Category Archives: WTF

You’re Not Always Right

I am currently on fall break. That is one thing about my job/career field I wi never complain about since I get holidays, random breaks, and summers off. Am I usually still working during those times? Yes, but in sweatpants, with kitties, and SATC on my tv. After 5pm, probably with a glass of wine as well.
However, I’m dreading going back to work on Thursday. (Yes, I only have classes/teach in Tues/Thurs this semester, but believe me that those days are killer and was not my original choice.)
It’s not the amount of student papers I will be getting back or the amount of reading I am behind on for my classes or the fact that I still haven’t finished y thesis outline.
None of that is fun, but I did that to myself.
No, I’m dreading it because I seem to work in a department where everyone else is right all the time. They even know what I like and what I’m thinking or what my opinion on something is.
I should just hire them to write this damned thesis and be done with it, since they seem to know everything .
Granted, I think this happens in most grad programs. Put a bunch of smart people together and they feel the need to be “right”.
But this goes beyond discussions of authors and critical theories and interpretations. They like to tell me I’m just wrong on what I donor don’t like.
For one, my focus is on contemporary and late 20th century lit. It’s fascinating and bonus, not many people have written on them so I don’t have to wad through 70 years of criticism to see if my idea is original or been explored before. It’s what I love and think is important.
But I also understand and respect people that study and love the classics and earlier literature. I know it all has value. Doesn’t mean it’s what I want to do, buy I’m not going to put down anyone else’s preference for century.
But I don’t get the same respect. I, for one, don’t like Jane Austen. I just don’t. But I get argued with that in wrong.
Yeah, my opinion is wrong.
Not trying to enlighten me on how she is relevant today or how her character development can draw you in.
No, I’m just wrong.
Downton Abbey? Same thing.
Drinking 5 nights a week? I’m just boring.
Coffee early in the morning? What’s wrong with me?
The fact that my husband and I choose to spend on our money on us and our home instead of blowing it as soon as I get a paycheck at Target and the bars? Wrong. (Someone actually told me that I was dumb for preferring to spend myomeres on date nights with Mr. A instead of buying new clothes every month. Yeah…)
And I’m just so effing tired of it all.
This is one reason I no longer hangout with a certain group of people because I was tired of having to agree with the ringleader all the time, even when I didn’t, or knew for a 100% fact that she was wrong.
I’m an adult. Adults can disagree yet remain respectful and still be friends.
Apparently this concept escapes many of my fellow TAs and it makes me insane.
And don’t even get me started on political arguments discussions. I got caught in the middle of one already and I know it’s just going to get worse as the election draws nearer. I may start hiding and working in the bathroom.
Too bad our secretary insists on continuing conversations with you as you are in the stall. Awkward.
Since I’m already swarmed and stressed, I think I’ll take a page from the obnoxious undergrads and start wearing headphones but have the music so loud that everyone else can hear. At least I won’t have to hear them tell me my taste in music sucks.

* excuse any typos. Written on my phone.

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Filed under Grad School?, Life After College, Working Girl, WTF

Polite

Well, if you follow me on twitter, you know this week was not ideal. At all. I have ALL my classes, both teaching and taking, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And on Thursdays, I am at school, busy, from 8:30am until 8pm. NIGHTMARE.

So as I’ve started the new semester, I’ve been sorely disappointed.

To start, I really did enjoy the summer with much fewer students and people in town. So there’s that.

But mostly the attitudes and behaviors have been appalling.

And while most of my encounters are on campus, this is a college town and the campus/college community is very prevalent.

On Sunday, after my first 5K on Saturday, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure as a treat and looking nice for my first week with students. They were busy, which is expected since it was move in weekend, so I wasn’t the only one trying to get spiffy for the new semester.

I only wanted a pedicure. There was a young girl that had walked in 45 seconds before me, but she wanted a full set AND a pedicure. This salon is not very big and you could tell they were a little frazzled having as many people in there as they did. A pedicure chair opened up, and a nail chair was going to open up in a minute. (The woman had paid and they were just running her card.) The nail woman came over to get me to put me in a pedicure chair and I had heard them say that they were going to put the young girl in the nail chair, and by about the time they got both of us finished, she could move to my pedicure chair. This way, they got two customers out of the waiting area and into spots and kept things moving.

