Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weekend Reading: The I Am Not Broken Edition

I almost wrote a post on Thursday about how great I felt. I had spent two or three weeks feeling really run down and then 10 days with a slightly unsettled stomach thanks to antibiotics. No one really took the run down feeling all that seriously, including me for the first couple of weeks. We all assume that a working mother of two young kids should of course feel exhausted. But that is not normal for me. I am normally a fairly high energy and happy person. After a week and a half, I finally was worried enough to contact my doctor, who ordered a bunch of tests. Those came back normal, so once again everyone- including me- was willing to just drop it and assume I was just tired. But then I got a weak symptom that made me wonder if I had a urinary tract infection. I made a doctor's appointment for the next day and found out I was right. After two days on the antibiotic I felt energetic again.

Moral of the story: I need to take myself more seriously. I knew deep down that there was no reason I should feel so completely exhausted, but I was still happy to go along with the standard narrative that I was just tired because I work and have kids and have such a busy life.

(The other moral of the story is that I need to do a better job of remembering that I am prone to "silent" UTIs since having kids...)

So anyway, I am not broken. This week's links are further affirmation of that, in various ways:

Anita Bell argues that we should stop trying to teach women to be more assertive in meetings and the like and start trying to teach men to shut up and listen more often.

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox argues that we should stop trying to fix women in the workplace and start trying to fix managers.

Vivek Wadwha points out that the cutesy brainteasers some tech companies like to use while hiring and the over-reliance on employee referrals contribute to under-representation of women in their workforce.

Company culture matters, and it is hard to fix once it is broken. I argue this a lot when talking to other people about why management matters. Seemingly small management decisions can shape the culture.

This was apparently the week that the Harvard Business Review vindicated me, because it also published a story about how planning ahead for a vacation makes the vacation more relaxing.

My last two links don't follow my theme, but I want to share them anyway:

Ariel Waldman's Pastry Box post about getting adults involved in science is very thought provoking. I recommend it for all the scientists in my audience. I don't think I agree with her completely, but she makes some really good points and there's a lot to think about in that essay.

And I love this tumblr of Chicago Dibs.

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