Friday, October 7, 2011

More about Work

Since I blog about my life, and life is now work, it seems fitting that I blog about work- right? This week has been one of those super-crazy weeks. It feels like my feet haven't touched the ground as we're preparing for another audit of our project management controls next week. And guess who is specifically responsible for ensuring we're implementing our systems for project controls? Ok, its me. This may  sound like a bit of a boring task, but its actually really interesting and touches every area of the project! So much so that I'm making a masters of it!

And yes, I said masters!

So, being the crazy-workaholic-who -believes-she-can-take-on-anything that I am, I've decided to yield to my ex-and-soon-to-be-future supervisor's frequent requests for me to do a masters with him.
(And the best part is that I just found out that he reads my blog! Hi Prof!)

I really didn't want to rush into anything. So it was a good idea that I took about a year to settle into my job and find an area I was really interested in and one that aligns with the work I'm doing. This way, I can do the masters and work at the same time - which means I'll be doing a full-dissertation masters without coursework to hopefully finish in a year...

Yes - I will be a full-time student and be working a full time job! Wish me luck - I will need it!

It turns out this is a really great way to bring more structure to my approach to my work, and get a degree out of it at the same time. This is something I do NOT recommend to the faint-hearted as the chance of you actually being successful with a masters while working full time is 4 times lower than if you had to do it through coursework.
My GM already warned me that I had a lot on my plate, although he supported the idea...

In unrelated news, my supervisor and the other junior engineer on the project AN, weren't around today for our meeting with the Mine Managers (whose Plant the three of us are responsible for building). I had to Chair the Progress Meeting...alone. SCARY! This was totally the opposite of the meeting I blogged about last - this time I had to literally control the whole meeting. The Mettalurgical Manager (who AN and I are very fond of), asked (in Afrikaans) if the "little girlie was nervous to take on the old men?" 

(Note: In the South African mining industry, if you dont speak and understand Afrikaans, don't even bother showing up. Meetings are bilingual and not only will you miss out on much of the business being discussed, you will miss out on all the jokes too!)

It was an affectionate comment that wasn't undermining in the least for this particular culture. And it actually did break the ice!  I replied: "hadn't he noticed that I'm perfectly comfortable being the youngest and the only female in the room at every previous meeting?" The truth  was that I had been slightly nervous about it all day. All went well until the Mine Manager came in half way through. He is really intimidating and I had to concentrate really hard to hold it together. I know it will be easier next time though!

Later the Metallurgical Manager and I argued light-heartedly over whether or not we should build unisex bathrooms to be built on the plant. I said we needed female facilities as well as male. He accused me of being selective in my advocacy for equality. I replied that I wasn't advocating for equality, only equal rights and opportunities; that you should acknowledge the inherent differences that exist between people and celebrate them!  They smiled and the meeting went on.

I think they might like me...


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