Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wherein The Ocelot Talks About Race And Bullying.

Totally non-magical. Or maybe it will be, by the end. You, dear readers, decide.

Trayvon Martin. This is a tragedy. I think we all know the Self-Appointed Hero who we see as a dorky rent-a-cop, but who sees himself as a Badass. This whole thing is the logical conclusion of this, at least when things go terribly, terribly wrong.

Now - let me tell you how the ocelot profiles people.

Two young white men showed up at our door last weekend. We got out the guns and kept them from view. Said young men were a friend's son and his friend. I am still grappling with the etiquette question of telling or not telling said friend that Husband and I had guns at the ready when her child came to our door. RACISM QUOTIENT: 0.

A young man of either Hispanic or Italian ancestry, by appearance, was wandering around and claimed to be "doing a random property inspection" because "the mortgage company sent me". He had no business card, no immediate supervisor to call, nada. Again with the firearms. RACISM QUOTIENT: 0. Unless you think that the ocelot hates Italians. Or Mexicans.

My boss, met outside normal work hours: BIG Black guy. Has baby. Wears athletic wear. Is roughly the size of my horse. Would he alarm me if he approached me in a dark parking lot, saying his car was dead and he had his baby with him, and could I drive them somewhere? Yes. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. I am afraid he will break my small car by trying to get into it, not that he would harm me because he is Black. I would ask if he had smaller family members or if he'd care to push the car while said baby and I enjoy a snack, because hey, he's bigger than me, baby, and car put together so why the hell not.

Group of rowdy Black men, ages 15 - 50: alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. Any group of rowdy men of this age is a danger to self and others through sheer testosterone-based dumbness.

Group of rowdy White men, ages 15 - 50: alarming. See above.

Group of rowdy Hispanic men, ages 15 - 50: not alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. I have never actually seen this and assume that most of them are like me and the Husband: they work at physically demanding jobs and so are too damn tired to start any shit. I would probably assume the celebration of a family event/graduation/holiday I am not conversant with.

Group of rowdy Asian men, ages 15- 50: not alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: zero. I have never actually seen this. If I did, I would act as above.

Very large, extremely muscular Black man on public transit or in parking lot: not alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: 5. I was once saved from being gay-bashed by a bodybuilding young Black Christian man. So now I assume none of them have any interest in raping/beating/mugging me.

Young Black man trying to be all Playa at me: not alarming. I have found young Black men to be the funniest when hitting on random women, and least likely to get pissed when you express disinterest. One Playa was grooving along with his patter, caught a look at my pasty-ass legs, and shouted, "Is that your SKIN?! Good God. Do you want my coat?" RACISM QUOTIENT: 5. I now also assume that all young Black men and I are entering into an agreement by which we both understand the following and far-less entertaining conversation to be happening:
     HIM: You are attractive to me. Would you care to go out sometime, or possibly to have sex right this
     ME: No, thank you. Though you are very funny and I understand that couching your suggestion in this    
            ridiculous manner is your way of saving face should I say no and ensuring that you have in no way
            been insulting or using crass language that would cause your mother to slap you sideways.
    HIM: Thank you. I hope that should you change your mind, that our paths might cross again.
    ME: Thank you. Have a good evening.

Group of rowdy White men, ages 15 - 50, who are skinny, unwashed, and sporting what seem to be poorly-done tattoos: alarming. RACISM QUOTIENT: 10. I assume they are meth-eating crackers who will happily kill me, eat me, and rape my dog and husband. My only hope is that the Orson Wells cat I own will avenge us all.

Next topic: workplace cliques and shit.

We have a guy at work who is small. Unkempt. Smokes cheap cigarettes and therefore sometimes smells less-than-awesome. He looks, sadly, like some kind of somewhat fluffy gopher. His horrible dentition does not help this, and I readily confess that I cannot make eye contact as frequently as I'd like when speaking with him because bad teeth freak me right the hell out. Other than that, I find him agreeable to work with and have no problems with him.

No one else likes him. This is largely based on his appearance and supposed "B.O.", which I have not noticed. It is now also being drummed up as his "problems with women being in charge". I have not found this to be the case, either.

It is starting to seem like "we don't like the weird poor kid who wears Tuffskins and always smells like boiled cabbage" more than legitimate workplace complaints, and I don't like it. To Dr. Seussify things, I do not like it there at work, I do not like it when you are a jerk. I do not like this cliqueish shit, I do not like it, not a bit.

What to do?

Talk to the supervisor? Sure. Try to appeal to everyone's better nature? Done. Bake some cookies along the likes of Z Budapest's* recipe in "Goddess In The Office" to increase harmony and niceness? Maybe. Now, to find the book - I know it's here somewhere. Any suggestions, darlings? Because this guy is a Good Person, and even though they're not acting like it at the moment, so are the other people I work with, and I just want everyone to Play Nice and get along. If a few Magic Cookies help, I'm not above that.

*I know she was mean to transwomen and so is now A Bad Person and whatnot. I still think there's plenty of wheat in the chaff, so I'm not willing to boycott her or her works/ideas.

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