Post #3172: Good rep, bad rep who knows

The photo above really sums up my day. Fucking weird. And also kind of beauty-ugly the way that only a full on day can be.

I flew into Vancouver in the pouring (as in torrential) rain, totally unprepared for that kind of downpour. I grabbed a broken umbrella from the float plane jockey and ran up to the terminal where I saw a guy who had been on my plane – an older white man in an expensive jacket – asking for an umbrella to use for the day. All this time taking float planes and I never knew you could do that (or would even think to ask). Since I had to walk to the office I asked also – and they gave me one! I know that’s a small marvel but it was just one of those moments where you realize why rich white guys have everything: they feel entitled to it (also systemic support for a single race and class has a lot to do with it).

So at least I didn’t get soaked walking up to the office where I was going to make a case presentation on a pretty important grievance with human rights implications. While I can’t say much about it, I will simply note that my first meeting of the day went badly and when it was over I felt like getting on the next float plane out. Normally I’m much more in control of my case presentations, but the manager threw me for a loop from the start. I have a strong case, so I’m not worried about the eventual outcome, but I can see a stone wall going up and people closing ranks in a particular group and that makes things much harder.

I left that meeting and went up to where my old colleagues sit and literally cried about it to a friend (yay me). And then called up the conflict resolution advisor and asked her to lunch. Not because I needed to resolve anything. I just needed to vent. We ate awesome rice bowls and traded giving each other advice. While we were in the restaurant, a pretty desperate looking guy grabbed the tip jar off the counter and ran out, which caused a bit of a scene. As my friend and I went to leave, we approached the counter again and put some extra tip money in the new jar that had been put out. While doing that I noticed a twenty and a ten in the jar, which had been put in by folks in the restaurant who saw the tip grab. That was good to see. I like it when people help each other out in spontaneous ways.

After that, I met with someone about maybe going to work for their team on a new project. That meeting went very well, and we had a great conversation and I left feeling like that might be a possibility. I don’t know yet, but I felt wanted for my skills and experience and that hasn’t been the case very much lately. I have a lot to do at work, but I don’t feel that I’m getting to exercise the full spectrum of my capabilities. Something with a bit more breadth would be nice, also something not project managing web campaigns.

After that, another meeting with workers who have been downgraded in classification and want to file a grievance together about it. I gave them advice as it’s a pretty common situation and they were just glad I could meet them in person.

As the day closed, there was another torrential downpour and even some crazy flash flooding on the street, but I left (with my giant float plane company umbrella) and went to DressSew to buy buttons. If you sew you know that buttons are pretty expensive, but at DressSew they carry buttons that were discontinued decades ago at a ridiculously reduced rate. I bought $25 worth of fabulous buttons for .49 or .25 cents per card.


After that, I met up with an old friend (ex-boyfriend from a million years ago) to have a drink and hear about his marriage ending. I needed the unwind from my day, so having a drink with someone was welcome, but spending time together reminded me how far apart we’ve become in the last twenty years since we broke up.

After that I got the bus to SFU where I’m spending the night. My last post was all about inputs = outputs and today was a day of all heavy-duty input. What I learned or had confirmed today was this:

  • I am allowed to ask for things just like rich white guys do and sometimes I will get them.
  • Crying after a grievance presentation doesn’t make me wrong.
  • When I am too personally invested in a case I’m in danger of getting angry.
  • Climate change in Vancouver looks like sub-tropical storms and that is way different from what I expected. (Apparently what I saw today is the new norm, it did not rain like this when I lived here only a few years ago).
  • Not all people suck.

So that’s it. Monday in Vancouver and I’m glad that I’ll only be here for the morning tomorrow, flying home mid-day. I can’t take all these inputs after all.

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