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I’ll start my story off with a little pretext: I’m young, not horribly malformed, and a woman. …In a field that is dominated by men. This isn’t really a problem to me, personally. I absolutely adore the men in my life; they are great people. But every now and then, I’ll be in the middle of my job, and have some man stagger across the room toward me and my mixing console. I am a sound engineer. I mix sound for live shows, so I tend to sit in the back of a room where a live rock show is taking place. This gives me the best view of what’s going on, and I can easily tell when I’m being approached. There’s always an uncomfortable gap in time from when the guy starts walking toward me and when he finally gets to my location. I spend most of that time trying to look distracted.
Typically, this is how the situation happens: Someone approaches me.
They make some joke, “oh, you’re playing with the boys, huh?”
“So, I see the guys let you take over the board for the night!”
“Where’s the soundman? Are you his girlfriend?”
My eyes can’t help but roll into the back of my head. Perhaps the jokes sound funny to them, but to someone who hears them two or three times a week – they get old. Any joke gets old after hearing it so often. However, the thing with this – I’m not even sure if they’re joking. I’m not sure if the jokes are meant to be offensive. I don’t know if I should laugh. I guess I don’t mind the content of the joke as much as the fact that I don’t know how to respond. It makes me feel embarrassed. I’m not great at fake-laughing. I usually just tend to shrug, and the person will realize how socially inept I am and walk away. Anyway… I felt the need to complain about that and get it off my chest. Weird having so many people tell me the same jokes all the time!