Wednesday, June 25, 2008

this day was weird

1.) My boss started our first private conversation of the day like this: "I have a major piss off with you." I think that was her flustered, angry way of pulling a punch that otherwise would've sounded like this: "I'm really pissed off at you." Her "major piss off" was not actually with me, it was with several different people and situations that weren't handy to yell at. I, however, was very handy to yell at and there you have it.

It could have been a lot worse, she was apologizing within two minutes, but not without rattling me for about two hours. I'm a delicate flower! Not to mention I'm a good worker who wants to do things right! The small part I played in her "major piss off" was only a result of my ignorance and not any kind of willful negligence. (How was I supposed to know there was a big paperwork rigamarole that had to be activated when a staff person came into contact with a client's blood??? Nobody ever told me that!)

My point is, I don't need to be shaken-up to get me to take something seriously. I only need to be told. Once. I *want* to do a good job, venting your frustration at me isn't required. I'm not insubordinate, I was just uneducated. This wouldn't be so annoying if my boss wasn't so utterly dependent on me for so many things. I'm her rock when she needs help with EVERYTHING. Getting yelled at by her is just lame.

But whatever, there's more...

2.) We got strong-armed by the cops because we have a confidentiality policy at work that extends to the police. If the cops come asking questions about our clients, we can't answer unless they have a warrant. Last week we had a situation at work that involved cops and a client, and we were sadly unable to provide the cops with any info. They came back today to press their case. I felt like I was being shaken down by some mafia tough guys. They likened our behavior to creating a "safe-haven" for our clients who can go out and commit crimes in the community then run back into our building and be protected by staff.

They actually hinted that if we didn't cooperate with them, they might not be so quick to respond to our calls when we need them. When we encouraged them to have their boss call our Quality Management people (who have a lawyer who tells us our legal responsibilities to our clients), the cops had the nerve to say "we want to keep it on this level, it only gets worse when you go to the high-ups." And at one point they said, "Look, if you need a warrant, we can get a warrant... but it's not good for anybody if we go that route..."

Really?? It's not good if we go the route that protects people's constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure? It's not right to make you do your job? What those cops were doing was so unethical and disgusting I wanted to scream, but instead my boss and I just stood there together, smiling and making nice with them so they'll keep showing up when we call them. Fuckers.

3.) On the bus home, I was really disturbed by the behavior of a young asshole sitting near me. He was 16ish and he got on with a bunch of his friends. He was obviously the comedian of the group, and he proceeded to make loud, obnoxious, offensive commentary about everything within his sight. I already have a low tolerance for loud, young people on the bus, but this kid was particularly awful. I don't care who you are, if "bitch" comes out of your mouth more than four times a minute, somebody needs to smack you in the face.

At one point he noticed a jogger out the window of the bus. Ironically, the jogger was my friend Mog. She jogged along side the bus, which happened to be pacing her in the slow traffic. The little fucker on the bus kept saying "run, bitch, run." Over and over. Finally, as the bus stopped and Mog ran by us again, the little fucker jumped up and opened the back door and yelled it again, loud, AT HER. "RUN BITCH RUN!"

Why is this ok? Why doesn't the bus driver throw his stupid ass off the bus? Why don't adults on the bus stand up to him, tell him his behavior isn't acceptable? Why do I have to sit there, turning my head away, hoping the little asshole doesn't decide to start up a commentary on ME next. Wouldn't be the first time I had to listen to some bullshit from some asshole sparked by my queerness, my gender ambiguity, my whatever. Where's the structure? Where's the fucking culture? Where's the community? Where's my fucking bear-mace?

4.) I was driving up Interstate after picking up some new allergy meds at Kaiser and I passed a new coffeeshop on Interstate and Shaver. A new coffeeshop named "Krakow."

What the fuck.

Krakow? "Hey guys, let's go grab a cup a joe down at Krakow!" I know there's probably a lot more to the Polish town of Krakow than its horrible holocaust legacy, but fuck! Name your coffeeshop Krakow??? What were you thinking??

That's all I've got.


Blogger not drowning waving said...

cripes what a day!
that guy yelling out at Mog makes me SICK! sick! sick! and the fact you knew her..... augh, horrible... i hope she is ok.
and Mera's back/psoas, hope that is healing too.
sorry about the boss situation... hmmm....
i think there are lots of polish folks living in that area of interstate, i remember seeing some banner in that area a while back advertising a polish festival.. Krakow city of churches....hmmm...

7:35 AM  
Blogger roro said...

Man - that sounds like a totally shit-astic day. Stupid boss. Effing cops. Asshole youth. Delightful! Hope the day at least ended well and that today is better. MUCH better.

7:49 AM  
Blogger David Appell said...

So why didn't you speak out at this obnoxious kid? You're an adult. I know it's difficult. It's difficult for everyone. But just try it once. You will be surprised at how quickly the situation can change.

7:11 PM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

sk -- i know, it was a weird day. and you've probably got interesting insights into the boss situation. i think she's a little bit cooky and my guess is she feels safe unloading on me when she'd probably really like to be unloading on a couple other people. but whatever... we're ok now.

roro -- shouldn't it be shit-ass-tic...?

david -- good question. i have been asking myself that ever since the incident. believe it or not, i hate the idea of going back to my blog and whining about something without taking real action in the world in response to it.

it's complicated: he's expressing verbal violence towards women, i'm a woman, do i feel safe confronting him? do i want to make myself his next target? and as an identifiably queer woman, i feel even less safe and potentially less likely to be supported by the other folks on the bus.

then there's race. do i want to be the privileged white woman telling the black kid on the bus how to behave?

neither of these things are absolute bars to my saying something to the kid, but they created enough complication in the moment that i felt flummoxed and a little helpless. in the moment i felt angry and i wanted to hit him with a baseball bat. but underneath it, i wanted to appreciate his humanity. i didn't want to shame him, i didn't want to attack *him* like he was attacking mog. if i said anything at all i wanted it to be effective without being nasty, and i'm still trying to sort out how i could've done it.

9:26 AM  

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