Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Place Where I Work

I've been looking for what seems like forever, but in reality has been 3 years, for a new job. I hate the place that I work. I hate my boss, especially. And the people that I work with are the absolute worst. Clerical staff is the bottom of the barrel, but the rest of the cast of characters are gaining ground in earning my rancor.

One person in particular remains on my nerves. I know she is my replacement. I don't make this lightly. She is my boss's favorite, because she is HIS boss's favorite, owing to the fact that it is his best friend's daughter and he told my boss to hire her for an open management job we had. Whatever the polar opposite of "speaking truth to power" is, that's what my boss does. So he's particularly deferential to her and her "ideas". She's been here almost a year, and it has been a particularly irritating year.

Have you ever seen Robin Williams doing his shtick? The stream of consciousness, everything's a gotdamn joke thing that he does? That's this bitch. I have yet to have a real conversation with her. I'm technically her fucking boss too, and she's just blathering and making light of shit constantly. It's oft-putting and weird. I'd like her to work on projects and I literally just avoid her and go to her highly professional (and more qualified than her) staff. Fucking freak. Other people are starting to notice and making sly mention of her being spazzy. I can't remark on it to them, but it gives me some comfort that it's not just me that notices.

The issue is, I care and I don't care. I think they are grooming my boss for a job in city administration and when his position comes open, I as his deputy, will get leapfrogged. That's the part I care about. Getting skipped over for a promotion and having it handed to a subordinate is embarrassing. I don't wanna be a clown for anybody. The part I don't care about is the job, as I've stated. I wanna go soooo badly, and I'm getting no love out there. I'm going to a career coach next week, so I'm finally soliciting external help to get me the fuck out of here.

I got so many irons on the fire, my name should be Smith. I wish one of them would pay off soon.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Somewhere along the way...

Somebody made the decision that there were important things to know. I don't know how these important things to know were determined: by a single person, by a tribunal, by happenstance. I can't call it, but there was a subset (or superset) of facts and information or even abstract understanding that was picked out of all things that are knowable and called "vital". The esoteric nature of the emergence of this group of datum is still a mystery to me, perhaps someone's put the origins in a book that I haven't read, which is entirely possible. One thing is certain: if you were/are in relative possession of a mastery of this set of information, you are deemed intelligent. I know a lot of people who are deemed intelligent by the people that deem other people intelligent, themselves deemed by others as intelligent. This declaration comes in the form of citations, diplomas, degrees, advanced degrees, etc. The people I know who are deemed intelligent go on to identify other people of worthy education intelligent. The cycle continues....

My basic understanding, though, is that the information that is used to deem one intelligent is a circumstance of culture, societal norms, and an collective acknowledgment that a person has a sufficient knowledge of the generally acknowledged subset (or superset) of information available. I hear the words intellectual, savant, genius and shit like that bandied about in certain circles, words that are used to imply that the speaker has the gravitas to bestow such designation upon others, giving both the designator and the designated props. If I call Walter Mosley or Spike Lee a genius, I'm taking a little for myself for being able to recognize genius therefore inviting myself to that little party.

I'm saying all that to say this: I don't fucking know anymore. I don't like being a part of this game. If someone says or writes something and I recognize the reference or find a deeper meaning in it, then who the fuck am I to say that they're intelligent? Maybe they're writing down to me. Who knows. What I do know is that the dominant culture makes those rules, period. They dismiss ghetto dwellers and trailer park residents as being "ignorant", but people are playing by entirely different sets of rules than the "mainstream". Is it intelligent if a person from a different cultural understanding to try to go reason with a hostile person if from the "hood" person's observation of similar circumstances and symbolic identifiers tell him the only way to deal with that person is through violent measures? Viewing every situation through one cultural prism distorts the true nature of intelligence. When I say I've seen what I've thought to be true geniuses in the "hood", I'm not trying to be condescending or take any credit for myself for that recognition. People do what I could never do and what I'd never think to do. I'm in awe of it and I refuse to let cultural bias color that.

Intelligence is everywhere. It is nuanced and not concrete.