Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wounds Don't Heal

...If you don't quit picking at the scab. Or, so i keep telling myself.

A year or so ago, i found out my mother in law has been leaking details about my and Jim's personal lives to Jim's exwife (who shall from here on out be referred to as the WBC- whorebitchcunt). I can't for the life of me figure out why she'd do a thing like that. When they were still married, the WBC treated my mominlaw like shit. They never had a very good relationship, in spite of the fact that mominlaw's a really nice lady. Anyway, since they've been split, the WBC's still not been very nice to her, except when she wants something (typical of her).

So last year, mominlaw did something i'd expressly asked her never to do: try to push her religious beliefs on me. Now, mominlaw and i have had this discussion before, and i've told her about the treatment i've suffered at the hands of my more "faithful" family members. I told her i love and accept her for who she is, and that i'd appreciate if she'd return the favour. She always had, and i was so relieved and so thankful. Then, out of the blue, she wrote my husband a letter encouraging him to try and bring me into the fold. I guess at some point in his youth, he was also a Christian and is no longer practicing (i'm guessing mominlaw is unaware of his straying from the ole flock), so she thought he'd be the perfect tool.

Needless to say, i was both livid and hurt at the same time. Being the sort of person to just blow up and say anything that comes across my little mind, regardless of how harmful it will be to the future of my relationship with the person i'm blowing up at, i decided it'd be best if i didn't talk with her until i'd calmed down. So i waited, and a few months went by, but still i felt horribly betrayed. Meanwhile, she tried to contact me repeatedly, and i wouldn't answer. Jim tried to caution her to just leave me alone and let me come to her in my own time.

Unfortunately, she didn't listen. So about the time i started feeling like maybe i could talk to her about why i was so upset with her, she decided to cry on the WBC's shoulder about "how badly we've been treating her". Poor mominlaw probably thought that the WBC, being a sister Christian and all, would keep their communications confidential. Unfortunately for her, the WBC likes to gloat, and did so to Jim's oldest son. Jim's oldest son happens to be very close to us, and let us know what was going on.

How could she?! Of all the people in her life to complain to, why did she have to choose that one? How dare she betray the intimate details of our lives to that awful woman?! So i was betrayed again. And, to make matters worse, apparently it wasn't the first time she'd done that. As it turns out, every time she became annoyed with Jim or me, she'd gripe about us to her.

So i didn't talk to her again for a while. Now, so you understand, i don't do this to hurt or torment people; it's the exact opposite. I know my temper well, and i know i'm likely to say things i can't take back. I do it to preserve my relationships. So i finally ended up writing a letter explaining to her that i felt twice betrayed by her. I was careful, and i edited a great many times, just to keep the anger out of my tone and get my feelings across. I wanted very badly for her to understand what i was going through. She got my letter, and wrote me back, and had the gall to deny everything.

At that point, Jim talked to her and got her to see that lying wasn't going to help her keep a relationship with me. She admitted what she'd done and apologized, and i've been doing my best ever since to accept that apology. I try to tell myself that in the greater grand scheme of things, it's more important to have a good and loving relationship with the first significant other's mother who'd ever shown me any kindness. As much as i try not to think about what happened, i just can't help it. It's like a nice, big scab on my knee that itches and just begs to be picked at. I want to forgive her. I really do. I don't know what i need to do make it happen. The worst thing is, i know she'll do it again, and i just can't accept that.

So now there's a raw place where there used to be a good relationship with mominlaw. I love her so much, but things will never be the same if i don't figure out how to stop picking.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Dress Code

The dress code:

A sign of professionalism? A necessary evil? A nazi-conformist mind-control tactic?

Recently, the mode of dress of what my regional manager refers to as the "professional staff" (by "professional staff", he means pharmacists, pharmacy techs, Administrative assistants, the manager, and the RSO) has come under fire in my lab. Let me give you a bit of relevant background information about the "professional staff": they never leave the lab, and are never seen by customers or patients. EVER.

