Tag Archives: michigan

11 Things That Don’t Make Sense

1) Why Do Republicans and Democrats Hate Each Other? After All, They’re Basically the Same.

Yes, you read that correctly–they are pretty much the same. Now, I admit, I like to rib Republicans every now and then. But I’m no Democrat, and I really dislike President Obama and criticize him often. As someone who is neither Democrat nor Republican and who refuses to vote, I can step back and look at both political parties and its members and see what no one else can–they are essentially the same. Between the politicians in each party, there really is no difference–they’re all full of schitt, and that’s why I don’t vote. Between the members, the only real difference is one group is full of people who are prejudiced as hell but are in denial about their prejudices because they don’t want to feel like they’re bad people…while the other group is full of people who embrace their prejudices–some even proud of them–and many of them don’t really see anything wrong with having those prejudices. Frankly, I’m closer to belonging to the latter group, except a lot of the prejudices the latter group has hurts people like me (black, lesbian, female, close to poverty).

2) Why Do People Talk About Overweight People In Front of Other Overweight People?

It just amazes me how many times I find myself sitting with people who are talking about other fat people, as if I’m not one. The last time it happened, I almost said, “Hello?? I’m fat! Or do you need glasses?” And I probably will next time. Now, if it’s a fat person doing the talking, that might be one thing–depends on the conversation. It’s never okay to talk about overweight people degradingly in front of another overweight person (or, really, at all). But if you’re a twig sitting there running your mouth and you have a fat friend in the middle of it all, you’re an idiot, plain and simple. What are you thinking?

3) Why Do Teachers Think It’s A Good Idea To Tell Students To Pick A Partner Or Teammates? Don’t They Have Any Idea That They Are Scarring Some Students For Life?

This type of thing ought to be common knowledge by now. We’ve seen it enough on TV. There is always at least one kid who just doesn’t fit in or is disliked and made fun of by everyone else. Why can’t teachers and coaches just fucking do the pairing themselves instead of embarrassing the hell out of some poor young’un who has no friends or athletic ability? If you’re one of the cool kids, yes, you want to pick your partner. You don’t want to get stuck with your morbid enemy or the loser who has a crush on you that is unreturned. Or if you’re picking teams in gym class, naturally you want to win. But the cool kids will live, because they still have their crew at the end of class. And gym is just gym–doesn’t matter one bit, no money on the line, no national championships. It’s the kids whom you’re showing to the entire class as being the odd man/woman out who will remember it forever and have insecurities and self-esteem issues. So, damn what the cool kids want, teachers–if you’re going to have special projects or teams in gym classes, you do the pairings.

4) Why Do People Think Blacks Have A Community?

I have struggled to find the right wording for this question. But basically, people seem to think blacks stick together and support each other and always have each other in this cold, cruel world when nothing could be further from the truth. There’s this book, “The Myth of the Model Minority,” which I read some years ago that, as best as I can remember, had me shaking my head at the way it seemed to hold “the black community” on a pedestal relative to what Asians have. Back when I was at Michigan, I had a gay white male friend who said something to me that was very close to “a lot of gays are alone but black people have each other.” And I always have to wonder–what exactly do Asian people, gay white people or straight white people know about being black? Apparently, not much. To me, it’s as clear as day that black people are divided and work against each other more than they support each other–and when I say “as clear as day,” I mean that if I were white I’d look at black people and go, “Wow…I know why we hate black people, but why on earth do they hate each other so much?!?!”

Because black men hate black women. Black women hate black women. Black men seem to think black women hate black men because black women won’t just be quiet and submissive, or smile and say yes to any and every black guy who approaches them for a date. Black people, particularly black men, commit more black-on-black crime than any other group commits against blacks. And black men and black women hate black people who “aren’t black enough” or aren’t stereotypical, whatever that means in any individual black environment…because it doesn’t always mean the same thing. And, contrary to what non-black people think, it doesn’t always mean that black people hate educated, proper-speaking blacks. When I was at Michigan, I wasn’t stereotypical in the sense that I didn’t hang with mainly black students and didn’t go to all these “Black Law Students” events and meetings and didn’t stand around with other black chicks talking about other black female students who “don’t know they’re black.” For a black person in the projects, it means something entirely different. Bottom line–plenty of black people are alone and alienated by other black people.

5) Why Do Men Think Making Fun of Women They’re Interested In Is A Good Idea, and That the Woman Is A Bitch If She’s Not Amused?

Men seem to think that various forms of harassment in general are a good idea when it comes to approaching women, but “jokes at the lady’s expense” and just plain picking on a woman seem to be near the top of their come-on list. Who in the hell told you fellas this was a good way to get a woman? Or are you just trying to see if she’s rug material (i.e. a doormat)?

News flash–women aren’t like men. It seems to be the case that men take joking and teasing as a sign that they are in the clubhouse. Male friends do that to male friends. It’s not okay to make fun of your wife or girlfriend or female friend, let alone a chick you just met or barely know. If a woman you know and have established that kind of relationship with seems to think it’s cool, that’s one thing. But even then, there are lines to not cross or she’ll get pissed–even though this almost never happens with your male friends. Again, women and men are different. Women don’t like to feel like they’re being laughed at or belittled–we get quite enough of that on a regular basis. And 9 times out of 10, your love interest who is laughing at your garbage is just doing it to be polite, as socialized. She doesn’t find being the butt of your joke to be funny, trust me.

6) What the Hell Does “Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously” Actually Mean, and Why Is It A Good Thing?

This has always sounded to me like an empty, meaningless statement that excuses stuff such as my #5 and makes the person who is offended the one at fault. I don’t know if that’s true because stuff like “knowing how to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously” is so damned far beyond me. I just know that hearing or reading stuff like that makes me want to punch someone. Similarly far beyond me is #7…

7) When Did Acting And Dressing Like a Ho Expressing Sexuality Become A Good Thing?

I tell you, I think young white female pop singers started this nonsense, particularly in the early 2000s, with their dumb songs and videos. There is just a lot of mistaking being 9/10ths naked, dancing provocatively, singing ridiculously explicit lyrics and sleeping around for “being sexy.” You don’t need all that to be sexy or to let other people know you’re sexy. Worst of all, some women now mistake these things for empowerment. And then they still want to know why people judge them or treat them a certain way for how they look and/or act, and “it’s not fair.” Clearly, they do not live in the real world. We’re all judged and treated a certain way due to how we look, so be ready to deal with the consequences of your choices. If you’re not ready for that and, instead, are going to whine, how is it empowering?

Long story short, it’s still not a good thing–but not everyone has all of their screws in tight, so they don’t get it.

8) Why Do, Like, Half of All People Who Work Out On A Regular Basis Smoke and/Or Like To Get Drunk and Still Think They’re Living “Healthy”?

I actually do like to work out; I just don’t particularly care for “eating right.” So, whenever I go all in and work out regularly and eat right, the most unhealthy thing that ever goes into my body is junk food. The last time I did this, I slotted in an unhealthy piece of food every day (like donuts) and a soda every day when keeping up with calories while making sure I still got the fiber, the protein, etc, that I needed…just so I could keep my sanity. Otherwise, the most unhealthy thing is, very rarely, a beer. I am just not into alcohol, and you’re not about to ever get me to smoke anything.

What I don’t understand is why is getting drunk every Saturday or Sunday (depending on your sport…or if you’re in a frat, every Sat and Sun), smoking MJ and smoking cigarettes so much more acceptable than eating crap or being a couch potato? Why is one type of person disgustingly unhealthy and the other isn’t? We’re both disgustingly unhealthy (and actually, my doctors tell me I’m pretty healthy, great blood pressure…I have bad knees, and I know I’m overweight for my size, but other than that…you’d be surprised). I would say that you can work out and eat all the bird food in the world, but if you’re putting bad substances in your body often you’re not that far ahead of me, if you’re ahead at all (and if you smoke, you’re not going to convince me you’re ahead of me health-wise).

9) Why Do People Project Their Own Bullschitt Onto Others?

Yeah, it’s psychology time. Let’s talk about projection–that’s basically when someone says that other people have a flaw that is actually a huge flaw in that person who is running off at the mouth. For example, the Lazy Fuck at my job is always calling my friend Clara and her friend Sharon lazy, and I am sure that he has called me lazy before or has insinuated that I am lazy…because we won’t do his job for him while he takes long lunches and texts/talks on his iPhone. Not surprisingly, Lazy Fuck is a Democrat. Gee, I wonder if there is actually a correlation between people who project and people who are political members of the denial party. I know full well that I’m lazy, but I also know I’m not lazy at work. I’ll call in fake-sick (and I do) and stay home and be lazy before I sit at work and fuck off.

10) Why Are There Over 300 TV Channels and There Still Is Never Anything Good On?

