Inch by Inch

November 10, 2010 at 9:32 am (Dating, feminism, office, personal)

At work recently, my manager played us a video from Any Given Sunday.  It was Al Pacino’s speech about winning by banding together and fighting inch by inch etc.  And now I want to steal the inch metaphor for my own usage, and totally corrupt it in the process.

The inch by inch theory is the reason I hold grudges for so long.  Otherwise it will happen the same way every time: someone does something big and huge and unforgivable, and you walk away from them.  Then, over time, you let go of the anger because you want to be lighter and happy and a better person, but there’s still no need to talk to that person.  Then, you run into them somewhere and you smile a little and say hi, because what’s the point in ignoring them, and you’ve already forgotten about the mean thing, right?  Plus, it’s not like you’re friends, you’re just saying hi.  And then, you’re both at a party or a pub or whatever and you run into each other and there’s a bit of small talk, because after all, there’s no point in being angry anymore, right?  You’re both in the same place, you may as well be nice and catching up with someone you’ve known for a while is fun.  Then it happens a few more times, and you’re catching up with them more often than you’d think.  And you’ve forgotten about that horrible thing, and you’re just acquaintances, so it’s all good.  Until something major goes wrong for one of you, and the other is the one that is turned to.  Whether it’s them or you, the bond is formed again and whatever has gone wrong is worked through and you’re closer than ever.  And then they do something big and huge and unforgivable.  And that’s when you remember why you weren’t friends anymore in the first place.

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The Blame Game

October 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm (abuse, arsehats, bullying, Dating, feminism, office, personal, Rapists)

A few years ago I followed a link and read this by Andrea Dworkin. I was upset and confused about such a strong feminist choosing not to report such a horrible thing to the police. I didn’t understand. And I felt it was my right to judge her, and all of her feminist acts, based on this one thing. I was very, very wrong.

These days though, I get it. I have never been raped (to my knowledge), but I have been in bad situations and haven’t reported any of them to authorities. I won’t report him for drugging me. I won’t report him to HR for causing my work life to be increasingly uncomfortable just because we had a bad date. I didn’t report my previous employer for the harassment and subsequent victimisation they put me through, even though it led to me quitting with no job lined up. And those are only the recent examples. I have a long history of not reporting things, and I feel this will continue far into my future (assuming of course that these horrible events keep occuring to me).

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More Dating issues, or Why Do I Even Bother?

September 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm (arsehats, Dating, office, personal)

I officially decided a couple of months ago that I’m ready to start dating again after coffeeguy.  Still trying to work out why I even bothered.  (And to the few readers that I have left, sorry if you thought there would be less dating posts these days)

So, in no particular order…

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Nova

February 25, 2009 at 11:22 pm (music, office, personal)

ETA: I just hit bingo with my six.  It’s only 11am.  I hate this station.

Wow.  I swear to a deity I don’t even believe in, if I have to listen to this radio station every fucking day for much longer I will explode.  The woman next to me at work has her radio on this station.  They play the same six songs over and over again all day.  And they’re crap songs.  Seriously.

Don’t click the link at the bottom of the page.  Trust me.  But I heard that song FOUR times today.  FOUR TIMES.  I hate it so much.  I end up with so much hostility and anger everytime it comes on the radio.  Seriously, do not click it.

Here’s the list of most songs they play on repeat all fucking day.  If you’re game, try looking them up on youtube.  And if you think they’re not annoying, look six of them up at random (must include the one at the bottom of the post!) and just play those six all day.  ALL DAY.  EVERY FUCKING DAY.

My random 5 (plus the one at the bottom) would be ‘you found me’ by the fray (a song I used to love mind you), My Delirium by LadyHawke, Halo by Beyonce (although sometimes they try to change to a different one of her songs, but THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME), any of the fallout boy songs, and the Britney Spears song.  Go listen to that list on repeat.  Then try to collect money off people all day.

ARGH!  I’m seriously losing it.

Annoying Song

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Memo to office workers

February 23, 2009 at 8:26 pm (office)

This is for the attention of both men and women who work in offices.

