Sunday, 26 August 2012

Net Free Weekend

I’ve been away from the net for a few days, Friday was a pain in the arse and I decided to mellow rather than stew.

First, our not-so-friendly-neighbourhood note leaver had paid a visit (shoved the damn thing ion the hedge – great, now we’ve got to play hide and seek with the nasty little notes littering the property) to let us know what terribad sinners we were and didn’t we know there were children and families in the area.

Lovely way to start the day.

Work begins as normal on a Friday – I.e. we all get out our paperwork, shuffle it convincingly and count the hours until we can go home (it’s a Friday, after all)  until we all gather for a coffee (much encouraged, we can discuss each others cases, pick each other’s brains and get new and better insights into what we’re doing from fresh angles) and one of my colleagues asked the smokers in the room if anyone of them had a fag.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you? I certainly did – I was just ion doubt as to which of 2 habitual migraine-causers would be the one to say it.

It was option B this time and she was kick to say, oh-so-hilariously “he’s over there.” “He” would be me, of course. To which there was a room wide cringing. Not, I might add, a “oh gods how could you say that?” cringe, but more a “oh gods, you’ll set Sparky off on one” cringe.

So I got up, moved away from her and picked a seat I deemed more convivial. Something she did not appreciate and proceeded to try to talk to me (to the echoing silence of the room – because there’s no one like lawyers for rubber-necking a fight). Which I slapped down. I did not want to talk to her. I still don’t. It’s not the first time I’ve asked her not to make gay jokes and not to use slurs. It’s not even the third. I’m not telling her again, I don’t want to hear her random explanations why her offensive bullshit isn’t offensive bullshit, I don’t want to hear why acceding to a very simple request and plea for humanity is so damn hard. I don’t want more empty, meaningless apologies. I am just done with her and, as far as I’m concerned , there’s absolutely no further need for either of us to speak except as required for work. Which is, basically what I told her and refused to listen to anything else. Done, end of, over.

The Senior partners had beat a hasty retreat for fear of them hearing something which may mean they’d have to DO something. Honestly, conflict averse solicitors – I’d complain if I weren’t one of them.

Then to finish off the trifecta, we have the Pointless Nepotism guy. He who has been hired because his aunt is a partner in the firm and got him a job even though we have nothing for him to do. At the time she warned me that he had been raised with “traditional values” (whatever that means) and I had to be patient with him – to which I made it clear that I didn’t think I did, not if he’d also been raised with manners and basic respect.

So despite him being a member of this firm for several months, I don’t think I’ve said more than “hello” in all that time. This suits me (even if he does tend to watch me like some kind of wildlife reporter documenting an exotic species of venomous reptile). But it seems part of the silence was worry that the people telling him (as many people apparently have) that I am gay were lying in some kind of malicious back biting office gossip bullshit.

He was very curious – and by curious I mean asked a load of questions that were none of his damn business, from the sexual to the moral, to the religious all with lots and lots of judging and nasty little digs “isn’t it just wrong?” “what about AIDS?” with a side order of religious verses and crap that the homophobes have put on the internet. Etc etc etc. Hints that these questions weren’t really his business and had nothing to do with him or how little I appreciated someone’s religious judgements being applied to my life were roundly ignored. In the end I went back to my office and actually started working (on a Friday!) just to get some peace.

And then a colleague dropped in on me all smiles about how impressed they were by Useless Nepotism Guy for asking questions and being curious rather than just, I dunno, burning me at the stake or something.

In the face of this, I went home, got drunk and decided a weekend away from the net will ensure I don’t see anything else that will give me grey hairs. Of course, now comes the reading of my RSS and finding what I missed.