coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tales of Bullying and Meanness: The Marathon Man

My tormentor was the faculty chairman of an academic department at the university. He disliked me, but when I asked if he wanted me to find another job he said no. He wanted to bring me down, teach me my place, perhaps destroy me. He would come into my office, shut the door, and harangue me for hours. Not every day, but certainly every week. He was afraid of the other faculty, which included his wife. Berating me was his only avenue for achieving authority. 

Because I was the manager, he was my supervisor for the 3 year term he filled. There was always a new chair, every 3 years. I could hold on. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of chasing me away. Perhaps I should have left, but I didn't. Call me foolish, but I like to win.

He had to give me a final performance evaluation about a month before his term ended. It lasted, on and off, for a day and a half. I'm not kidding. Hours and hours of him asking me questions he could then use my answers against me. It was quite odd.

I reminded him a performance evaluation is a time for a supervisor to review the employee's work performance, and give constructive feedback to help the employee improve. Instead, we danced around his hatred for me. Just him and me. On and off for 2 days he asked me questions, and I tried to answer them very carefully.

Finally, he asked what I thought about working for him. I replied "Working for you is like running a marathon in 90 degree heat, with the flu." He was a runner, so I knew he'd understand. That ended the "review." A month later his term was up, and I had a new department chair who was quite wonderful.  I won, sort of.

alone and waiting

Monday, June 15, 2020

Alligator's Delight

9:22 am
The powers that be re-opened the wildlife drive near me, where there are scads of alligators and birds to view safely from one's car. It had been closed because of the pandemic. Apparently the alligators are more plentiful than ever, and lie in the road now. IN the road, not alongside it like the pictures below. After a couple of months with no cars, they think they own the place.

We usually go for a bike ride (or a walk) every morning.  Today my knee is "hinky" and I'm going to take a day off to rest it.  My husband took this as the opportunity to bike on the aforesaid drive, which I am usually reluctant to do. He's there now. I KNOW he's going to ride his bike around the lounging gators. 

I told him to be safe.  That's code for "don't underestimate the alligators." He laughed and said he would.  Sheesh.

11:53 am  He's back, He was careful.  Yay.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

I remember turning 2

I distinctly remember turning two. My oldest sister had been preparing me for the event. She was a very earnest 7 year old, the kind of sister who took being older quite seriously. 

It was 1953. My father was sitting in his underwear at the kitchen table, as he was wont to do in the mornings. White t-shirt, white boxers, he sat enthroned wearing the working man's at-home uniform. 

Both my older sisters were in on the fun.  They guided me to his chair and pushed me forward.  My father asked me "How old are you today?" and I held up two fingers in front of my face.  I held them up like a premonition, for they were displayed like a peace sign, like bunny ears.  It wasn't the last time I made that sign for either meaning. However, it was the last time I told my father I was two years old. He laughed and told me I was a good girl.

I knew I was loved.  

This flowering bromeliad reminds me of belonging to a family