Your midriff is not, under any circumstances, considered professional attire.  Put it away.  I do not want to see it whilst I am working.

If you work in a casual office, fine go for your life; let it all hang out.  In one with a professional dress code and high expectations and standards, put it away.

Seriously.  It’s just not cool.

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Major Disconnect Moment

February 6, 2009 at 8:56 pm (feminism, male privilege, office)

It was a little thing, but still it seemed to make me realise how disconnected I am from (what seems like) the rest of the world.

On my last day at my last job a few of the women were discussing getting ready to go out that night.  I happened to mention that it wouldn’t take me long because I don’t wear make up.  One of the women responded with a girly giggle and said she would ‘totally be doing [my] make up that night’ and the other responded in horror at the idea that I could possibly not wear make up (!).

Can you imagine how horrible I must look if I don’t willing paint my face to look like something other than the way that I look?  Clearly I’m crazy.

Or everyone around me is.  Massive disconnect with reality for me.

Oh and it’s filed under ‘male privilege’ because none of the men that came along had any discussions along these lines.  At all.

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Rules For My New Job

January 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm (office, personal) ()

Tomorrow is my last shift at my current job.  After a week off, I’m moving on to a fresh start at a new company.  I don’t know anyone that works there, and all they know about me is what was said in the interview.  I have a chance to start over, and a chance to not repeat my mistakes.  I also have a chance to head off mistakes from other people before they blow out of control.  So I need a list of rules to follow to keep myself on track.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. No friends.  I am happy to be friendly and professional with my colleagues, but no longer willing to be friends with anyone from my workplace.  It doesn’t work, it leads to problems, and it’s not worth the hassle. 
  2. No blogging from work.  There are many different facets to this, but I think it’s enough to leave it as self explanatory for now.
  3. No getting caught up in anyone elses business.  It’s way too easy to get caught up in other people’s dramas and arguments, but it’s not healthy and it’s not helpful and it creates problems.  I’m not going to do it anymore

Those are the three main things I can think of.  Any more experienced people want to add tips in the comments?

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Defensive Response

January 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm (emails, Giant Babies, idiots, office) (, )

At work a couple of months ago an email thread was going through our team on birthday cakes.  The team health nut sent a long email about calories and healthy eating etc etc and another male in the team decided to turn the conversation to sex. 

People in the team reacted as you would expect them to when sex is brought up at an inappropriate time (like in a workplace) and were irritated.  This was his response:

Sorry folks
I was not being smutty
I thought we were all adults

Can everyone see the problem with this response? Apparently because I don’t like discussing sex with older men in my workplace during business hours, I’m not an adult.

Also, why do people insist on adding things to their apologies that make the actual apology worthless? Saying “I was not being smutty” is incorrect. Saying “I did not mean to be a smutty old sleaze” would be much closer to the point. Whatever you MEANT to be, you were being smutty and we objected to it. This is what you need to apologise for.   And the last line of the email shows that you aren’t sorry, you’re just a jerk.

I’ve been holding on to this email since September.  Feels good to finally blog about it.

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When the RealWorld meets BlogWorld

January 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm (Nigel, office, personal) ()

I’m leaving this post public because I think it may actually be beneficial to have real life people read it.

Before I begin the post, I want to clarify an important point.  Whilst this blog was public, it was not something that I thought would be easily found by people in my life.  The few people in my ‘real’ life that know about this blog I thought were either a) close enough that I trusted them to give me my privacy and stay away, or b) not knowledgeable enough about me to find this.  I was wrong on both of those counts.

Twice (that I know of) since the birth of my blog I’ve had people from my real life deliberately seek it out to read it.  Both knew I didn’t want them to, yet did so anyway.  Incidentally, both were men.

Now when Nigel did it, I understood (after he explained it to me) his reasoning.  He could feel me pulling away and wanted to know what was going on.  He could have just asked me, as you would in a healthy relationship, but he didn’t.  He went snooping and hated what he found.  We have discussed this at length, and mostly moved on.  But not entirely.

