not even making excuses anymore
I love my new job. I had a minor breakdown last week when I'd basically convinced myself that I was going to be laid off. I'm not completely insane, I mean, my company is about to lay a bunch of people off and I had my reasons for suspecting that I have the least essential job in our program... but I guess that's not how they're going to decide who gets canned, and according to my boss (who got to see me actually cry at work, that's how freaked out I was) they're taking performance, education and longevity into consideration. So... the worst I could expect would be to be transfered to some different job in some other part of the agency... which I guess is better than being laid off... I guess.
So then I decided to buy a car. But I haven't done it yet. I just decided. A Subaru Forester. Blue.
Among other things, I stayed late one night last week calming down an irate client and heard one of the most interesting stories ever. First I should say that I'm in a big "Oz" phase right now. I'm currently on season three and am not ashamed to admit that I'm totally in it for the prison sex. It's hot. Guy on guy action couldn't be hotter than guy on guy prison action.
Anyway, this client is old and cranky and more or less demented. If you've ever worked with demented people, you know they get confused, they mix stuff up, they can be a little paranoid, and they're prone to hissy fits and belligerence. So this guy was having one of those sort of moments and I went down to take him aside and hear him out, mostly just to get him out of everyone else's hair. That's why they pay me the bucks. (And now, finally, when I say that it's not just a sad joke...)
So I took him off to an empty office and for about 40 minutes I let him rant and ramble about every awful thing that's been perpetrated against him since he moved into our building, ninety-percent of which was embellished or utterly fabricated. I've heard all this before from him, and I knew that if I could just wait him out without saying anything, he'd be fine. So I sat there. I went through the motions of "active listening" -- I nodded, encouraged him to continue, maintained an open posture. And I kept my mouth shut.
Finally, after 40 minutes, after following tangent after tangent, he got himself so off track he ended up reminescing about a date he had in 1977 with a woman who brought him into her house after their movie and dinner (for coffee) and then lifted her sweater ever so slowly, to which he replied "Well will you look at that." After that (and many other choice details I will not repeat), he told me she was bisexual and he recounted a conversation they had about going both ways.
Turns out, after fifteen years in San Quentin, this guy thought he was bisexual. Queer theory wasn't so sophisticated I guess, back in the day, and because he'd spent fifteen years having relations with men in prison, he assumed he had to be bi. So he asked this truly bisexual woman "Tell me, do you really like eating all that pussy?" And she answered, "You tell me? Did you really like eating all those peters?" And that's how he realized he wasn't bi. Because if he was really bi, he would've enjoyed it the way she enjoyed it.
There was a bit of a pause in the story, and then he explained it. He said, "You fall in love with parts of a person's personality. You care about them, and you want to comfort them. Well... in prison, there's only one way to comfort someone..." And he looked at me a long time and, of course, I knew exactly what he was talking about.
That was the most interesting conversation I have ever had at work and if you knew my workplace you'd know that's saying something. I swear to god, I love my job.