Friday, August 5, 2011

Working Undercover, Romantic Notions & School Bashing

So my temp job is going to be ending pretty soon (Tuesday, I'm pretty sure). I've been DYING to write about that experience but figured I couldn't do it until I finished. Some great insight & comedy have come out of it.

You may wonder why I've not just worked in some law firm or something instead of taking jobs that aren't really "lawyer" style jobs. Here's why?

1. Reduced stress. Legal jobs are so stressful, it's insane. I've had to go through my paperwork for legal matters with ex-clients and just doing that has been enough for me. If I ever did litigation, I wouldn't do it on my own. I would insist on doing it with some law firm or team of lawyers. If you don't want to take work home with you, being in a lawyer job is not the way to go.

2. Inspiration for writing/new experiences. Face it, you can get much more of this doing different types of jobs and not just the same one day in & day out. I also use this to justify trying new things I have an interest in.

3. Romantic notions of working as an "undercover boss." Lawyers are perceived by society very differently than the average phone interviewer/marketer. I can mention being a lawyer in some situations and it scares the hell out of folk. However, if you knew about my antics back in the day you wouldn't be shocked at all.

You have to watch out for romantic notions, though. Sometimes what you think is cool & interesting doesn't always turn out that way. Case in point: the manner in which I met Psycho Boy. I know you haven't heard this one.

I met Psycho Boy when he was working at a grocery store we frequented. As usual, my sister was begging for food my mom couldn't afford. I was always trying to talk my mom out of giving in to her & my dad, who were notorious for begging for wants. I got even better at this after being in college & asking family members how they thought I got things if I couldn't afford them. I said I had to put them back since my looks weren't getting me the extra groceries. Though I guess considering I got that free Blockbuster rental once & it had to have been my looks since what other reason was there for it, maybe I should have tried it sometime.

One thing I'd often do at the grocery store was check out guys. Yeah, I'm not ashamed to say that. This was the first summer I was coming back to my hometown & not being perceived as "the ugly girl." I had been doing new things & getting male attention in college. Plus, you need something to do in that town.

As we're shopping, my mom notices that this guy is following us. Seems like every time we're on a particular aisle, there is this guy. He even got up the nerve to say "Howdy" to me at one point. After this, my sister speculates that he's interested in me & claims he's probably still in high school (as most guys working in grocery stores tend to be). This prompts me to say that I'd rather not be in jail like Mary Kay Letourneau (I was 19 at the time).

So anyway, after I find out he's legal I get his phone number. As a form of revenge, I figured he'd given me a fake phone number.

A few weeks later, he approaches my sister at the store & asks why I haven't called him. She mentioned the phone number & that time, he gave her his real number. I told him about this phone number thing & he said he avoided looking at me as revenge then denied giving me a fake number. I found it hard to believe that I could make any guy nervous enough to mangle his own telephone number, especially after I'd just started being perceived as legitimately pretty by the opposite sex vs. "playing around" flirt guy kind of ribbing.

Could I? I guess it depends on who you ask. People who've seen guys react to me after I put in no effort at all would probably look at you like you were an idiot for even asking that question. I'm still mystified by that sort of thing but now I'm more used to it.

However, I think I mentioned what ended up happening with that whole relationship. That experience really confirmed the phrase "be careful what you wish for." It's still spooky that my husband has an ex who'd have been this guy's perfect match from what I hear about her.

I saw the recent trend on Facebook about "You know you did XYZ if..." A friend of mine commented on that regarding the high school we attended & I saw others comments about this notoriously difficult English teacher. I felt obliged to write a little about my exploits in light of discussion on a computer science class I got out of in a special way.

I was in my senior year & already had most of my credits to graduate. I was in the class one day & felt there was no way I could do it. To avoid early graduation or utter boredom, I was taking 2 AP level classes. One was English since I felt if I was going to have a hard English class, I may as well get AP credit for it. Better experience since I got to meet people from other high schools that hadn't marked me as "that ugly girl" or "our victim."

Now typically, they wouldn't let you wait on required classes & I needed a Math credit that this class would have given me. However, I had the option to take Pre-Calculus the next semester & actually was saved when the head librarian at my school offered me a page position.

I was commenting that something like that probably happened to me since I'd taken on this asshole gym teacher who was grading on one's athletic abilities (which I have none), being sexist in the grading AND I hadn't even signed up for the class + tried 3 different times to get out of it for something else. I wasn't able to take Dance that semester because I was taking Honors Seminar, the AP level English/Social Studies class for freshmen & sophomores. Plus, I was certain the D I got in that class would keep me from being in National Honor Society. Learning all this created the basis for my petition, which was signed by a lot of people. My parents weren't happy with that either & sided with me against this teacher.

See, unlike some people I grew up not having blind obedience to someone because of their status as an adult. We saw plenty of adults who weren't worthy of respect & even my mother said respect has to be earned, not given as a matter of course. There were teachers at our school she didn't have any respect for since she felt they weren't earning it. She even wondered how they expected to get respect from students since it's not a divine right.

If you follow blind obedience of authority to a dramatic degree, you could end up a victim of sex abuse at worst (there were a few abusers living in my own neighborhood that I learned about later on) and at best end up blindly obeying stupid & pointless rules that exist for no good reason other than to please the little Hitlers. Part of this undoubtedly comes from my own experiences with an alcoholic parent, an adult I didn't respect because of behavior and actions. Heck, this guy stole my allowance as a child! Allowance I saved on my own for my own purposes. I think if you were me, you'd also not be willing to listen to arbitrary asshole types. Those people still piss me off so I make effort not to be that way.

As I recalled that story, I realized I was a smart kid & a rebel all at once. I even said they should rename my school to "Parkland Prison" and would publicly criticize the school when I had a chance & truly saw some BS. When I was in the Miss Parkland pageant my senior year, I gave as my answer to the question "What is the most prevalent issue facing the school?" that administrators were too busy worrying about little things like whether the snack machines were on during break time when there were bigger problems to deal with like the presence of drugs on campus. The entire audience loudly applauds after this answer & it was indeed true.

I figured that if I wasn't going to be liked or have any kind of group accept me, I was going to at least be respected & speak my mind. By senior year, I really felt I should seize the day & was ready to start my new life elsewhere. Reading about high schools today & how they act more like corporations than institutes of learning (case in point being the story about the black female valedictorian who was given a "co" slot with a lower ranked white female), I have to figure I had nothing negative about me to justify nastiness toward me. In fact, I'd have likely been more sympathetic than most people with my family life & flawless records. I was not the kid who disturbed class or got into trouble. I also rarely spoke so I guess when I did, people were more apt to listen.

For the record, if someone earns the valedictorian position honestly (no cheating or weighted GPA crap) you give them that slot. I don't care if the person sold drugs, killed people, whatever. If they did something that puts them away from being the All-American kid, guess what? That speech will have far more meaning & the person's more of a role model for their peers. That's a living symbol of "If I could overcome my own struggles to do this, you've got no excuse not to be successful." I'd give much more cred to that person than the All-American kid & I think they'd write a much better speech with more meaning, honesty and sincerity. Punishing someone for that after they earned a valedictorian slot just teaches that person that the system is shit & the establishment shouldn't be trusted. Welcome to a recipe for disaster.

Now I have to fast for 10 hours for a medical exam for life insurance. This will be loads of fun (sarcasm). I also tend to get nauseous if I don't eat after a while & aren't doing something very distracting.

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