Friday, December 31, 1999

don't fuck with my free time

[Originally posted on November 10, 2014.]

A pixie-ish lady from our office skipped over to me while I was making photocopies and asked whether I'd be attending our university's bell-ringing ceremony on November 20. Trying to delay the inevitable, I asked what weekday that was. She said she'd find out, then skipped away. A few moments later, she skipped back and said it would be a Thursday.

"And you don't have any classes that morning, do you?" she said, obviously marshaling evidence for an argument that I Really Should Attend This Event.

"True," I replied.

"So are you going?" she asked.

"No," I said, laying it out there.

"It's a good event for the new professors to watch," she said. "I think you'd better go."

"No," I said again.

"Why not?" she asked in that pushily Korean way. Not that my reasons for not going were any of her damn business.

"I don't like being told I have to attend an event," I said, again laying it out there.

"You don't have to attend, but I think you'd better go," she tried again.

I smiled bitterly. "So it's mandatory, then? Okay, I'll go, but I won't be happy."

"Really? Why not?" she asked again, apparently unaware that free human beings don't like being ordered to attend supposedly optional events.

"It's like those Christmas parties where they say attendance is mandatory," I said. "I hate those. Can't stand 'em."

"Okay," she said, finally relenting. "You don't have to go."

"I appreciate that," I said, not really appreciating having been badgered about attending a ceremony I didn't need to see. The office pixie skipped away, doubtless to place a black mark on my record for uncooperative behavior.

FB is gone, but this pixie is doing her best to take FB's place. I've had difficulties with her before; this isn't the first time there's been a less-than-pleasant encounter.

But, hey: at least I'm not wasting my morning at a bell-ringing ceremony. Besides, I've already been to one or two such Buddhist ceremonies before; can't see what I'd learn from going to yet another one.



  1. It's not about what you're going to learn from it. It's about being present, being part of the team. But you know this. I know you value your free time, and I totally get where you're coming from, but you [i]know[/i] how it works here. Especially in your first semester, you don't want to paint yourself as a curmudgeon who is not a team player (because you know that's how they're going to see it). Give it a few years, then break out the curmudgeon.

  2. I know how it works, but I reject it. If I'm thought of as a curmudgeon, so be it. In other respects, I'm a big teddy bear. Things only get prickly when the office tries to reach beyond its purview and mess with my private life.

  3. A curmudgeonly teddy bear! Like an embittered Winnie the Pooh. Heh.



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