Sep. 15th, 2010

gypsyanna: (Default)
One would expect a class like British History to 1603 to be focused on, well, history.

Not when one has an interesting, intelligent, and interactive instructor. :)

Last night's class took a brief side trip into discussion of current society and how we can easily identify clear signs of the decline of our civilization. In two words: reality tv.

She's right, of course. Archeologists are digging up and discovering art, literature, science - great things from dead civilizations. If the life on this planet ended tomorrow, what would some far-future alien race discover about us? Big Brother. Survivor. Jersey Shore. Real Housewives.

No art. No literature. No great deeds, amazing scientific advances. Just a world that opened the door on endless possibilities, and never stepped through. And they'd see these reality tv shows and base their understanding of humans on them.

It's almost enough to make one want to shrivel in shame now, isn't it?

I'm all for escapism. I love escapism. I love being entertained. I've spent most of this morning, however, thinking about my favorite forms of escapism and I've realized - no, there's not great scientific value in those television shows, or those books. There's not something in them that makes me walk away, thinking and wondering and stretching my mind. But there are common themes in them, morals and ethics, that feed my soul, my idealism, even as the word-painted pictures entertain my mind. Heroes, justice, mercy, compassion... Right and wrong. Good and bad. Acceptance. Open-mindedness. All the good, positive, warm traits of humanity that are never shown on those reality tv shows.

I've long wondered: what is it about humanity that would make us a race worth knowing, admiring, respecting - even emulating? In groups, we do not show to advantage. As individuals, however, that's where we shine. Without the faceless horde of humanity to ridicule, mock or take advantage of generosity or compassion, the strength of the human spirit shines forth. One on one, we are worthy. As a species - we've a long way to go.

The question, however, is...do we want to? I do. Do you?
gypsyanna: (Default)
...I am so completely pissed, outraged, and horrified that I was, literally, speechless.

Last Friday we closed our office during the morning. Mr. McDonald's daughter's funeral was scheduled for 10:30am, so rather than scramble to see who would attend, who wouldn't, and risk telling someone they could not attend, it was easier to simply close the office so everyone who wanted to could go without worry.

Now, most of us didn't know Kimberley. I'd spoken to her on the phone just once. However. I have been working with her father for a year and a half. I like the man, I respect him, and I get along very well with him. I intended to go to the funeral out of respect for him. Not for his daughter, but for him. I made the choice to sacrifice my time and my pay because my respect and liking for Mr. McDonald are more important than $20.00. Yes, that's how much money I should have lost by going to the funeral. A whole hour and a half of work-time. I know, I get paid pretty crappy. What can you expect from Civil Service, though?

On Monday, several people in the office raised a bitch-fit when they found out they weren't being paid to attend the funeral. Can you believe it? They expected to be PAID. So what if hte office was closed? That's the company honoring the No. 2 guy. But the employees expected to be PAID? How fucking cold can you be?

I was infuriated at them for the attitude on Monday. I knew Cathryn was pissed, too. What I didn't know, until today, was that Mr. Hensley, the No. 1 guy here, told her to pay everything for that morning. I opened up my check, expecting it to be short because of Friday morning, and Monday being a holiday. It wasn't short. It was over. I KNOW I signed my timecard for only 29 hours for last week. I was paid for 33. Yes, I immediately went to Cathryn to find out why my time had been changed.

And she told me why. And she told me, "That's why I was so pissed off. That's why. Not at you, but at everyone else who complained about not getting paid."

I feel...dirty. Mr. McDonald would never know of the teeny tiny sacrifice I made for him. He was never meant to. It wasn't supposed to cross his mind. He lost his mother one week, his daughter the next. Me missing an hour and a half of work could never compare, in any way, but it was a gesture - MY gesture - that I chose to make to honor him and his loss. MY choice to attend that funeral was made to support him, let let him see and know that his pain and loss are sympathized with, understood as much as I can understand it, and let him know he has all the emotional support, good will, and well wishing that I can give.

And now, to be paid for that time... It horrifies me. And even with all this writing, I still can't properly put into words just how angry I am, and why. It's a gut thing. It defies words. It can only be felt.

And in all the feeling, the sense of nauseating disgust I now have for most of my co-workers makes me want to vomit.

I can't keep the money. I just can't. I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I did. Fortunately, I know where I can send it - instead of flowers, donations were solicited for the St. Vincent DePaul Society, or the NW Louisiana Food Bank.

At this moment, I honestly feel that most people in the world are just...revolting. What a cold, callous specie we be...

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