Not as much makes me make noise as you’d think. I’m often quiet. I let myself get louder at the geek events I go to -- I screamed like I was at a wrestling match when I saw Snakes on a Plane; I get loud and profane at Geek Trivia; you should see me dance and sing to Prince’s “Let‘s Go Crazy”+ -- because I feel comfortable doing so. But usually I feel comfortable being quiet, not causing a brouhaha.
As have many of you, I’ve had to be quiet many times before. At certain jobs, like the increasingly maddening temp job I spent half of 2009 at, I had to be VERY quiet, and one big reason was that no one at that office -- either people I liked or one particular person I didn’t -- “got” my sense of humor. It happens. It also was an ever-more toxic office environment where not being able to make a joke became overwhelmed by other issues, but then when I started at my current job late last year, I soon noticed that my quiet there was a comfortable quiet. The temp job had not been. I needed that.
If I start to feel like I want to start a brouhaha, I try to figure out why. And to wonder if that’s a good idea or a bad one. One idea many jobs ago, when I considered quitting my call center job (a job I later was downsized from -- the first time I’d ever been fired from a non-temp job, by the way), was that on my last day I’d skip through one particular room in the office saying “I’m free, I’m free, I’m free,” reach a back exit out of that room, turn, spread my hands in a Nixon salute and say, in my most Adam Sandler-y voice, “God bless most of you!” And then RUN for the stairs. Imagining this scenario was satisfying. It also made me wonder, “Why is that so satisfying?” And I reminded myself it would be disruptive, making the job of my co-workers perhaps a touch harder, or more, for the sake of a stunt. That I wanted to go out with a stunt, with a figurative “bang,” was a sign I managed to heed: it would be causing a fuss for the wrong reasons. So I decided not to feel that way. And I more or less felt better about the job. Until I got fired. (Which to tell properly would be wrapped up in a longer story about late 2003/much of 2004 that I don’t want to tell right now. I will tell it at some point., though.)
Being loud can be a tool used for good. It’s a tool that’s within me, awaiting further use and practice. Because, sometimes, a brouhaha is needed.
+ Note: Link is NOT to a video of me dancing, but of Prince singing and, well, Prince-ing.