I was, in fact, rarely 'assigned to' any project. The process whereby staff were attached to a project was so consultative in nature, that I was in awe of the amicability and the efficiency that appeared to exist. In the few instances where there was dissension in the ranks, the pattern seemed simple. It was when we did not gel as a team and were divided amongst ourselves that resentment was built and the correlation between staff contentment and project success was so clearly obvious. The supposed good nature of staff generally kicked in and, in my observation, we were supportive of our colleagues when dealing with clients. I do not recall any project undertaken in that time that was considered a failure.
It would feel good to be a part of a company that seemed to truly care about its employees, even if I had my suspicions about some of the integrity of hiring policies. It does make sense, to some degree, that in a working situation where team effort and morale is what determines project success, one would have to hire people based on how well they seem like they will fit in and be part of the group. However, a manager's idea of who will fit into a group may not be based solely on how they will work with the others on the team, but also on prideful things, like the height issue mentioned before. However, if the team overall is good natured and can enjoy the project work, then it would be easier to ignore any miniscule annoyances.
The Government Project in Thailand
4. When we first won the Thai government project, the manager asked for volunteers. He seemed delighted when I turned up in his office and he was eager to explain that I would be an asset to an as yet unassigned team. When a team was established, the selected manager was a man who had spent many years in Thailand, was au fait with the culture and was familiar with business there. He was popular and well respected for his people skills. Unfortunately, there was some delay in the start of the project and whilst the project lay in jeopardy, he was appointed to another project. At this time, a number of significant changes occurred.
1. The 'trainee' assistant manager of the Thai project was advanced to project manager.
2. The HQ manager, Steve, was promoted to Country Manager and moved.
3. The Assistant Manager was promoted to Acting Manager at HQ.
4. Gary was promoted to Acting Assistant Manager at HQ.
How frustrating to have such an incredible opportunity as this project and to have it delayed! I would have felt betrayed by the company for getting my hopes up about working with this worldly and popular man, and would have rathered they not tell me I would be a part of this project unless it was actually not going to happen as they said it would. Company changes, especially when they take place all at once, would additionally be frustrating and annoying to me, and it would take some deep meditation to keep myself from getting frazzled by the inconsistency.
5. I was brought back into the office where I was asked to assist Peter to prepare for the project. I estimated hardware and software needs and costs and produced associated documentation. I did some cursory research into Thai culture and, with guidance from the original project manager, wrote up some notes that we thought might be useful. Peter pushed this work aside and asked me to write a list of reminders for male staff that were married with families - reminding them of all the chores they should do before leaving. True, I thought this was weird, but it was not until I heard him submitting the previous two documents as his own and mocking the document as "some muck Diane put together," that I ought to have been a bit more of a wake up.
Warning signs from the beginning about the chauvinistic nature of the management of the company make this turn of events not very surprising to me. It is not uncommon for professional, skilled women to be taken as less