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Lisa is an engineering subcontractor working in a federal office. She works toward solving a problem that Congress deems critical. But with management's lack of priorities, can she get buy-in from the rest of the staff to work toward a solution?

> Date:    Thu, 17 Mar 2011 20:25:36 -0400

> From:    nph <nph@INCIID.ORG>

> Subject: Fertility Rescue Program - for Cancer patients to freeze eggs (FREE)


The real problem with New York delays. And why does this guy keep barging into my office talking about sexual harassment?

Lisa got a Ph.D. in engineering to get a job making copies.

Is this the kind of societal environment we want to cultivate for our children’s future?

I'm the new woman at work, been here about a month. This is my second job for an FAA contractor since completing grad school and moving my husband of well over a decade across the country. In both of these jobs, within a few weeks of my arrival a male co-worker has put their hand somewhere it doesn't belong. Apparently the guys here think it’s normal to do that to the new women. Groom us to accept their hands on our asses.

Surely I couldn’t be the only one the Charlie has been sticking his fingers on. The whole game came way too quickly and easily for him. He must’ve practiced on others. So I’m hiding a camera in a box on my shelf – creating a video diary of what’s going on.

Of course, Charlie’s not the only one looking for action. He’s just following the lead of management. Interesting that Barry and Jane came in to work all cozy together this morning.

As the new woman, I don't know a whole lot of people at the FAA and they don't know anything about me. I don't have a network of colleagues to interact with. My official FAA boss hasn't spoken to me more than once since I started. He's transferring to a different department soon and doesn't care what I do. I have several other bosses, but none in charge of my work.

So I hung out with the most fun person who paid me any attention, told me the gossip of the office. Now the person I enjoy talking to the most is the person I need to be most wary of.

I'm documenting this to help me be able to look back at how my perception of the situation changes from day to day, and so that other women affected by this problem know they aren’t alone, even though nobody wants them to talk about it.


The Budget Justified web series consists of 50 two to four minute webisodes. The first two webisodes, along with Lisa’s corresponding character blog, can be viewed below.

A Web series
and Book

Ebook $4

Paperback $13

Interesting that Tim brought sexual harassment up within the context of management taking away perks and entertainment from controllers, especially since the staff in our department also feel that their perks are being taken away one by one. Entertainment for whom? Does he think the women engineers were hired to be whores for the men? Or is he trying to be funny, attempting to entertain me.

Part of me does see entertainment value in observing (but not participating in) what the guys do behind management’s back. I’m curious about what silly thing they’re going to do or say next. I laugh at them, not with them.

Also interesting that Tim connected an obscenity in an article to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment hadn't crossed my mind. Poor taste, bad writing, but not sexual harassment. But they’re both linked to immaturity. In settings where people don’t have the self control to choose better vocabulary, they don’t see a need to be professional about other aspects of their behavior.

In offices where male employees get treated poorly, they in turn treat poorly whomever in their eyes is lower on the totem pole. The women. That chain of mistreatment down the totem pole gives miserable people a sense of power.

Tim mentions sexual harassment just about every time I see him. Perhaps he knows that someone in the office has a history of sexual harassment. Perhaps he wants me to bully me into staying quiet about reporting sexual harassment. He seems to be warning me that the men refuse to work with the women who complain about cuss words and lunch at Hooters.

Now that's an institution that hires women specifically for the purpose of offering female targets to those who want to harass. It’s a practice environment, which escalates to guys thinking they’re entitled to women’s bodies. Many of their patrons are the men who lump all women into the same stereotype. If it’s the job of some women to be sexual displays, all women must surely go out in public for the purpose of competing to get violated by men. Right?


Toward future webisode releases