Back to Wednesday, my last day of work before vacation. I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a young woman in a hajib standing by the dumpster behind the bar next door. She looked frightened and somehow I was drawn to her. I went over to ask if she needed some help and she started to sob, I hugged her and she put her head on my shoulder and just cried and shook. She was so small, not even Hilla's size but appeared to be an adult. She spoke English but with a stutter and I finally got her calmed down enough to understand she was trying to get across 4th St to the spot on Spring where the MegaBus picks up. She was trying to get the bus to Cleveland and then had plans to fly to California to visit a friend in Bakersfield. She had a huge roller bag that weighed more than her (no exaggeration this time) and seemed to have a little difficulty walking. She said she had fallen trying to cross the street and had hurt her leg. I think she was just shook up and didn't know quite what to do. I took her into the CoSpec building, dragging her big red bag behind us. I got a bandaid and Neosporin and fixed up her skinned knee. I asked her if she was hungry and she started to cry again. I told Jay I needed an hour or so and took her over to the Café for a bagel and tea. She said she'd been in Columbus about a year, 5 or 6 years in Nashville or Memphis before that and originally from Cairo. Her face just shone when I told her I'd been in Cairo. How she got dropped off that morning with nobody to help her, she never said. But she did say her father was in Pakistan doing some kind of work for the UN. It was getting to be time for the bus so we walked back, picked up her bag and I helped her get across 4th. There were some other people standing there waiting, I asked one man if he was going to Cleveland and he was very friendly. I asked him to help get her bag on the bus. She was so grateful, thanked me profusely, and I told her about my pay it forward philosophy. I told her it was up to her to help the next person and she got it. She said if we all helped each other, how much better the world would be. So I left her there on the corner and thought about how travel has influenced my life. Having been in the Middle East, I do not have prejudice about people with different religious beliefs. I wondered how many people would be afraid to approach an obviously muslim woman especially standing next to a big bag. I thought about all the situations I've been in where other people have helped me and how much it has meant to me, and how it motivates me to help other people. It was a good start to the day.
Then about noon it all went to hell. I'd worked on Wed, which is usually my day off because we were to have some sort of mandatory meeting at lunch. I was working on the Penguin, putting together the front of the body, making sure the stripes all matched and dealing with a double rip stop lining because it was fur. I'd worked on the legs but got stuck because the flange was too small and I was waiting for Dipshit David to figure it out. Jason was finishing up the zipper so I pulled out the pieces for the head to lay them out. Jason jumped up and started showing me what to do and Jay first told me the fur pieces are different from the lining (DUH) and then leave the head for Jason and finish the legs instead. It just set me off, I felt like they were treating me like I was stupid. I had to walk away for a minute, then came back and explained to Jay I couldn't finish the legs and that I had just built the front and know the fur and rip stop pieces were different. Then he started back peddling, so close to lunch, couldn't finish that day, better to let the same person do it start to finish. BULLSHIT!! So I was already pissed when I got to the meeting. More bullshit about clocking in and out for breaks, etc , then a presentation about sexual harassment. I wondered what had happened to initiate that but no clue. I was sitting next to Johnny and was writing him little dirty notes to amuse myself. Then the lady started talking about protected classes, same sex partners, interracial couples.....I told Jason to stand up as the poster boy. After the lady finished Greg got back up for one more thing........headphones. Somehow it's Wendy's bug a boo again. "it's inefficient for the boss to have to come over to me to get my attention." I said it's so noisy up there I need the headphones to block out the noise and concentrate. No go, they want us to wear the headphone over one ear so we can be aware of our surroundings. That shit just rubbed me the wrong way. I stewed til about 4 then went into Jay's office and just let loose. Told him how insulted I'd been about the Penguin, how I was feeling undervalued , had worked nearly 3 years without a performance review and said I was going to use my time off to think about my future with the company. So that's what I'm going to do.