Sunday, August 13, 2006

Uh, there was a time lapse....

I had intended to blog my little heart out here. Didn't happen! Too much stuff going on to distract me. Mainly, my summer job!

Let me just expound a bit on why that is significant. I have been working in the USD 364 school system for 14 years. I work primarily with women. Most of you women reading this will understand the implications of that statement immediately! Working with other women is the hardest thing I have ever had to do! Why? Women are why the term, 'bitch' was created! And all the terms from that original word, such as "bitchiness." It is hard to work with women. Sooner or later, every woman has to be bitchy. Sometimes it is just the moon and it's influence on the female cycle. Sometimes it is just that it is easier to take it out on someone you don't like very well.

I have always considered myself to be a friendly person. I will go out of my way to speak to strangers, smile at children, pet animals, I am friendly! So explain to me please, why I can name three out of 12 co-workers, who in one way or another, simply cannot stand me. This has jolted my view of myself as Ms. Friendly, believe me! I began a campaign to win over those disliking me...I went out of my way to be friendly, cheerful, compassionate, caring...blah blah no avail! The three still disliked me. And my boss had remarked, perhaps innocently, that at times I annoyed the entire place with my know-it-all attitude...oh no! The whole place??? This was not something that someone with a fragile self worth should hear. Thus began my questioning whether or not I was truly a friendly person, or if I was simply kidding myself, and was an obnoxious know-it-all.

I took a summer job as a custodial assistant in the school system. My job was to work at a different school than the one I normally work at, with three janitors (they prefer the term, 'custodian'), who I knew somewhat, but had not worked closely with before. Larry, Donnie, and Glenn. I had no idea what kind of situations I might be getting into, but figured an adventure would be worth it. Basically, we cleaned the elementary school from ceiling to floor. The first endearing thing I found out about my three co-workers, was that they were addicted to a couple of soap operas...we dragged a tv with us from room to room, if that room did not have a working tv. So now, I know all about The Young and the Restless, and can name all the judges holding court on tv throughout the day.

I was also exposed to the special services employees, those who work year round with handicapped children, and also the office staff, the staff of Kid's University, which is a child care facility at the school, and a number of teachers who were there on and off throughout the summer. Did I find anyone who disliked me? Anyone who thought I was an obnoxious know-it-all? Not yet!

My last day was last Wedsnesday. My three guys told me how much they appreciated me working with them and they hoped I would be back next summer. I ran into the principal, Mr. Lord, out at Walmart a few days ago, and he told me how much he missed me being around already. I was touched! I came home and boohooed a little cause it dawned on me, that I was having a kind of epiphany of how I saw myself. Flawed? You bet! Obnoxious? Only when I want to be, not unintentionally! A know-it-all? Wellllllllllllllllllllllllll...perhaps someone as all around knowledgable as myself could be seen in a negative light as being a know-it-all, but I much prefer thinking of myself as a good candidate for Jeopardy!

This week I go back to work amongst the ladies. I will need the grace of God to help me continue to be nice to someone who truly doesn't like me. But I am no longer going to view myself as so flawed that no one could possibly like me. My summer job has proved to me that I am likable and dare I say it? Friendly!


Blogger Laurel Johnson said...

I love it!! Your post reminds me of a couple things. One, as a retired RN, the second I tell any medical professional anything about my history or family history, their eyes glaze over if I tell them I'm a nurse. (OH NO, an old broken down nurse who thinks she knows it all!!) My knowledge, hard earned over 40 years, means nothing to them. Most people do NOT give a damn how much a person knows. They just do not want to hear it.

Two, I'm reminded of that old saying, "It isn't paranoia if they're all out to get you."

You need a job working with men full time.

3:15 PM  

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