Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brace yourselves; I am on the good ship Righteous Ranter.

I am a big advocate for freedom of speech, and expression of truth. It might hurt, but the truth is always better. Always. Thus we come to a problem. Blogs are open to the public, but personal. It is yours; you can say what you want, whenever you want, however you want. And theoretically – if the reader doesn’t like it – they can jump off a cliff. (Or you know, not read it).

Obviously the laws still apply – and if you are smart, generic rules for ‘keeping the peace’. I approach my blog like a diary – whatever I want, whenever I want as a means to share my life with the world and acknowledge my issues and begin to deal with them. It is not to inform certain people, nor is it aimed at anyone except the generic internet ether. It is also under no one’s control – but mine.
My life, my feelings, my decisions, my directive.

So when I had an email from the head of the program calling me into his office, I assumed it was work related – what else could it logically be about?

But no – I was being called before the principal like a naughty child because someone had read something which they assumed was about them (rightly or wrongly, it doesn’t matter), had complained to their supervisor, who passed it on to the head of the program with what I can only assume was a directive to ‘take care of the problem’.

Yes. I am a problem.

Two things are wrong with this situation – first, Christ – if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Second; how is a personal situation relevant to the work place? If the person in question had an issue with me or my blog, completely unrelated to work, they should have approached me in the first instance. Not only do you look like a fool for taking a personal issue to your boss, but you put both your boss and his superiors in an undesirable situation. It should have been bounced straight back to the complainer, with a directive to contact the insulter (me) in the first instance, or a personal grievances mediator in the second.

This should not have entered the workplace.

And for the irrelevant record, the particular post in question, now amended to keep the peace (though really, did you think I would not expand on the subject further?!), named no names, and was about no business or institution that could have taken offence. I am certainly entitled to my feelings, and most certainly entitled to express them on my own blog.

However, I understand (and in retrospect, should have expected, though seriously - why are you reading my blog anyway?!) that it did result in a complaint, and to the boss (with regards to the particular person involved) and the options for the superiors once placed in their hands, were limited.

All things considered, it was handled very well and I sympathise with the people who were charged with taking care of this particular problem, when I guarantee it was about as much fun as scraping mud off shoes.

However, I do consider a line was crossed. No one can assume authority over my personal concerns (I am after all, way past 18) and the topic should not have been breached directly with me, by a person in institutional authority, but rather addressed with the person who thought to take it to an institute superior in the first place.

I am human, passionate and oftentimes sardonic, and am not the nice/happy/polite person you see in the corridor all the time. I doubt that is possible for any wo/man. Like my disclaimer (on your right, towards the bottom), and in light of the fact that I will always tell the truth as I see it, about both my feelings and the situations I encounter, I urge you to either not read the blog, or complain to the author directly.


Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
-Robert Service


EDIT:  It appears I have been mislead darlings!  Once the truth comes to light I will, of course, explain the particulars.  Suspend your disbelief for just a sort while longer.

EDIT: Oh treacherous lies! Nefarious deceit!

In this update of the Soap-Opera-That-Is-My-Life, we discover our humble protagonist (that's me people, keep up!) has been fed a wilful misrepresentation of the truth!


The primary antagonist never complained to her supervisor, never complained to anyone in an official or casual capacity. Instead she requested of the scheduler-of-teaching-streams that she not be put to tutor in the same class as I (now the hateful villain, and with just cause- if I were her I would choose not to teach with me either: for social reasons. For two people who have known each other for 8 years, and who was my bestie for 3, you would assume there was a background). An email was sent back, asking why, and a link to my blog was exchanged.

Upon falling in idle hands the issue became a crusade, to the point where I felt hunted, and more people entirely unrelated to the matter at hand decided to (unintelligently) involve themselves.

So in such a situation where the primary party (me, here) makes an effort (not reciprocated) at dignified mediation without directive nor advice from the interfering institutional parties, one must ask - where does that leave them?

The gossip mongers and trouble stirrers fiddled in a pie which they had no right to in the current context - and pulled out a stone.

Sweeties, you thought I, a plum?!


In a more formal note, I unreservedly apologise, definitely-ex-friend, for casting aspersions on your character earlier in this post, and making the fatal error of assuming I was told the whole truth, by an albeit unrelated person, with regards to the entire situation.

I am, most, sincerely, sorry.

Of the pie stirrers, however; what do you make of your own actions? I humbly suggest you contemplate how you might handle such a situation should it arise again in future.

1 comment:

  1. Jeez. You can't please everyone. Let me tell you the story this evening about someone who had a one-line mention in my book (by first name only) took extreme exception to it, to the point that on my last night in Canada I had to have an emergency phone conference with my publishers to discuss whether we had to recall each and every copy of the book and black the line in question out...

    Luckily the person calmed down before that needed to be done.