gender.

Anonymous

I am a programmer by education, trade and passion. I enjoy math and logic and enjoy solving a good programming puzzle any day.

I was a frequent poster on a popular online board where people ask questions and discuss issues related to the language of programming I was relatively fluent in. On the forum, some of us had gotten relatively close, and many people knew each other outside of their “forum handle.”

A friend from the forum mentioned that there was an opening at his company for QA development, and he had suggested I apply. He was higher up in the company and provided the HR department and the department hiring some of my forum posts, showing my ability to program and also be helpful in a large, collaborative environment. 

Many emails went back and forth with this company. My current day job did not allow for phone calls, and I worked the entire work day of this company, but this was a great opportunity and I suggested I make a day trip out for a roundtable meeting.

Now, I have a name that, by all extensive purposes, is supposed to be male. Not one of those “Leslie” or “Dana” type names, but a straight-up male first name, despite having no Y chromosome. It never was an issue for me, nor for my husband for that matter. Nor did I think it ever would matter. It usually was a great ice breaker at conferences or when meeting someone for the first time.

Arriving at the company for the meet and greet, I was ushered in to the meeting to stares of people at the table.  They had no idea, apparently, that I was female… And a not too bad looking one if I do say so myself.

I was not even allowed to have the meeting. Apparently having a “female” in the “all male company” would be bad for policy and productivity. I was removed by security from the building. I left somewhat ashamed. And my friend on the forum who suggested me blocked me and never spoke to me again.

I’m at a great company now where my gender isn’t an issue, and the company that I tried to interview for has since been bought and merged.  I still get a bad taste in my mouth when I see anything online about them, though.


Geth on
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    FandeathisFandeathis Registered User regular
    Best comic so far. That creature is amazing!

    You fuck wit' Die Antwoord, you fuck wit' da army.
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    RazalgrimRazalgrim Registered User regular
    This made me wanna get an elephant-nose transplant for maximum bong efficiency.

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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    These stories are always so uplifting! They never make me want to slit my wrists in a bathtub.

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    FramlingFramling FaceHead Geebs has bad ideas.Registered User regular
    Boy, that story is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Wow.

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    ZythonZython Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    So the Snuffler's the mole.

    Sounds legit.

    Edit: Re: Tale.

    WHAT? That can't be legal.

    Zython on
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    SpieguhSpieguh Registered User new member
    Re: Tale

    "All male companies" that have discriminatory hiring practices always make me think there's some sort of mutual peen tugging going on after-hours. Probably smells like an old gym sock in their office too.

    I'm glad the submitter found a better place to work!

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    SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Registered User regular
    Of course it isn't legal, but she probably didn't have the time or resources to sue. Nor would she want to work at a place where people are so frightened by the sight of a woman that they have to call security. I mean, seriously?

    Want to find me on a gaming service? I'm SwashbucklerXX everywhere.
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    Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    I call BS on that story. I find it very hard to believe that any company considering employing someone won't at least look at their CV. Also why get security involved? It would have been a lot easier simply to say that the meeting had been cancelled. The whole thing seems ripped from a bad sitcom. In my experience, women are treated well in the games industry, largely because there are so few of them.

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    Sgt.Big_BubbaloolaSgt.Big_Bubbaloola That's Mr to you! Everywhere man....Registered User regular
    Although I don't call bullshit on that story, she probably wouldn't be able to sue anyway. First of all, she instigated the meeting by the sounds of it. They may have said that to her about being a male only company, but how would she prove it? If there was no formal interview process with invite, it would be hard to prove, especially if there was no actual advertised vacancy.

    I've been gipped before on an interview for a tech company. First interview was great with the deputy director, he said I was a shoe-in for the job, but I did have to go thru a second interview with my direct line manager just to tick the boxes. Bugger was, my line manager would have been this rather abrupt, suspicious lady in her mid-40's. For some reason, ladies of that age, in that position really do not like me (and genuinely for no reason, i'm not late, not rude, work just as hard as they do). I didn't get the job as she didn't feel I would be a 'team-player', which I know from previous jobs and references it utter bollocks.