The second time, I can’t figure out a reason for.  And I haven’t been given one.  I’ve reread many of my posts here, and besides being absolutely appalled at my grammar and typos, I can’t figure out what’s so fascinating.

So there’s a few levels that this disturbs me and causes rifts within relationships.

1) I feel betrayed.  Nigel and I have always trusted each other ultimately.  We both have each others email passwords, computer passwords, etc etc.  They were rarely used because they weren’t needed.  Then he sought out my blog to deliberately figure out things I hadn’t told him.  Now there’s always a little part of me thinking ‘will he look again?’ ‘will he look at my forums and chats?’  And from his point of view, I’m fairly sure he’s going to be forever wondering if there’s anything I’m hiding from him.  There are a few posts here that make it seem like there is.  Will he ever be able to feel comfortable again?

2) Privacy.  I get that this blog is public and that I shouldn’t post anything I want hidden.  There is, however a difference between the general populace that have never and will never meet me, and the people in my life that should not have been able to find this.  I thought I had covered my tracks well enough that most people wouldn’t be able to find it.  I still don’t know which terms led the second person here.  I feel vulnerable that it was so easy to find.  Looking back over my posts, I’m horrified at the kind of information in here that has been accessed.  Things about my medical problems, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and even the non personal ones are still pretty telling.  Just for a start, I don’t go around advertising I’m a feminist at because it causes problems and isn’t worth it.

3) It doesn’t feel right that someone can read so much about what I’m thinking and feeling without that being reciprocated.  When I call a friend and vent about a personal problem, or discuss a diagnosis I’ve received or whatever, I know that they’ll be doing the same next time they need to.  There’s a give and take.  When an internet friend reads this, I tend to head over to their blogs and read theirs.  There’s a reciprocity that makes it work.  Simply coming in here and quietly reading all my personal stuff is not equal.  It feels like mind games, power play, and manipulation all in one.  Whatever the intention was, that’s what it feels like.

Overall it just hurts.  I had more to say, but I’m kinda feeling depressed and lousy tonight.

So, to my internet readers, both known and unknown, have you had a similar experience?  thoughts?  And to my ‘realworld’ friend(s) who may be reading, fess up anonymously and explain anything you need to.  K – obviously this doesn’t apply to you, I gave you the link.

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The Job Market and Women

October 31, 2008 at 8:47 am (feminism, office) ()

Recently a recruitment company contacted me and asked if I’m looking for a new job.  As it turns out, I’m not.  I’m also not 100% happy in my new job so I decided to apply to get the practice and see what they were offering.

In my interview confirmation email, a pamphlet on dressing for success was included.  Here’s some of the gems of advice I was offered:

“Women who wear make-up earn 23% more than those who donʼt, according to research. Lipstick is a bare essential”

“At a minimum your dress for success wardrobe should include: A well-fitting skirt suit, an elegant
top or a smart shirt, pantyhose, leather bag, nice folder, quality pen, simple accessories & court shoes.”

“If your hair is not right, you wonʼt look your best regardless how hard you try. Find the style that works for you. If you are young & fun, keep it neat. Over 40? Keep it short.”

“Always wear pantyhose even in summer.”

“Accessories are important in finishing off the look. Remember though anything that dangles, moves or distracts attention in any other way is not appropriate. Less is more!”

“You can tell a professional by her hands. Visit a manicure salon or do your own. The devil is in the detail.”

“The more skin you show, the cheaper your look. Beware of plunging necklines, open-toe shoes, bare  shoulders and exposed midriffs. If your skirt length is two fingers above the knee, leave it for the night club.”
Those tips are out of this world.  Lipstick is a BARE ESSENTIAL?  In what universe is LIPSTICK an ESSENTIAL?!  And manicured nails for a job interview? Seriously?  I don’t think I want to work for a company that thinks this shit is a necessary part of looking presentable for a female.  And unfortunately there’s no way for me to decipher if these instructions are from the recruitment company or the company I’m interviewing for.

I wonder what kind of tips they send to teh menz?

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