Now, the exception is if you like sports. But I still find myself twiddling my thumbs way too often to have so many gotdamn channels. No games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights = a waste of an expensive-@ss cable package. And I don’t think Jewish white boys necessarily have any business writing comedy sitcoms (on account of their not being funny), and I certainly don’t think catty Barbie wannabes should have 50 million different reality shows…so, typically, I don’t watch TV shows. So, again, no games on Tues and Weds mean I get roughly 10 hours of sleep those nights because I have nothing to do but hit the sack.

11) Why Do Southerners Think They Should Greet Everyone?

And not all do, but far too many do. I’m from the South and everything, but I’ve visited other places and have lived other places. In many ways, I have been de-Southernized. But having my toes in different parts of the US, I believe that it’s perfectly okay and acceptable to not acknowledge people you don’t know. And it’s not rude if you don’t acknowledge everyone you pass by. It’s okay to not act like you know and are friends with people you actually don’t know and aren’t friends with. What I don’t understand is why other Southerners don’t believe this. It’s a huge cultural issue I have with my co-workers, and my friend Clara, who is originally from Louisiana–which I don’t even consider part of the “real” South, culturally (and neither are Florida, Texas and, like, half of Virginia and half of Arkansas–Louisiana, Florida and Texas are too diverse to truly be part of real Southern culture, plus Texas is like its own universe)–are on opposite sides of this discussion all the time. It’s tough to explain, except maybe to say that I never feel like I’m alone, not being watched and actually have privacy/private space unless I am locked up in my bedroom. Ironically, in bigger cities outside of the South like Chicago and New York, you can be on a subway full of people and feel like you’re alone, not being watched and are in your own world.

Gosh, I miss being almost completely ignored in Chicago.

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Putting People In Their Place

I don’t care where you work or what you do for a living, it seems like there’s always something about your job. Right now, I’m realizing there are some crazy people where I work. And I had to verbally jack one of them up last week in front of several people. Or as my mother says, I cursed him out without using curse words.

Because I am sure I don’t have many regular readers, let me just explain these key things first:

1) My attitude at my blog is generally pretty different from my attitude in person. Here, I’m always saying I can’t stand people and am always cursing and being an @ss. In person, I am quiet and pretend to be friendly. Yes, pretend. I’m so-fucking-not. I just want most people to fuck off. But because being sociable and agreeable are damn-near job requirements nowadays (especially in most of my previous jobs, which had strong customer service elements), I know that I have to cool it at work, be fake to some degree and then just come to my blog and complain or complain to my work friend Clara.

2) In general, I don’t actually have trouble getting along with people. Ironically, the closer I am to someone to whom I’m not related, the more difficulty I have getting along with them. This especially and particularly applies to my girlfriends. But people with whom I work and other people I barely know? If I have an issue with them, I’m never the only one who does–which indicates that person is the real problem.

3) As a black female, there is a part of me that doesn’t like to get bitchy with people, especially in front of other people and especially if those people are not black and/or are male. When men go off, it’s okay. When women go off, they’re being emotional. When black women go off, they’ve got an attitude problem or are “difficult.” In other words, as a black person and a woman, I inevitably become a stereotype. And whatever I say in anger may be correct and valid, but it gets lost in the stereotype and nobody cares what I say or said.

4) Admittedly, at my current job and at my previous job I take/have taken off work a lot and leave early a lot. At my previous job, it was largely because I had a bit of a health scare and was going to the doctor…and then it was because I was looking for another job. At my current job…my last post mentions how I went to Michigan for a football game a few weeks ago, and I wrote that I would have quit my job if I’d been told I had to work instead of going on my trip. That’s simply because, recently, my mentality has become that I don’t want my life to be work-eat-sleep. I’m not married, don’t have kids, don’t have obligations other than student loans. I want to spend as much of my time as possible doing things that are worth it and things I like to do, and being at work is not one of those things. The Michigan trip was incredible, and I need to do things like that more often–I don’t need to sit around saying, “I can’t take off work” like I used to do. I cried off and on for a while when I left Michigan–at the airport, on the plane, at home–which means I am not there enough…I definitely miss it, so the trip would have been worth my job. I focus on doing my job well and completely when I’m there, and then I leave when I don’t have anymore work to do.

All that out of the way, allow me to connect the dots. There’s this @sshole at work. He’s Filipino. He’s a lazy fuck who spends 25% of the work day messing with his iPhone instead of working and another 30% of the work day completely away from his workstation instead of working–including longer-than-allowed lunch breaks. And he’s the type of guy–I think we all know him–who doesn’t run schitt but really is self-important and badly wants to run schitt…and, thus, acts as if he runs schitt when he doesn’t. I thought only white guys did this, but I was wrong. Oh, and he’s not just an @sshole–he acts like a little bitch. He whines. He goes on and on long after he should. And he will run and tell, even though he’s in his mid-40s.

I mentioned here when I first started that job that I don’t have a lot of work to do. That’s still true so many days. At some point, to get more work my work friend Clara–who is really now more like my best friend, work or no work–showed me how to do part of her job and I do that. She has shown me more and more, until now I know how to do most of what she does and do most of it. So, she had to find work to do and started helping Lazy Fuck and this other chick, Sharon, with their work–which I think she did mainly to help Sharon, who usually has a lot of work and is friends with Clara (Clara, Sharon and I hang out, but, really, I only consider Clara my friend). When I would run out of work, I started helping Lazy Fuck and Sharon, too. This was before I knew we could get away with going home early, to be honest with you. I am fine with helping others, to a degree, but I’d rather be at home, frankly.

Lately, Lazy Fuck has been acting as if Clara and I work for him and as if we’re obligated to help him and Sharon. He acts like this even if we have other work to do, especially with Clara. One day last week, I had almost finished my work, looked around and saw that there didn’t really seem to be much work left for others to do–including Lazy Fuck (LF). So, I decided I’d go home when I was done. LF comes over and asks me to help him. The amount of work he had was nothing he couldn’t handle with the amount of time left in the day, so, basically, this @ss was wanting me to do his work while he goes and socializes with other Filipinos or is nowhere to be found, like usual. So, I said I was leaving, and he started questioning me about what time I arrived at work like he was my boss and telling me he wants me to stay and help from now on.

That’s when I started getting pissed, but I didn’t say anything. Clara and I basically do him a favor–we don’t work for him, and our supervisors never told us we’re supposed to do the kind of work with which we help LF and Sharon. On top of it, like I wrote before, he spends more than 50% of the day not actually working. So, naturally, Clara (who is also Asian) and I start talking about all of this because LF was getting more and more persistent and harassing about “helping” him and Sharon, even when they don’t have a lot of work.

The next time he approached me about helping, he wouldn’t take no for an answer, even though I told him I had other work to do. I tried to ignore him, I really did–but he wouldn’t shut up or leave me alone. So I blasted his @ss, because I decided that I wasn’t about to put up with being harassed on a regular basis. And that didn’t even include telling him about how lazy he is and how he needs to do his own work, which I wish I had remembered to include. I basically told him 1) I don’t want to hear that “team work”/”help others” schitt because that’s bullschitt–plenty of people around there don’t help other people, and he doesn’t ask anyone else to “help” except for me and Clara, 2) he ain’t no-fucking-body, so he needs to quit giving me orders and get the fuck out my face, and 3) when I decide to help out at work I make the choice on where I help, unless my actual supervisors tell me otherwise. No means no. Now take the curse words out, and that’s pretty spot-on what I told him…but “get the fuck out of my face” was unmistakably in my voice.

So far, intended result achieved. So, it was worth it. And if I have to do it again, I will.

But Clara harped on it all day after I did it because she was shocked, including “joking” about me killing everyone at work, and Sharon was making indirect comments implying that I should have just ignored LF and needed to calm down or I overreacted. No, Sharon’s just a fucking wimp who, apparently, will put up with being harassed by people. And Clara was probably shocked, as was LF when I told him to go away (yes, I actually said that–twice), because people make assumptions about quiet people. “Quiet” doesn’t mean I won’t curse you out when you deserve it. It doesn’t mean I will let you run over me, either, especially given that I want most people to fuck off to begin with. Clara doesn’t believe me when I tell her I don’t like people, and I remember she told me about a month or so ago that I am just “shy” and have “trouble expressing” myself. Err…no. There was absolutely no trouble with expression when I lit into LF.

Listen, people–especially women–it’s okay to speak up and not take bullschitt. Most of the time, it works out for the best when you let people know bullschitt time is over. Every time I can recall going off on someone in the past few years, I’ve gotten my way as a result (except romantic relationships, and sometimes even then). So, so what if some people see me as an overly-emotional woman or a black bitch? It’s better than being, as I said, a wimp who tries to justify it by saying “just ignore it.” Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes you can talk things out with people rationally and get your way, but sometimes you can’t or you’re put in a position where you snap. And with some men, you have to be a complete @ss for them to get the message–and I think LF was one…especially since he still harasses Clara the same way he used to harass me.

And don’t be like so many people who talk about what they’re going to do and then they never stand up to anyone, or who complain to everyone and never do anything about it. Clara does both of these things, in my opinion, though she tells people off to some degree–just not like I do it.