    Basically, what i'm saying in a very long-winded way is that if the face (or other parts) don't fit, regardless of skill or experience, you don't get the job. Laws or no laws, it just happens.



    Well gosh, I suppose I might as well settle in for a nice cuppa ...... this is gonna be good!
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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Mc zany wrote: »
    I call BS on that story. I find it very hard to believe that any company considering employing someone won't at least look at their CV. Also why get security involved? It would have been a lot easier simply to say that the meeting had been cancelled. The whole thing seems ripped from a bad sitcom. In my experience, women are treated well in the games industry, largely because there are so few of them.

    Bwa-ha-ha-HA HA HA.

    Oh, my.

    "If you divide the whole world into just enemies and friends, you'll end up destroying everything" --Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
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    NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    I call BS on that story. I find it very hard to believe that any company considering employing someone won't at least look at their CV.
    What does the CV have to do with it? Does your CV state your gender? Mine doesn't. Even though I have a slightly ambiguous name.

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    RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    story

    and my murder list just grows longer.

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    Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Mc zany wrote: »
    I call BS on that story. I find it very hard to believe that any company considering employing someone won't at least look at their CV. Also why get security involved? It would have been a lot easier simply to say that the meeting had been cancelled. The whole thing seems ripped from a bad sitcom. In my experience, women are treated well in the games industry, largely because there are so few of them.

    Bwa-ha-ha-HA HA HA.

    Oh, my.

    Well I did say it was in my own experience. That is because in over ten years of being involved in the games industry that is what I have seen. YMMV. Maybe saying that they are treated a bit better than male employees would be a better way of putting it.


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    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    Man, not only would that be a ridiculously easy lawsuit, I can't even imagine an entire company of people thinking that way. As a programmer, our company needs all the females it can get. CS is way too much of a sausage fest as it is.

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    KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    Comic is awesome. I stopped reading the stories because they were so depressing and I still want in on the industry.

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    King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    Man I would have sued so fast. Not even for the money. Just solely to get public scrutiny on those assholes.


    and the money.

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    The worst part of the story?
    by all extensive purposes

    Well, that and the discrimination.

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    El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Most companies who feel this way are smart enough to give you the interview and then decide that "you just weren't right for the position". I guess these guys were being honest about their douchery, so that's slightly better?

    The only plausible way I can see this going down is if it happened like 20 years ago, though, or happened in a country that has really really different laws/culture. Like, I'm Canadian, and the idea of an "all male company" would be ludicrous in our society.

    El Skid on
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    Locke6854Locke6854 Registered User regular
    Too funny, Tofystedeth. I logged on to say something similar. Maybe her would-be employers were grammar nazis and she let one slip. "It's so ironic." *cringe*

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    Mycroft HolmesMycroft Holmes Registered User regular

    Mc zany wrote: »

    Well I did say it was in my own experience. That is because in over ten years of being involved in the games industry that is what I have seen. YMMV. Maybe saying that they are treated a bit better than male employees would be a better way of putting it.

    This is what I've seen.
    A) Women have to deal with stupid sexism in the industry
    B) Well qualified women are treated well
    C) Attractive women (regardless of skill) are moved up the chain of command faster

    C is the ridiculous side of so few women in the industry; tons of guys fall all over themselves to help the attractive women.

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    NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    C is the ridiculous side of so few women in the industry; tons of guys fall all over themselves to help the attractive women.
    Sounds like a gay guy would do super well in the industry then. Access to lots of guys and the competitive advantage of not having to fall over themselves over the few women.

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    Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    Wonder what her name was to make people think she was a guy.

