We have this antibacterial no-water hand washing stuff all around the hospital. We’re strongly encouraged to contantly wash our hands whenever we touch anything that is in a high traffic area. This stuff is alcohol based, I think, and the lesson of the day is that I shouldn’t scratch my nose or rub my eyes, or, in the case of today, rub my face with this shit, no matter how tired and in need of rubbing my face I am.
I swear, this stuff is like liquid knuckles. You don’t feel like your skin is going to peel off or anything, but you do feel, as the smell of the disinfectant goes up your nostrils and in your eyes, that all your nerves have suddenly been replaced chords of electrified barb wire. It is underlinably painful.
Last week, when I quite my job at the library, as my last service to that bastion of public service, I purposely had a confrontation with Mrs. Rankin. For those of you who weren’t with my blog before I made the move to xanga (back on the days of my blogger blog) you’ll remember Mrs. Rankin well. She’s the stupid old lady who writes freelance for the Montreal Gazette… all these hateful little ‘social commentaries’ about how homosexuals being married is a slippery invitation to destroy heterosexual family values. Uh-huh.
For the record, I don’t care if you want to marry your own sister. Whatever makes floats your boat.
But anyway. Mrs. Rankin has been abusing of the free computers at the library for some time now– she makes reservations, to which she constantly shows up late. So eventually we started keeping tabs on just how often she was late, so that we could some day confront her about it and tell her to basically screw off, we don’t want to deal with you anymore.
My co-workers have always been a bit reluctant to take up the charge of being the messenger. But they forget, she ain’t no King, and she has no authority. So, figuring, it was my last day and that anything I did was inconsequential (what’re they gonna do, fire me?) I decided to volunteer myself for the job of telling Mrs. Rankin, to her face, that we’d had enough of her shit.
Okay, so the actual phrasing was “Mrs. Rankin, I regret to inform you that as per the warning I issued you about 2 weeks ago, you’re in violation of the fair-use policy at the library– you’ve just missed too many appointments. And, as a result, your reservation privledges have been suspended for a month.”
Man, did she ever spaz.
After trying to convince me that I should be granting her exceptions and whatnot because nobody gets hurt (I should’ve quoted her own article about sliippery slopes and how me letting her get away with anything would basically be the begining of the end for intelligent life on earth) she got so spitting angry (yes, she’s a spitting angry kinda person) that she demanded to see my manager because she didn’t beleive I had the authority to ban her.
So my manager backs me up. (Way to go Nicole!) And so Rankin starts to see that this higher up strategy has to be taken a step further. She starts telling off my manager about how petty this whole thing is. Screaming out words like “entrapment” and “unreasonableness”. And there I am, just sorta standing by my manager and Rankin, listening, more or less. And then she throws in a “And would you just wipe that smirk off your face? I bet you’re enjoying this, aren’t you? Show a little respect, you’re just a low level technicican!”
To address that comment, you’re damn right I was enjoying this. And, as to the respect part, respect is given where it’s due– and as to low level technician, you’d better watch how you treat this low level technician because the fact that you come crawling back to low level technicians everytime you do something shitheaded with your file and need help, well, it says how much lower you can get than a low level technician, doesn’t it?
This all brings me back to that thought I had a few weeks ago, where the problem of having trained in martial arts is that you feel it’s so easy to just lash out and hurt someone. I don’t even mean kill… there are a lot of worse things than death i think. There are longer, more painful ways. Moves that show up in movies, that people see and say “Dayyyyyyyyyyyyum!” to.
In the back of my head, on another plane of conciousness, I imagined in a dream world that Mrs. Rankin tried to physically assult me, and then I had the option of a hundred different violent alternatives for my own ‘self deffence’.
But alas, reality ain’t so interesting.
So about this time, Rankin is threatining my manager, saying that she’ll have her job by Monday morning because she knows people in the city council. And, I think it’s expressly because she told me to stop grinning that that I had to really, really control myself to keep myself from bursting out and laughing and pointing and the ludicrousness of her position.
My manager doesn’t have as much experience with Mrs. Rankin as I do, so she got fed up real easy. She hasn’t learned to absorb Rankin’s negative energy and turn it into entertainment. So my manager gets pissed and says “You know what? You’re welcome to make an appointment with the Director when she comes back next week. But arguing with you is pointless, and I don’t have the time for pointless things.”
And she stalks off to somewhere other than where we are.
Rankin is not happy.
But, in retrospect, while the moment itself was so intensely gratifying, I’ve run into a spiritual wall. See, I thought that I enjoyed Rankin getting all worked up in a cycle of her own hipocricy and stupidity. But then, yesterday when I was talking to Bat-Country about immaturity and stuff, I just was infected by this unshakable feeling of sadness. Rankin is one of those people who, dare I lose hope, I might say has no hope of changing. Why? Because who is going to take the time to teach her? And, given her current lifestyle trend, is she going to change herself?
Everytime I run into someone totally self-righteous, ideologically armored and able to see the world through glasses of their own contextual filters, I find some fun in shutting them down. In making them look as stupid as they are. But afterwards, it’s like a hangover– that sickly feeling that what you did wasn’t right.
Do I regret telling Mrs. Rankin off? No, I don’t– because if I didn’t, she’d be free to harass my co-workers as much as she wanted to, even if she left. I was able to say the things that my co-workers might have gotten in trouble for, even though all I stated was the truth.
But then, i still have this feeling in my guyt– this terminability. I’m not even sure if that’s a word. I am simply dissapointed that the human race has people like her in it. Have you ever known someone that you loathed so much that it was your very joy to see them messed up? But then, that kind of hate is superficial, I realize– because in the end, I only have a feeling of sadness– of wasted energy, of lost potential. I would like to think that everyone can change for the better– i suppose it is possible. But then again, the direction of peoples’ lives is not my charge.
I see people doing stupid things, saying stupid things, just, being stupid. And anger is the easy reaction– but I’ve learned to strip that away, break it into components– I’ve found that a lot of things that used to make me angry don’t really touch me very hard anymore, I’ve become more emotionless than I’ve been in all my life.
People say this is bad for me, that i’m losing touch with humanity.
But sometimes, when I encounter these bouts of especially trying times, situations where the results and the futures just frustrate or sadden me, I remember why it’s kinda nice at times to not care, to not be bothered.
I know that the reaction that a lot of people will have to all this is something along the lines of “don’t let it bother you”, or “just forget about her”.
But the thing is, what kind of human beings does it make us if we leave things like this alone? Anyone can help a friend, as the saying goes. That’s the very basis of the definition. But who can give the time to help an ennemy, with the hopes of oneday eliminating the need for conflict altogether?
If I cannot do this kind of thing, than how am to be any better than anyone else who has an ennemy?