Let me preface this by letting you all know that I believe I may be back to operational levels again and am committed to providing the aimless drivel you’ve become accustomed to here at chez panflutemaster. Having said that, I must tell you, this is a totally WHAT THE FUCK wednesday post.
Now allow me to offer that I appear to have gone through some sort of personality transformation. I am tracing it back to “Operation: Kiss My Ass”. OKMA was meant to be a discrete project with the focus on one specific individual. The project’s goal? Was to let said individual know in socially acceptable ways that she really could just KISS MY ASS. Planning stages lasted several weeks and implementation process started this past Monday night. Im not sure if it was the headiness of my immediate (and pettily gratifying) success with OMKA that spurred me to generalize, but I can tell you that Ive become one bad mothafucka (in my mind at least)these last few days. Ok now on to the what the fuck wed.
So one of my work stressors today was the need to send four large faxes (do they call faxes large?) from a satellite office of my organization. Simple enough? One would think. However two factors complicated this task. First, my department is not what you’d call…. well thought of…. throughout the health system. In fact, it would be safe to say that if one is looking at the organization as a microcosm of society, our department would be the pariah. We annoy others just by being. (And yes, in case you are wondering, this pisses us off greatly.) At this particular satellite office, eleven of us are forced to meet once a week in a glorified closet. The kind and empathic mental health professionals and staff that work there are not shy about public shaming and scolding us for oozing out of the closet into their world. Now pre-OKMA Crse has been worried about this aspect of the task for over a week because, (allowing us to segue* nicely into the second complicating factor) while i do have many talents friends? Most of them do not tend to involve anything to do with organization or paper or the ability to pay attention to directions given by mean rude people. Thus, this task was a point of dread all day long.
It started simply enough with the ONLY nice secretary in the whole office offering to help. Unfortunately between the antiquated machine, my ADD kicking up when she was explaining what to do and a consistent series of busy signals, a task that I thought would take a few minutes lasted over a half an hour.
During this half hour my only friend was gracious and did not act annoyed from having to explain everything five times. However her SOLE OFFICE MATE sighed heavily, made pointed comments about “needing to work” in my area and emanated a general bitchiness about having to share space. Friends, OKMA Crse was starting to kick in at that point. I spent several minutes staring at the fax machine imagining the scathing tirade I would unleash upon her once I grew some ovaries. All this indicates an upcoming WTF yes? Well friends, i was not to be disappointed. As a third person entered the office (a MENTAL HEALTH THERAPIST) the sighs were punctuated by pointedly annoyed commiserating comments between sole office mate and hell therapist. (bear in mind friends there are FOUR of us in the entire office, which is yes, bigger than the closet we stuff our leper stricken asses into every week) Im getting more and more bitter but would have seriously left without saying anything. Until….
ok friends, social skills quiz time. If someone you don’t know is facing the other way and you want to begin a conversation with them do you
a) say “excuse me, we havent met”
b) tap the person gently or move into their line of vision and make eye contact to subtly cue that you want to begin a conversation or
c) Start a sentence talking to a person’s back.
Apparently mental health therapists choose c.
“Ummmmmm maybe you could talk to your supervisor” (me not turning around, not quite believing that she is so socially inept that she thinks this is an ok way to address someone, particularly a co-worker)”(insert supervisors name here)”. I turn around and incredulously say, “pardon me?” (OKMA crse to the rescue) She repeats “Maybe you could talk to your supervisor about getting a fax machine back in that office you guys use”. I stare at her as if she is spewing live rats from her nostrils. “Do you need to fax something? I can wait to finish” I say with strained over politeness. “well no…its just because the space here is so small” (I may have guffawed quietly at that point. Im fairly certain I did the poorly disguised eye roll) “and well its not convenient for any of us.” In response to my shocked (ok and deliberately prolonged) silence her voice becomes a little panicky as she apparently finally realizes that she has committed a grievous faux pas “and well Im sure you would prefer that too….”
EXCUSE THE FUCK OUT OF ME MARIE ANTOINETTE. We will just go order us up some faxes. Because they’ve clearly accomodated us so much by STICKING US IN A DAMN CLOSET! WITH FOUR CHAIRS! And if you get there early? you MAY get a box. Otherwise you are on the floor for the next hour. Great idea your majesty. Faxes for everyone. And RAISES!!! Because we sure as hell dont want to upset your ten square feet of free space per person ratio up here! Hey maybe when they actually BUY US SOME FUCKING CHAIRS we can mention the fax machine! Although we wouldnt be able to hook it up to the COMMODORE 64 computer THAT DOES NOT PRINT or the hacked up phone line that only dials out sporadically…… yeah…. thats what i should have said.
Instead, I offered a mirthless laugh and said sarcastically “I know this is horrible for you but we’ve already asked the hospital for assistance and since they are not prepared to offer actual physical space or even chairs for our closet, Im going to surmise that our own fax machine is not in the foreseeable future.” Big fake smile. “Im sorry this is so inconvenient”. Her empathy abound (oh i did enjoy making her squirm) she says “oh and for you too. Im sure.”. At that point, I explain that Im going to buy my own fax with my next paycheck. She says “well you should give the bill to the hospital”. And friends I reached for my OKMA attitude and there it was waiting for me. I laughed derisively and rolled my eyes. It was my own non verbal Whatevvv. And damn it, it felt GOOD. Later, I realized that I was probably the only person from our department ever to send a fax from there. And i did it once. Today.
Man as I re-read this, I realize it is kind of a feeble kiss my ass story. Rome wasnt built in a day my friends and for me, this sad little act of assertion represents the first time in my life that Ive actively chosen to assert myself in an unfamiliar social situation. And what a better time to do it than on a wtf wednesday!
*Moe, the use of the word segue was for you baby!
Edited to add: Stolen from the greek goddess of blogging Canada. I guess I have been known to unleash a little unholy wrath here and there