Clara has said before that she likes to be liked, and I’m sure that’s why a lot of people don’t “start” mess. Of course, I don’t really give a fuck about being liked–I’m the wrong race and wrong sexual orientation (and the wrong race/sex combination) to care about that kind of schitt anyways, so plenty of people–probably most–already don’t like me. Plus, it’s not as if I like them. But you–you win some, you lose some. Not everyone will like you, and they don’t have to. So, don’t keep making excuses and putting up with garbage.

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Football Gametime Etiquette

Well, those of you who know already know this is the best time of the year–football is back. A lot of people prefer the NFL. I love college football myself and am a diehard Michigan Wolverine. Now, I spent an ojo de la cara to go to the Michigan-Notre Dame game this past weekend, and, though the experience was worth every penny and I’m glad I went to the game, I seriously contemplated after the game whether or not I ever wanted to do it again (before I went right back to making plans to attend the Rose Bowl in California).

Why?

Due to the lack of gametime etiquette in the stadium.

Now, it’s not like this was my first time going to a football game, but this was the first time the etiquette was this out of hand. And I wasn’t the only one who had a problem with it, as I heard an old bitty behind me outside the stadium after the game whining and giving her laundry list of etiquette issues.

This is not a Michigan thing, I’m sure. That’s why I’m posting this message which I’d like to reach football fans far and wide. This is my football gametime etiquette guide for those who attend football games.

Let’s begin:

1) Um…sit the fuck down. I mean, really. If you’re standing, people behind you are forced to stand…and standing for 4 hours at the Michigan-ND game wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I bought a ticket for a seat, not for concrete to torture my feet muscles. I know the game was a special occasion–hell, that’s why I ponied up the dough for this game, and I would have quit my job if they had told me I had to work Friday instead of fly up to Michigan, just so I could see Michigan beat ND for the last time at our stadium. But not everything is worth jumping the fuck up and refusing to sit down. “Woo, the running back ran for 2 yards…let’s stand up and get in everybody’s way!” Come on, now.

2) Along the same lines, contrary to popular belief, plenty of women like football. Plenty. So, if you’re a big, tall-@ss man and your seat is in front of a chick, you need to get the fuck out of the way. I don’t care how you do it, but you need to do it. There is really no amount of neck contortion a woman behind a man can do to see the game. It’s probably easier for a guy to duck down a bit and still see what’s going on than anything else. Plus, men are often the first ones who want to stand up in everybody’s way when something happens, and it’s just thoughtless to stand whenever you feel like it vs out of necessity, regardless of sex…but especially so if a woman or kid is sitting behind you.

Stated another, perhaps more acceptable way–be courteous to those around you. You know how expensive seats are, and 9 times out of 10 the person behind you is a fellow fan of the same team, particularly if you’re at a home game. If we’re on the same side, let’s act like it. If we’re not on the same side, let’s show some class anyways. Same goes for noticing whether or not a kid is near you, because plenty of people take young people to these games.

3) Don’t act like you’re the offensive or defensive coordinator. Now, I’m a little guilty of this, admittedly. But there just always seems to be one or two white guys in your section who just have to be heard and just have to spend at least 30% of the game coaching loudly from, like, row 45. If you were the coach, you wouldn’t be in row 45; you’d be on the sideline. If you want to encourage the defense on a critical 3rd down, that’s fine–“come on, D, get an interception” is not coaching. Nobody cares. But if people actually turn back and look at you after something comes out of your mouth, that’s a sign you need to hush. You’re either “encouraging” too often, too loudly or you’re coaching without being on the payroll.

4) Sit in your seat. Don’t be partially in the next seat, and don’t have your @ss hanging all off the back of the bench. My knees really don’t belong in your @ss, especially if you have pink bumps all over it like this one dude at the Michigan game did…dude, I’m glad it turned out I was in the wrong seat, or else who knows what kind of ointment I would have ended up needing for my knees after the game…

5) Sit the fuck down. Yeah, I know I already listed this one, but I can’t stress it enough.

Other tips:

-Taking pictures…okay, this one goes with just the general idea I have tried to stress in several points above about being in the way, blocking people’s view and being courteous. You don’t have to hold both arms 100% in the air in order to get a good pic, especially if everyone would just do as I said and sit the fuck down until absolutely necessary. I take pics and record videos, too, but the phone/camera really should not be above your forehead, if it can be helped, because then you’re blocking other people’s view. And arms/elbows should come into your body, not be all out to the sides or up in the air.

-Drinking and eating, including getting drunk…now, I have never had these issues at a football game, but if you’re eating and drinking you’ve got to take care not to get schitt on other people. In fact, to me, as cramped as the space was at the Michigan-ND game, people shouldn’t even have been trying to eat or drink in the stands. I mean, I can’t even move my arms, but the fucker beside me is having a good ole time with, like, a hotdog and a beverage. You’re not at home. All that body movement–bending over to pick up stuff, bending your elbow out to bring a drink to your lips, etc–infringes on other people’s space. Plus, it’s common sense to me to just eat before the damn game, especially a night game.

-I don’t know what to say about alcohol…I don’t think we can drink at Michigan Stadium, so people get drunk before a night game. Luckily, I wasn’t near any drunk people during the game, and I’m sure they can be obnoxious during the game. But some drunk Notre Dame fan was harassing me and my cabbie earlier on gameday. Rivalry games are #1 to me, more important than winning championships. It’s fun to hate other teams, other schools, people with the wrong color on (okay, that makes me sound like I’m in a street gang…really, Michigan is a college gang). But getting drunk and then harassing other fans…[shakes her head]. If I seriously harass a fan of another team, I’m going to be a wimp about it and do it online anonymously while 100% in my right mind; I’m not going to do it out in the open (drunk or not) or without mainly joking. That’s why I hate Michigan State fans more than Ohio State fans–OSU fans actually tend to be more cool to Michigan fans in person vs the @ssholes that MSU fans are.

But what to do about this? You can’t make people not get drunk; it’d probably be easier to make people sit the fuck down. And you definitely can’t control drunk people; gametime etiquette would be the farthest thing from their mind.

-Listen, I went to ESPN’s College GameDay on campus earlier on Saturday, and I went to the game later on Saturday. It was hot and humid all day, and I spent well over 7 hours outdoors. So, to be perfectly frank…I am sure I was guilty of not smelling all that good during the game. I realized during the game, “Yeah, I should have cleaned up a bit before the game.” Anybody going to an outdoor football game needs to be mindful before they leave home that they might assault people around them with funk and take all preventative measures. Next time, I’ll remember. Sorry to those who sat near me…

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Saying Good Morning Pt. 2

Hehe. So, something interesting happened at work after I posted a couple of days ago about saying “Good Morning” and how not everyone is receptive to it along with my six reasons for why I don’t like saying it. I don’t know if my co-worker found my blog or what, but here is the story:

The very next day, he came in and said “Good Morning” to me like usual and I responded to him. He comes in an hour after I do. But an hour after he came in, he walked by me and said “Good Morning” again. Now, one of the reasons why people saying “Good Morning” annoys me where I work now is because sometimes it does feel as if people forget that they say “Good Morning,” which just shows how disingenuous they’re being in the first place when they say it (still, they get angry if you don’t respond–makes no sense)…or they’re saying it to way too many people and can’t keep up (you don’t have to say it to every gotdamn person you see, particularly if you work around a whole bunch of people like we do). They say it just to say it and then say it again, but it makes extra “Good Mornings” to respond to on top of the 600 million other ones.

So, when he said it again, I didn’t say anything–just kind of looked at him because I was thinking to myself something like, “Okay…didn’t this dude already say this to me? Does he not remember?” Now, note that, as usual, I’ve got my earphones in…I’m listening to my favorite sports talk show, “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd. Colin Time is pretty sacred whenever I get it, unless it’s just boring at the moment–which it was not at this moment, because he had one of my favorite college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit on (yes, even though he’s an Ohio State Buckeye and I’m a Michigan Wolverine). As a matter of fact, I get crazy when it comes to sports, period.

Plus, as I’ve written before, to me, when people have earphones in or headphones on, that is a clear “don’t talk to me” sign–I still don’t know why other people haven’t realized this one yet, but it seems that if I want people to start talking to me the surest way is to put earphones in and turn on something I want to hear. I just think it’s rude to start trying to talk to people when they’re listening to something, unless it’s important. It’s barely different from interrupting a conversation, the way I see it.

Anyway, then my co-worker walked by some of my work friends and said “Good Morning”. Because I had my earphones in, I could only hear a bit…but I remember him saying “Good Morning” a whole bunch of times, just almost forcefully. I believe they responded, since they are the kind of people who would. Then my co-worker turned back to me and said “Good Morning” with emphasis and stared at me, waiting. This reminded me of that loathsome discussion thread to which I linked in my previous post, because some of those people seem to think that if someone doesn’t respond to them that means they should keep harping on it and try to force a response.

