Bullying.

A STATE government survey of thousands of Victorian public servants found that 36 per cent had witnessed workplace bullying in the past year.

A further 20 per cent said they had directly experienced bullying, while 3 per cent had also submitted a formal complaint.” 

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/a-third-of-public-service-witness-bullying-20120912-25ssk.html

As a newly minted ex-public servant, this makes my blood boil. I wish it were astounding or something, but instead it just makes me roll my eyes. My experience of the public service (which is of 3 Departments) was that of mollycoddling, an obsession with everybody’s wellbeing and happiness, often to the detriment of any actual progress. There is no focus on accountability, outcomes, things to be done - there is no such thing as not having enough to do, apparently. We were all, by definition as public servants, over-worked, under-resourced, and endowed with superb skills and experience. This all warranted yearly pay rises, career progression, and justified (or required) a constant focus on helping ourselves to move up the ladder – the countless hours I spent, filling out more and more performance plans with examples of my capabilities, skills, designed to show that I meet criteria to move up.. it’s infuriating. Let me do some goddamn work.

I am sure that there are some areas of the public service where “bullying” – whatever that means – is prevalent. But if we, as a community, are going to discuss it and engage in debate about it, and cut careers short and vilify people for engaging in it, we need to actually define it. Because at the moment, some incidences of “bullying” would fall into the category of stalking and assault. Let’s deal with them as such. And others fall more into ‘people being overly sensitive’, and encouraging a culture of encouragement for that is something that both irks and scares me. It’s a slippery slope, and like all such things, once it becomes apparent, it’s too late to do anything to stop it.

In the couple of weeks since starting my job, I have heard and seen in writing a number of accusations of bullying. Some of them are incidents that I either witnessed or heard about, from the accuser.

What do you do when someone over-reacts to somebody else’s bad mood or gruff tone, and raises accusations of bullying and harassment?  I have sat listening to somebody explain their outrage at the “way they were treated”, thinking to myself ‘.. right…’. On one hand, how horrible, to feel bullied so easily. On the other, what the hell is wrong with you? Grow up. Don’t be so fucking ridiculous – sometimes you need to just roll your eyes, shake your head, think  ‘wow, that guy’s an idiot’, and get on with your day. Maybe have a bitch to the girl sitting next to you, text your partner about how you hate your job, and .. get on with it. But god, bullying??

The commentary around the Charlotte Dawson twitter “controversy” irritated me in the same way that listening to my grandma talking about how dangerous public transport and overseas travel are, what with all the gangs and violence and everything going to hell, oh shit, we’re all going to die. (And it won’t be at the hands of anyone white!) If all you read is the Herald Sun and all you choose to process is reports of violence, the world must seem like a scary place. But If you haven’t been on public transport for 20 years and your experience of it is confined to other people talking about all the immigrants and gangs that are just waiting to prey on you, the minute you set foot on a tram (at 8am, on the way to work, etc), perhaps you.. don’t really get it.

Listening to various media commentators using the word ‘troll’ for what is really someone being a dick on the internet, is like listening to my father talk computers. Download the hardware and input the plug in on the application, etc. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. What do you mean! Jesus, before spewing forth these sentences of misplaced words and vocabulary, let’s go through what they mean. Then, let’s talk.

Waiting for today’s bodyrock workout like a lovesick teenager waiting for a reply. Refresh refresh refresh!

I always assumed that at some point my vague indifference about having children and blurry, amorphous visions of my middle aged self with kids that I felt something for, would align. I just didn’t expect it to be now, and so forceful and debilitating. I never thought that I would plan children, as much as reap the consequences of the unhappy marriage of bulimia and the pill, have a crisis about what to do about it, then somehow end up on the other side with a baby.

I can’t even remember anymore, whether as a teenager I really DID think parents were merely selfish for ever having children, being that it’s satisfying a merely selfish need for creating something that’s biologically destined to love and need you. Either I don’t remember whether I thought that, or just said it because that was just another way to hate on the mainstream population and their mainstream choices and mainstream lives, jobs and voting preferences. It’s so much easier to have such strident views about the world when you haven’t yet become the mainstream adult that your teenage self would despise.

It doesn’t even feel selfish as much as urgent. It’s not that my life feels empty without a child, as much as pointless because I’m ready and waiting and there’s no baby here yet. I saw a psychologist for a while last year, and one of the throwaway lines that’s haunted me was along the lines of how will I ever cope having children, being unable to be 150% devoted to my work. Whatever it is. I’ve now thrown myself on the path of law school, which is the only thing that enables me to turn up to work at my stupid job and stop caring about being unable to move up or across or fucking anywhere.

I am shit scared of the entire legal profession and field because of the horrendous stories I’ve heard about 24 hour working days and suicide and blah blah. Just like I was scared of the public service before I ended up here and spent 3 years looking around me with a raised eyebrow going ‘Shit. You’re kidding, right?’. I am scared that I won’t cope or thrive or will be just as lost and unhappy as I am here. And I’m scared that I’ll never be able to have children because in order to tread water, let alone succeed, you can’t stop to take a breath or give birth or, whatever. And then I’ll end up having wasted my life on a shitty career that was meant to make me happy and kids that I forgot to love and .. well, I’m going to die anyway.

But really, I just want to have a baby.

starsgowaltzing-deactivated2012 said: Thanks for hanging out with me in Melbs! I had fun. :)

Hey ! How was the rest of your trip? I’ve had the most ridiculously busy last week at work :/ 

  • Woman at work comes back from her lunch break with a suitcase.
  • Man: you going away, k?
  • K: nah, sending my husband away!
  • Man: he won't fit in there!
  • Me (a bit too quickly): he will if you cut up him!
  • Entire office: .......
  • .
  • Internal, work-appropriate filter fails me, yet again.

The Instructions, Adam Levin

The InstructionsThe Instructions by Adam Levin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’ve had enough. There are a couple of laugh out loud funny parts in the first 100 or so pages of The Instructions, but they’re not enough to make me feel anything but blasé about the rest of it. I’m 200 or so pages in and there’s so much to go that it’s just daunting, and the list of books I can’t wait to read is starting to glow with appeal.

I don’t know if it’s me or a case of the emperor’s new clothes. I can’t be bothered reading 1000 pages to tick a box, and I’m not so far in that I now can’t turn back. I really don’t know what I think of this book, though. It has some funny bits, and some clever bits, and there are interesting tidbits about Jewish.. things. But every character annoys me, the dialogue is convoluted and affectatious, and there is just so MUCH of it. There’s no real story, that I can discern. Certainly not enough to pull me in and make me plough through any more of it.

I don’t even dislike this book, as much as feel completely apathetic toward it. Being partway into it feels like a weight on my shoulders, and that’s not what I look for in a book. Maybe I don’t get it, though often when I “don’t get” things, it becomes obvious that I get them as much as anyone else, just don’t feel the same sense of enlightenment, humour or joy in them. I don’t know, but I’ve had enough with this arsehole of a book. 2 stars, because I think it’s probably me.


View all my reviews

Went out to get a coffee, came back with cowboy boots and a spinach and haloumi pie. This is how shopping should be; impromptu and fun, not weekly and in a mall.