Sunday, May 15, 2022

good things come in threes

 So a thing happened this weekend.  I'll leave some enigmatic clues and let readers guess.


Friday, May 13, 2022

surf's up

"Would it be considered harassment if a coworker or supervisor attempts to stop me from filing a claim of harassment against another party?"

My coworker, Party Girl, posed this question to me last week while well within earshot of our full-time coworker, Bugs.  Bugs is not in a supervisory role, but when Boss is gone, Bugs is typically put in charge. Boss happened to be out of town when things were going down with Nurse Ratched.

Party Girl, another coworker we'll call Betty, and I had dug around and found the official HR form for submitting a claim of harassment.  We decided to each submit our point of view of the Nurse Ratched situation, and Bugs attempted to discourage us from doing so.  The question was Party Girl's cute and clever way of telling Bugs his "advice" was not needed.

"Pretty sure the answer is 'YES!' as we all learned from our mandatory harassment training", I promptly replied as we all gave Bugs the side eye.

He backed off after that.  

To summarize, Boss did something we all (except for maybe Boss) agreed was inappropriate (not sexual, nothing like that) with a student.  That student went to her instructor - Nurse Ratched - to complain about Boss and ask for some leniency on the exam she took with us since she was feeling frazzled while she worked on the exam.

Nurse Ratched, understandably, became upset with Boss and complained to... somebody.  I really don't know what all happened after that as I don't have a need to know.  But because of the incident between Boss and Student, Nurse Ratched decided to bully, judge, and demean all of us, even though she's never dealt with anyone other than Boss, other than that one incident.

And THAT is when it became a problem for Party Girl, Betty, and me.  Nurse Ratched's abuse toward us seemed to be persistent and escalating, so the three of us each decided to get our two cents in.  

Bugs tried to stop us, saying, "It's already being handled" - referring to the Boss/ Student/ Nurse Ratched incident.

We disagreed as it had spilled over to baselessly involve us three underlings.  This was a new situation for handling.

Anyway, we felt good about telling our sides of the story and get confirmation from the honcho in HR who handles these things.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting much, but I guess something happened.  Nurse Ratched has been cordial in her subsequent communications.  Dare I say, apologetic, even?

Sheesh, in all my years, I'd never felt a need to submit a report of harassment or anything else to a Human Resources department. Kids, I tellya.

I feel good that we didn't just cower and hope it goes away.  I'm glad we spoke up for ourselves despite Bugs' attempts to stop us.  

Bugs is a nice enough guy, but doesn't like making waves. We more or less told him, too bad, you're in the deep end of the pool with the big girls now.

And to this day, I still haven't even met Nurse Ratched in-person.  


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:

5. Write a blog post inspired by the word: proud

Monday, May 9, 2022

let's go for a ride 'til heaven comes

I don't really watch sports.  I've had a passing interest in some, but most sporting events just takes so dang long.  More time than I care enough to commit.

And then there's horse racing. I love to watch horse racing. I know some think it's inhumane.  I tend to think/ hope the horses are treated like the elite athletes that they are, bred to run fast and... enjoy it?  I confess that I just love to watch them run full out.

The triple crown races begin the first Saturday in May with the Kentucky Derby, and I've watched it every year for as long as I can remember.  I recall last year, I was working at the nursing home. The old ladies gathered 'round in their wheelchairs for refreshments, all wearing massively ridiculous hats they'd decorated the day before.  Such a hoot!

This year, I was in the comfort of my own home.  I had no idea, going in, who the favorites were or the odds. No money riding on it, I just want to watch them run.  

And omigosh, whatta race!  It wasn't until right at the wire that I learned the winner was the longest shot in the field - basically just filling in for a horse that had scratched at the last minute.  

80 to 1 odds! The jockey had never ridden in the Derby before. I can't imagine the feeling!

Anyway, I get a kick out of watching the aerial replay.  That longshot horse, so far in the back, picking them off one by one and ending up winning the whole thing.

What can I say, I get a rush from it.  If I were an old lady in a nursing home, ridiculous hat or no, that finish might have been my ticket to heaven.  

Sunday, May 8, 2022

from empty to cuckoos nest

I had some revelations this week.  Nothing ultra profound, but the universe has spoken to me.

It has to do with work, and the details would be boring to readers. Plus I don't want to type it all out.  But this week, a certain instructor at the college - we'll call her Nurse Ratched - started throwing barbs at us in the testing center. Little passive aggressive condescending barbs.

Our staff consists of the director, one full-timer, and four part-timers.  I'm one of the part-timers.  I have never personally met Nurse Ratched nor had any dealings with her other than being a target of her dissings this week.

All of us part-timers are upset about Nurse Ratched's baseless hostility as she's provided no reasons detailing why she's laying into us.  We strongly suspect it stems from an incident between one of her students and our boss, and now she's writing all of us off.

I mentioned here once before that my boss can be somewhat annoying in that he has a tendency to talk incessantly about himself or topics of interest to him.  I was painfully trapped in a particular marathon he went on about college hockey - even after I expressed zero interest in college hockey.  

Anyway, he's very down to earth and can be okay to work with - aside from that annoying tendency.  I'd also say he's good at his job as far as dealing with facilities, software, budgets, scheduling, testing companies, etc.

His customer service skills, however...  ooch.

Luckily, he deals with customers and students very little, but there was that one recent incident with Nurse Ratched's student.  And now Nurse Ratched seems to think we're all clowns because of Boss's behavior.