So you're probably thinking, "Score! Jeans and tshirts and comfy clothing for all!", right? Well, the rest of us always thought so, too. Apparently, this is a big sore spot with our RM. He has passed down an MBO (I can never remember what MBO stands for, but i know my boss's raise depends on achieving them) to my boss, stating that the professionalism is lacking in our lab, and she is to remedy it immediately. And by "professionalism is lacking", he means he hates our comfy clothing. In response to this, my boss has passed down a Thou Shalt Not Wear Comfy Clothing edict: khakis/slacks in place of jeans, and polo/button-down shirts in place of tshirts and hoodies, and no white tennis shoes. For reasons i can't fathom, the RM seems to think that the more stuffy and uncomfortable our clothing is, the more professional and productive we are. This bothers me for a plethora of reasons:

1. We wear lab coats. They're long, and cover us down to about mid-calf. You can't tell the difference between a polo shirt and a tshirt underneath them anyway!

2. It gets really hot when you're working in front of the fume hoods. Long sleeves are an impossibility, which leaves polo shirts as the only option. Polo shirts are, in my opinion, itchy and uncomfortable.

3. I don't draw doses or compound drugs any faster for wearing slacks instead of jeans.

4. I'm on my feet 8 hours a day. Why can't i wear shoes that DON'T hurt my feet??

5. After ten years of wearing whatever the hell i want to this job, I don't own any of the required clothing, and am now obligated to go out and spend money on clothing i hate.

Go ahead and ask me if they're going to reimburse us for acquiring what's basically a work uniform (The answer to that, incidentally, is "It's not in the budget"... as if a new wardrobe is in MY budget). Or, better yet, ask if we're getting a cost-of-living raise when minimum wage increases, to help offset this added expense (i probably don't need to tell you what the answer to that one is).

So i have to ask: Why is it so important for a bunch of people who basically don't see the light of day for 9 hours to look professional? It isn't going to inspire confidence in our ability to deliver time-sensitive, sterile drugs in patients and doctors who never see us. None of us give a shit what anyone else in the lab is wearing. Is the dress code really a necessary thing, or just a mechanism for keeping those of us with less than savvy fashion sense from being eye sores? Isn't the lab coat enough protection from fashion atrocity?

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Reluctant, Much Desired Friend

It's been a while. Interestingly, i find it difficult to gather and organize my thoughts when i haven't written in a long time, so if this seems disjointed, i'm sorry for that. I want to talk about friends, a little bit, and one person in particular.

There's a girl i'm friendly with at work, i'll call her 'Jane' (i don't know why i'm bothering, none of you know her or anything, but i just feel better if i don't call her out by her real name). Anyway, when i still lived in Illinois, we looked forward to my imminent move to Indiana with the anticipation of hanging out more and becoming friends outside of work. We talked about the cool things we'd do together and i was really excited about it because she'd only be the second real friend i've made since i moved here (which is kind of my own fault; When i was living in Houston, i was "friends" with a few girls i didn't really like and i've been trying to be careful to avoid doing that again) and i've been a little lonely for female companionship.

So our house deal finally came through and we moved to Indiana. Things were a little hectic in the beginning, trying get everything moved, the old place cleaned out adequately, and things semi-settled in at the new place.

Things have been mostly back to normal the last few month or so, and i've been trying to hook up with Jane. Mostly, we've either had Robbie over and i didn't want to bother her with that kid, or her boyfriend's been unavailable. We've managed to get together a few times with her boyfriend (whom i'm going to call 'John'), but every time we do, it seems like one of them isn't happy. We went bowling once, and John was irritated because he had to work the next day (around 3 am) and he was going to be tired. We went to the movies, and John was irritated because...well, i'm not even sure why. Last weekend at the demolition derby, John was mad because Jane wouldn't let him put his arm around her in the eight thousand degree weather. John has the irritating and rude habit of sulking when he's mad about something, which in turn affects Jane's mood. It just seemed to me like John didn't want to be around us.

I'd pretty much been blaming John for things going wrong, until Saturday, when we went to the Renaissance festival. The plan was to meet at my house, have breakfast and all drive up in one vehicle. It's kind of far away, and it just didn't make any sense to waste all that gas, or risk getting separated since me and Jim were the only ones who knew how to get there. I was kind of waiting for Jane and John to call and make an excuse to either not ride up with us, or not go at all. That morning, they called and told us they needed to ride in their own car because of something to do with her mom. I was completely unsurprised, but disappointed at the same time. "Oh, well, at least they're still coming", i thought.

