Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Post One Hundred and Fifty Four: Ladies, Please.

At twenty seven years of age I believe that I'm being bullied. A gentle menace here, a lazy torment there; these little moments in the day that stir in me a desire to slap and bite. And not in a sexually deviant way. No sir.

I'm the kid in the playground with the goofy hat on and last seasons trainers that the cool kids tease. The trouble is, the monkey bars have been traded for the cemetery grounds. The trainers swapped for questionably named easystep heels that get stuck in the mud and trip me up when I'm pall-baring in the rain. The hat is still a goofy hat. And nobody likes me.

I'm slightly over exaggerating, but it seems true that more funeral directors in this state dislike me than anywhere else. I've certainly got an opposite-day sort of following, and of late these fellows of mine have been particularly vocal about their distaste of my Northern flava.

I've never worked with this many women before. Add to the sheer fact that we all have ovaries at different stages of productivity is the emotionally strenuous nature of our industry. We're constantly in the public eye, forcing ourselves to keep a stiff upper lip and dry brow when sometimes all we want to do is rock back and forth underneath the display coffin racks or sob, shoulders shaking, behind closed church doors.

What? I never wanted to do that? (I definitely, and totally did).

One particular woman today stood at the hilt of my desk and succeeded in making me feel like a mutant. I was going about my work, chuffed with my new blue highlighter. I'd just been complimented for a second day in a row by the boy in the local cafe that looks like Elvis. (If you're reading this, delightful crooning barista from Whyte Cafe in Carnegie, you are divine and you make soy milk taste like guilt free marshmallow. Thank you for making me feel beautiful at 7:00AM when I'm wearing the (ill)tailored equivalent of a vomit covered tea towel from the dark days of the 1760). Needless to say, my mood was soaring and this woman might as well have lifted up her skirt, snipped off her pantihose with my kitchen scissors and laid down a giant shit on my post it note pad.

I barely said a word in my defence. She insulted every essence of my personality, including my honorability. It's fair to say that I question this woman's clarity and sanity on a daily basis, but I'd never bring it up in the case that she'd recognize her own vulnerability.

I guess we all go through stages where we don't necessarily fit in. I am radical in most of my opinions on death care, I do suppose. My coworkers all deliver their version of quality care, I'm just different. I think we should use less paper, take more responsibility, change culture, look sharp, think strong and rule the world...

Not everyone agrees.

Tomorrow I vow to grow some balls, figuratively of course. Intimidation isn't pretty. I'm going to stick it to the (wo)man.

Be true to me, if not nice.



  1. Gotta say my jaw dropped a little while reading this. I am shocked to hear about this kind of behaviour outside of high school. BULLYING IS NOT THE WAY TO RECLAIM YOUR YOUTH, LADY. Jeez. Sorry to hear you're going through this; can't wait for part two where you tell us about the verbal beatdown she receives.

  2. Throughout life you're going to come across some of the unhappiest people in the world. Because they're constantly nitpicking other people and searching for flaws and problems where they shouldn't.

    We should all feel sorry for such a woman that feels the need to project so much of her issues onto another person.

    By not saying anything, you were the bigger person. You didn't stoop to her level. For that, you should be extremely proud.

  3. Chin up, buckaroo. Maintain your dignity and don't mud-wrestle with pigs, especially menopausal ones.
    Also, make diary notes. You really don't have to put up with it.
    Good luck.

  4. A spectacular entry. Few in your industry, despite the emo-goth mainstream shift, are as fair or as famouse for all their experience. There would be a good amount of unconscious angst you face I immagine.

    Infuriating when simple alterations would make things better in ways no wone argue against Yet when someone who hasn't thrown there life away into a dull repetition of a job is trying to "inform" or even suggest something to someone who has faces a battle.

    I wish you well though XD. It must be done, this is your life after all. See if you can make it come from a positivge about them. Or just tear them down, often these ppl cry more easily than most when pushed. Or will get angry but then dissapear for days then return as if nothing has transpired. Sometimes, just sometimes, they quit. Its even rarer still do they stay out of the way, but they may avoid one topic at a time and can be trained. And then eventually you get a reputation and then...you become her. Xxx

  5. Unfortunately, there are way too many people who feel that it is their duty to make others feel like less than they should and I have just resigned from a job due to one of those people. Best feeling in the world to say shove it and NO when asked for a week to reconsider. If someone feels they have to bring you down then they are the one with the problem. Be who you are, I along with plenty of others think you are wonderful and love your Northern flava. I too think we use too much paper etc (and NO ONE takes responsibility anymore - it shits me) Put it down to jealousy. Don't be intimidated. Don't ever stop being who you are! And just remember, karma can be a bitch.

  6. Don't change because someone else thinks you should, Sarah. You're great as-is.

  7. As someone who has been bullied in the workplace, I'm sorry to hear you're suffering through this. That's how it starts - small jibes, little comments, things that are just subtle enough to fly under the radar. Because they're grooming you to react to them, which makes you look like the unreasonable one. Once they achieve that, they ramp up the campaign. It's classic workplace bullying behaviour.

    Start documenting everything now. If possible, when communicating with the bully, follow it up with an email confirming their request/instruction - a simple "Hi, just confirming after our conversation today that you need me to..." - this then starts to create a record for you, and you have their instructions in writing.

    If you have a supervisor that you can go to, do so. Have an open and honest chat. And if you're not a member of a union - join one now and use them!

    I hope it is nipped in the bud soon.

  8. Sarah I am so sorry to hear you are being treated this way when you treat the living and the dead with so very much respect.You deserve more.
    Im glad you didnt get into an argument with this woman but you do need to find the right time and place to stand up for yourself.If you dont she will just do it to you more.
    I feel sorry for people like her as they must be so empty inside to get their pleasures from making others feel bad.
    You are a great person.Whatever happens feel proud of who you are.xx