As I look at my life so far, I see a lot of the events that happened around me have been quite polarizing for everyone and everything involved. Overall, it’s become a struggle for me, as in dealing with bad actions it makes things ten times worse. I should say that some good actions have, however, been more than enough to counterbalance them.
The best example I can think of so far happened about a month ago, when reunioning with my sister, whom I hadn’t seen in years. She had just moved away from our dad’s on the other side of the country, and brought along with her a boyfriend from Colombia. I’d heard after the fact that he had been fishing around for months before we arrived for some money to steal, but we had no idea until he stole $3,000 out of our lock box and blew it on food and toys. In this tale, we did nothing wrong at all, but somehow my husband and I, or more specifically me, brought the stakes high enough for them to lose their heads. I’m told my sister still doesn’t want to apologise to me even though she would to my husband, and we agreed we can’t accept that. I don’t think she understands just how permanent the relationship damage is in the adult world when things like this happen. I’ve had everyone else, including police and forensic investigators apologise to me for what happened.
Another example could be when my husband and I first lived together. But, since knowing my in-laws better I have doubts as to whether I had much of an effect in this way with them, because they have so much more dignity for me in spite of the circumstances than a Western family probably would. Their culture doesn’t accept same-sex relationships, and they didn’t like my future husband at the time flying off to see me anyway. That was nearly two years ago, and it should be said thanks to them, I can live outside torment from my own family, with my husband and no one else.
I haven’t held very many jobs, but of some of them I had experienced strange things too. While working at a pizzeria downtown, I made a couple friends and we had a lot to lament about the management. When it came right down to it, nobody on staff respected them, everyone was afraid to even talk to them, and I had already made plans to quit on payday because they were gimping my pay rate. I had heard other accounts from staff of them witholding delivery tips from their runners, and generally they are obscenely petty, even towards customers. The owners have serious anger problems and are notorious for throwing things around the kitchen and at each other in their quarrels that they can’t stop having. I don’t know if the word got around that I was quitting anyway, but one of them pulled me away from the register one day in the middle of a lunch rush to show me footage of myself pocketing a dollar tip given to me by a customer. It was drama designed to embarrass me, terrorise my coworker, and get rid of me for personal reasons they can’t address, I guess. I called up my friend from work about the whole ordeal and he said “yeah, they just wanted to fire you.”
A similarly petty show happened to construct a reason for my termination when I worked at the Raleigh branch of the Coder School in 2017. There was a woman in charge, unofficially as an acting manager, whom I worked under for several weeks doing my job tutoring kids and running classes at schools. She had a career in public school administration and billed herself as somebody “at the crossroads of education and technology”. I had signed on in July and started working at the office where I met her at some point in August. Soon after this she had a really inappropriate conversation with my mother and husband in the lobby regarding me, where they retold things she said regarding my “apparent Autism”, and other infantilising comments I can’t specifically recall. When November rolled around she started to micromanage my behaviour in a way she never does with anyone else, publicly chastising me in front of clients and other employees for “wearing my headphones” when they were just hanging around my neck, or for reading something off-topic on the projector until one of my students showed up and then acting like it’s embarrassing because I’m ‘distracted’. Within a couple weeks I’m sitting down with the actual acting manager, the owner of the franchise, for him to tell me that I’ve been axed. My last day was scheduled on Saturday, but I called out as I had my first panic attacks which hospitalised me on Friday, and over the weekend my husband helped me pen an email explaining what actually happened on my end, accounting first for my actions and then leading into what the lady who tattled on me was doing. He then rescheduled a meeting with me at his original office, told me he had a long talk with his brother on vacation, and that he’d have to let me go because of a lack of space there. He gave me severance pay, something he said he’s never done for coaches, and I left. Recently I saw the lady isn’t working there anymore, since he has a new GM.
The difficult thing with this sometimes is that there isn’t really “no reason” they dumped me from the workplaces, but that the reason doesn’t make sense in full context, almost as if that was intentional. I look at the dollar in kindness after getting home, given to me by a construction worker, and I don’t see how this justifies getting fired. I try to picture my code coaching from the perspective of the customer, seeing whatever’s on my screen, and I don’t see embarrassment or judgment at all – I see intrigue, and someone turning around to greet me. While it’s reasonable to say the judgment was in the lady’s head and just projected onto the situation to great scorn, seeing this happen over again makes me wonder if there isn’t something far worse about myself that nobody, not even myself, can see. Whatever it is, it seems to bring out the worst in the worst of people, and the best in the best of people as well. That’s why in losing, I have a saving grace in workmates, or an email, or even the law of all things. Nobody else has things become this crazy, this consistently out of the blue, through no fault of their own, right? How could I not be crazy, and it’s really just half of everyone else? What else could explain it but me?