Well. The girl threw a fit. I mean, screaming and yelling in this small salon about how she was there before me and how dare they try to seat us out of order and all of that jazz. So many curse words. So much yelling.

I was mortified and since I was just trying to get out of the house and such, I calmly approached the employee and told her it was fine to go ahead and seat the other girl and I would just wait. The girl started to yell at me because when I stood up she thought I was going to go take the chair anyways. I finally had to turn around and say, “I’m giving you the chair, but I’m calmly explaining it to the employee if you can just wait a minute.” Well this pissed her off too so she started yelling about me and how I was rude and blah blah blah. I just talked to the employee, and sat back down and let her go on her way. She finally quieted down and I was just trying to end the situation. Several of the other customers thanked me and apologized and thought I was being sweet.

I was just shocked at HOW over the top enraged she became. They even explained to her that she would be sitting at the nail chair, and she refused to comprehend logic and instead decided to make a HUGE scene. I’ve blogged about it before, but the sense of entitlement of the newer adults is shocking, and quite frankly, worrisome. How can they expect to go into the real world and function? They WILL be told no at some point. They WON’T get everything their way and when they want it. Life is about compromises and understanding and being kind to fellow humans.

Or am I the only person that was raised this way and tries to still live their life this way? I’m no saint and I can get aggravated pretty quickly about certain things, but if I can help or make something easier on others, I try to do so. At the very least I don’t start screaming at an employee when all they are doing is trying to get customers seated.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only incident I encountered this week.

Like I mentioned, on Thursdays I have class until 8pm at night, and I only have one 1.5 hour break. I was starving yesterday, so I ran over to the student center to grab something before my 2.5 hour night class. Unfortunately, the only place still open was McDonalds.

Now, to understand this, you have to understand how and why our student center McDonalds is a little strange. When you walk up, it looks a bit chaotic and hard to know where the line for ordering is. See, you order, then you go to the back of the area, and wait for them to call your initials, which means you have to then go back to the same ordering counter to pick up your food. Admittedly, it took me a couple times to figure it out. Basically, you have to ask people if they have ordered or are waiting for food. A little bit into the semester, most students have the system figured out and people will tell you where the actual ordering line is. No big deal.

So as I’m walking up, I’m looking around to see which people look like they are just waiting or actually in line.

There was a girl in a wheelchair, towards the back of the McDonalds area, but also close enough to other people that it looked like she could have been in line. So I asked her, kind of figuring she was waiting, but as soon as she looked at me, I could tell she was a freshman and rather confused. She said she hadn’t even ordered yet, but people kept walking in front of her and she didn’t know where to go.

Are you effing kidding me people?! You know you kind of have to ask who’s in line and who’s not, but you won’t ask the girl in a wheelchair before just cutting in front of her?!?

I was mad for her, but I pointed her in the right direction and then got in line behind her.

Fine. Dandy.

But as I explained, the line is kind of a cluster and people have to then come back up for their food and it can get crowded. So the girl ordered, but then she obviously needed just a little space to turn her chair around and get out of the ordering side. She was skilled with the chair and really only needed another customer to slide over about two steps. She politely said excuse me, and as I believe, we should go out of our way to be polite and accommodating to those who need it. Not in a needy way, but because it’s the nice thing to do.

The other customer got all huffy and started talking about the girl and how she just needed to get out of everyone’s way.

SERIOUSLY?!?!

Had she not walked away at that moment, I would have said something. Maybe I should have followed her and said something, but the girl looked embarrassed as it was and like she just wanted something to eat and to leave as quickly as possible.

But, is this where we are as a society? And yes, I know, a college campus may not be the best place to judge the larger community, but these are the people that will soon be a part of that larger community and will be in workplaces and other public places and if they can’t treat people kindly in the small interactions on their college campus, what are they going to do outside of it?

Am I the only one seeing behaviors like this? And if not, am I the only one just disgusted by it?? I just can’t wrap my head around where people get the idea that it’s appropriate to treat others this way, so dismissively and rudely.