I just kind of looked at him again, because I was thinking, “Dude, what the hell…?” Then I pointed out this was the third time he has said that to me. And he was like, “But you didn’t respond.” And I was like, “Um, hello? You said it to me when you first came in and I said it back.” At this point, I’m missing half of what my man Kirk is saying on Colin’s show. And he says, “Does it matter how many times I say it?” And I’m like, “Um, yeah. You don’t see me listening with these earphones?” He was like, “Is that more important?” Well, you know what they say–“Well, you asked.” I don’t bullschitt people who aren’t close to me when they ask a question and I know they’re not going to like the answer, so I honestly said “yes.”

Given that I’d already actually said “Good Morning” to this co-worker, despite everything I wrote in my last post about hating the “Good Morning” thing, sorry–it might seem harsh, but yeah, on the 2nd and 3rd time, my sports show was more important. And yeah, given that I hate the “Good Morning” thing, on the 2nd and 3rd time–and with the “do not disturb” sign that is the iPhone earphones (earpods), too–I was going to lose my schitt. And frankly, the first time he said it I was listening to a sports show, and I responded. So, that’s not even why I looked at him like he was nuts without responding the last two times he said it. It was just weird to me.

My good work friend Clara mentioned it to me later on, and she thought he was acting weird, too. Now, Clara is not like me–she loves to socialize, she initiates “Good Morning”s with people and she knows everyone at this warehouse. And still, she basically said it was too early in the morning to be walking around yelling about “Good Morning” multiple times–which is what he did when he said “Good Morning” to her and my other work friends–and that people are barely awake as early as we get to work. She pointed out that he never does that, that usually he says it once in a normal voice and moves along, which is true and acceptable.

And then today, I noticed he never said “Good Morning” to me, which is cool–one less to deal with. Clara told me he said it to her and that it was normal like he usually does it, not all loud and repeated. She said she told him he was acting loud and weird with that stuff, which is “why life.overrated was mad at you” and I laughed. I wasn’t mad at him, but he was annoying the hell out of me and I still don’t know what all my man Kirk said on Colin’s show.

Now, even though we thought this co-worker was acting weird that one day, there are people who run around all loud first thing in the morning with this “Good Morning” business…like, almost literally, run. It’s 7am, and they’re power walking, wide awake, “Good Morning”-ing everyone to death. Even Clara, as sociable and, for lack of a better word, friendly as she is (and I put it like that because she’s like a very sociable version of me as far as saying whatever the hell she wants, even if it’s not nice or PC), needs time in the mornings. Half the time she looks like a b!tch for a good hour in her facial expressions and barely says anything, let alone “Good Morning.” She is not miserable, grumpy or unhappy as a person, but she is, quite understandably, that way for a while in the morning sometimes. We have fun the rest of the day, just not in the mornings.

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When Sharing Crosses the Line

You know, they say best friends share everything. Well, my work bff Clara took that saying just a little too far and shared her sickness with me. I ought to serve her right and stay home from work tomorrow so she will have to do my job and hers.

Except I can’t really stay home tomorrow. I left work early Friday because I felt sick, and the week before that I was off because I went to Chicago. And next week I’ll be going to Michigan. Plus, all this taking off and spending money on trips means I need all the money I can get–that Michigan trip has been expensive as hell to plan since it includes an expensive-@ss football ticket, an expensive-@ss hotel room, plane tickets, a shuttle from Detroit to Ann Arbor (and back) and will eventually include food costs. Seriously, if I told you how much I have spent so far, especially if you’re not a sports fan, you’d think I was nuts (if you don’t already). Alas, this is the price you pay for being a diehard fan and a loyal alum–especially one who lives in a totally different region from her team/alma mater.

So, I will be dragging it into work tomorrow morning, probably getting more people sick like Clara did with me. That Michigan trip is so going to be worth it–I really can’t wait, and I’m glad I got sick now and not then since I knew it was coming, despite trying to avoid it. I always get sick around this time every year, July-August-September. I’ll never forget being sick on the first day of class in law school my first year of law school, and you can’t miss the first day. And last year I was sick the first weekend of college football/labor day weekend, when people at work acted as if I extended a 3-day weekend into a 4-day weekend merely for the hell of it. No, I was being tortured by mucous. Oh, and of course there was the bar exam debacle…well, let’s not talk about that one.

Man, I tell ya–when you’re sick, you just want to be in bed, take meds (depending on whether you’re one of those people who does or one of those weirdos who refuses to take them), sleep, watch TV (or in my case, play music all day, as I’ve done all weekend–TV is taking too much focusing). And doesn’t it always feel as if you’re either being burned alive or frozen to death (unfortunately for me, I prefer “frozen to death” but am dealing with “burned alive” and the sweaty yuckiness that accompanies it)?

‘Tis the season for illness, so steer clear of that hacking, sniffling co-worker who felt the need to bring his/her @ss to work anyways.

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Female Loners

I never stop learning. When I become intellectually interested in a topic, especially if I’m interested in opinions on it, I head to a search engine and start reading. Lately I’ve been thinking and reading more about being an introvert, being shy and being a loner. It seems a lot of people don’t know the difference among these terms. The definition of an “introvert” is pretty involved, but it seems the simplest way it’s usually defined is a person who becomes drained by social interaction/people and needs some time away to get him/herself together or think afterwards. A lot of people don’t know this word exists or don’t know what it means, which means they use “shy” or “loner” to describe people who are actually introverts. But you can be an introvert and be a loner, too, for example, as is the case with me. And you can be a loner and be shy. I am not shy, though.

I’m writing about this because a couple of interesting things happened this week–1) my work friend Clara called me shy, and 2) someone pointed out something I’d never really thought of before, which is that loners are usually men and women who are loners are often mistaken for being shy. Well, what’s the difference? Being “shy” means you want to interact with people but you don’t know how to or are too scared. Um, this is not me. I have my moments where there are certain people–certain women–I want to talk to but I “can’t.” But that’s normal if you’re romantically interested in women. Shy people have issues with just about everyone. Loners are damn-near the opposite of shy people–they usually prefer being alone or prefer minimal social interaction. People often use “loner” to mean someone who is basically socially rejected, i.e. a loner against his will, and I can grant them that, although I believe the real definition is the one I gave and the definitions I have found so far support that.

In the course of my research, I have discovered that people don’t actually know what “loner” means, nor that females can be loners or what makes a female a loner (or why more men are loners). So, what I want to do here is another one of my response posts. What I do with these is I take stuff people have written elsewhere on the web and I respond to it.

Here is the first site where you’ll find some of the excerpts that appear here, to which I respond. Here are excerpts and my responses below, starting with the question “do you know any female loners” from the original poster:

It seems that it’s rarer for a woman to be a true loner than it is a man. Even shy women often seem to have at least a few friends, whereas I know a lot of guys on the internet who have no friends WHATSOEVER in real life.
It seems if a young woman has no friends whatsoever, she either travels a lot and just talks to strangers and stuff, has a really involved job where she still socialises and stuff, or works in some remote area. Otherwise she has some severe mental or physical handicap that prevents that.
I think it’s because it’s easier for girls to make friends and they’re more inclusive than a lot of guys.
I don’t really know any loners, or many women who would be considered ‘losers’ – no job, sponging off parents.etc, also no social life. I know they exist, but they seem quite rare.

I see a lot wrong with this person’s assumptions. First of all, there’s that equating “shy” with “loner.” Second, being a loner–and I see this assumption/belief time and time again–is not about having no friends. Again, it means you prefer to be alone. This belief is probably one of the biggest reasons why people don’t recognize female loners or why female loners are mistaken for being shy. But if you insist on believing this about having friends, by my definition of “friends” I don’t actually have any. I have people who think we’re friends, but emailing, texting and/or IM-ing every once in a blue moon doesn’t cut it, to me. And having people I don’t hang out with outside of work and will probably almost never communicate with once one of us finds another job is not friendship to me. And breaking up and you wishing me well from afar, talking about me with other people, thinking about me sometimes but never communicating with me doesn’t make us friends.

I’ve got to quote this person again here:

It seems if a young woman has no friends whatsoever, she either travels a lot and just talks to strangers and stuff, has a really involved job where she still socialises and stuff, or works in some remote area. Otherwise she has some severe mental or physical handicap that prevents that.

This is just pure…moronic…bullschitt. The end. To be honest with you, the average married-with-kids woman probably doesn’t have friends. She has her husband or her partner, and I have found that that’s all most of those women want. And you grow up, graduate, move away from people, work, have families…and then your “friendships” become that crap I described above–especially if you’re still single and your “friends” aren’t–which I don’t consider friendship.

I think it’s because it’s easier for girls to make friends and they’re more inclusive than a lot of guys.

