sucks to your old white men
March 25, 2001 03:03 PM

So. No one was number six thousand one. Or, at least. No one would lay claim to the distinction. I still don't know who the mysterious award nominator was. That's that. In case you were wondering.

My company is, for better or for worse, on a handbasket trip to hell. It's become a place of bitterness and mistrust. With exceptions. Particularly my three nearest peers. They are wondrous people. They are reasons to hold out hope, however slim. And one of them was just given notice that he has to leave as soon as he finds a new job - because the powers that be want to hire a certified / more experienced person. Certified and more experienced, based on the interviewing candidates, appear to be synonyms for old and white guy.

My job, it seems, is safe. The bosslady thinks I'm unthreatening (despite my dangerous and fascinating feminism). And I'm considered to be junior enough that I can "assist" (that's a synonym for "make copies and PowerPoint presentations for") these new superguys.

For the record. I now officially hope the bosslady burns really slowly when we reach our destination. It's a sick, demented, desperate business decision. And she carried it out in the most pathetic fashion possible. Bad bosslady. Bad, indeed.

I'm supposed to be hours away visiting my mommy. But I acquired a flat tire on the way, leading me back to town and the tire shop.

This is the truly sad thing about the whole affair. I am such a loser that I couldn't get my own cheap hand-cranked jack to work. I need to buy one of those pedal jacks so I can do this whole thing myself, if needed, in the future. As it was, I had to call the boy from a gas station twenty minutes away to come help me.

I had to call the boy. Forget what this says about my lack of upper-body strength (and he found the jack a nuisance, as well). I was at a gas station in a small town in Virginia. I even went inside to ask for help. The three strapping folks behind the counter flat-out rejected my desperate pleas. Nevermind my obvious effort. Nevermind I was dirty and near tears. At least they were able to point me to a pay phone.

At least fifty people. Not an exaggeration. At least fifty people came and went from the parking lot (shared with a feed and hardware store) in the hour I was there. Not one of the burly looking white middle-aged southern not-quite-gentlemen even acknowledged my presence or asked if I needed help. Actually, the two guys who worked at the feed store stood out and watched me. But refused to help as well. Though, by their deft carrying of fifty pound bags of seed, I could tell they were weak and unable to offer a hand.

What happened to southern manners?

Two guys did actually stop to help when the boy was having trouble himself. The boy and I both being the "learn as we go" people we are, we had forgotten some of the specifics of tire changing. I don't consider it a coincidence that these two semi-heros were the only non-white men (one was black, the other [American] Indian) to come through the parking lot.

I really do wonder what happened. To southern culture. In this small town, that is. Manners are still very much alive in the south, and they have really started to transcend racial and gender and cultural boundaries. So. What happened to this town? Is it like Derry, Maine - controlled by angry aliens that put people in icky green cocoons?

Old white men. Today I hate you all. Except for the ones I don't hate. You know who you are.

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