Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Culture

     Yesterday at work, I was helping this mature male who was bemoaning fees.  As we talked, I reminded him that the last time he stopped by he was discussing much the same thing.  I told him that when he had a little more time, we would love to go over all his business needs, really help him have the products that would be the best for him, etc.  Then near the end of the conversation he said, "I'm just tired of getting raped over these fees."
     I said, "I'm sorry, what did you say? (with a little smile)"  The patented Heather Sullivan way of pretending I didn't hear the crappy thing you just said, thereby trying to give you a momentary pause that allows you to pretend you really didn't say that crappy thing and pick a replacement phrase.  Yet even after this possible do-over he still said, "I'm tired of getting raped over these fees."  To which I said, "well, I don't think I'd use that exact phrase to describe fees."  He sort of put two and two together after he blinked through the thought process.  Then he apologized for saying it that way and left the building.
     I wish I could say that this was the first time in my grown-up life, in the last 5 years, in the last six months even where a man has used rape as an analogy for some unpleasant experience that they are going through that can in no way shape or form be compared to actually being raped ... vendors,  customers, former co-workers.  I've heard all manner of mundane inconveniences compared to an act that is perpetrated on women and men in order to exert control and destroy the individual.  I can't remember any of these comments being said in jest, but more just as matter of fact comparisons. 

(Side note:  As for comedians telling jokes, to which you may argue social commentary about rape masked in humor may or may not be appropriate, black humor is a high art form in my opinion.  We may not want to laugh at jokes about rape, 9/11, Bernie Madoff, race or sex - and if written poorly who wants to laugh - but sometimes you need to laugh, to let off the anger or the hurt.)   

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