See, men always think everything’s easier for women and women always think everything’s easier for men. I just have never seen how it’s “easier for girls to make friends” and certainly have never seen where women are “more inclusive.” In fact, over the years I have envied how easy it seems for guys to bond and not have drama or emotions in the way half the time. This is especially true when I think about sports teams–I don’t think women have anything like what male athletes have with one another, not even in their sports. I just think friendship between women is different from friendship between men, and that could be why a lot of men think it’s easier for women. Women’s friendships are more involved, more emotional and just closer…but that’s once they actually form. Most women don’t like to be alone anywhere, and they’ll use other women so that they won’t be. That doesn’t mean they’re friends. Women also like to run their mouths, and they will use other women for that purpose, as well.

I think it’s hard for women to truly become friends. Men have a fairly small group of general, stereotypical interests, and that makes it easier for them to find other like-minded men to become friends with. For example, I’d say you can say most guys either like sports, video games, science fiction, technology, drinking or some combination. I’m not saying guys aren’t or can’t be interested in other things, but these seem like the biggies that bind guys together. Contrary to popular belief, women don’t have a small group of biggies that can bind them together–women are more diverse. And even if we did all like some combo of hair, makeup, shoes, shopping…you can have so many things in common with another woman and still have her flatout dislike you or reject you, usually for some shallow reason that should have nothing to do with forming a friendship. A big one is physical attractiveness. So many women hate gorgeous women, but a lot of women also are drawn to pretty women who are less intimidating in some way (i.e. very friendly) and ignore less attractive ones or women who don’t subscribe their idea of how they should do their hair, dress, etc…and this is just talking about friendship. This is hardly being “inclusive.”

I also think this is why you see more male loners, though, aside from the fact that people mis-label female loners as “shy” or some other term. It seems like male loners either aren’t into any of the biggies I listed and, thus, can’t really relate to or have discussions with or be accepted by most men…or they are into some of the geekier biggies, like sci fi, but aren’t usually around other guys who are into that stuff. Guys who like sports are a dime a dozen, so if you’re a guy who isn’t into it but you’re always around guys who are you get used to being alone. There’s also the issue of defensiveness. Sometimes it can seem like being around other guys is halfway a “prove my macho” party, and some guys don’t want to bother, especially if they know they don’t have the requisite interests or the experience with women to win at that kind of game with other guys. They’ll look stupid, and they know it.

This response basically addresses things several others mentioned on that site, but I did see a couple of people who seemed to “get” what “loner” means.

Here is another site, where the discussion goes in a different direction. They are discussing whether or not to date loners:

…there is huge potential for this to be a red flag…
Someone who has no friends may have a hard time building and sustaining healthy relationships. Theymayalso be really selfish. Both my loner exes were selfish, and didn’t really like people. They were also clingy, as I was their only form of entertainment and only confidant. 
It’s best to bring up the subject with her to find out why she has no friends. If it is because she is super shy, then I think that is a more acceptable reason, especially if she really wants to make friends but has trouble. However, if she just doesn’t want to make friends, then that sounds like trouble.

I get some of this and not other parts. I don’t know why not wanting to make friends is “trouble” or a “red flag.” Not wanting to make friends doesn’t mean you won’t; you just might not be actively interested, but if someone who could be a good friend comes along you will be receptive. As I’ve written before, relationships are just tough. I think the majority of people are spoiled and/or selfish nowadays where they’re concerned and don’t want to put the work in. I don’t think that has ever been my problem, with respect to not wanting to build or sustain a relationship–if anything, I think other people I’ve been with have not wanted to build/sustain. Recently, I have looked back over my last relationship and have definitely seen where I was selfish at times, but I don’t think that’s the norm for me in relationships.

I am actually “clingy” in relationships, and I think that’s the problem. I don’t see the problem with wanting to be with someone whom you love and who says they love you all the time, but most people do and it kills the “love.” This is something I learned from my last relationship, and it is going to change how I act with the next woman, assuming there is one. I think one of the problems with my friendships is that most of my friends have tons of friends, whereas I don’t. I don’t know that you can be the kind of person who has 400 Facebook friends, 100 of them whom you actually do communicate with, and seriously be a good friend to any of them or have a “built” friendship with these people. Quality and [large] quantity often don’t go together. So, I always want to put in the work with a few select people and I have the time to do it, but they have 50 million other people they’re floating around and usually a serious romantic relationship/marriage, as well. And I don’t like people, either, but I have many exceptions. These friends with the 400 Facebook friends, unfortunately, are my exceptions. I like extroverts, because they approach me and they have all the right social skills, etc. But everyone else likes them, too. And extroverts like to be liked.

I probably need friends and romantic partners who are more like me in the social department, but how would two introverts/loners actually get to talking? 😉

Here is another discussion from a different site:

I think that part of it though is that women are less likely to be excluded due to problems with socialization, and shyness or anxiety may actually be seen as “cute”. Whereas the same traits in a man will often be perceived as weakness, and lead to stereotyping regardless of whether or not it’s deserved. Not to mention socially awkward men often end up taking on the dreaded “creepy” label, whereas you’ll almost never hear of a woman, regardless of what she does, referred to as creepy.

I don’t really think other women view women’s “shyness” as “cute.” Men might, but women assume the worst about other women who are to themselves. This is why I was surprised and kind of glad that Clara called me “shy.” I have never been called “shy” (not as an adult, anyway), but I have been called “anti-social” and “stuck-up.” And though no one has ever told me this to my face, I have been able to tell that black people don’t view me as a “loner” or “shy” or an “introvert”–they think I don’t want to be black because all they see is I don’t interact with black people as opposed to the fact that I hardly interact with anyone.

I basically agree about how loner men are viewed, although I did have a female co-worker who was creepy.

And this site has the dumbest discussion on female loners:

Yes there’s plenty, but most are ugly. Good looking girls loners? Nah

Funny, since one of the other sites above has people discussing how pretty women are loners. So, which is it?

I consider myself ugly, to be honest with you. I have been told by many people that I am attractive, but I definitely know there are others who don’t think so. And I have not really noticed any pretty loners–quite to the contrary, pretty women often seem to have lots of people for socializing. I have seen a couple of women who look okay who seem to be loners, but they could also be shy. Bottom line–I just don’t really think looks have much to do with it.

Females are naturally more social than males. It’s rare to find a female who is content with being alone.

They’re not the same thing. I already mentioned that I don’t think women like to be alone, but I wouldn’t say women are more social. If anything, you run into more quiet women than quiet men.

They exist and they usually smoke a lot of weed.

Haha. This.
I was just going to say.. probably a few drug addicts.

I’ve never smoked weed and never will. I don’t even know what the schitt smells like. The only “drug” I do is caffeine.

See? Dumb discussion.

Finally, a Psychology Today article discusses loners and introverts, and it profiles a female loner who grew up shy:

Matsuoka, for example, says she was “pathologically shy” as a child, which likely laid the groundwork for her current lifestyle, even though she grew much more confident in her 20s. 

What is that lifestyle?

She just strongly prefers not to socialize, opting instead for long baths, DVDs, and immersion in her art projects. She does have good, close friends, and goes dancing about once a month, but afterward feels a strong need to “hide and recoup.”

Ding, ding, ding.

I must admit that I was ridiculously shy for years and years, particularly when I was in elementary school. I also had an overprotective mother who wouldn’t let me do anything or go anywhere, which she still fervently denies was the case. Between those two things, I gave up on being able to socialize outside of school. Once I got home, it was up to me to figure out how to entertain myself at home. Somewhere along the way, I just got used to it and now that’s what I prefer–entertaining myself at home. Especially now that I’m an adult. My new job is incredibly physical at times, especially for someone like me who is out of shape. It’s Friday night/early Saturday morning as I type, but the last thing I want to do is go out. After my day at work, I can barely even walk, and I know I will probably have sore muscles all weekend.

One of the dumb comments I quote above profiles a “normal” loner female as one who just travels all the time. Well, I do like to travel. It’s just about the only thing I like to do away from home–I even shop via the internet most of the time. I’m going to Chicago next week, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to my trip to Michigan in September even more. If I had the money, all I’d do is go to different cities and countries–even my mother said that about me when we were talking about what I’d do with my money if I won the lottery.

Notice that Psychology Today points out Matsuoka’s “good, close friends.” Again, being a loner does not mean you don’t have friends, and it doesn’t have to mean you can’t sustain/build relationships. Personally, I do see myself growing old alone. As someone who doesn’t make an effort to meet people or to socialize with the people I do meet, and then makes too much of an effort with the people who get close to me, it makes sense that I’d be alone whereas it doesn’t make sense for most people. That doesn’t mean I can’t build something that lasts if there were someone out there for me.

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Forced Socializing At Work

Last year, I wrote about how I did a little online research to find out exactly how introverts are perceived at work, and I responded to some of the opinions I found online in this post. One of the points I made is about how employers seem to be incorporating personalities and being sociable into work environments, which is quite disadvantageous to introverts.

