angry geographer… er… nerd.

stleon1jan2008i have a job in which most of what i do comes from my interest or ability, and the corresponding lack thereof displayed by my coworkers. all in all, it’s a good position to be in, especially since it gives me a certain amount of clout that i wouldn’t otherwise have (not to mention the leniency of my boss when it comes to what other supervisors have referred to as my “attitude problem”).

thanks to the ongoing implosion of our organization, i’m now the most technologically-proficient person left on staff, despite having no specific background in these areas. i maintain a couple websites, i layout publications, i record audio/images at events and edit out the ummmmms/redeye, i send a lot of emails promoting things, and i show coworkers how to use the software on their computers. most of my computer skillz come from figuring stuff out, asking trained people for help, or reading about it in teh internets. i learned about wordpress from our former IT guy when i got this job, and i’ve picked up some drupal from him as well as here and there, and though my knowledge is full of holes, it’s worked out for the most part. i love problem-solving, i love feeling smart, and i love playing with things that beep and have wires coming out of them.

my boss is now hiring a drupal developer to finish off a website for one of our projects, and a new student is being hired to maintain the site. if i were sticking around, it would become my job, but since i’m not, it’s providing employment for a grad student. which is fine by me, especially since he’s a really rad feminist geographer whom i want for my new bff. however! yesterday my boss said that she’s going to pay the drupal developers to train this student. huh? excuse me? HOW COME I NEVER GOT PROFESSIONAL TRAINING???

i can’t decide: is it a classic case of this student being a boy, and therefore considered more worthy of expensive formal instruction than i am, as a girl? or is it a classic case of “oh, feral, you’re so competent, you never needed this training!”?

either way, i’m pissed off. if it’s sexism, well that’s nothing new and yet STILL fuckin’ tedious. if it’s due to my natural cockiness, self-confidence, and curiousity, then all i can say is fuck that. really. if i had had the opportunity to be trained by a drupal developer on building these websites, i would have been able to save SO MUCH freaking time and energy over the past 2.5 years of my job, it’s not even funny. besides which, i’d be leaving the job with an actual definable skill instead of the erratic and porous base of knowledge that gets me through my day. i thrive in structured learning environments! all this pick-it-up-as-you-go has been a huge challenge for me, and though i’ve enjoyed it, i wouldn’t wish it on anyone. so, if they want to train the new student, that’s good. at the same time, it’s absolutely infuriating that i was never given the same opportunity.

update: the new student isn’t going to get trained on drupal, or at least not on the site-building aspects of the cms. instead, the developers are going to redefine the user access levels, so that the new student and others like him can be admins and add/edit content, as well as moderate the comments etc., but not be able to change the layout or functions of the website. my own labour issues aside, i think this is a good thing, because though it makes my bosses more dependent on the developers initially, there will be few opportunities for the admins to screw up and get mired in technical problems. ideally, this means they’ll be able to focus more on the actual *content* of the website (novel concept!). with all the other IT people gone from the office, and me leaving in a couple months, it’s a better way for them to operate.

hmmm… though… as of this morning, rumour has it that the whole place is shutting down in june. but you didn’t hear that from me, okay?

[photo: where i’d rather be right now… st. leon hot spring, january 2008]


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