July 7th, 2011

Sally Salt Disgusted

Another person never to be like

Wow.

So my morning bus needed to make a left turn. Standing, literally, in the way of this? A bicyclist. In a part of the road that the bus would need to be in to make the turn. And he would not move. He kept not moving. The bus driver stopped, opened his left-side window, and asked him to do so. He wouldn't. The driver said, "We'll just wait here on you." A passenger said "Come on, just move!" The bicyclist protested that he was allowed to be in that spot, ahead of the stop line for cars at that light. "That's not a bike box," the bus driver pointed out. In other words, the bicyclist was A) wrong and B) in the wrong spot, which would've trumped him being right anyway because, yo, physics, it works. Had a car been in the same spot, the bus would've crunched it. Worse would've happened to the bicyclist.

The bicyclist moved back a bit. A BIT. The driver pulled the bus forward. Still not enough room to maneuver. More yelling for the guy to move. THE BICYCLIST STARTED FLIPPING OFF THE DRIVER, THE PASSENGERS, AND MAYBE THE BUS JUST ON GENERAL PRINCIPLES. Jaws were dropping by this point. People were laughing. This, I'm guessing, made the biyclist madder (grim-faced guy, too, by the way). People returned the favor, i.e. they started flipping him off. I was tempted to lean towards a window and laugh at the guy. The bus passed LESS THAN A FOOT from the bicyclist.

I had NEVER run into that stereotype before. Never, in 10 years of living here. But at least I knew it existed. Thank you, Portlandia!

TNG Darmok

I dub thee Aces At Names (or, Mispronunciation Madness)

Just as I'm lucky enough to only rarely have nightmares, I also only rarely have anxiety dreams, and when they happen, like last night, they're usually mild. I was more bemused that the amxiety expressed itself this way: me at work, suddenly realizing that I'd been mispronouncing my boss's name. A name I first learned over two years ago, when I first interviewed at my current company. A name I've been very good at correctly pronouncing, and correcting people on when they mispronounce it, because it's easy to mispronounce but,

as I always remember,

Getting Names Correct Is A Sign Of Respect.

I still remember my fourth-grade annoyance at someone managing to mangle the name "Walsh" -- a teacher visiting my school for an event was reading off our names and somehow made my last name into a three-syllable word -- and I wonder if that set me on the path of Correct Name Righteousness. Whatever caused it, it's served me in good stead. Though I still sometimes trips over the correct pronouns to use for people I've known as they transitioned, but I'll keep trying to be good at that. Again, lots of practice. Fourth grade was a while ago.

(By the way, that interview didn't lead to a job then -- he and his bosses decided to hire internally -- but it led to them digging out my resume and calling me back in October 2009, when I was slowly losing my mind from the dog-show company job.)