164// I’m Hurt

I thought today was going to be a good day. I got through my first CPR class as the official instructor yesterday without any major mess ups or gaffs and I figured today would be even smoother but almost from the beginning it has been awful.

I don’t want to say too much about what happened because it may result in an awkward HR battle and some serious consequences but I will tell you at least that during my class today while trying to enforce our workplace mask policy, someone who doesn’t believe coronavirus is a serious or even real threat and was infuriated by having to wear a mask vented his anger, frustration, and quite possibly disgust by spitting near me.

The incident happened quickly and I’m still processing my emotions. I’m furious. I’m afraid. I’m sad. I’m hurt. I blame him. I blame my superiors. I blame myself. I feel sorry for myself. I think it’s a big deal and I want to believe it’s nothing. I want to let it go and I want to take this is far as I can.

Most of all I’m shocked. I’ve read about this happening to other people but most of those stories were about customers, not fellow employees. I’m shocked too because I do my best to always be professional and kind when I’m training people. I’m hurt because too often my kindness is taken for weakness and between my male coworkers and I, I’m always the one that gets the push back and has to work harder for respect and compliance.

After work I sent an email out to just about every one of my bosses across all locations to explain the incident and to establish my boundaries. For my part I will be much more firm when explaining the policies and the consequences of our precautions and I will not tolerate for a second anyone skirting or refusing to adhere to them. I also ended by asking that the man who did this to me be reprimanded in some way. I don’t need an apology. I need documentation and consequences at the very least and I won’t let this go until that happens. I need him to know he didn’t win.

But all that will have to wait until Monday. Until then I’m going to order my favorite Mexican comfort food, drink a couple of hard ciders, and spend time with the one who makes me feel safe. I’m going to take time to take care of myself and prepare for a war.

164 // Outraged and Angry

Today someone I am attached to professionally violated some established social norms in a spectacular and offensive way, while I was in the room. I did nothing wrong, and I did my best to keep out of the fray but though the violator wasn’t aware, or perhaps didn’t care, I felt the eyes of the room and the wave of disappointment, anger, and disapproval falling on him, and me by association.

I was mad at the violator for the outburst the same as everyone else in the room, but I was also angered by my lack of control over the situation. Suddenly the way I was being viewed had nothing to do with me. Suddenly someone else was acting and speaking for me.

My anxiety has over the years turned me into someone who moves deliberately and with forethought. I rely on my friends and coworkers to give me the space I need to control the world’s perception of me and this person took that away.

I watched, outraged and angry, as he initiated a chaotic situation and acted in ways that left the outcome uncertain. He left me with no choices. He left me with no way to reassert my place or my boundaries. He left me exposed and with no way to salvage anything for myself. This, for me, is his true offense.

I don’t know how I can forgive it.