I just want to show people or somehow get people to realize that it isn’t that hard to be polite to others. I’m not saying to be a rug to be walked all over, but polite and kind and show some level of compassion for anyone other than themselves.

This has really been on my mind and I just don’t know what to do about it all.

So, from me to you, I’m sending happy vibes your way in case others aren’t as nice as they should be.

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Filed under A little More About Me, WTF

Purgatory

These last two days have been just as I assume purgatory might be: boring, frustrating, pointless, but unable to leave.
The new GAs have had to be in training all last week and through Thursday this week. Thankfully us returners only have 3 days this week, but knowing I have to sit through one more day of pointless sessions, makes me want to scream and then run away.
Yesterday was just angering because they told us we are mandated to use four different kinds of software programs and their duties overlap and it’s pointless to have to keep attendance and grades in four different places.
Also, they couldn’t get their act together and have the same answer on anything and it was just ridiculous.
Today was just so incredibly boring. It was basically how to use a computer.
Would you have thought that if you can’t remember your password that you should click the “forgot password” button? You did? And you didn’t have to sit through a two hour training session? You must be smarter than a room of graduate students.
There were also the stupid and repetitive questions that made things just drag on even longer.
I’m fairly certain my eye roll skills tripled today.
Tomorrow will be the sexual harassment session, and after last year’s explosion, I may have to bring popcorn this time. Then again, I would imagine most people don’t want a repeat so they will probably keep their mouths shut. Bummer. Would be the only excitement of this three day torture marathon.
Tomorrow is also the meet and greet with faculty. I signed up and then realize it wasn’t mandatory and basically no one is going. Not excited but looks like it would look bad if I didn’t show. Meh.
So if anyone has any Good books to recommend, I would appreciate it because I have another 7 hours of awful tomorrow that I need something to keep me occupied.

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Filed under Grad School?, Teaching in College, WTF

Can’t Keep My Mouth Shut

Holy hell.
I am so angry tonight.
The tragedy in Colorado has been nagging me all day. Not in a “I’m trying to insert myself into the tragedy for attention” sort of way. I really haven’t talked about it except on social media and to express my condolences. (and complete outrage at a company that tweeted that Aurora must be trending based on their latest dress style).
But in a “I can’t wrap my head around this” way.
Now, I love social media. I have been able to interact with some amazing people and even meet some of them and they have become close friends.
But on a day like today, I nearly deleted all accounts.
It wasn’t buy a few hours after the terrible news was breaking as Americans all across the country were waking up, expecting reviews of the summer blockbuster, but finding that we were hit with yet another senseless act of violence, that the insensitive tweets began.
Statements about his possible political affiliations began. Jokes about its relation to the election.
The usual gun control debates started, just as they do after any tragedy like this. (not saying I disagree, just another piece of this day long puzzle)
But then a certain strain of commentary just rubbed me the wrong way.
As the news began to discover details, it came out that a 4 month old and a 6 year were in the theater. Mixed reports as to if they were hot or not and I don’t want to spread false news.
But instead of expressing grief for the parents that (may) have lost their children or at the very least, were traumatized by the event.
No, people were blaming the parents for taking their kids with them.
In a normal situation, questioning this might be reasonable. If the baby started crying during a midnight showing of a movie I was eager to see, I would be annoyed.
But this is not in anyway a normal situation. The parents were probably traumatized and horrified and terrified.
For people to then criticize their parenting choices is tactless. This is not the time. It hasn’t even been 24 hours.
For all we know, they had a babysitter that bailed. They were given last minute tickets and believed their child would sleep through it. Maybe it wasn’t the best decision, but they are probably already upset and grieving and hurting and they don’t need strangers pulling the “holier than thou” card on them.
Why do we feel we have to judge and criticize others’ decisions, especially during an event such as this.
Stop it. Just stop it. Shut, wait 48 hours before critiquing the victims. I’ll still be mad in 48 hours, but at least there would be the smallest amount of time for the shock and grief to move past.
Yes I’m on a soapbox, but I can’t take the rude, insensitive comments anymore. Be human. Have a heart. Sympathize for others’ pain. And maybe, for once, keep your obnoxious comments to yourself and think how you might be affecting others.

