It’s been a while, I know. Been busy but not working a day-job, which happens from time to time as a consultant. It was a weird run of job seeking, wherein I finally made a big shift in order to get work going again. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Perhaps it’s my age, experience, or self-acceptance – or all three and a few I haven’t thought of – but my ability to shrug off dipshittery is really robust at the moment. From a comedy show wherein an audience member had issues with a joke I did, to a former colleague’s opinions garnering an emotionless but true response, I have found a level of “OK’ness” that I’m both enjoying and trying to maintain in a mature way.
First off, the colleague. As a consultant, my work is usually contracted with companies for a specific rate over a stated period of time. I was looking for a new assignment, which my firm usually had access to moreso than the average job-seeker. Managers at companies usually need a specific skill set, wherein they’ll reach out to a consulting firm, which plays matchmaker. But for whatever reason, I was being set-up on some dates that just weren’t clicking. The account manager for a few of the spots had made a few weird edits to my resumé that I was unaware of, which led to some odd questions.
Skipping ahead past a bunch of dead-end interviews (2 of which were with different people who weren’t sure what position I was interviewing for), I was able to find a position with a former manager for whom I loved working. She needed people with my skills on her team, pronto. My colleague tried to negotiate for me, but had a barrier to entry over a few dollars difference in my rate. My colleague told me “Well if they do things this way, you don’t want to be there.” I responded with “I want to work, and I found this role which you just about let get away over a few dollars without us talking about it, which is unfair considering all the other lost opportunities this year. I’m going to cement that job by tomorrow, ok?”
Don’t tell somebody what they do or don’t want. Facts, Pros & Cons, maybe. After a few months of wanting a paycheck and not wanting no paycheck, I wanted to work, and it was juuuuuust over this barrier of a few dollars. Those few dollars, btw, were part of the firm’s profit margin, not mine. And that’s where I had to say good bye to that firm. No hard feelings there, but also a great lesson; Other people’s plans can’t prevent your progress.
So I negotiated the gig and am back to work and will be paid and miserable in no time. WOO HOO!
Oh, and the audience member. I did a joke about how I don’t spank my kids, because it teaches them that physical violence is an OK way to express anger, makes them feel weak, and shows them that anybody bigger than them should be allowed to treat them with disrespect, not to mention how it can cause trauma and resentment. I was spanked as a kid, back in the 1970’s. I did a few things to deserve some punishment, but a couple of those were brutal. I don’t put anything negative on my parents about this; grounding me wasn’t working because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and had a pretty good talent for talking-back. Eventually I stopped getting spanked when, one day, knowing I was about to get it, I quit being scared. I saw the belt and that look and just started laughing. I think I was 5 or 6. And that was that. After that, not having a bike to ride, or being forced to sit in front of a window and watch my friends playing was all I needed to check myself. After that, I rarely wrecked myself.
So anyway, this thunderbitch in the audience took issue with the material. The joke goes like this:
“My wife and I don’t spank our kids. We don’t think physical violence is how you teach kids they were wrong and should be punished. We’ve had a pretty aggressive pillow fight break out, but no hitting. Plus, I found out that, in public, people FREAK OUT when you spank a kid. Especially theirs, WOW.
Get in MY face? He was peeing down a slide, sorry you had to look up from your phone.”
The woman came up to me after my set, during the headliner’s set, and asked if I “have something against parents who spank their kids?” I said “I don’t know who does what, but I have read enough to know it doesn’t really work the way the spanker thinks it should. And if a kid acts out violently towards other kids, then yeah, I’m gonna take issue with the parents.”
She replied with “Well, I spank my kids and they’re FINE. And I look at my phone when they’re at a play area so that I can get a little personal time.”
I asked, “How old are your kids?”
She says, “4 and 2.”
I said “OK, well, good luck with that. I wouldn’t hit a toddler for spilling something or writing on the walls or whatever, but that’s me. I don’t hit children.”
After telling me I don’t know her life (duh) and to F off (duh), she wobbled to the restroom, then returned to tell the club owner that I was rude to her. The club owner said “Well, tell me when you want to come back and I’ll make sure to book him that weekend.” She was confused, I chuckled. Life went on.
Sometimes other people’s issues are also a sore spot for them. This woman was probably nice and a few of her neighbors weren’t totally disgusted with her, but my joke and principles still stand. My last firm’s business model works most of the time, but for most of this year, it hadn’t. So I cut and run. Some of Something is always better than All of Nothing. Unless it’s getting spanked and you aren’t “into that.”
Not judging, if you are. Some of us could use a good reddening from time to time…