Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Call It Like I See It...

and have sort of gained a reputation for it. Which is sort of funny to me, because I generally like to think of myself as a peaceful person. And I kid you not, particularly when I was a younger lass, the thought of any kind of confrontation, physical or otherwise, makes me want to throw up.

Yet I regularly find myself with my hackles up, fangs bared.

The Humanity Critic made me laugh yesterday (and it's not like a regular correspondence-type-thing, but a "hey-pleasant-surprise"-type-thing) because he said based on my name, he imagined being slapped by some woman who tells him "That's it, I'm getting Bear Maiden to kick your ass!!"

Maybe the Fat Lady and Lilac Blue (in particular)--who haven't really been posting much--will chime in here to assure Mr. Critic how many times they've actually said something like that.

And how many times I've readily gone to war on behalf of someone, hackles up, fangs bared.

Mr. Critic's comment was particularly ironic yesterday, given the fact that I had to go "ScaryBlackBitch" on my co-worker.

Background: Last week, the Vampyre Bitch was on vacation, leaving the hospital newsletter in the (completely in-)capable hands of BigBird. Which meant that I was largely the designer to put the thing together. Vampyre has previously been clear that she doesn't like the way I adjust pictures, so when she handed me a CD of photos to go in the newsletter, I messed with them as little as possible. They were shitty snapshots to begin with... and when printed, came out pretty dark. But I figured she gave me stuff ready to go. Apparently, I was wrong.

You would think the world came to a screeching halt--it seems the Big Kahuna had a bitchfest. And I refused to take the fall for it, but because BigBird is less annoying to me than other people, I gave her a small apology for whatever stress I may have caused her.

On Tuesday, Vampyre was "too busy" to work on this week's version of the newsletter, so I spent the better part of the day messing with the thing... and then had to repeat my work every time they re-edited an "article" and I had to flow the text back in. Which was frequently. But whatever. At the end of Tuesday, the newsletter was in a fairly decent shape... it had already been seen by several people, I burned a CD with the files and handed it to the Bitch, and left for the day.

On Wednesday, yesterday, I got in at 8:30A. The Moon coming to the Sun's school has been a blessing for me, because the Sun actually WANTS to get going and we've been early to school every day, which means I get here early. BigBird came over to me to ask whether I "could have, if you'd seen it" fix last week's dark photos ("of course!" I said) and I notice that she's got a printout of the newsletter in her hand. It looked, to quote MoodMagicBarbie "a hot mess". Everything re-arranged. I remark that I see there have been some changes, and BigBird says "Yes, {Vampyre} thought it needed some changes. It looks better, don't you think?"

Uh, no, I don't. But I merely said that this is where Design gets to be a question of personal aesthetics, and that some people prefer certain things but it's not necessarily a "design" thing as much as it's a personal thing. All good designers tend to agree on "clean" and "easy to read", but within that, there are variations. It's why we *used* to be called "commercial artists". It's commercial... designed for a specific purpose, but there is still some personal style injected.

But in this case, it just looked a hot mess, and it also meant that all those "fine tuning things" you do at the end were all going to have to be re-done.

I begin working on another project, which had a deadline of early Tuesday but had gotten pushed aside due to the newsletter, and now it was Wednesday, and it was only going to take me a little bit to get a proof ready. By now it was about 9:30A, and the Vampyre had reported for work.

About 10A, BigBird needed to make "more edits" and comes over to me with a flash stick, saying she needed my Mac. I said I didn't have the latest version of the newsletter anymore, and she showed me the flash thing. I said I was working on something that I needed to finish, and it would take a few minutes. She said "this is more important". Vampyre comes over to say that often, this particular client who's thing I'm working on, overstates her urgency. I replied that I've now had this "priority" conversation several times, and the only thing I really care about is that *I* told this woman I'd have a proof for her by a certain time. BigBird and Vampyre said they'd talk to her. I said "Good, because I'm not getting involved... I only do what I'm told". They continue to hang over me, and it's then I realize, they mean "now". That I am to get up from MY machine, stop what I'M doing, so that BigBird can sit at MY FUCKING MAC to do HER edits... because the Vampyre is "too busy" to give up her machine.

