Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why do people do the things they do?

Three things that happened in my travels this morning:
1) I get on the street car and take a seat, rainy days are dangerous going on the street car, normally I don't sit in wet seats in case it's not water on there, but with people in wet rain coats with wet umbrellas, you can't afford to be picky. So I sit down in a relatively OK looking seat, only to realize that the guy I was sitting next to, who looked normal when I was walking down the streetcar was now itching his shaved head with both hands, fingers splayed out for maximum scratchibility. Next he looked at his fingernails to see what had come off his head and spent the rest of the ride picking them. Now, I'm sure that this is something that lots of people have done, alone, in the bathroom, before picking our noses and plucking stray hairs. But what made that guy think it was OK to do this next to me on transit. Just because you don't know me doesn't mean I'm not there. I hope none of his sloughed off head skin landed on my shoulder. Bleh.
2) I get to work, hop on the freight elevator, to the sub-basement where I sit, which is full of maintenance workers and construction workers. They start holding the doors for each other and horsing around and making jokes about farting on each other. I didn't care really, I just wanted to get to my desk and put down my stuff. But when they noticed that I was there, the only female, the odd man out, they all stopped and made some comment about not talking about such things in mixed company. Being the hilarious person I am, I suggested that I was going to teach them all a lesson for joking about farting in my presence by farting right before I got off the elevator and leaving them all to enjoy the aroma. But really, I wonder, are there no men out there who object to fart jokes, there must be, are they mixed company as well?
3) I get to my desk, open the mail, and I've gotten a proposal to do some work on one of the buildings my office administers. The proposal stated that the work would be done "during regular hours, by union workmen." How long has it been since we started asking people to use inclusive terms, it takes exactly the same number of letters to say 'workers' as 'workmen'. In fact, you'll notice that I did it at the beginning of point number two of this post, did it stick out? I could have said 'maintenance guys', or 'workmen', but I used a term that made no assumptions about their gender, what business is it of mine what they have in their pants? None, I assure you.
These are my complaints for today about the state of things, and it's only lunch time.


Miss Ash said...

1) You should have started to pick your nose and examine the remnants under your fingernails as well, perhaps thrust your hand in his face and say "look"

2)You're hilarious

3)When i read maintenence workers and construction workers i did assume that they were men....i really need to work on checking my assumptions at the door. We did learn about that in our Human Rights training as to me.

Princess Pessimism said...

LOL!!! @ Ash. that is so funny that she said that, becuase I was going to come on here and say that you should have done something equally as disgusting, and made sure he was aware of it.

Scott said...

1) I once had a guy doing computer training at an office that I was in pull out his nail clippers and proceed to clip his nails during the 'lecture'

2) I am not a fan of the fart joke

3) I operate on all kinds of assumptions so you know, don't have much to say there.


Jennifer said...

1) I was once standing next to a person at the museum who took out a nail file and started filing while looking at an artifact, but that's nothing to clipping. I know it's annoying when they are raggedy and get caught on everything, but jeez.
2) A fan of the fart jokes, har har!
3)In general, it's a pretty safe assumption that people in those jobs are guys. That's not what I'm complaining about. I'm saying, if you sit down and construct a legal document, such as a proposal, where you word it very carefully, you should maybe notice if you're being horribly sexist.