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Filed under WTF

Shouldn’t Be Left Alone

Originally, I envisioned this post to be about how I maneuver in an airport, especially when I’m alone. I’ve done this a couple of times and I pride myself on being prepared and not being the  dumb girl with too much jewelry on and fumbling through security checkpoints. I keep my id out and wear shoes that are easily removable and very minimal jewelry. I have my liquids pre-bagged and ready to be set apart. I wear clothes that don’t look like I’m concealing anything and I try to look like the mature and thinking adult that I am.

I assume you know where this is going…

I’ve only been in the airport for 30 minutes and all I want to do is hang my head in shame and I’m wondering if I can get facial reconstruction in the airport so the others that were around me, won’t recognize me.

Or I might just buy an Obama mask and call it a day.

For this trip, I decided not to mess with arranging drop offs and pick ups with my parents, and instead I would park at one of those places across the street from the airport. I had a coupon and I like feeling wholly independent. Also, when I get back, I want to just hop in my car and get back to my husband.

First off, I somehow managed to take the wrong exit. No big deal. No one else around me knew and I just looped around and figured it out.

But as I pull up, I realize that the type of parking I was planning on using was full, but they put the signs so close up to the entrance, that by the time I realized it, I couldn’t turn around and I had a car behind me.

Luckily, they had valet roof still available, so I didn’t have to park it, but it wasn’t covered so it was only going to cost me about $1.50 more a day. Fine. I can handle that.

But then I am apparently an idiot when it comes to reading signs on ticket machines and I kept fumbling trying to figure it out all. Then I, of course, didn’t park in the correct spot because I simply misread the lane signs.

Again, I am an idiot.

The nice man didn’t laugh at me, at least to my face, and helped me get all my bags to the shuttle. The driver was nice and the shuttle was full. One guy had on a polo from my undergrad, and we had a nice little chat about our awesome basketball season that ended too soon. Everything was great. Until it came time to get off the shuttle.

You see, I never carry cash. I just don’t. I am rarely in positions where I am tipping separate from paying for a service, and therefore I usually put the tip on my card. And today I had cash that my husband wanted to make sure I had. But it was a large bill.

So I couldn’t tip the very nice shuttle driver that helped me with my bags.

I looked like a moronic high school girl running away from the shuttle while all the other passengers tipped and thanked.

MORTIFIED.

But my embarrassment doesn’t stop there. Oh no. That, while embarrassing, I could deal with. I would just hope that he was the driver when I came back and tip extra.

As soon as I got off the shuttle, I was practically in a line for curbside check in. Everyone was doing it and seemed good to me.

Again, a very nice and funny gentleman greeted me and went to print off all my stuff and get the tags for my bags.

Again, realizing too late that this was another situation where people tip the bagging guys.

I always check in inside, where people don’t tip, so it never even occurred to me until people all around me were getting out small bills and I heard the workers saying “Thanks for the tip!”

Repeat: moronic girl running away, mumbling thank you and trying to hide the red creeping up my face. (I’m  still not convinced that my bag will make it on the plane…)

Of course the people that were on the shuttle were in line behind me at curbside check in and I’m more than positive that they saw the entire thing. Effffff

Sidenote: I get embarrassed easily, especially if I deem it something that makes me look rude or impolite or improper. I relive the scenarios in my head and turn 5 shades of red all over again.

So as I ran to get into the security line and hoped and prayed that enough people got in line after me, before the people from the shuttle, i just kept thinking how awful I must have looked to all of these workers when I am known for giving very good tips. I want them to know that I appreciate their hard work in a not so glamorous job.

As karma would have it, I wasn’t done yet.

As I walked through the metal detector, it beeped. I just started to laugh thinking I had left my phone in my pocket or something or that my very small and discreet jewelry had set it off.

Nope.

I was “randomly” selected for additional screening.

……

Seriously?

I of course assumed this meant I was going to be embarrassingly patted down and the poor TSA women who had to pat my sweaty self down.

I don’t think it was in any way random since it had to do with my laptop, but the woman made it seem like I had said some word you never say in an airport. She was making a much bigger deal than it needed to be, which only added to my embarrassment. So I had to stand behind some red line, looking like I was in timeout, without shoes on, and wait while they diligently searched my laptop, even though I took it out of the bag and put it in its own bin, so I don’t really know what the deal was. She wiped some sheet on it and had it analyzed in a machine. No clue what it was for or what they were checking for, but I passed. Thankfully.