    Either way, yeah, weird story. What kind of company would seriously turn down someone because of gender? Guessing it was a smaller/newer studio, because I'd think anything with any sort of experience would have enough sense/lawyers to know that's a dumb idea :P

    Switch: 2143-7130-1359 | 3DS: 4983-4927-6699 | Steam: warlock82 | PSN: Warlock2282
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    wormspeakerwormspeaker Objectively Terrible Registered User regular
    They were just protecting her from the piles of sex-offenders in the company. And the security escort was just to keep them at arms length long enough for her to get to the car.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Warlock82 wrote: »
    Wonder what her name was to make people think she was a guy.

    Either way, yeah, weird story. What kind of company would seriously turn down someone because of gender? Guessing it was a smaller/newer studio, because I'd think anything with any sort of experience would have enough sense/lawyers to know that's a dumb idea :P
    One of my good friend's brother is married to a girl named Michael.
    The weird part is that friend is named Michael too. Makes his brother's facebook profile look really strange.

    Crazy interview stories no longer surprise me after having read so many Daily WTFs. I can't say whether it's changed if I believe them or not, but I've read so many bizarre things, throwing another on the pile is no problem.

    Tofystedeth on
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    twestermtwesterm Lewisville, TXRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    The stories are always fun to read. Sometimes they're good stories, sometimes you can tell they're heavily exaggerated, and other times, like this one, they're probably BS.

    1. If you're a programmer (and a good one at that like the poster says she is), going into game QA is not a good step for you. You will go from making $100+k/year to about $20k/year if you're lucky. Now if you were going into QA at a software development company (not a game studio), you would be able to make excellent money if you have a background in programming.

    2. I'm not entirely sure how having a background in programming is good for QA. There are a lot of relevant skills in game QA, but I'd be surprised if programming was one of them. At least she did mention collaboration which is of course important. Also, an HR person would never look at forum posts and say well golly, I can see from that they are an excellent programmer. Hired! Most HR people wouldn't even know what they're looking at and would have no idea if it's good or bad code.

    3. The whole thing about the company being freaked out about a girl and being escorted out by security reeks of BS. I can get past the above points and say she was just someone who really wanted to follow their passion and willing to make a major life change but this whole part really just put the story over-the-top. There are companies out there that are pretty stupid about things like that, but I *really* doubt a place you would call earlier in your post a really good company, especially one with an HR department, would go to those extremes.

    twesterm on
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    NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    twesterm wrote: »
    The stories are always fun to read. Sometimes they're good stories, sometimes you can tell they're heavily exaggerated, and other times, like this one, they're probably BS.
    I can believe that a company would not hire a woman for the stated reason, but I struggle to believe that they'd call security to eject her. They'd just give her the interview and say, sorry, we're not hiring. Then again, stranger things have happened... if you believe the other stories.

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    Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    twesterm wrote: »
    2. I'm not entirely sure how having a background in programming is good for QA. There are a lot of relevant skills in game QA, but I'd be surprised if programming was one of them. At least she did mention collaboration which is of course important. Also, an HR person would never look at forum posts and say well golly, I can see from that they are an excellent programmer. Hired! Most HR people wouldn't even know what they're looking at and would have no idea if it's good or bad code.

    A background in programming is good because you'll be more familiar with how the game is coded. You can probably better anticipate edge cases that a programmer might not think about, or if you find a bug, you might be able to write up a better bug report since you may actually have a real idea of what's broken. Things like that are probably an asset.

    Also, HR would not look at that. They would hand it to a programmer and say "is this good?" and go off that.

    Warlock82 on
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    ffaristocratffaristocrat Registered User regular
    twesterm wrote: »
    The stories are always fun to read. Sometimes they're good stories, sometimes you can tell they're heavily exaggerated, and other times, like this one, they're probably BS.
    I can believe that a company would not hire a woman for the stated reason, but I struggle to believe that they'd call security to eject her. They'd just give her the interview and say, sorry, we're not hiring. Then again, stranger things have happened... if you believe the other stories.

