Earlier this week, I spent nearly two hours in photo shoots at work. Pictures were being taken for our annual report and publicity materials.
Of course, since they wanted to make everything as realistic as possible, they chose two women and one man to pose between the rows of supercomputer cabinets. (After all, that is the gender ratio at my workplace.) In addition, we held a laptop while we examined the cabinets carefully. (Another thing that I'm always seeing people do.) We opened and closed cabinets, pointed out things to one another, and tried to be conversational despite the fact that we were wearing earplugs (it's loud enough in the machine room to damage your unprotected ears) and couldn't hear a thing. (Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop, those earplugs will disappear from the pictures.)
After the grueling hours in the machine room (hey, I was squatting for something like ten minutes, which gets really painful!), I told my boss that I really needed a personal upkeep allowance to buy clothing and have beauty treatments now that I'm a supercomputer supermodel. For whatever reason he didn't agree, claiming that he paid me enough for me to buy my own (damn) clothes and beauty treatments, with plenty left over for feeding my starving child. Personally, I think he refused because he's afraid he'd have to share the money they give him for that purpose. (Money he probably spends on conferences, just to obtain the conference shirts that are a staple of his wardrobe.)