This bothers me because, as I've said, I also am often annoyed with Boss's behavior, yet I  keep my mouth shut because he's Boss.  So what's happened here - I actually agree with Nurse Ratched about the incident, yet she sees me and my equally innocent coworkers (who, like me, get annoyed with Boss but say nothing) as mini Bosses.

Revelation-wise, this is telling me to speak up when I see questionable or inappropriate behavior, even when it's coming from the boss.  And just because I'm a "lowly" part-timer, my input is relevant. It's my choice to be part-time. I've sat back, biting my tongue, while higher ups make decisions that affect me.  Screw that.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to the moms out there. I rather miss being with young kids all day - so much more mature than what I deal with at work now.

Friday, May 6, 2022

mama, he's crazy

My family doesn't make a big deal on Mother's Day, per my wishes.  It's a Hallmark Holiday and doesn't meld with my nonconfornist demeanor.  I used to gift/ send notes and cards/ call my mom when she was still around, but I've told our kids that "every day is Mother's Day" for me.

That said, two memorable Mother's Days come to mind.  

My first real job - i.e. I had to pay taxes - was as a busgirl at a hotel restaurant that was popular for Sunday brunch among the locals.  I'd been working there only a few weeks when Mother's Day rolled around, and OH Migod, the bedlam. 

So many tablefuls of so many people making so many messes:  a busperson's nightmare.  The wait staff didn't like it either since it was buffet, so tips were  non-existent to miniscule.  Kitchen staff struggled to keep the buffet stocked.  The dishwasher... oh, the poor dishwasher...

That job helped my teen drinking kick into gear.  Or at least it certainly didn't hurt. Sunday brunch mimosas became rather appealing.

So these days, I'm just happy not to be working OR attending a Mother's Day brunch.

The other  - much more memorable - Mother's Day was in 2000 when I was hugely preggars with Meego.  He was 2 weeks past his due date at that point.  

I recall being in bed and kind of flopping around like a beached whale, trying to get comfy, when I felt a strange *pop* then warmth and realized my water had broke.  I laid there for a while, on my beach, and thought, "Hmmm.  Interesting", because I'd been pregnant for so long, I'd started to feel like it was going to be a forever condition.

Just as I looked over at the bedside clock, it changed to 12 midnight.  It was officially Mother's Day.  Meego arrived all "Happy Mother's Day!" a few hours later, no Hallmark card needed.

Maybe that's another reason I don't need anything special for Mother's Day.  How they gonna top that?


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:

1. Write about a memorable Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

wannabe nobody with my thoughts in my room

My office/ studio/ space is the smallest room in the house - not counting the bathrooms.  I liken it to Harry Potter's bedroom under the stairs

but it's really not that small.  I don't have exact measurements, but I'm sitting in it now, and I'd guesstimate it to be about 10 feet by 8 feet.  And there's a nice big window looking into our back yard. 

It was feeling cramped and cluttered, so this week, I've been giving it the Marie Kondo treatment. It's not quite to my liking just yet - mainly because I'm sitting here typing about it instead of finishing off the decluttering and organizing - but it's got potential.

Happy first day of May.  I guess I have a "spring cleaning" bug.  I've already done smaller Kondo-izing with some kitchen cabinets and my clothes closet.  

In other organizing news, I had my annual blood screening this week.  Results came back all green, no yellows or reds, so we're keeping that drive alive.  Prior to my appointment, the website and confirmation emails stressed their mask requirement.

I arrived on time, properly masked (almost forgot) only to find none of the employees were masked.  Okay.  Similar thing happened a couple of times I rode the university transit buses recently.  Masks are still "required", but hardly a mask in sight - even on the drivers.  I wonder what airplanes are like?

Personally, I don't feel a need for a mask as long as I feel fine and carry little likelihood of spreading anything.  I only wear one when required... but find myself the odd one out in those situations.  I guess I'm not the rebel I thought I was.

We'll probably go out for a coffee walk soon.  I'll make sure to jaywalk at some point.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

tech support!!

A test candidate came to the testing center where I work earlier this week.  It's been bugging me ever since.

I mean, test candidates are supposed to come in or we'd be out of our jobs, but this guy who came in - I swear I know him from somewhere.  Let's call him Walter, although his name is slightly less common than Walter - less common enough that someone with his name would be easy to remember.

I heard/ read that forgetting names is common shortly after meeting someone new, but if they have a unique name, we're more likely to remember it.  Makes sense to me.  So this Walter struck me as the only Walter I knew, but where do I know him from?

As we were interacting, before and after his exams, he also seemed to be looking at me with a bit of an I-know-you-from-somewhere look.

Okay, so here are the clues:

  • He's in his 20s
  • His test was one that we typically, but not always, give for students from the university
  • The students are usually horticulture majors
  • His face and build were familiar, but I'm seeing a younger version

And then there's this slight kicker:

  • The ID he provided was an out-of-state driver's license.

Okay, so.  Anyone figure it out for me yet??

Naturally, I first surmised that he's a friend or classmate or extracurricular-activity mate of one of our kids, considering his age.  Nothing rings a bell.  
A student from that high school I worked at briefly?  Mmmm... nope, not seeing it.
Then I thought, god forbid, maybe he was a former tutor student whom I failed  to remember.  I didn't think so, but I actually obsessively scanned through my tutor archives for any Walters or parents that might jar my memory.  Nuthin'.

Clearly, we are somehow closely linked and were abducted by aliens at some point.  When the aliens wiped our memories of the event, peripheral imagery remained in my subconscious.  


Clearly there's some Vanilla Sky thing going on


I've just got crappy recall.


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:

2. Write a blog post about something you felt/feel frustrated by