    Calling security is a show of power so that that uppity woman knows they won't stand for her name games that tricked them into giving her an interview.

    Remember, we're talking about a culture that's enormously threatened by a woman simply planning to discuss female stereotypes in video games.

    You see a person's real character when you see how they act when there's no repercussions - and if the (predominantly) straight white guy tech community has proven anything time and time again, it's that they love to trumpet their misogyny, racism and homophobia, frequently all at once. (And anyone who defends it by just saying they're "just trolling" is really saying "Why yes, I am an enormous douchebag who should be avoided at any cost.") That seeps into real life interactions and you end up with situations where women have to stand to side because it's their own fault for being so distracting.

    Then you have the (comparatively) non-asshole portion of the community enabling this behavior because they find it SOOOOOO unbelievable that their bros would ever act that way and that those women are making it up because they're attention whores. After all, they've never encountered sexism so it must never happen to anyone else. And besides, they know about this one girl that slept her way "to the top" so it really all balances out if you think about it.

    Between the douchebags and their enablers, these types of stories happen *all the time* in the tech world.

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    Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    I feel like barfing and brushing my tongue...the only thing more horrible than personal abuse is cultural abuse and debasement of the human race such as this.


    Unrelated, R[M]arely is obviously the mole. He was leaking whenever he got high enough to not give a damn for his job security. He had it coming, twice now.

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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    Unrelated, R[M]arely is obviously the mole. He was leaking whenever he got high enough to not give a damn for his job security.

    Perhaps. But this raises the bothersome question of what Cora's deal is.

    I guess there's nothing that precludes them both being moles, is there?

    Maybe Isaac is the only member of the entire team not leaking.

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    TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    Maybe they are all the mole, and soon the fan base will be complaining about upcoming rollback from the space octopuses' brain satellites setting off a chrono bomb.

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    collinccollinc Registered User regular
    Although I don't call bullshit on that story, she probably wouldn't be able to sue anyway. First of all, she instigated the meeting by the sounds of it. They may have said that to her about being a male only company, but how would she prove it? If there was no formal interview process with invite, it would be hard to prove, especially if there was no actual advertised vacancy.

    I've been gipped before on an interview for a tech company. First interview was great with the deputy director, he said I was a shoe-in for the job, but I did have to go thru a second interview with my direct line manager just to tick the boxes. Bugger was, my line manager would have been this rather abrupt, suspicious lady in her mid-40's. For some reason, ladies of that age, in that position really do not like me (and genuinely for no reason, i'm not late, not rude, work just as hard as they do). I didn't get the job as she didn't feel I would be a 'team-player', which I know from previous jobs and references it utter bollocks.

    Basically, what i'm saying in a very long-winded way is that if the face (or other parts) don't fit, regardless of skill or experience, you don't get the job. Laws or no laws, it just happens.

    Your not being hired for not being a team player is not the same as her not getting the job for being female. It's open discrimination. You weren't born a non-team player. How does she prove it? I'm not sure exactly, I would imagine the same way anyone else proves discrimination with one word vs. the other. They certainly didn't hire her, and she had a male name. She was told of an opening, she applied, multiple emails were exchanged, that is a formal interview. Would you still be saying this if she had been black and not hired for that reason? I would think you would be thinking "Wow, what an easy discrimination lawsuit."