One thing employers like to do nowadays is force socializing. For example, sometimes you have after-work parties and everyone is expected to be there. The thought that someone wouldn’t want to be there never crosses the organizer’s mind. The job I had prior to my last job–the one I had while I wrote the post to which I link above–forced socializing at times. I remember on my last day working there, the other techs had been called into one of the owners’ office to talk about some after-work holiday party–either Thanksgiving or Christmas, can’t remember. As if you don’t spend enough time with people at work…yeah, you really want to show up after work to hang with them some more.

And not long before I left that place, there was some other little thing forced on us…I can’t remember why, but we were all expected to bring a dish–not even just bring one, but actually cook it. Oh, yeah, it was a Potluck. Fuck that schitt, man–I don’t cook. But the b!tch who organized it would have been pissed if I declined to bring something, because she was precisely that type of woman. In fact, I think she sent me and a few other people an email after a while because we hadn’t signed up yet, and, if I remember correctly, in the email she claimed we didn’t have to bring anything. But you could tell–we were indirectly being pressured. You better believe I headed to Kroger, purchased a little thingy of potato salad, put it in a plastic tupperware container as if I had prepared it and was done with those b!tches.

This was that place where everyone I worked with was white, and I noticed cultural differences all the time. This Potluck was one of those times. For some reason, the old[er] non-tech bitties and I ended up talking about how my father is a better cook than my mother and how my mother almost never cooks. They started with all this crap like, “Oh, my gosh, a woman who doesn’t cook…how do you keep a man” or whatever they said, but that was basically the gist. They couldn’t fathom a woman not cooking. And this is cultural both racially and generationally. I’m not saying black women don’t cook, but black women are more often the sole breadwinners, make more money than their husbands or just have some sort of job that keeps her out of the home. This is not how white households are. A lot of older white women are housewives or have somewhat of a housewife mentality because they grew up with mothers who were housewives or during a time when a lot of mothers were housewives (where they lived). Ask a black woman, and if she’s being real with you she’ll let you know that most of us think being a housewife is one of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard.

Black women have too much going on to cook all the time, and their roles often overlap that which has been traditionally thought of as “male roles”–especially more often than white women’s roles do (as I said, black women tend to make more money than their male counterparts and are also more likely to even be employed than their male counterparts are. Both of my sisters make more money than their husbands do–one of my sisters is her household’s sole breadwinner). And you also now have a generation of all kinds of women who want to be working professionals and will not even be home at dinner time, let alone cook it. Nevertheless, their comments kind of pissed me off. This is the kind of crap in which I’m forced to participate with these damn Potlucks and holiday parties and other nonsense I don’t want to attend.

So, this morning I just decided “thanks, but no thanks” and skipped the stupid little breakfast party that my co-worker Linda told me about. I contemplated my childhood and how, whether I was around or not at certain things at school, no one really seemed to know or care. Why would anyone notice or care if I don’t go to this breakfast thing? I figured no one would give a schitt. And even if they did, I hadn’t been told this thing was mandatory, and you almost always get a pass when you can say “no one told me” or “I didn’t know.”

Oh…my…world…turns out almost everybody noticed and cared…including my manager. I could barely even listen to my music for all the people harassing me about why I wasn’t at the breakfast. That’s really all I wanted to do today–listen to music, get my work done and go home. I didn’t want to sit around fake-laughing at co-workers making fun of each other…um, co-workers who are pretty much all at least in their 30s, but they make fun of each other all day. Even the manager gets in on it. Gimme a break…The most peace I had all day at work was the hour they were all gone to breakfast. Plus, only certain people are allowed to make fun of me, and that doesn’t include anyone I barely know, like co-workers.

I was really wrong about how little people would care, too. For starters, turns out that while I was relieving a craving for Dr. Pepper, Linda told another co-worker to make sure he brings me to the breakfast. I didn’t know this at the time, so when he was insisting that I come with him and another co-worker, I was thinking, “Dude, what the hell…?” He just kept telling me to come with him and wanted to know why I didn’t want to go. The co-worker who was with him happens to be related to my manager, and I’m sure she heard me when I told this guy, “I’m not going to that.” I’m sure she heard the way I said it, too, and I would bet she told our manager.

Anyway, when the co-worker responsible for bringing me to the breakfast came back, he told me Linda had food at her station. My friend/co-worker Clara kept telling me about food that was left over. It was like these people were trying to make me eat. My co-worker Corey, with whom I worked on a project last week, said something to me about not going to the breakfast. He tries to make me eat, as well, because I told him that I never eat breakfast and almost never eat lunch. He probably thinks I’m anorexic, but I definitely don’t look it. Linda acted almost horrified that I didn’t go and wanted to know if my co-worker had told me about it, where it was located, etc–that’s how I found out she told him to bring me.

And, of course, my manager said something about it. He basically let me know indirectly that garbage like that is mandatory for social reasons and that I should be at the next one. Why is stuff that people at work think up as ways to have “fun” mandatory? “Fun” and “mandatory” don’t go together, and that’s why my job is just my job to me. It has nothing to do with socializing, and, to me, it shouldn’t. Jobs are about making a living, paying for stuff that is actually fun (like my upcoming trip to Michigan to see my alma mater beat our rival Notre Dame) and paying bills; otherwise, I wouldn’t be working. See? Mandatory, not fun. That’s why all I think about at work is getting my work done, listening to music (to help me get through un-fun work) and going home. I’m not thinking about food or hanging with co-workers. (And yes, I do know work is not 100% mandatory…see the “housewife” stuff above.)

Clara and Linda didn’t let it go, either. Clara asked me again later why I didn’t go to the breakfast, and I just told her I didn’t think anyone would notice. She said that not that many people work in our area at work, so people would notice. But, I pointed out to her, I only really communicate with her at work (so why would others notice if I’m not there?). She took that as my saying that I didn’t go because I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to, which is part of it but not the point, and she said I could have sat by her.

I know that, to many people, socializing is the way they deal with un-fun, mandatory work. And they can’t even begin to understand people like me who just want to work, just want to listen to music and don’t want to go to social events or stand around half the day talking. And, for me, it’s not even about not liking my co-workers–I like most of them, and I’m fine with them one-on-one. But a room full of them, where we’re expected to socialize for an hour, is not my idea of a good time. I don’t really think it’s any introvert’s idea of a good time. It’s actually more anxiety-producing than anything else. That’s what I don’t think people understand when they come up with these work social events.

Whatever people might think about this communication style, I speak to people who speak to me…meaning if someone doesn’t initiate a conversation with me, we’re not going to have a conversation. There are very few exceptions. Some of it is just not being interested in talking to most people. Some of it is a lack of social skills. But some of it is, again, thinking back on my childhood. For example, when I was growing up, if some people were having a conversation and you inserted yourself into it–let’s say these are black people–oftentimes one of them would say something like, “Ain’t nobody talking to you!” Or “This is an A and B conversation–C your way out.” White people might just look at you like you’re crazy.

So, I’ve realized over the last few months that I believe people shouldn’t enter conversations unless they’re invited to do so. Something has changed over the years, because now if you don’t go up to people and just start talking, people want to know why you never speak to anybody.

Now I’m just wondering how I’m going to be able to tolerate the next social event at work. After I spoke with my manager, I thought about how I hope my job doesn’t have another one of these things before I move on to another job. Unfortunately, because of this trend where work and social life are expected to intertwine, the problem is not going to go away, nearly regardless of where I work. It’ll probably just get worse…until someone comes up with “Sensitivity Training In the Workplace” geared towards understanding and working with introverts.

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The Three Years That Changed My Life

I talk a lot of schitt about college. It is a bitter topic for me, and I try pretty hard to convince young people not to go because no one grabbed me and told me I shouldn’t go. It sounds odd because, for decades, adults have been grabbing young people and telling them why they should go to college. It’s just that I found first hand with both college and then graduate school that the things adults tell young people when they grab them aren’t quite true anymore. College dropouts become rich CEOs (or rich rappers with aptly-titled CDs, not to mention slut-wives) while people who see college through end up in debt for at least 10 years while getting a starting salary of maybe $25,000/yr or $30,000/yr…whenever they’re lucky enough to even find a job.

At the same time…I have a hard time reconciling this knowledge/experience with the other experiences I gained from attending college and grad school, not to mention how to reconcile it with the respect I have for education and academic institutions in general. In fact, I can honestly say that grad school had a profound effect on my life. It changed my life, for better and for worse.

I skipped out on work Monday, and my mother and I went several places. One of them was a store that sells all college gear, particularly for sports fans. I’m always up for buying schitt that reps the University of Michigan (I damn-near have Michigan everything), which was my grad school–the school that changed my life. After we returned home, my mother and I were talking about how she, my father and my oldest sister lived in the San Francisco area before I was born. It was interesting that this came up, because I had been thinking a lot about something recently. This led me to tell my mother something no one knows about me.

Everyone who has known me for long enough knows I love Michigan. Love Michigan.