And get this... all because Vampyre has this compulsion to fuck with everything I do. Seriously. I spent an awful lot of fucking money at Pratt... went though HELL to complete it, and worked damn hard. My Professors--some of them the best in the business--told me I had talent. I needed work of course, and there was ALWAYS room for improvement, but I held my own at Pratt. And, even before Pratt, I've done work for outside sources, and people have been happy. I had work to show, which is how I got into Pratt in the first damn place. I know what I'm doing. I know I'm good. It doesn't bother me particularly that she MUST fuck with my shit... but it pissed me the fuck off that I had to get kicked off MY machine because of her issues.

So I got nasty.

I start to shut down what I'm working on. Slammed everything shut, picked up my pink coffee thermos and stood up. BigBird starts to fluffer, and Vampyre had the balls to step in and say
"we'll talk with (newgaybossofwebteam) and set Priorities and discuss what's a priority".

Now just as an aside... on paper, BigBird is of a higher rank than the Vampyre. The Vampyre has rank on me by virtue of seniority... not by title. And the Vampyre works on the web team and reports to the new guy. I report to someone else entirely, who is SUPPOSED to be the one to set my priorities, but in essence, he has been banished to Siberia. But on paper I still report to him. And I figured out how this works.... he who makes the most noise, is the one least stepped on around here. Cuz a few weeks back, Vampyre Bitch took it upon herself to rearrange all the cubes in her area, so that SHE could get a "wall" and move the BigGirl out of her space. Didn't clearly explain what she was doing until the maintenance guys were up here with screwdrivers and moving shit. BigGirl had a quiet fit, but all the big bosses ducked and ran. And Vampyre got her way. So now she REALLY thinks she's hot shit.

But I am the Bear Maiden, and my hackles go up and my fangs come out and I will protect myself and those I love by any means necessary (yeah, I'm also a Malcom X-type chick, as opposed to MLK.)

My show of fangs and hackles was mainly "for show" because I already know how far I can go.... and in at ANY of my other previous jobs, I probably would have walked away and cried in frustration. I don't fight losing battles. But at the point that the Vampyre began to tell me that SHE would discuss my priorities, I snapped for real, for real, and when I snap I get cold and quiet.

I put my hand up and said "I will not discuss anything with you." She attempted to say something else and I interrupted her, repeating "I am not talking to you." I opened the files for BigBird, got my thermos and went and sat in Boss's office for about 20 minutes, periodically ranting loudly so the outside world could hear.

And then I came out of Boss' office, and came back to my desk and acted like nothing happened. I smiled, I was helpful, and meek and quiet for the rest of the day.

I learned "Psycho" from the best. Nothing unnerved me more than The Fucker's (aka IFKALP) raging outbursts, and when it was over he would act like nothing happened. Even better, he would deny anything happened. It made me think I was crazy, until I figured out the game. It works really well when you're not actually pissed off.

But anyway. That's the Bear Maiden in a nutshell. Fighting for Justice and Truth, calling shit as I see it.

Which leads me to call myself out.

I'm better at fighting for others than I am at fighting for myself. I'd rather just go "defensive" and slide those metal gates shut and hide.

I'm also not good at casual relationships. I'm just not. I only know how to be in "A" Relationship, and even though I know I got "mad issues, yo," I work much better trying to muddle my way through A Relationship, rather than "No Commitment" relationships. I lied when I said I could. I was full of shit Mojitos when I said I could. Feelings is feelings, and things just don't happen for me unless there's feelings.

So I'm guessing I really need to truly shut everything down and lock it up. Cuz the No Commitment thing isn't working for me. Sugarcubes is Out.

1 comment:

Nina said...

Nice take on the psycho bit. I could have used that many times in office situations. At least you know you won't be there forever.

And sugarcubes=out is something not too surprising. Don't worry, the right time, place, and person will come to pass. I am sure of it.