That's not what the Death card means

Everything right is wrong again
written 2019-03-31 09:50:20

"The lack of updates is probably a direct result of having steady work for most of the last five months."

This is true! I've been employed since the last entry, and all of the bitching in that entry is still applicable. Also, the stuff about student loans is still descriptive, though I have made more payments since that one.

I'm up to $21,000-ish paid down on loans for the period March 2018-March 2019. This does not include the monthly $750-$950 required due. That adds up to a bunch, I tell ya. Still feels like tossing money down a hole, but at least I feel like I have somewhere to toss it...? I don't know, paying loans is weird intersection between being a responsible adult and being complicit in the predatory system that Sallie Mae inflicted on the working classes.

So anyway, where I work, we don't really have permanent space. The placement agencies are always moving, always finding a cheaper lease, always getting moved out by office building landlords who desire more reputable tenants. As a result, I'm more likely to be working at a rented computer on a plastic table in an undecorated windowless room than I am to be in a cubicle, an office or a professional setting of any kind.

Working in this environment, we move a lot. The space we moved into on Friday was newly leased, and lacked some of the basics of office life. I went into the kitchen to size it up, and fill my water bottle. I noticed there were no ice trays, but there were two in the drying rack next to the sink. I thought I'd do my part by filling them and placing them in the freezer.

While I'm doing this, a coworker enters the kitchen. I don't know her so I don't greet her. When I pick up the (too full) ice trays, she immediately barks at me, "You're spilling! It's spilling!"

I'm aware, because I'm getting water on my shoes and pants. I say, "Yes, I know."

She repeats herself, louder and more pointed. I continue to the freezer, which I realize too late is unplugged; the working refrigerator is on the other side of the room.

As I'm recrossing the room to put these ice trays away, the coworker says something like "I must be older than you, because even I know not to spill water all over the floor."

And I reply, "Yeah, you must be."

"WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME?!" I cannot express the tone of this statement with mere caps and punctuation. If you grew up in an abusive house, it is the tone that, regardless of volume or content, meant that your abuser was going to find some reason to exercise their power over you. If you are a film buff, a weird jarring music track or audio effect would begin playing in the silence after her statement.

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A DICK ABOUT IT! I'M TRYING TO HELP!" I have not yet reached the operating fridge and cannot act to clean my spill. I have indicated I am aware of the spill, but my hands are full, of something that can keep spilling unless I put it away first.

Someone else enters the kitchen. The coworker immediately begins yelling about how terrible I am being. I put the ice trays away, and get some paper towels. The coworker already has some paper towels and splitting her energy between wiping up water and shrieking at me.

"I'M CLEANING UP YOUR MESS!! YOU'RE BEING ANTAGONISTIC FOR NO REASON!!" I am now in the position of having to clean up a water spill with paper towels while someone shouts at me while helping me clean. It's pretty surreal.

"I'M JUST TRYING TO HELP!!!" She says this last with the same level of vitriol or spite one might employ in confronting their mother's murderer, or in demanding justice of the gods for this whole rolling-a-boulder-up-a-hill thing.

"Well, you're doing a hell of a job." I honestly couldn't say anything useful or normal. I guess sarcasm is my neutral gear. I throw out my paper towels and get the hell out of the kitchen.

So, in my new space, I sit along the common path to the kitchen from the rest of the entire office. Understandably, this means the enraged woman from the break room will walk past my seat. (This also means she will walk past my seat every day, every time she goes for a cup of water or a yogurt from the fridge. /shudder.) As I try and get back to work, I hear the coworker and the bystander leave the break room and approach me. They are talking in low voices until they pass my desk, at which point the woman says, "mumblemumbleFUCKING ASSHOLE".

I don't know why that took me aback. Like, she can scream and abuse me in the kitchen, and that's okay, but in the open workspace with 30 other people in it, that's somehow not? I turned my head and watched her walk out of the area, and said, "Seriously?"

This would be a funny weird work story if it wasn't for my reaction. I had a little emotional breakdown and sat there wondering if I deserved it, or I'd really done something to incite that reaction. Other people on my team were worried about it, because I looked despondent or some shit. One person said the angry woman was always like this, confrontational, hair-triggered. I left work early because I wasn't getting much done.

Weird, right? I'm usually a good candidate for letting "people being jerks" roll off my back. Not this time, though. I sent Ingrid an unironic text saying "A lady was mean to me at work and now I'm sad". I called my mom later for additional coddling.

Fucked up.

Well, in other news, I'm getting a camera stuck up my ass on Friday, so maybe I'll post something next week about having butt cancer. Let's hope not!

--9:38 AM EDT, March 31, 2019, Philadelphia, PA, "so this is what the volume knob is for / I listen to dance music"

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