I still wouldn't say I've achieved some magical level of respect. When I started working in a technical field I got treated very differently from my clerical days. And when I first started getting mistaken for an engineer (though I wasn't one at the time) that was a big boost to my confidence.
I'm an ambitious person. I'm not going to be a shrinking violet or hide that under a bushel(which apparently some yahoo named Matt originally coined in something called The Bible, who knew). I mean look at this freaking mandarin fish, do you think he gives a @#$ about what you think?
- Your immediate supervisor/lead will feel threatened and try to hold you down.
- People will think you are an arrogant ass, not want to work with you, and management will think you are demanding.
So I've had to tread water carefully (boy is this post getting fishy with its analogies). But it seems to be working. I've had to focus on projects and pretend like I'm not interested in their promotion potential, visibility, or in any credit I might receive for doing the work (monetary or just the thanks and positive feedback that I think all employees appreciate from their superiors). It seems to be working. If I look glum when they suggest me as a backup, I pretend I am so overloaded and treat it as just another onerous task, the more they seem to make me want to do these things.
I think managers must have some higher level of sadism than ordinary people. Appear too eager for something and they won't give it to you. Only when you grudgingly agree to take it on as a humble and hardworking employee do they suddenly see leadership potential. So nothing yet, but I seem to be having some initial success gaming the system. Which of course means I'm going to be just like them some day: unrepentant, self absorbed, narcissistic, sadistic asshole. So not much will change really.