If I don’t I’ll burst.

Conversation going on in the change room at work today…

Keep in mind, the room is about 20 by 40 feet.  At any given time there may be up to 50+ people in there, scrubbing up and/or changing into clean room gear.  There are racks of uniforms, hair covers and shoe covers, stainless sinks, loud Dyson hand dryers, a large table and four stainless benches.  Sound carries…

With that many people all trying to talk over one another, you hear many conversations, most of them loud.  Pretty much impossible not to overhear.

You may recall the woman I’ve told you about who I have a problem with.  The one who has the problem with all other races, creeds, sexual preferences, etc.  Well.  Today I found out she has a problem with “Artsy-types.”  Yes, you read that correctly.  And you may also assume that I took that very personally.  Not a lot more than any of her other prejudices, which I find offensive- but in a more personal way.

You see, there is a guy we work with who is nothing, if not colorful and interesting.  Literally and figuratively.  This week his mop of thick black hair is accented with a beautiful bright patch of neon turquoise.  The woman in question was giving him her standard third degree… What made you decide to do that?  How much did it cost?  Does it wash out?  Yadda yadda yadda.  I just rolled my eyes and gave him my “poor you” look.  I’m one of the few people who has taken the time to get to know him and actually have real, meaningful conversations with the kid.  Most of the women I work with are either intimidated by him or repulsed by his style.  They’ve never taken the time to find out that he’s really nice and funny and a great conversationalist.

As soon as Mr. Prettyhair left the room, she started.  Keep in mind, she “hangs” with a group of older and judgemental women who go to church functions and pride themselves in their quote Christianity unquote.

After pretty much dissecting the poor kid and his wardrobe, jewelry and hair, she proclaimed that his need to “express himself” was way out of whack.  Or something to that effect.  And she added, “My daughter-in-law is one of those artsy types, so you can imagine how I worry about how my grandson will turn out.”  Then, if that wasn’t enough, she went on to describe an “artistic” boy who works at the grocery store.  Don’t get her wrong, she stressed, he’s a nice kid and all, but…  To which one of her cronies replied, “Did you say autistic or artistic?”  and they all hooted and hollered in laughter.  I thought I was gonna go ballistic on each and every one of their asses right then and there. Of course I was not part of the conversation and to intercede would make me as rude ok not AS rude as they are.

You know me well enough to know that just about all of my personal principles were offended and slaughtered to shreds in that short period of time.  Rather than cause a scene, I quickly left the room and returned to my desk and seethed for about 10 minutes and did some deep breathing exercises.  I also vowed that, given the opportunity, no, wait.  I will try not to say it.  But in my head, I’ll be saying, “You know, your own personal brand of narrow-mindedness is WAY more offensive, shocking and down-right dangerous than any sort of artistic expression I have ever witnessed.”

Man, when I think about it, going off on her (and her friends)  would be the ultimate masterpiece of  artistic expression.

6 responses to “NEED TO VENT

  1. The fact that no one challenges her on her racist views allows her to keep voicing them. Maybe if you actually point out to her that she is offensive and offending you and possibly others may deter her from flapping her gums so much. And truthfully, she should be considered for creating a hostile work environment for the people she slams.

  2. My Mother was as narrow minded as the person you were discussing. Each and every ethnic group had a not so flattering name, and they were all less than she or her family.
    My brother and I both grew up to be very non-judgemental. We just didn’t want to sound like her. I like people for who they are, not what they look like or the accent in their speece. And I guess my main prejudice is against unkind people. Prejudice is an awful, dangerous thing.

    I worked at a major pharmaceutical company, and it was a league of nations – peoplewise. I loved talking to different people about their roots. Most of us did.

  3. you tell it sister!!! that stuff drives me crazy, i usually just pray for them 🙂

  4. Hazel: While I agree with you, it’s hard to reason with these people, they are so blind. My own personal thought is that what goes around comes around and they will dig their own holes and have to live in them. But I’m sure the day will come when I no longer can bite my tongue.

    CAS: Congratulations to you and your brother for breaking the cycle and not perpetuating it. If only that were always the case : ) I feel sorry for people who miss out on so much because of their blinders.

    Leah: Thanks for reminding me of that option. I tend to forget sometimes…

  5. It is a shame how many people judge one another by how they dress, speak or look. I guess folks should be more willing to understand people from a micro level.

  6. That’s pretty bad, for sure, and shocking that anybody in this day and age would actually say such things aloud at work. Horrible that they would say it anywhere, but shocking that they are stupid enough to express it in a professional environment.

    I’m much like cassie-b and could have typed most of that about myself. Like Hazel, I want people to speak out against voices like that, but like Wink, I tend to figure that once they believe like that, it’s very difficult to sway them, and almost not worth the effort.

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