Archive for the ‘Darndest Things’ Category
Does being in some minority pressure people out their profession? In an office of whites, would lone Hispanic gentlemen feel out of place? Popular opinion would affirm that he would. Given my work environment, however, I feel as if I should have the similar reaction, even though I don’t.
Nearly every other active photographer in our office is a little different than I, although to say that is a little backwards — I’m the newcomer, here. To be sure, I’m a little different than most of the active photographers in our office.
Simply put, I’m a dude. Most everyone else isn’t.
Though my company is an equal opportunity employer, and ignoring for a moment that the office staff is pretty evenly split, the bulk of our field photogs are female. Of about 25 photographers, there were six guys when I started. Four of us were hired just this year, and one of us had the initiative to get himself fired before training ended.
Although there was nothing improper about his firing — he didn’t think twice about calling in sick whenever he didn’t feel like showing up, and this during training — I liked him well enough, chronic absence and all. Had he showed up, he might have been an ideal employee. Probably not, though.
Among the photographers, now, there are five guys. On one of our so-far rare reprieves, I asked why there were so many more gals driving to schools every day. Basically, she said:
Guys just don’t tend to last that long. Maybe they just say, “I have enough girl problems, already.”
After a pause and a bit of a chuckle, she noted:
Those guys who do stick usually don’t have girl problems.
Even as an adult heterosexual white male, I’m perfectly comfortable with the mostly female staff I see every day — my year or two in a sorority steels my nerves in that regard — and I can’t help but be amused.
In America, adult heterosexual white males are supposed to crowd out everyone else in from the adult heterosexual while male professions in construction, politics, journalism, high finance and the military. After a year in education and the beginning of what may be many years in school photography, I’ve managed to choose two fields where adult heterosexual white males are in the minority.
I’m either open minded or I really want to seem that way.
Helen and I aren’t getting along well these days. I wish we were.
I didn’t think she’d ever act like she did today. I thought I knew her every little foible. See, we’ve been together going on two years, and I always thought that we’d be together indefinitely.
Maybe I know that it’s not meant to last, and maybe I’ll switch to a newer model in a couple of years, but I always thought we’d do just fine, if only we’d live in the moment. Of course, the trouble with living in the moment is that you never see anything coming.
Case in point: Today was a bad day for us. I was tired, I was frustrated and we were on our way home from a long day at work. Helen, for some reason, decides that this is the perfect time to break down and fall apart.
Things got pretty heated, she more than I, though I still managed to say some things I shouldn’t have. She wouldn’t budge. I had no choice. I pulled over to the side of the road, and I tried to get things sorted out.
It didn’t work. She wasn’t receptive, and I didn’t have any new ideas. I wasn’t about to go push her buttons, because in her overheated state, I didn’t know what damage she’d manage to achieve. For a time, we sat there and said nothing.
She hadn’t even cooled off yet when, at the worst possible moment, the boss of my boss pulled over to see if I was okay. Embarrassed, I got it together enough to make it back home.
She still doesn’t speak to me, though I’d bet that she’s acting up because I’m not treating her right. I’m not treating her the way she wants me to; I’m not treating her the way she needs me to. Thing is, I know that were I to ask, she wouldn’t respond.
For crying out loud, who does she think I am? Some kind of manual reader?
I’ve decided that my room isn’t big enough for a bed.
At about 8 feet by 10 feet, I can just barely fit my two desks, a couch and some random computer chair, but I can’t comfortably squeeze in a mattress, box spring and bed frame. Therefore, I’ve decided to live without one.
Thanks, Japan, for making this decision possible. I figured that because your largest metropolitan area has an average of almost 5,800 residents crammed in every square kilometer, you know a little something about space management. For readers who need a more allegorical comparison, that’s like cramming the population of the city of Los Angeles into the city limits of San Francisco. Tight fit.
So instead of taking that extra-long twin my parents want out of their house and stashing it somewhere in my room, I pull out a cheap, blue, child-sized futon at night. I sleep on that, in the style of all those really crowded countries across the Pacific.
It’s mighty comfortable, even ignoring that it lays right on the floor and all. I like my mattresses firm. The floor is pretty firm.
I have no reason to switch back in the near future, especially considering the health benefits of a firm mattress for my sort of sleeper.
I’m thinking that this is a pretty smart move, at the very least because not having to worry about a permanent fixture in the middle of my room really opens up my place.
When I think about it, though, this isn’t a decision between mattress and futon. The last guy with this room had no problem with his bed the way it was, and he had a mighty fine bed. No, this was a decision between one mattress and two or three large, wooden bookcases.
Even after recognizing that this is the real reason I’m going without a West-style bed, I’d choose bookcases any day of the week. Nothing makes me feel more at home than multiple full bookshelves. I’d like to get back to that.
Of course, it’s a good thing I’m only sleeping Japanese and not living it. If I were living Japanese, I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment large enough to fit either my mattress or the behemoth-sized oak shelving coming my way.
In other words, God bless America.