The Legend of Pink Tools and Pearls
Sometimes you choose your brand. Other times, it chooses you.
I'm an engineer. I was pretty much born to be an engineer, ask anyone who knows me in real life. I love building things, fixing things, and inevitably breaking them. I love solving problems. I love making the random connections between disparate concepts and ending up with an innovative plan. Yep, I'm a nerd, but there's so much more than that.
I'm also a lady (sort of - more on that another time), courtesy of my southern debutante mother. I have a great appreciation for finer things, like vintage crystal and sterling holloware. I own about five strands of pearls (some are real, some are not, and I'm not telling), and they all have matching earrings. They tend to be my go-to jewelry on an everyday basis. I wear them with jeans, shorts, suits, and cocktail dresses.
So, like any woman in a technical field, I've had my fair share of issues with my male coworkers. I love them all, even when they drive me bonkers, but some recurring actions forced my hand. Over the years, I got a little frustrated with my pens, pencils, screwdrivers, and pliers walking away from my desk. Pens and pencils disappearing, fine. I can restock those from the supply cabinet. But hand tools? Really? As my mother always claimed, "A lady never gets angry; she gets even. She makes the bad situation work to her advantage." I saw PINK-HANDLED tool sets at the local home-improvement store and pointed them out to the hubby as a potential Christmas gift. He hooked me up and then some, adding a pink flashlight and pink ballpoint pens to the package.
And I haven't lost a tool or writing instrument since.
The legend has grown. With a pair of pink clipboards, pink post-it notes, pink sharpies, pink notebooks, pink peripheral cables, and pink USB drives, just about all of my work supplies are pretty much color-coded to be easily identified as mine. Many other women I've met in the industry think that my stash of pink hardware is ingenious. I've developed a reputation as "the pink engineer" on some client sites as a result. That works for me; it means people know who I am, and they will be paying attention. Just so long as they recognize that the "pink engineer" knows what she's doing.