When I was little, I used to think that I was missing out on something when I went to bed. That once I shut my tiny eyes and made my world dim to black, the adults opened theirs and turned on the soft serve ice cream machines that I knew they all secretly had.
Now that’s an adult!
Not much has changed. I’m still convinced that I haven’t reached adulthood yet, based solely on the fact that I haven’t been eating chocolate-vanilla swirl cones for dinner. And I still don’t sleep. In the comedy world, no one can escape becoming nocturnal - hell, I just did an improv audition at sunset* and even a slightly light evening sky seemed strange.
But my youthful defiance of sleep has evolved into an unrequited love affair. Like the classic arc of a super sexist romance novel: I’m a resistant damsel whose defences Sleep tries to strip like so many heaving bodices. Except Sleep was never a scowling brute with a secretly soft heart. Sleep has always been kind and more or less transparent. It never tried to brood its way into my heart or tear me away from my family and essentially kidnap me until I got stockholm syndrome - as you might tell, I have some issues with Beauty and The Beast.
Sleep is not sitting in its pristine, velvet-draped quarters, waiting for me to realize what he’s been using to justify his Victorian lady-bashing: that I’ve secretly wanted it all along. No, Sleep is rubbing its altruism and purity in my face all the time, reminding me of how inherently healthy it is, how much better I feel about my self when I have it, how it will never give me up, how it will never let me down, how it will never run around or desert me.**
My relationship with Sleep is caught in a bipolar cycle of pursuit and denial - and not because it is a pirate or a beast that hides in the woods and scares my kin. I have no reason to fear it because it has never given me reason. And yet I scorn Sleep, turning to Redbull*** and coffee, and hoping that tonight I’ll have the courage to embrace it at last.
Last night all of that changed. This tale as old as time is actually about 20 years old and has finally reached its denouement. Thanks, Neocitran!
*Not on a cliff overlooking a romantic landscape, but at a bar in Parkdale. Just as scenic, really.
** Do you actually need a citation for this? Get off the internet.
*** Is Redbull Gastón at this point? 1991 was a while ago and I’ve lost track of my metaphors…
A Bit of Background: After only one week of what was supposed to be a two-month contract, my supervisor notified me and seven of my fellow temps today that our services were no longer needed. All of us, except an older temp who was offered a full-time position and two Filipina temps who were asked to stay and clean off our desks,* were dismissed early in the afternoon and told we would get the final word on Monday.
You know when you see people in stockings and heels/suits and ties/golf shirts and stupid cargo pants with lanyards, and assume they have certain standards for the ways in which they interact with others? You know, professionalism? After today, yeah, me neither.
I’ve worked minimum wage food service jobs, so I’ve met my fair share of Bay Street Douche Bags (and they’re Harvard Square equivalents)
(Okay, I haven’t met Zuckerberg, but I couldn’t resist!)
… some of whom were probably actually employed at non-profits.
I tend to lump all white collar workers together, but I’ve always assumed a few things about these two distinct subcategories:
1) The corporate types at least treated their peers - other white-collar workers, people they don’t consider their personal latte robots - with respect.
2) The non-profit types were more likely to treat everyone, including their burrito wenches, with respect.
3) A former latte robot/burrito wench, upon entering the exciting world of personalized lanyards, would be treated as a peer and thus with respect.
After a shamefully unprofessional end to a shamefully unprofessional week of employment at a public organization (that shall remain nameless) I fear I may have unfairly pegged my shittiest customers for corporate professionals…
(… or trustfund babies. As you can see, the categories overlap)
I realize now that I was incorrect to assume that customers working for non-profits were categorically more compassionate than their corporate peers.
Much like the humans and cylons of Battlestar Galactica,* non-profit and corporate employees are similar in more than appearance. In Battlestar, the cylons are revealed to be as sentient and compassionate as their identical human counterparts. Call me a black and white thinker, but I never afforded that cylon-like ambiguity to corporate folks. I always wanted to believe that the public sector was the human to the private sector’s cylon, bearing the same impeccably-parted hair but containing a real, human soul.
Today’s events have forced me to scrap the metaphor altogether. Because, although I have only anecdotal evidence of corporate folks having souls
I can certainly say that some non-profit folks are as shitty as the shittiest of my former customers.
* Um, really? Does this smack of racism, or is my white guilt creeping into my general indignation??
* Like that same-sex crush you experimented with in college, Battlestar Galactica was my foray into Sci-Fi. It was fun and memorable, but a one-time thing.