    Free cake. Inquire within.
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    FramlingFramling FaceHead Geebs has bad ideas.Registered User regular
    twesterm wrote: »
    1. If you're a programmer (and a good one at that like the poster says she is), going into game QA is not a good step for you. You will go from making $100+k/year to about $20k/year if you're lucky. Now if you were going into QA at a software development company (not a game studio), you would be able to make excellent money if you have a background in programming.
    I don't see anywhere in the story where it actually says the company made games. Additionally, the position was in "QA development," presumably meaning building the tools and infrastructure to support QA activities. That's a programming gig. She also doesn't say where she was working at the time, only that she had talent and passion for programming; considering the apparent hours and working environment (she can't take calls during the day), I can easily believe moving into a QA dev position being a step up.

    twesterm wrote: »
    2. I'm not entirely sure how having a background in programming is good for QA. There are a lot of relevant skills in game QA, but I'd be surprised if programming was one of them. At least she did mention collaboration which is of course important. Also, an HR person would never look at forum posts and say well golly, I can see from that they are an excellent programmer. Hired! Most HR people wouldn't even know what they're looking at and would have no idea if it's good or bad code.
    I can't really speak to game QA, but having a programming background is critical for QA in general, especially any kind of scenario involving test automation. QA work puts you in a lot of edge cases, and a lot of over-the-edge cases, where the designer of the tools, the framework, or the language thought long and hard and couldn't come up with a single scenario where someone would ever possibly need to do exactly the one thing you need to do.

    As for the forum posts, her friend "provided [them to] the HR department and the department hiring [to show her] ability to program and also be helpful in a large, collaborative environment." HR sees the helpfulness and collaboration, the department hiring sees the programming ability.

    twesterm wrote: »
    3. The whole thing about the company being freaked out about a girl and being escorted out by security reeks of BS. I can get past the above points and say she was just someone who really wanted to follow their passion and willing to make a major life change but this whole part really just put the story over-the-top. There are companies out there that are pretty stupid about things like that, but I *really* doubt a place you would call earlier in your post a really good company, especially one with an HR department, would go to those extremes.
    This is probably the only part that strikes me as at all improbable, and not really even that much so. The company sees she's a girl, they kinda freak out and overreact. They've convinced her to take a day off from her job, so they think she might be upset. Maybe they're wondering if she used a fake name or something, or if something else weird or untoward is going on. They've got a security guy; might as well call him, just to be on the safe side. I could see it.

    you're = you are
    your = belonging to you

    their = belonging to them
    there = not here
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    uejiniuejini Registered User new member
    extensive purposes

    Stopped reading here.

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    fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    Everyone saying she should have sued, sure, but (a) lawsuits cost money, (b) you don't always win, and (c) getting known as "that woman who sued a company that didn't hire her" means being known as "that woman whose resume goes straight in the trash."

    It's just not always worth it.

    Nobody makes me bleed my own blood...nobody.
    PSN ID: fearsomepirate
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Everyone saying she should have sued, sure, but (a) lawsuits cost money, (b) you don't always win, and (c) getting known as "that woman who sued a company that didn't hire her" means being known as "that woman whose resume goes straight in the trash."

    It's just not always worth it.

    It's a slam dunk discrimination lawsuit. If she sued for enough, working would be the least of her concerns because of the huge payday.

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    fortyforty Registered User regular
    The worst part of the story?
    by all extensive purposes
    Thank you!

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    Shakes999Shakes999 Registered User regular
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    Unrelated, R[M]arely is obviously the mole. He was leaking whenever he got high enough to not give a damn for his job security. He had it coming, twice now.


    See, I called that he was the mole 3 weeks ago and while I would LOVE to be vindicated, i personally think today's comic actually proves im wrong. It sounds like hes actually innocent of being the mole, just a stoner idiot. Not that im judging him of course.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Shakes999 wrote: »
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    Unrelated, R[M]arely is obviously the mole. He was leaking whenever he got high enough to not give a damn for his job security. He had it coming, twice now.


    See, I called that he was the mole 3 weeks ago and while I would LOVE to be vindicated, i personally think today's comic actually proves im wrong. It sounds like hes actually innocent of being the mole, just a stoner idiot. Not that im judging him of course.
    It would be pretty funny if he was sure he'd been the one leaking, but had in fact been typing his stoned, rambling leak posts into notepad without realizing it.

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    agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    Some people don't understand just how dangerous cooties can be.
    The only cure is waterballoons.

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