getting a 'man' to fix computers

(46 Posts)
southeastastra Fri 27-Sep-13 22:51:37

this is really starting to annoy me at work.

when anything goes wrong with the computers ALL the women run to fetch a younger man who will be able to fix the computers

i am computer literate and can fix most computer problems, if i can't i will research how to fix yet i am ignored and a MAN is always summoned and they will hum an har like i Do when then problem isn'st straightforward

when i complain to my femail colleages about this they nearly always say 'ooh i don't know anything about computers' so building the myth

rant over but anyone had similar experiences? this is in a predominately female environment

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WidowWadman Fri 27-Sep-13 23:03:37

When I have a computer issue at work I ring IT. Half the time the call is handled by a man, the other half by a woman. Wouldn't dream of asking some random pencil pusher to sort out my work computer, and really, they wouldn't be able to anyway.

TiggyD Fri 27-Sep-13 23:04:28

I was on a childcare course once. Me and 100-150 women. The organisers were having trouble with the projector/computer and said "We need a man!". I was too embarrassed to volunteer although funnily enough, I could probably have fixed it.

I suppose it's because more men than women are really into the technical side of technology.

Ms23 Fri 27-Sep-13 23:05:04

Not the case in my office. I have an I.T. qualification but it leaves me no more likely to be able to fix computer problems than anyone else. In the 5 years I have been working there, nobody has figured this out and they always come to me for advice. 9 times out of 10 I can't even begin to imagine how to fix the problem!

Drives me nuts, I love computers, in most of my old jobs I've been the one most able to fix stuff. So tedious to have people ignore me in favour of looking for a man. angry

SilverApples Fri 27-Sep-13 23:07:16

I hate dealing with computers, but the fixit people at work and at my home are both female.

scallopsrgreat Fri 27-Sep-13 23:13:09

I have the opposite problem <sigh>. But I do tend to deal with system wide issues and people come to me because they know I'll take ownership of the problem. Generally the men they have asked before me have sliding shoulders and I need to learn to say no But this is my job, not a skill on the side of my day-to-day work.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 27-Sep-13 23:23:21

I use IT if there's a significant problem so that I can get on with the main reason we have computers in our company - to write software. Of course, working from home I have to deal with the hardware and probably deal with things as a matter of course that might stump some people.

Frodosmum Sat 28-Sep-13 01:55:17

I am not a computer ‘techie’ per se but manage to solve most software, if not hardware, problems. One reason is that I have learned the (often irrational) way in which software creators think. There are certain patterns and standards which one can pick up only with experience. It is also possible to look problems up in Google, as you are rarely the first person to encounter the difficulty. Be careful to enter the most important and relevant words in the Google search.

Frodosmum Sat 28-Sep-13 02:05:16

I had a good laugh at the idea of a ‘Man’ being ‘summoned’ like a witness in an old-fashioned court drama. ‘This problem is unladylike. Call – a Man!’

EBearhug Sat 28-Sep-13 02:12:22

Drives me mad, too. I'm the only woman in a techy team. At least it's been a few years since I got asked if I was the secretary. But I've been doing this about 15 years, and it seems to be getting worse, not better.

EBearhug Sat 28-Sep-13 02:13:40

I mean it's getting worse in that there seem to be fewer women in techy roles than when I started.

Naoko Sat 28-Sep-13 02:15:50

I thankfully haven't experienced this personally, but I've no doubt it happens. I'm pretty technologically competent and tend to take the 'help, my computer has done something weird' phonecalls for my extended friend group so I guess it is well known that I know what I'm talking about, this might help, as is my complete and utter lack of shame at being a total geek. I'm also not very traditionally feminine, maybe people subconsciously place me in the 'man' box?

wordyBird Sat 28-Sep-13 02:37:40

It gets on my nerves.
It seems to be the last bastion of sexism. Some women reinforce it by flapping (literally) and saying, oh I don't know anything about it!! It's ok not to know, but please, either take a moment to learn - or don't flap! ;)

Some men reinforce it by affecting over confidence and manly reassurance, when they haven't the faintest idea what they're doing. That REALLY annoys me!

tribpot Sat 28-Sep-13 05:59:42

Back in the days before I was a techy, when I was a PA, we had to know how to fix most of the problems with the hardware, particularly the printers and the photocopiers, because we'd invariably have some glitch half an hour before the boss needed a letter printing to use in lieu of a visa to get into Russia on business or some such. You had to be able to fix most things yourself as (understandably) IT couldn't appear at short notice and nothing was networked, so you couldn't send the document to someone else to print, nor could anything be diagnosed over the phone.

At my next place, I quite often helped the photocopier repair guy (it was a guy, as it happened) work out how to fix the bloody things. And then the IT people realised I could help them reboot the servers if they talked me through it over the phone so they'd always ask for me when they needed doing.

At the same time, my brother (an engineer) and my friend (a doctor) were running into the generational problem that their older bosses assumed they would know 'all about computers' (how?) and really struggling when put on the spot.

So some of it is generational I think if these women are older. But mostly it's just bizarre and a symptom of that 'forced helplessness' that is also used to get women to do jobs traditionally within their sphere (cooking, cleaning) for men.

Lifeisontheup Sat 28-Sep-13 06:12:11

I get this at work but with removal of spiders. I really don't mind removing them but oh no we must ask a man who then turns out to be a scared as the women. Meanwhile the poor spider has given up waiting and shuffled off to have a fly cookie and a cup of tea!

Drives me mad, the possession of a penis does not automatically make you not scared of spiders.

sleepywombat Sat 28-Sep-13 06:16:58

My 'feminist' mother does this. Any question about computers, diy, anything really she asks my dh (well often she asks me, ignores my answer & then reasks dh), who is in the same profession as me & knows about the same amount as me.

Grrr.

claraschu Sat 28-Sep-13 06:30:04

Why not just remove the spider or fix the projector? If women were always stepping confidently forward, people would get over their absurd prejudices.

Well I work with lots of feisty women and asking someone for help is the last resort. We mostly fix our computers and other equipment ourselves as there is no time to dither waiting for the IT lummox. All other problems are usually solved by the resource officer, a woman, naturally grin

Lifeisontheup Sat 28-Sep-13 06:47:28

I do as soon as I find out but I can't be bothered to go and investigate every squeal, normally it's because someones posted something on FB that someone else doesn't agree with, short of shouting 'FFS grow up' I can't help much with that and the noise hurts my ears.grin

DropYourSword Sat 28-Sep-13 06:54:26

I think as more women study forI and become employed in IT rules that this will cease to happen. think that currently it's a male dominated fieldbut there's really no reason for that

DadWasHere Sat 28-Sep-13 08:24:19

"It seems to be the last bastion of sexism." Hey, I am more than happy for that bastion to fall, I am so very sick of being the go-to computer nerd for extended family and friends. But, frankly, I would not put it down as 'sexism', I would put it down to that tried and true insight once expressed by the robot from Lost in Space: "When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."

PractialJoke Sat 28-Sep-13 08:42:04

IME, people ask the person who is most willing to help and/or most approachable.

When PCs were first introduced to my company and I was the young one, they often asked me.

If you know there's a problem and you want to help, do you offer?

Practial I usually offer, point out what I know then get a kind of weak smile followed by them wandering off to find a man, who (at best) says exactly what I said. Or to rub salt in the wound a bit, fucks it up more.

Even better if it turns out to be one of those "stand aside women, a man is here now" type blokes.

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