I guess karma was just letting me know that it knew I had been rude and needed to be put into place. Also, my chips and salsa taste burnt, but I hate leaving so much food as waste, so I’m begrudgingly eating them.

PS- went to the bathroom for the first time today and realized that the shirt I’ve had on all day is a little see through. I had student conferences all day. And talked to our program director. And department chair. I think I will just hide in my hotel room for the night since I can’t be trusted to be in public.

 

 

[[ADDED]] The trip got worse, but I have to get ready, but I will be sure to write all about it tonight. WOWZA.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Confessions, WTF

Game Plan

So you remember when I wrote this post? (The same misspelling rules will apply for this post. Sorry in advance.)

Yeah. It’s happening.

Tomorrow.

I just want to scream.

It’s never-ending. People are angry on both sides. The e-mails keep coming. Overt threats from superiors keep happening. It’s a nightmare.

Of course, I’m on the side of the quieter group. We’re not going on strik. But we don’t personally dislike anyone that is. It’s fine. Whatever. I will still be more than happy to work with you and talk with you and I will still say hello to you in the halls. Basically, nothing changes about the person in my mind.

HOWEVER, the other side seems to have no such consideration. AT ALL.

We keep getting e-mails basically saying that if we aren’t on strik, then they want nothing to do with us.

It has gone so far as to threaten our grades, degrees, and jobs. Yes. I actually got an e-mail saying this. Shit is exploding all over the place here.

Luckily, I’ve had a couple conversations with f@culty and 98% understand that as TAs, we’re in a weird position and will in no way evaluate us differently or affect our grades based on what we do when tomorrow comes.

But really??!?

For one, it’s illegal. Illegal on so many levels.

Also, they refuse to see our side.

Our side that needs our paycheck. That can’t afford to get our pay docked. The fact that I signed a contract and I agreed to work. I KNEW WHAT I WAS GETTING. Why are you complaining AFTER your signed the contract? You can read. You knew. This just baffles me to no end.

Also, WE ARE TEMPORARY an PART-TIME. We, in no way, deserve the same benefits that full-time f@culty receive. We’re transient. And no, the school should NOT be paying for he@lthc@re for our familes. WE ARE PART TIME.

Basically, I do not agree with what the TA uni@n wants. I don’t.

And I will reiterate- I am not anti-uni@n. I FULLY support the f@culty and their complaints and they should strik since the administration seems to ignore them.

But as a TA, I have a job to do. And I’m not going to strik for things that I am opposed to.

And f@ir sh@re?!

The uni@n goes on and on about how much fees are and how unfair the administration is, but then they take stipend increases off the table and ADD f@ir sh@re to our fees?! They are just hurting the people they “represent”.

And if I get told that I’m only complaining now since the strik is tomorrow, they are wrong. I, and others, have sent numerous e-mails and attended meetings to tell the uni@n how we feel and we are shot down, belittled, told we are wrong and dumb and have no morals.

Oh yeah. The administration has offered pretty good deals. The uni@n has never once brought it to the members to vote on. They aren’t looking out for anyone. They are just as money grubbing as the rest, only the administration isn’t telling me that I have no right to talk and that if I even have a question about something that I am “espousing anti-uni@n rhetoric”.

Sure has been all sunshine and rainbows around these parts I tell ya.

So that’s where we are.

My husband will be walking me and my friends to class on Friday. We’re a little nervous because of the combative and hostile environment that has been created. We don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m sure I’ll be called all sorts of things. Too bad they don’t have a dictionary, because I am NOT a sc@b. I am not covering anyone else’s classes. I am just doing my job and what I believe in.

So we shall see.

I’m fairly anxious and edgy. I can handle being screamed at when I’m doing what I know is right for me. My professors know that I support them. My friends know my heart and know why I’m doing what I’m doing. I can only hope this ends well. And without Mr. A punching someone. He gets a little defensive.

I’ll keep ya posted. Too bad all my anonymity is about to be thrown out the window… Le sigh.

