Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Tree Falls In The Woods, and Why It Isn't Heard

I was supposed to work this morning. And dammit, I refused.

After 50 straight hours of work between Monday morning and Wednesday morning, and then having to come back to work on Thursday and crank out 20 more hours between Thursday and Friday, it got to the point where I finally drew the line.

Shame on them for even asking if I could come in on Saturday.

(The "they" here is the management above me. Customer Service Managers at this company are the black hole between salaried and hourly, and are expected to work like dogs and then ASK for more.)

Then it occured to me--how the fuck would they know I had worked 50 hours at the beginning of the week? Because I was there when they left and there when they came in? Because I stank? Other than those moments of evidence, there is the assumption that because they didn't stay up with me it can't be possible that I stayed awake that long, and WORKED THE WHOLE TIME. In fact, about 40 hours of that time was on my feet.

She had to rest SOMETIME, right?

Catnaps, two of them, at 45 minutes each. That was it. But no one else saw it. And no one is going to watch the security tapes, will they? Because if they did they would see a woman trudging about the building, talking to God, asking why she continually ended up in this position as the last girl emptying out the boats when everyone thought that someone else would do it. No one saw that. So it didn't really happen, now did it?

Something that FG always used to do was say that I misunderstood him when he behaved disrespectfully toward me or my body. I misunderstood HIM. As if any behavior could be excused because one party is misunderstanding the behavior. Not that I hounded him or anything. I would just put up with the bad behavior for weeks until I couldn't stand it anymore, and I would say something. That's my fault--should have been honest from the beginning--but I liked him and wanted to be flexible and accepting. I wanted to be a good sport. This acceptance just made the behavior worse.

Regarding the 50 straight hours the other night, I wanted my employees to know why I took Wednesday off (to SLEEP, for Pete's sake). I got blank looks--they couldn't fathom it. My "pound of flesh" was lying around anywhere, so how do we know she was here?

You don't.

Faith.

And for the rest of the world, it didn't happen.

But for me, the following things occured:
  • I stayed awake for 50 hours to do inventory and my normal job of doing everyone else's job.
  • By the middle of the second day I was nauseous.
  • By the night of the second day I was seeing things and getting cold easily--I wore four layers in temperate California that night.
  • By Wednesday morning parts of my body were going numb. I couldn't stand up. And when I tried using a chair with casters to get around for counting the inventory, I would fall asleep about every 5th item.

It happened.

Much like this blog when no one reads. I'm still here. I'll always be writing, and those nights happened, too--I was there, whether no one was there or whether they were there with me.