Saturday, March 29, 2014

Micro Aggression

Roving Reporter, who will eventually have her PhD, and thus will need a new title on this blog... Doc-ed? is currently reporting on the latest trends in institutional policy and sociology.

Micro Aggressions are the small, cumulative acts that wear down one's soul.  So for example, it is not being called a slut or a whore that gets to you but rather the assumption that you like being addressed chest level or that you need help carrying a big box to your car.  Or that you enjoy making less than your male colleagues, don't know crap about putting together a basketball bracket (thank you Duke for confirming this one at my place of employment), and love to cook and clean.  Cultural micro aggression adds up over the years and that is why people over 50 are SURLY!

I couldn't write about last week, last week because it took me a week to calm down.  I don't know if the micro aggression I experienced at a Herb Chambers Honda dealership was directed at me because I am a mom or a woman or if they do it so routinely that it just lands on who it lands on but I am still quite angry a week out.

For starters, they said they inspected my car, charged me, and then somehow forgot to inspect my car.  This wasn't a problem until I was stopped by a police officer several weeks later and then proceeded to argue with him:

Officer:  Ma'am do you realize you are driving with an expired inspection sticker?
Me:  I absolutely am not.
Officer:  Yes, you are.
Me:  No, I had it inspected several weeks ago and there were no problems.
Officer:  The sticker is red, expired, and not in our system.
Me:  Those lying sons of bitches
Officer:  Check in with your garage and get that taken care of.

Now here is an interesting philosophical intersection:  did I not get a ticket because I was female?  I really don't think so.  I was argumentative, pissed, loud, and not at all traditionally feminine in my presentation at 6:30am.

I called the dealership, the guy on the phone looked up my record, apologized and told me to come in at my convenience and they would take care of it.  A pain, but stuff happens, right?
I get to the dealership, and instead of putting the new sticker on, they "retest" the car and this time it fails.

Apparently, they charged me for inspecting the car the first time around, but did not inspect it.  A pain, but stuff happens, right?
This is when things got dicey.  The service manager acted entitled, unapologetic for the original screw up and then had the audacity to tell me I could not take my car.
I grabbed my keys, had an unsavory exchange, encouraged them to call the police to stop me and got my car.

The issue according to Honda was that I needed a new airbag for 1, 096 dollars.  The  issue according to my regular mechanic was a sensor light for 271.00.

Again, bs repairs leveled at me because I'm a mom who is uber concerned about safety?  Wrong mom, gentleman.  Told I couldn't take my car off the lot?  Wrong woman, gentleman.

I used to think some old people were pissy.  Now I retroactively applaud their reaction to a lifetime of micro aggression. Stand up to injustice, wherever you experience it.

I hope to be back to a place of equanimity next post::)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Covenant circles

The UU's do a lot of things right. I am pretty fond of our 7 principles, which you can find here:

This winter, I was asked to join a covenant circle which is a cross between a focus group, a salon, and a consciousness raising group. We practice deep listening and honor each other's narratives. You also get to know members of the congregation in a pretty meaningful way. As an extrovert, I'm kinda digging it.

Interestingly, I tried to talk about my grandmother tonight and could not stop crying. I did not kinda dig that. I think I might be a crier. Today, I cried three times: once at work after sitting with a student who is struggling with cancer; once watching the news about Boston's fallen firefighters, and severely while I was trying to describe what my grandmother means to me. I never cry in front of clients. Maybe it bottles up and discharges after the fact. I have never thought of myself as someone who cries easily but rarely a day goes by that I don't cry.....which means I'm a crier which means covenant circle is raising my it or not.

I have the great luck to be in with someone who loves Emily Dickinson, he brings a poem of hers each week. This one is new to me:

I reason, Earth is short--
And Anguish--absolute
And many hurt,
But, what of that?

I reason, we could die--
The best Vitality
Cannot excel Decay,
But, what of that?

I reason, that in Heaven--
Somehow, it will be even--
Some new Equation, given--
But, what of that?

The Tibetans have a word Zifi that means "shine on"

That's all we can do, really;)