Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tits on a bull

     It's been a tough day.
     We're tightly staffed at work due to vacation season. Because of that, I've been literally running back and forth from my office to lobby to fax/copier to the teller windows. It's a fine line trying to balance appointments, walk-ins who want to be serviced immediately, the phones, breaks for my two co-workers (I didn't get one), all the management responsibilities and last minute staffing crises in other locations that I'm sort-of responsible for coordinating assistance.
     For those of you that know me well or have worked with me, you know that I'm not one to shy away from hard work. I've always believed that managers are supposed to work for their people, not the other way around. I take this very seriously. You won't find me sitting in an office while you're working your heiney off. We're in this together, and we're all trying to get home to our families, babies or cacti. If I don't take an active role, it's going to take longer to get to my babies and that's not going to work for me.
     This afternoon, in between two appointments, a well-known client needed some help and I was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, one of my co-workers was tied up with another client and my assistant manager was taking care of the teller line. It was a long line honestly, and as I ran back and forth to the printer and my client and then putting away his paperwork, I could hear the beginnings of rebellion being fomented by a woman who was less than pleased to be waiting. I will tell you that usually more than half the people that stand in line don't have to at all. They could use an ATM, online or mobile banking or transfers. They don't have to wait; they have options, but they only want to do it their way, and then they complain about waiting. Before you tell me that older people don't want to use computers, I have plenty of clients 70 and up who recognize how valuable their time is and want greater convenience.
     I was back in my office finishing up with my client when I heard the rabble-rouser raising her voice with my assistant. I only caught the tail end of the exchange, when my assistant said, "you don't know what you're talking about ma'am. She does more than the rest of us on any day. Good day." When everything had calmed and all the clients were gone, I asked her what the woman had said. She told me that the woman had continued to complain all the way up to her turn. I wasn't doing enough. I should be helping the line instead. On and on until it was her turn (and she had nothing ready, by the way) and as she was done, she looked at my assistant and told her I was as useless as tits on a bull. That's when I heard my assistant coming to my defense.
     Now before you think I fell all to pieces, I didn't. A - There's a ton of assholes out there. B - I've been called much worse, and C - I'm far from useless. But I will tell you, that no matter how hardened your exterior, and no matter how long you've worked in customer service, every so often someone will say something that gets you just enough to put the tip of the dagger under your doublet. You see, being of service to others is a big aspect of my existence. When I say I live to serve, I ain't kidding. It comes out of Romans 12: 4-8 and the great philosopher Uncle Ben from Spider-Man. Romans tells us there are seven spiritual gifts: prophecy, serving, teaching, exhorting, giving, organizing and mercy. I've always felt called to serving and mercy, and since Uncle Ben said with great power comes great responsibility, that's what I do.
     Thus the poke-y power of her blade, because no longer being of service to others or those I love and care for is a dark fear. Once I'm no longer of service, what use will anyone have for me. How easy then to walk away from me forever. (Akin to a common concern that many women grapple with once realizing that their childbearing years are over. If I can no longer have babies, what purpose do I serve in this world.)Then it's one small two-step to buying individual chicken breasts and small bottles of condiments at the grocery store. I'm fully aware that it's not completely about me outgrowing my usefulness. That sounds so callous. People change, have different needs and desires. If my service is no longer needed, I shouldn't take it personally. Someone else may need me along the way. I could be like David Carradine in Kung Fu, instead of searching for my brother I'd be looking for ways to serve. Or Dr. Banner, hulking out from town to town, one lone duffel bag slung over my shoulder. Alas, I'm not evolved enough for that yet. Maybe my next lifetime.
     So being called "useless as tits on a bull" has really capped off an unexpectedly bad week. Here's to hoping that that 2018 sucks a whole lot less than 2017 sucked.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


     I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand why Roy Moore hasn’t been run out of town on a rail. He hasn’t attempted even a half-assed apology with an I’ve-been-washed-clean-in-the-blood-of-the-lamb explanation. Instead he says he’s leading in the polls but the people who are trying to change this are, "liberals; they don't hold conservative values. They’re the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered who want to change our culture. They're socialists who want to change our way of life." So why hasn’t he stepped aside given all the decent humans who’ve denounced him? Why should he given the President has now decided to endorse him fully. The RNC in Alabama is now funding him again due to the President’s urging.

     I ask what’s at the root of the problem. Is it the potential for false allegations? This is a fallacy. 2% of all reported allegations of sexual assault, harassment and rape are false. It’s statistically impossible that all of Moore’s allegations are false, or all of Trumps are false for that matter, yet Weinstein’s and Conyer’s are true. That’s hypocrisy at its finest.

     I think the root of the problem is that women as a whole really aren’t believed, and teenagers and women of color are believed even less than that. I think there are some who believe these teenagers were Lolitas enticing Moore into his acts. They don’t view 14 as pedophilia. The age of consent is 16 in Alabama, by the way. (If you’re curious, here’s the rest of the country.   

     There are some who believe that victims have a level of responsibility in all of it. While researching, I was shocked to learn that there is a segment of evangelicals that think older men have a responsibility to take young girls “under their wing.” or

     Just as those that voted for Trump were presented with the more than 20 women who allege sexual assault, harassment and attempted rape, as well as evidence of his misogyny, racism, xenophobia and lying, there will be people who will vote for Moore. He denies all the allegations, says he hasn’t met these women. They have seen multiple women come forward and present proof of contact even though he says he never met them. They have heard that he was allegedly barred from the local mall. [The Gadsden Mall doesn’t keep records from that time anymore although multiple sources have reported that he had a propensity to hang around there, met girls there and at least one former mall employee came forward to report him due to his behavior with her.] He called a teenager while in school and took her out of a class to ask her out on a date.  

     On top of these heinous allegations, he also thinks homosexuality is an inherent evil and should be illegal, thinks Putin’s right about gay marriage, thinks there are US communities under Sharia law, thinks 9/11 happened because we distanced ourselves from God by legitimizing sodomy and abortion, thinks President Obama wasn’t born in the US and that the first Muslim elected to Congress, Rep . Keith Ellison, shouldn’t be allowed to serve.

     There are going to be people who go to the voting booth knowing all these things, and they’re going to vote for him anyway for any or all of the above excuses or because they think anybody is better than a Democrat. I reiterate, there are people who will vote in Alabama on Tuesday for an alleged pedophile who assaulted a 14 year old, because they think that’s not as bad as a Democrat.  All the #metoo statements and truths don’t matter a hill of beans to these people. They refuse to believe facts, and I don’t know how we change that. There also people that believe the earth is flat, or that the holocaust didn’t happen or that lizard people are running the world. Those people vote, too.

     As more and more people continue to come forward with their stories of assault and harassment, more men, and some women, are becoming increasingly uncomfortable. They know they’re wrong and they don’t want to be called out for their behaviors and for what their future will mean. They won’t be able to have their perception of “business as usual.”  But we have to apply these standards to assault equally across the board, from the common man to the Senator to the business person to the leader of the free world. If you’re a pedophile, you don’t get a pass because you made it to 70 or your accuser didn’t or couldn’t come forward until they were 50.You also don’t get a pass if you’re the President.