At 4:45 I stood up for myself to someone I usually – no always – try to appease. I don’t know what got into me. I didn’t cuss her out or make a big scene, I simply refused to bow down to her and say I was sorry for whatever it was she wanted me to be sorry for. I could try to explain this phenomenon, common to law firms, but honestly it wouldn’t make any sense to anyone who doesn’t work in the environment. I think of myself as a very strong person, but I find myself doubting my strength right now. I should feel very good, amazing even, about myself at this moment and all I really want to do is crawl under some covers and cry. I guess now is the time to clarify that I am not talking about my boss. And maybe that’s what makes it so frustrating – because even on her worst day, my boss would never act like such an ass. Unfortunately, my boss is on vacation.
Just now I was about to describe my job as if it was cancer but cancer is a little harsh. It seems most people don’t survive it (at least not the people I have known). My job is actually more like a respiratory infection. It starts as a tickle in the back of the throat, next there’s a little trouble breathing, all the bronchioles and alveoli have become infected and before you know it you need to have a lung removed. But you can live with only one lung.
I know I have very little room to complain about my job. I had my chance to get out and I stayed. Possibly it’s because my Friday yoga class was cancelled for the summer and I haven’t been able to find a replacement class I’m keen on so I’m not releasing all the rubbish that builds up each week, but I am feeling it all welling up in my chest again and I think I am very close to the breaking point I was at last spring. I applied for a very "me" job in an art gallery in the city we’re moving to. I don’t know if I’ll get an interview, or if I truly want it, or if I can actually afford to take it should the offer be extended (it’s a very drastic pay cut, however, it’s also only four days a week). I don’t want to wonder "what if" either. Not if living with one lung is my alternative.
The only saving grace is that I do not work directly for this woman. A bit of wisdom that arrived in my ear over a whispered phone call, from my co-worker who does work directly for her – and who was also having such a horrible day that she spent nearly 2 bills on shoes at lunch. Ahhh … life on Bay Street.
I myself hit my little used bookshop on the way home where I picked up a couple of weird 1970s craft books** (I feel an obsession developing), a dvd and a novel for the plane. $22.53 well spent – and much more fun than shoes! I am really going to miss that little place packed with treasure and the cool owner and his pretty green parrot who all make me feel so much better on bad days when we have our silly conversations.
– It’s a big leap from Spanglish to Iris Murdoch – you’re quite the onion aren’t you?
– Oh yes! Quite the onion, that’s me.
* A lack of oxygen
From my life support
My iron lung