 

**Again, apologies for the spelling goofiness. Trying not to end up on the uni@ns radar. They already keep calling and showing up in my office to harrass me. I would like for my blog to be left alone.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Freak Out Much?, Grad School?, Learning More, Life After College, Teaching in College, WTF

Not Daddy’s Girl

And I always thought my family didn’t have much drama. I think I was just trying to ignore it. Or even when something would happen, I would forget about it for a few months until something else happened.

But today…I don’t know that I’ll forget this one.

And I know I’m going to blog this and people are going to think that it’s not that big of a deal. And maybe this one incident isn’t, but it’s a culmination of things and this has just pushed me over the edge.

I’ve never hidden the fact that I don’t like my stepsister. We don’t mesh. I think she’s rude and self-centered and I can’t stand her. I’m not alone in this assessment either, but whatever. We don’t get along.

Now, I understand my dad trying to make sure she feels included in things. (She’s 21 btw…not a little kid.) My dad’s usually pretty good about those things, so fine.

But over the last two years, he knows a million more things about her life than mine. I had to annoy and pester to get him to complete the two different tasks he had for the wedding. His only daughter’s wedding.

He knows who her friends are. What classes she’s taking. All sorts of things. I brought three friends home a few weeks ago and I bet he couldn’t tell you any of their names. He has no idea what I’m taking. He probably doesn’t even really know what I’m doing in grad school.

I also have an older brother. My dad and brother have always been close. But that’s fine. B is 7 years older than me, they are both into the same music and play/played in bands and have similar sense of humor. For some reason, even thought it used to at times, it doesn’t bother me as much. B wasn’t a “threat”. Dad still had a daughter and we just had a different relationship.

Until my dad apparently developed dementia and thinks my stepsister is his real daughter and now feels no need to include me in anything at all.

You see, my dad and his friends and my brother all go to this place every year. They rent cabins and go to a show on Saturday and they grill and hangout and have a good weekend. They look forward to it every year. Well, last year, my brother and his girlfriend had broken for a little bit, and B had an extra ticket to the show, so I was invited to go. Awesome. My dad’s friends are like extra uncles- they have been around my entire life. They are fun and I love seeing them. My stepsister was also invited last minute, but she was on fall break and whatever. Fine.

Well, this past weekend was the weekend away again. I knew it was coming. I was a little bummed that I wasn’t invited, but I figured dad assumed I wouldn’t want to spend the money on it. I am a grown up now and can’t expect dad to pay for everything, and if I had gone, I would have wanted to pay my part.

Until I get an e-mail today from my dad with the group picture they take every year and my stepsister is in the picture. (It’s taking all restraint I have to not have a million curse words in this. My text message to my brother did not contain such restraint.)

Just thinking about it makes me tear up and simultaneously want to punch someone.

I KNOW she didn’t pay her part. And, somehow, even though dad had talked to me about the trip, never once mentioned that she was going. Funny how that happens.

I’m beyond hurt. I feel empty. I feel like I’ve been replaced. My dad HAS a daughter. It’s just not the one he saw being born or took pictures of her on her first day of school or the girl he consoled when her first serious boyfriend broke up with her. It isn’t the girl he had nicknames for and went to choir concerts for. Nope. it’s the girl he’s know for less than 4 years. The girl who is rude to most people. But hey, she happens to be a theater major and does plays, so at least he has something to brag about, right? What do you say about the girl that was unemployed for 6 months, worked in retail for 8, and is now in grad school for English? No one gives a shit about that. That’s not impressive to his business contacts. No. Completely understandable why he’d trade us out.

I’m just done. I’m tired of feeling unwanted. I’m tired of feeling like a guest in the house I lived my entire life. I’m tired of not knowing what’s going on in the family. I’m tired of feeling like a needy 10 year old in family conversations, just trying to get any morsel of acknowledgement. It hurts too bad.

So maybe this Christmas business will be easier this year. Maybe I just won’t worry about trying to schedule time to see him. He already buys her really awesome presents and I get crappy sports team hoodies in big sizes. Guess it doesn’t hurt that she’s a size 4 and 5’10”. Yeah. I’d probably pick her over me too.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?, WTF