Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Societal interpersonal cultural weirdities

There's a weird cultural dynamic going on in my office.  I am in the same part of the building as the IT department, and they contract a lot of guys from India.  (Honestly, this whole company is very culturally diverse with a lot of people from other countries, which is one of the things I like about it.)

It might be a cliché, but here it's true.  There are a couple of dozen Indian IT guys.  And they are all guys.

Our building has the typical locked door system where you have to buzz yourself in by unlocking the door with your ID card. The sensor thingie is not by the door, it's about 10 feet away, and on a pole around 2 feet off the ground.  I assume that's to be easily reachable by someone in a wheelchair, although I'm not really sure exactly why the sensor deal can't be right by the door itself.

So it happens occasionally that I reach the door, beep my ID on the sensor, take the three steps to the door and open it and realize that there is someone coming up behind me.  I hold the door open for them, they walk on through, they say, "Thanks!" and I say "Sure!" and we go our separate ways inside the building.

Except for those Indian guys.  They see me standing there holding the door wide open and they always, and I mean every-single-time-always, go over to the sensor, beep their ID card pointlessly, and then come over and attempt to take the door away from me so they can hold it open.

This just pisses me off.  I started holding the door but getting behind it, like opening it in front of me, so that they can't take it from me and they have to just stand in front of a gaping doorway looking uncomfortable until either they give up and walk through looking pitiful or I give up and give them the door.  They just looked SO sad and lost that despite the massive stupidity I actually started feeling bad about it, and so I stopped doing it.  I mean, politely drawing attention to somewhat strange or inappropriate social reactions is fine, I think, but I'm not trying to spread discomfort and sadness around.

But seriously, what exactly is the sexism going on here?  It's not that they are trying to be chivalrous and they think it's the man's job to be polite and hold the door.  (Still sexist, but possibly trying to be nice.)  And it's obviously not that they think I can't hold the door.  And what part, exactly, does beeping the ID card to 'unlock' a wide open door play in this whole cultural dynamic?  What's so wrong with their brains that they can't just walk through an open doorway?


I did receive my official certification, so yay for me.  There's a Workforce Analyst job open at a pretty cool company that I've been eyeing, but I feel guilty even thinking about applying for another job when they just paid nearly $4k to train me on the new technology that hasn't even been installed yet.  I swear, if it's still open next month after the holidays are over, I may just apply to see what happens.

Wonder if any men from India work there...