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About Kalifornierin

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  • Location Austria
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female

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  1. Ageism and sexism in Germany

    I'm 50, and have worked in tech my whole career, so here's my perspective.  Generally though I agree with everything lisa13 has said!   I started out as an EE doing hardware design, the most male dominated field I can think of.  I picked it because I was genuinely interested in electronics at the time - everyone told me I should be a lawyer. Study something that you'll like doing, not what you think you can make money at or where you won't face discrimination.   Eventually I did lose interest.  Being an engineer at many companies means having to deliver miracles on someone else's schedule.  I got tired of that and went back to school for an MBA.  The combination of tech + business on a resume is a winner and it's not too difficult to find jobs that are challenging, interesting, and in some amazing locations.   Having said all that, I don't think Germany (I work for a German company in another country) is any better or worse than the US for ageism or sexism.  I've worked in groups that were absolutely toxic to women (or "woman" since I was the only one), and others where it wasn't even a thing.  It depends so much on the company, the team, the manager and you.     Anyway, don't plan a career around what might happen (or not) because you will never know what's coming next.  Once I was picked to start a fast-track manager training, then a month later the company laid off our whole team.  If things are bad in one group or even whole field you chose, try another.  It's just a job, not your life.  
  2. The New Gillette Social Awareness Campaign

      This made me LOL.  Literally every ad towards women:  Make your hair straighter/curlier/lighter/less gray.  Make your face lighter/less pale/less wrinkled/less blotchy.  Make your body more curvy/less curvy/less hairy/less smelly/more soft/more smooth.  Wear these clothes that will make you look more professional/more fun/more sexy/more fit.  Carry this handbag.  Wear this jewelry, these shoes, these sunglasses. Eat this food, drink this tea, do this exercise to lose weight/have a better mood/cure cramps/be more attractive.  I even saw one for a drug that will help with "thinning eyelashes"!   Every ad tells women how to behave and tells them that they are inadequate.  This ad only tell men to be nicer (and to buy their razor).  It doesn't seem too offensive to me.  Can't they just ignore it?
  3. Do you see your family less than when you first moved away?

    Seems like my situation is "normal" for someone living abroad.  All of these stories still make me a little sad that we don't see our families much.  However, I was thinking about how skype/what'sapp/email makes it so much better than it must have been in the past.  I'm not sure I could have done with just writing letters and waiting weeks to arrive!   
  4. Do you see your family less than when you first moved away?

    Thanks for all the feedback.  I probably need to be a bit better about the phone calls & emails too.    I like what was said about family time not being the same as vacation time.  I always feel this way... visiting them and sitting around the house for a week is not that fun (especially when I'm spending the time off from work and money to do it).  Last time I tried to plan my some activities for myself nearby so that I at least felt like I had a little vacation too.  I guess I also need to be more clear about how often I really want to/can visit, but I don't want to hurt any feelings.
  5. How often do you visit family overseas or do they come to see you? When I first moved to Europe from the US, everyone seemed excited to come visit.  That phase lasted about 3 years/2 visits and now my family hasn't been here in a long time (friends, yes, but family, no).  They complain quite a bit that we don't get to see each other, but they don't seem to make any effort.    I've flown back 3 times in the last 3 years, which seems like a lot for me.  I've also suggested meeting up somewhere on the east coast (they live on the west coast) so they wouldn't have to fly all the way here and it would be shorter for me too.  I've suggested joining them on a vacation somewhere if they want to see more of Europe.  No response on any of these.   I know I chose to live far away, so it's up to me to make more effort.  I don't expect they will come every year.  However, am I being unreasonable to ask them to visit every few years?  I feel very guilty when they complain that we don't see each other, but feel like all the pressure is on me.  How do you deal with it?