Posted by: jt | June 15, 2010

one of these days these boots are gonna walk

I finished The Worst Project Ever at work today. Normally when I pull off miracles on the job – and this one is really multiple, simultaneously-occurring miracles – I have that sense of satisfaction from, yet again, accomplishing the impossible.

Today I just wanted to throw things.

I’m sick of being asked to pull off the impossible. I’m sick of working in a system where you can’t push back and tactfully say, You’re a fucking idiot and that request is offensive. Lemme tell you how this works. Because survival is based on pleasing people who frequently don’t have the first clue about what they’re doing and, if they’re not happy, they will go elsewhere.

I’m sick of a system where everyone talks circles around partnership and collaboration when the majority of the people in it just don’t. They don’t partner and they don’t collaborate. They ask for things, or demand them, without thought or concern for repercussions or realities.

I’ve done this work for six years now and yes, I have pretty clear ideas on what makes a successful project, but they come from a place of lessons learned – mostly the hard way. When I got into this program and network, I was totally on my own with no guidance. My predecessor literally gave two weeks notice and I had no choice but to learn on the job and fast.

So I did.

I will always love the program – the people – that I’ve dedicated the last six years of my life to, but I am so fucking done with being taken advantage of, talked down to, and undervalued. It’s a near-daily occurrence in this network, in large part because it’s systemic. It’s like everything else – racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, etc. – until the system changes, and people stop referring to my work as help and playing games by pitting one partner against another, it’s just going to continue to grate on every nerve in my body.

Tomorrow I will meet the people for whom I pulled together multiple minor miracles. And they will be lovely. And they will be appreciative. And they will value their time and their experience.

And I’ll try to make myself believe that it’s worth it because, for them, it is.

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