Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Less than 2 percent about Syria

This is a complicated story.

But I try never to let that stop me from trying to reduce it all down to a handful of paragraphs. If I don't get it now I'll get it down the line when I least expect it, writing about turkeys or in a letter to an editor somewhere.

Here is how I feel about my boss:

10%  Total, heartfelt pity

5%   White hot, borderline murderous, hatred

20%  Deeply rooted camaraderie

10%  Simple sadness

20%  Rueful affection

10%  Withering contempt

10%  Careful tolerance

10%  Nothing, just... nothing.

 5%  Agreeable bemusement

Today, before the library opened, I was assigned to project time, a time to work on those projects I am responsible for, like supplies. So I was on a computer working on some supply things. My boss said to me "Can you take these newspapers upstairs?"

My boss rarely delegates anything, and the job he was proposing was barely different than asking me to move a stapler from one desk to another desk, albeit a stapler that actually needed to be moved from one desk to another, a desk he would be walking by in three minutes anyway.

Here are some more percentages because these percentages are so sad and satisfying. This time the percentages are about how likely it is that the below reason is true:

2%   He is overwhelmed, and it would genuinely help him if I did this minuscule newspaper task 

8%   He thinks I'm over at that computer writing unflattering things about him, and at all costs he must distract me.

40% There's just no way I can be up to anything good over at that computer, and though he doesn't really mind, he feels it's his responsibility to try and modify my behavior.

40% There's just no way I can be up to anything good over at that computer and it's driving him literally insane and he's got to do something about it, but it should be something that doesn't make him seem as insane as he feels.

!0%  It's time to remind me that he's my manager.

Here's what I find humiliating about it: Without any real explanation for such a seemingly absurd request, my normal response would be "No." or possibly "Fuck you." That's what it would be to a co-worker. But because of position, situation, and politics I feel forced into saying "Sure." Only now does it occur to me I could have asked "Why?", though I understand I am still in no proper position to evaluate the advisability of that question.

And so I go put the newspapers away after I finish up at my computer. Curiously, this affords me the opportunity to read the newspapers.

And lo and behold all the newspapers are undergoing the same version of the humiliation I am experiencing. The monster baby President has just rained down some millions of dollars worth of fancy missiles on some airport in Syria. All the newspapers know, they absolutely know, that the whole thing is completely full of shit. Well, except for two percent. There is a measly two percent chance that the whole thing is not completely full of shit. And because of that paltry two percent, and because of Presidents, politics, power, and a fear over the delicacy of their position, the newspapers feel forced, cornered, into treating it like it's all normal, and reasonable, and how things are supposed to be.

In the usual course of events I would feel such a rage at the press. I would be angry at their abdication, lack of resourcefulness, and their cowardice. I would be full of contempt and grief.

But not today.

Today I just feel sympathy.

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