But Stanford is my dream school. It was my dream school when I headed to Michigan. If I could think of a reason to go to Stanford and afford it right now, I would. And as much as I liked Michigan, had I gotten accepted to Stanford for law school as well, that’s where I would have gone. Of course, the three best law schools in the nation rejected me (Harvard, Yale, Stanford); I very nearly had my choice of top law schools aside from those. The only other school that felt “right” aside from Stanford was Michigan. So, despite the better scholarship offers from other schools and the questioning from fellow Southerners, I went to Michigan.

My mother’s response–to my mentioning that I didn’t get into Stanford and that was the only reason my parents didn’t end up taking trips back to the SF area for [at least] three years instead of to Ann Arbor for three years–was something along the lines, of course, of “everything happens for a reason.”

Oh, of course. I know Michigan happened for a reason. I wouldn’t trade my time at Michigan for Stanford. Would I trade it for less debt, to get back the debt it put me in? That’s a tougher question, it really is.

See, among many things, Michigan is, for me:

-Where I realized I could actually be friends with other women

-Where I fell in love with sports

-Where I truly accepted that I am, and started identifying as, a lesbian

-Where I learned that college towns–not suburbs, not the country and definitely not cities–are right for me

-Where I found the only “community” to which I 100% love belonging (um, sorry, blacks and LGBTs and women)

-Where I really began to recognize, love and appreciate the black or African-descent woman, as well as her beauty

And it’s not all positive experiences.

I suffered from depression for at least a semester while I was at Michigan, which led to my seeing a psychotherapist. The psychotherapist was one of my friends, but we still had real sessions. It’s interesting–for much of my life growing up, I wanted to be a psychologist…got my psych degree. Never once did I think that people could walk out of counseling sessions feeling worse than when they entered them, but that’s how I felt after every session with my friend/psychotherapist–every…single…one. Needless to say, that’s not how I recovered from depression…but that’s a story for another time. 😉

I also had a racial experience at Michigan that is the base reason for why I just don’t view white women in a romantic light/as a romantic option anymore and probably never will again. Obviously, you can’t make an entire race/sex carry the burden for something that happened with one person of that background, and that’s not really the case here…but it got the ball rolling, I learned a lot about the deep lack of understanding between black people and white people (of each other, not just white people not understanding blacks), and now I’m where I am. I must say that, although I wouldn’t quite say I’m glad the experience happened, it was good for me in some ways. Out of it grew the way I now see black women, which is a way in which I didn’t quite view them before. And I think it’s important for black women to completely see other black women’s worth, beauty, intelligence, attractiveness, etc. If we can’t see it, who can/will?

And obviously, it goes without saying that being in debt for the rest of my life is not anything positive that Michigan gave me.

But even out of these three negative experiences came a lot of learning, very important learning and experiences. I went through everything and then some at Michigan–really could have a TV series based off it…we’ll call it “Ann Arbor 48109” or “Michigan Law”–whereas my college experience was relatively uneventful.

I mentioned one of the things I gained from Michigan was a love of sports. I even did some sports writing on the side. Well…people who don’t understand sports or diehard fans or why fans and experts get so emotional…they often ask about it. One of the things I try to articulate, perhaps unsuccessfully most of the time, is my belief that love for a particular sport or team usually doesn’t develop from the sport/team. To me, there is usually something else–being from a particular city or state, the people around you, the school you attend. First and foremost, I love my school because of everything I went through there, everything it made me, everything it taught me. And that led me to support my school in whatever, be it sports or anything else. It’s the reason why I will watch garbage like baseball from time to time or softball (which…softball, for some reason, I actually like now)–if it’s Michigan playing, I will watch.

My favorite sports are football and basketball. I grew up playing basketball, and my family is a basketball family. My father has basketball championships. But I hated football growing up. After attending Michigan, a huge football school, football is my favorite sport. I didn’t suddenly become interested in guys running for three yards and passing for 15 yards just because it was interesting. It never was, originally. Truthfully, if it’s the NFL, it’s still not interesting greater than 50% of the time. I just don’t have that NFL equivalent to Michigan, no emotional connection. I hate where I’m from, so why would I root for my state’s NFL team?

Michigan is why I like college football and why that’s my favorite sport. And the love I have for my school is why losses are so painful–particularly certain ones. Any loss to Ohio State or Michigan State (rivals). The loss to Indiana in basketball earlier this year that cost Michigan a conference championship…that still brings tears to my eyes because of the way it happened. Even my father cursed and was angry after Michigan lost that game, and he, being an SEC guy, likes to pretend he is not a Michigan fan (he is). There are other Michigan losses I could reference using just two words, and [college] sports fans would know what I’m talking about–Appalachian State and Time Out. Horrific and horrific. We (Michigan) have the most legendary fails in college sports, for real, so you can’t blame me for feeling pain. But we are also among the most successful programs in college sports, so you can’t blame me for feeling pride, either.

So, would I want to give all of this back for, oh, $100,000? I don’t know who I’d be without all of this.

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Manic Monday

Yesterday I gave notice at work, but I gave it to the agency that placed me since they’re technically my employer. Immediately–like the minute I emailed them my notice–they started calling and emailing me. I mean, I happened to glance at my cell phone, and saw my recruiter’s name and number on the screen while I was in the middle of something. It’s just ridiculous how they always try to call me. I answer phones for a living all day for a corporation, and they know this–they placed me in the position. Why on earth do they think I can just take their calls on my personal cell phone whenever they feel like it?

So, when I didn’t answer, my recruiter emailed me the next minute asking me to call him. Then the other recruiter emailed me asking me to call him. Then my recruiter emailed me again, asking where I got a job. Then he tried to call my co-worker New Tech, who didn’t answer but told me they were calling him. These recruiters have a habit of contacting one of their other placed employees whom they know works near the one they’re trying to reach when they can’t get a response from the one they’re trying to reach–they’ve contacted me before trying to reach both Lazy Tech and New Tech. So, we knew they were probably calling New Tech to find out where I was or if I could call them.

New Tech and I were just dying laughing at the whole thing. I knew the agency didn’t expect me to find a job that quickly, or at all. It was just last Monday when they told me they’d spoken to my supervisor and he wouldn’t let me go back to the position I liked at the company. I told them I would find something else, then. I know they didn’t believe it. In fact, they scheduled a follow-up discussion for next Monday. Turns out next Monday I’ll be at my new job. I know they couldn’t believe it and that they’d want to know just how on earth I was able to get another job that fast. That’s why it was especially funny to New Tech and me when they emailed asking where I got a job.

By the time I called these guys one of them had told my supervisor. My supervisor still hasn’t said anything to me about it, the @sshole. He acts like nothing is happening. But New Tech told me he saw one of the recruiters today in the lobby. I told him they are probably talking about hiring someone to replace me on tech support, which wouldn’t even be necessary if the kid they brought in a couple of weeks ago had just been placed on tech support to begin with.

Obviously, my recruiter did ask me all kinds of questions about where I was going, how I found the job, etc. Even about how much it pays.

I got a bit of a surprise, though, because he sounded irritated last week when I reiterated I wanted to leave the company where he placed me…

He told me, “I don’t blame you one bit.” The way he said it, too…with emphasis, hit the “one bit” part pretty clear.

He knows that situation with my supervisor doing everything he could to keep Lazy Tech and nothing to accommodate me was bullschitt. For the record, my recruiter is Asian. I have found that Asians don’t usually side with black people when it comes to anything with racial undertones or even racially overt things, but he’s Filipino and Filipinos tend to be a little bit more…racially aware and black-friendly. New Tech and I also talked about how they would have gotten rid of a black person who acted like Lazy Tech did without all of that bending over backwards to prevent it…in part because my mother asked me if I had warned him, basically. Like I wrote before, I can definitely see New Tech’s inadequacies getting more exposed without my being there to pick up after him, and he’s African. They’re not going to put up with some of the issues he has for too long. If he can’t find another job fast enough, I see him getting fired eventually.

And with it being official that I’m out the door, New Tech has really started trying to step up finding another job…to the point where over the last two days he has just come across as desperate to me. Now he’s wanting to get out of IT altogether, saying it’s not his passion. He was talking about wanting to move into IT management. He is not management material, I can tell you that. Sure, plenty of managers suck–mine does–but there’s a difference between being a bad manager and just not having a manager’s personality. My manager is the type of guy you disrespect behind his back; New Tech is the type of guy you’d disrespect to his face. I would be the same way, I think–I know I am not “leader” material.

Today, New Tech actually took off work early to go interview with an insurance company. Um. All you’re going to do at an insurance company is sell insurance. Probably won’t get paid if you don’t, either. That’s the kind of job I looked at way back when I first got out of school and wasn’t hearing schitt back from employers and was desperate, so I know what those “interviews” are like. He has a wife and kids–you need something very stable in that situation, something with a weekly or bi-weekly paycheck guaranteed.

