Strange writing a blog post only 5 hours after your last. As explicitly stated in the title it’s 5am and I’m writing a post.
I wrote that line and then decided this was fucking ridiculous because I was just procrastinating on sleeping and trying to stay up as long as possible. My first excuse was that I was staying up to see the sunrise but that happened at 4ish so after writing that line I said fuck it and went to sleep.
I think I woke up at 9:30 ish because I’m a little stupid and just got around to breakfast (12:23 now) because YouTube was poppin’ this morning. Plus I kept losing at VainG so I wasted a couple of hours on that fucker.
Now for the actual meat and potatoes of the post, everything before was just the entree into this delicious blog post. To be honest it’s actually a little sad, not like “what a freak” sad but like a little disheartening.
I volunteer at this care home every wednesday evening after rowing, it’s a nice ass gig I get to chat to retirees about their lives (it’s a care home for ex-servicemen) and it’s pretty nice just meeting people from another generation. One evening a woman seemed pretty confused as to when they started letting orientals into the country and George, the slowest eater I’ve ever met, is pretty much wittier than a witty ting so he’s always great fun.
Yesterday I get an email from the woman who takes me that I should call her as soon as possible, I called her a while ago and was a little surprised.
I’d thought originally it was about getting me an entrance pass or something, but when she starts off with “I want to talk about an interaction you had with a staff member last week.”
My heart sinks, shit. I’ve gone too far, made some strange social faux pas, maybe one of my jokes went a little too far or someone -I don’t even know but I was freaking out.
“She was asking you about going to a posh school, and other inappropriate questions.” Now I wrote a post about this last Wednesday, during a lull in service me and a few of the care staff were kicking it and just talking about being a kid (they all had younger kids and I seemed to be pretty proficient at being a child) I get asked what school I go to and I tell them the big one in the centre of town.
The conversation I then had was nothing but polite and measured, I didn’t feel pressured in any way or that I was being discriminated against nor that they were overly probing. We talked about it, I acknowledged meekly that yes, I was pretty privileged and she seemed pretty happy with the reply, it didn’t really carry some class arrogance but I wasn’t trying to hide it for fear I pissed off the peasant.
“Well owing to this incident, and, of course to several others, we have decided to let her go.” My heart plummets. Firstly I should preface this by saying there were two women who were talking to me, both are equally devastating to imagine to have lost their jobs. The first had two young kids, one 3 and the other a few months old, she wasn’t rich but she loved her kids which was obvious by the way she talked about it. She was always nice as hell and teased me every time I came in late. She asked about exams and what it was like to grow up. When she asked about my school and everything I felt fine, I quite enjoyed it actually having a polite chat about something so decisive.
The other woman is less likely to be the one laid off because frankly it would probably break my heart. She’s an American woman probably late 40s, has a heavy Chicago twang and moved here because her French husband found a job. Well he’s currently unemployed and she also has two kids in university so she’s the sole provider for 4. Now I was more or less raised by an old American woman with a heavy twang who ran my old after school club so this woman is basically sacrosanct to me, plus she hates Trump.
Now the woman calling me stressed the fact that “There were other factors involved in the decision” but I still feel bad about it, maybe I wasn’t as measured as I thought I was, both women in pretty bad financial situations and me talking about my education that was basically me burning a couple of grand a year. Maybe they had been polite and measured towards me but seething in the staff room and were then reported.
I probably shouldn’t but I worry for whoever it is. Getting asked to leave a position in a service industry because you were asking prying questions or behaving irresponsibly probably destroys a career. I know worrying or thinking will probably kill me and I know that it isn’t entirely my fault but it still feels pretty damn bad. I’ve cost at least one person their livelihood because I probably wasn’t as socially adjusted as I could’ve been when talking about a controversial issue.
All the way through the call there was one thing that kept ticking me off. She kept asking me if I was okay or if I felt violated by the questions and kept apologising for what I had to go through. Honestly it was made out that she was let go in order to protect me from repeating that ordeal. “I’m sorry you had to experience that” was said a few times. That’s what you say to someone who had to see a loved one die or walk in on their partner cheating not some kid who had a chat about their school. Perhaps it’s a symptom of this cultural sensitivity, the impulse to call someone a racist or homophobe for acknowledging any differences between people but I feel a little sick about this, no harm was done and now I just feel worse about the situation, in terms of utilitarianism this call was probably the worst fucking decision that could have been made.