So we got together, had breakfast, and then headed out. We gave them directions in case they got separated from us (it's actually really easy to get there, but in hindsight, i kind of wish i'd made them a map). He managed to get lost in Gary because he somehow missed I-94. It's the area he freakin' grew up in, i don't know how getting off on 94 confused him. So anyway, they ended up getting there about half an hour after we did. Not a big deal.

Jane called from the front gate and we made our way over there to join up. When we got there five minutes later, they'd already wandered off. I called them and told them we were there, and she said, "Oh, we're at the mud show." I was like, "Well, are you coming back?" She seemed kind of reluctant, but they did come back. So we were all together and we started off to go look at stuff. Basically, the whole time we were there, she and John kind of wandered off and did their own thing, occasionally coming back for a few minutes to rejoin the group, and then leaving again. It started raining, and that kind of sucked, and eventually she called saying she was leaving. Alright, i understand, no one wants to be outside shopping in the rain like that. We said we were right behind her and the next plan was to meet up at an outlet mall that we'd passed on the way.

Jim didn't really want to go, and i understand that, as i'm not a big shopper myself. So we go there, and i called Jane to let her know we were there. She was disappointed because she couldn't get her nose pierced (why she thought she could get that done at an outlet mall is beyond me, but whatever). So we tried to make dinner plans, and Jane suggested the Rainforest Cafe there in the mall. I didn't think it was a good idea because i knew what kind of food they offered there, and i knew Jim wouldn't eat any of it. Jim, being the sweetie he is, agreed to go there anyway just so there wouldn't be any difficulty. There was a 30 minute wait if we joined some club, and an hour wait if we didn't. John and Jane seemed really angry about that because they were so hungry (why they didn't snack at the fest is also beyond me). So we tried to suggest one of the restaurants outside the mall and they dismissed the suggestions as taking too long. So we ended up eating in the mall food court. I hate mall food courts, but i ate there anyway to be agreeable. Now everyone's irritated for one reason or another, and everyone's trying not to show it. It got pretty late and Jim was ready to go, but we ended up shopping around for a bit (Jane and John had already left, big surprise there). So we went home and went to bed.

So the point of talking about Saturday is this: I used to think John didn't like or want to be around us and Jane did. Now i'm not sure Jane really wants to be friends anymore either. She's the kind of person who thinks it'd spare my feelings to cover up the fact that she's changed her mind about being friends outside of work rather than just to come out and say "It isn't working". So i can't even rely on her to be honest if i voice my concerns to her. And then there's the chance i'm just reading way too much into some bad luck situations.

But then when John isn't around, she's a completely different person. Sometimes when she declines doing things because John has to work, i want to say, "So? Let him fend for himself for an evening and just come!" But i'm sure i wouldn't appreciate if someone suggested the same to me if Jim wasn't available for an activity. So the question i can't find the answer to: Is it John? Or is John just the excuse? Or did she just decide, after more exposure to me, that i suck?

Now i have a few thoughts and feelings. One: It's really rude to sulk if you're in a group. It ruins everyone's mood. I feel like if you're in a tiff with your girl/boyfriend, you really aught to put it away until you're in private. It seems like whenever Jane and John are around us, he's mad at her or she's mad at him, and she has to whisper what's wrong on the way to the bathroom or something. Then there's the awkwardness of knowing what's wrong and pretending like you don't notice anything's amiss. We're not in highschool, so grow up ffs.

Two: If you don't want to be there, don't be! You're just going to ruin everyone else's time if you show up to be polite.

Three: If you're going on a group date, shouldn't you stay together, for the most part? I mean, the whole time we were there, i pretty much felt like we were some couples at the same place at the same time, and not like we were there there to hang out together. Idano, maybe i'm just being sensitive.

I'm thinking i probably won't invite them some place again. I don't want to put any pressure on her to hang out with me if it isn't what she wants to do. So now i'm stuck thinking about this girl who's really funny and usually fun to be around, whom i have a lot in common with, who'd planned to be friends me, whom i still want to be friends with. And i just don't think it's going to work out.