I used to think that I would be more viable and worthy as a person if I were a “Person of Color”. I used to believe the voices of angry people who projected their pain onto my skin. I used to believe I owed them something. I used to believe I was in some way fundamentally different from them, as if I were not as magical or worthy or wild as my fellow humans. I’ve decided to stop believing those voices, to exit the new cult of race-hatred that tells me I have “fragility” if I dissent. Now I know that Whiteness reflects light and color: some people get angry at that, aren’t comfortable with the mirror of my being, can’t handle how many different shades of paint are needed to paint the color of my impossible skin. The truth reflects their insecurities and false narratives back at them. The truth reflects your love and friendship and creaturely kinship as we co-create a future together. Your Browness is enough. My Whiteness is enough.
I don’t believe in divination or “telling the future” at all and I’m turned off by any belief system which promotes that. I play with Tarot because of its ability to prompt clarity of reflection and critical thinking about my own life and mind. It’s an artistic tool for awareness, not hocus-pocus. It’s nothing more than thoughtful, contemplative play with really excellent art-cards. And that’s why I love The Wildwood Tarot: it focuses on naturalistic elements of archetypal folklore that are beautifully aimed at clarity of thought, not superstition.
I recently declined to continue interviewing with a stupid little start-up, for several reasons listed below. At least the hiring manager or recruiter or whoever they are had the idea to ask why I didn’t want their money. I responded in these exact words, as follows.
Feedback: any company that thinks it’s appropriate to ask a person what their “biggest weakness” is clearly lacks respect for other peoples’ privacy, dignity and society’s basic social norms. The only answer to this question you deserve is: none of your damn business. What’s yours? Such a question is completely inappropriate and absolutely insulting coming from a company; it is only appropriate for a person’s innermost private circle of relationships and is paramount to asking about a person’s medical or sexual history.
Furthermore, I don’t have have time, nor do I feel respected by, the idea of sitting through two or three rounds of interviews, including a lengthy phone call when I said “I have only a few minutes”, plus a “trial run” with a fake phone call in addition to test a person’s responses before they have even been trained. Extremely few companies for extremely few positions are that important or deserve such effort, and [your company] isn’t one of them. If a company like [your company] thinks it’s that much of a big deal, it’s clearly too self-absorbed and will likely treat applicants and people working for them as if we are desperate. And we are not.
The job market is excellent for job seekers right now, and nobody with a real life and self-respect is going to jump through these hoops for a little start-up that’s thinks it’s so hot. Even when the job market isn’t ideal for job-seekers, the strongest candidates still have more self-respect than to bend over and beg. They are willing to tough it out and use their intelligence for the right opportunity.
…on the job hunt.
Tell us about your previous experience and why you feel that would make you a good fit for this position.
I’m great at a lot of things, so there’s a lot of great reasons why you should hire me. One thing I’m great at is catching grammar mistakes, like the ones in your question: “experience” should have an “s” on the end, and “that” should be either “they” for plural or “it” for singular, if you insist.
Anyways, I know how to make an ancient friction fire from “rubbing two sticks together” as it’s colloquially referred to (it’s actually called a “bow-drill”), and that’s only a slice of it. You should see me in the 21st-century office. I’ve been through 10 years of work as a young adult bringing myself up in one carer that has taught me a lot, but now I’m setting my sights on better horizons, like you. You want me on your team for so many reasons, but to really find those out, you’ll need to offer me an interview (and hire me).
Tell us about any special skills or qualifications you feel would give you the ability to perform this job well.
I’m sure my aforementioned above answer was the bullseye you were really looking for. Oh, and I have a lot of fun with writing, communications and generally being one badass boss of a muffin who leads through compassion and deep respect for those I am responsible for and in service to. I’ve been the grunt, and now I want to take care of other grunts and keep them reassured that they don’t have to bail. They might even become your most amazing, profitable employees with the right investment of support in them.
What is your greatest strength?
What is your greatest weakness?
Chocolate. What’s yours?
What are some of your short-term and long-term goals?
My short term goals are to change careers, starting with Your Company™️, obviously the best little cohort in town. My long term goals are to retire filthy rich from flamboyant, risky investments and put my terrible, estranged mother in a retirement home.
Cheap purple cloth hung from the rickety table; who puts a candle in the middle of a business meeting? The answer is someone who wants to make you think it isn’t a business meeting. This way, emotionally hungry people end up spilling more than they planned to. Afterwards you look back and are embarrassed you fell for it. The boss is still driving this ship even if you open with a song to the earth.
Some trends in business look humanely promising, like we’re about to all feel so cozy together at work, right at home. But I don’t believe it. I watch these trends, these “guided meditations” conducted by the development company before teardown of the house the old woman was evicted from. It is still a business meeting. In my demand for truth in writing I have demanded the truth of life. This means acknowledging the unhidden subjective reality of what is happening, in addition to objectivity, all elegantly complicated. It often isn’t pretty or ideal. It breaks through edited thoughts that, like the truth, aren’t edited beauty.
So when companies gather us together for a big company party to make us feel warm and trusting, I don’t believe it. They are lying to their workers’ hungry hearts. This is where truth-telling gets daunting because it’s damn disruptive, doesn’t make a safe LinkedIn cover, to tell this kind of truth. If a company can fire a person for any reason, at any time, this place is not a community. It isn’t mutual. If a company offers you a nap on a cot mid-shift it is not because they care about your wellbeing. It is because they want to get more productivity out of you. If getting productivity out of you for the dollar means killing you, then kill you they will. If they mean to get you to feel beholden to everybody as if you all were a family, especially to feel this loyalty for your boss, know that it will be your heart to suffer when you are no longer of use to them.
All of this isn’t to say that companies shouldn’t have uplifting business meetings or offer exhausted employees places to take a nap on their breaks. I, too, wish to make money and have comfort and prestige. I have come to see that lying to survive can be a moral value in its own right to human beings, lying about the truth of our hearts past the place of no return in life when we can nevermore be truly trusting before trust is earned, if we can ever be truly trusting at all. It is simply the strategy of our economical ecology. Seen in this light, the heaviness is taken out of it. It doesn’t need to be heartless. Now I have become shrewd enough to understand this, that the metaphorical killing-off of the time of childhood involves sacrificing half of one whole truth to survive by another. We must pay rent and buy food. We must, we always will, do attain our survival. So, too, do the smallest and greatest of beasts. But these motions are acts of survival, then become pangs of the heart. When the press upon your throat for survival is passed down from management, remember what you are capable of.
Karoshi is a Japanese word, meaning “overwork”. Overexertion. Men sleeping in train terminals and marching to death down fluorescent-lit halls are the demons of the modern Japanese work-culture, the death cubicle of endless hours because they think their companies actually care about them. They have been taught to believe they owe their corporation some kind of devotion. Great Corporation loves you as Father loves you. Americans have, until latter years, often been a bit too shrewd for this. We once were the unionists –with all of the problems and corruptions that came with it. Now, it is trendy to force “collaboration” by getting rid of privacy in the workroom. It would be more sincere to admit it.
“I didn’t really feel like I could talk to my counselors about [gender-]detransitioning in the way that I wanted,” she said, “because they have specific political views, and I felt like if I said I had these criticisms of the whole concept of transitioning, they would have thought I was being brainwashed by transphobic bigots or whatever.”
From The Stranger
(a leftist Seattle newspaper)
article: “The Detransitioners: They Were Transgender, Until They Weren’t”
June 28th 2017
author Katie Herzog