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Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in Tidbits | 0 comments

Diversity

Diversity

Diversity

I was told by a friend that I need to post more of ‘life’ type of a stories. This is my attempt to do that.

I have worked in IT all my life. During the internet bust several years back I found my self unemployed. I managed to land a job right away doing consulting work for a utility company in Connecticut. In summary, the utility company had installed some software that my previous employer had created.  Now, they needed some help with it.

The IT field is a melting pot for diversity. You will the encounter all types of races, religions, people.  Nothing prepared me for the diversity I’d encounter in Hartford, Connecticut.

I showed up  to the office to meet a young team lead named “Josh”.  I quickly learned that “Josh” was suffering from the most severe case of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). He was so off the charts that I later found out he was not allowed to have any products that had caffeine or sugar in them.

However, that wasn’t the ‘diverse’ part about Josh. You see, Josh had a tick. Josh would constantly rub his nose.  Not once a minute, not twice a minute, it was more in realm of 15-20 times a minute. I thought at first he just had a cold or maybe just had a booger that he couldn’t’ get out.

However, that wasn’t the case. I know this tick was harmless, think of how distracting it is when your team lead is showing a presentation and all you see is his hand rubbing his face all the time. I also, didn’t want to shake his hand.

Josh took me to meet the rest of the team. The next individual I met (can’t remember his name) was in control of the software that does the daily builds. Josh, introduced us and I started talking about the complex and asking what type of equipment they use, etc. The guy just looked at me like I was stupid. That was when Josh told me to that I needed to look him in the face.

This guy was deaf. I had to look him in the face because  he could read my lips. This again made meetings really hard. When everyone spoke they had to look him in the face so he could read. It was really awkward because I never just look at one person when I give status or speak in front of a group.

After finishing up with the deaf guy Josh took me to meet one other member of his team. I went around to a cubical where this guy was seated in a chair that was really high in the air. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first. Josh introduced us (I forgot his name too) and I went to shake his hand. They guy said “I don’t think you want to do that”.

That’s when I realized this guy had no hands. For that matter he had no arms. He programmed with his feet. He did everything with his feet. His chair was high off the ground so he could type on his desk with his feet.

So when we had a team meeting there was a guy who always rubbed his nose, a man taking notes with his feet, and another man who couldn’t hear and would look at you like a hawk if you spoke.

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