He also sits at work and looks at our company’s internal job postings on a regular basis, only now he is looking in the customer service department. Customer service? While there’s a CS component to working many IT jobs, CS is at least a step down from doing anything in IT, or at least the positions he might qualify for would be. And with the more entry-level jobs, which I’m sure is all he could really get, you’re going to get paid like it’s at least a step down. Maybe he thinks those jobs would be easier to get or something, but I can tell from speaking to him that he has unrealistic ideas about how much he’d get paid.

Still, Belinda is a CS supervisor at our company…so I smiled (thinking about her tends to bring a smile to my face or make me nervous) and suggested he talk to her about the job openings they have. Dude, I cannot imagine having to report to Belinda (although I’d probably love going to work all of a sudden). But New Tech seriously went looking for her so that he could talk to her about it.

By the way…the Belinda thing. I realize that now that I’m leaving my job, in a sense I have nothing to lose by approaching Belinda. Knowing this is my last week and that I probably won’t see her again unless an effort is made to do so, I’m a little bit torn. But I’m just not ready for several reasons, not just because I feel I still need to move on more from everything that happened with my “ex.” Also, given that Belinda is never alone–today I saw her with, like, four or five other people–I wouldn’t even know how to approach her. Plus, I have never approached a woman before, at least not out of the blue. I always get approached.

And speaking of the “ex,” I thought she no longer read my blog but maybe she does, because I haven’t seen her on Yahoo! since I wrote about seeing her online and how it made me feel. I don’t know, I just thought it was interesting that she no longer shows up after that. I know there are ways to kind of find out if she still reads my blog–I work in IT, after all–but I’m not interested enough to see if she’s still following me. I just assumed she wasn’t because 95% of the time I feel like she doesn’t give a schitt about me, so why read my blog (intriguing topic, too–inspired me to do a little Google search; still not sure what the answer is)? Why would anyone read this, haha? I have actual friends who won’t even read this stuff! Plus, I’ve been through worrying about who sees what I write, and I am past that now. My blog is my friend.

Bottom line–Belinda is someone I’d love to get to know if given the opportunity, but now is just not a good time. Really, I should be coming home and continuing my studies on programming (I’ve gotten really lazy since my class ended–which I aced, by the way, and only missed two questions out of about 40 on the final exam!!!), not checking sports articles on Yahoo! (easier said than done since I am all about the majority of sports now and have even added the Tennis Channel to my obsessive sports channel surfing, what, with the French Open having ended a couple of weeks ago and now Wimbledon is on) or blogging or going out on dates. I should be figuring out how long I’m going to be with my parents vs moving out…and, to me, moving out is all about moving to another city/state, which would also complicate dating anyone where I am now. I’ve really been looking at what’s out there in Austin, TX, San Francisco, CA and Ann Arbor, MI–the latter because that’s where I’d love to be, the former two because those are more so IT hotbeds. Right now, career needs to come first, as it has for the past year+, so I can stop being quite as big a loser. 😉

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I Pissed Her Off

Yeah, so it has been a while. I got kind of caught up with college basketball, as my alma mater actually did end up making it to the Final Four and playing for a national championship after I lost all hope for that happening some time back in February, I believe. I didn’t go down to Atlanta to see it, which was my plan before I stopped believing in my team, but I also don’t regret it. I looked at the cost of the trip (tickets to the games, plane trip, hotel), and it was just more money than I wanted to spend. Plus, when my school lost the championship game it pissed me off/depressed me enough to be glad I didn’t spend all that money to see it live. I’m so proud of Michigan for making it so far, but it still hurt(s) and I would have been livid if I spent $1500+ (and it was close to $1500 before the Tournament, so no telling how much it would have been during) to watch Michigan give up a nice lead and to watch Louisville carve up Michigan’s defense.

My entire family watched the game from various parts of the US, including members of my family who never watch Michigan play, just because it was my school playing for a national title, so that was great. On the positive, we did pick up national titles in Swimming, Men’s Gymnastics and Cheerleading over the last few weeks. 😉 We just could have had three national championships in about a week’s time if we’d won that bball one!

I also recently started taking a new programming class, so that’s keeping me a little busy after basketball, as is supporting Michigan softball. That’s the other good thing about my not spending all that money to go to ATL and the NCAA Tournament–I had to drop money on a new Macbook Pro for my class, in addition to the enrollment fee for the class. Typing on it right now! Rarely have I taken classes where I couldn’t wait to do the work, but pretty much all IT-related classes I take are like that. I wish all the lessons for this class were already out–I’d probably be done by now, and I’m only a week into the class.

Now that you’re caught up on some non-work-related things, I’ve got a work/love life cross for you.

About a month or two ago, I wrote about this lady at work whom I noticed eyeballing me a couple of times in the dining area at work. I also wrote several posts that related to my “ex-girlfriend.” Well, I am over my “ex-girlfriend.” I kind of realized some time during the NCAA Tournament, towards the end of it, that I really wasn’t thinking of her the same way anymore and that if I found out she has a girlfriend it wouldn’t really bother me. It’s more so like I miss companionship now. And when you miss companionship, not any companionship will do. Some forms are more fulfilling than others, and it’s just hard for me to find fulfilling friendships, relationships, etc. You really have to find someone with whom you click. I mean, there is a chick at work who is, in a way, trying to make me be her friend. And that’s okay, I guess, but…there are just people with whom you really, really fit. That’s what I miss.

Anyway, I bring this up to say, first of all, that I am still not sure that what I actually want or need is a date or another relationship. I definitely could use friends who are not guys, and right now my support system is guys and that’s in a work-related capacity. We have a great time talking schitt about Lazy Tech and annoying people who contact tech support and about our jobs and about how other people at work don’t do schitt while we do all the work…even talking about sports. But I do notice more and more that there are many attractive women where I work.

Second…well, I got an email today at work. Now, for the most part, I am not supposed to receive emails to my personal email account at work. We have a tech support inbox, so that’s where my emails are supposed to go. Still, people who work for my company do email me directly from time to time for work-related reasons. Usually, it’s people I’ve assisted before. But I got an email from this lady whose name I’d never seen before. It didn’t look familiar, didn’t recall speaking to her on the phone ever. So I’m not sure how she knew to email me at all. Anyway, she was asking if I could do something I knew I wasn’t allowed to do. I’ve done it before, and I’ve had my supervisor contact me about why, letting me know it’s not allowed, etc. And I’m tired of whiny-@ss schitt at work these days from my supervisor and otherwise.

So I had to respond that I could not do what she wanted. And I knew it wasn’t going to make sense to say I couldn’t do it, because it seems harmless…my job is just so f*cking silly that way. They have the most convoluted rules and they make everything 50 million times harder than necessary. Not my fault, though. Like I said, I’m tired of hearing/reading whining about garbage from my supervisor and this other department at work that whines about just dumb schitt and gets my supervisor involved in it. Like, they’re basically whining about receiving an email alert. Anyway.

So, this chick sends back this b!tchy email that was basically like, “Really? You said no to me? Don’t you know I’m Big Schitt around here? Are you serious? That’s f*cking stupid. What you just wrote me is so f*cking stupid that I’m going to copy someone I think I can use to get around you to get my way on this email and ask them to help.” Not in those words, but that was blatantly the gist. Yeah. Schitt like that is completely why I have to get off tech support and precisely why I’m taking programming classes–so that I can sit home on my @ss and create programs and apps and sell them from the comfort of my bedroom.

If you ever use Gmail, you know that Gmail users can upload pics that show whenever they email you. Our company basically uses Google for email. So I happen to glance to the side while looking at that b!tchy email, and I see Dining-Area Chick’s face in the pic. Now, I don’t put my pics on anything. People who know me will attest to that. So do I think she knows my name when she sees me? No, although there are people at our local office who somehow do know what my name is when they see me. So, I don’t think she knew that the person she was having an e-tantrum with is the same person from the dining area.

And that wasn’t the only b!tchy email from her, either. When I got the second one, I was kind of like, “Wow.” While I think my supervisors have come up with the dumbest schitt for rules, she definitely was overreacting. It says a lot about her, if she was so b!tchy about something that really didn’t warrant it to the degree she took it. And I’ve gotten just ridiculous reactions from people at the company, particularly over the phone, but those might have been the most ridiculous emails I’ve gotten since I’ve been working at this place. I also can never understand why people want someone to break rules and risk getting in trouble because someone else didn’t do what he/she should have done, and then they have more of a problem with the person who won’t break the rules than the person who didn’t do his/her part. We deal with dumb schitt like this all day every day in tech support, and it de-motivates me in terms of my job while motivating me to find something else to do for work.

Rarely do you get to see the kinds of things you need to see about someone in whom you might be interested in getting to know before you start the process of getting to know them. People in my family like to say I’m spoiled, but most people outside my family wouldn’t say that, at least not in terms of my demeanor and behavior with other people. When you don’t get your way, there has to be some semblance of grace in dealing with it, especially if it’s no big thing. I just do not operate with a sense of entitlement or act crazy with people I don’t know (notice how I included “people I don’t know”), and I don’t understand people who do. The way people act towards and speak to others amazes me every day. That’s why I f*cking hate people.

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