Strange days indeed

22 Dec

Most peculiar.  Back when I had a job, I worked with a real hippie-ish dude.  Long hair, coyote bones in his file drawer, that kind of thing.  Every year on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, he would wear all white and play ‘Imagine” over and over for his students.  I miss that kind of thing.

I got a lot of social support from my former job.  Most of my colleagues were, like me, quirky in some ways.  Some of us got along and some not so much, as per usual.  As the number of students dwindled, so did the size of the teachers’ room – a wall going up here and there to rent some of the space.  So we all got physically closer by necessity.  There was some bloodletting of course but not as much as you’d expect.  I did work with one woman though who had a basic dislike of me.  Fair enough.  This dislike showed itself as awkwardness for years, some basic sighing at comments I’d make regarding this and that.  But over the last I’d say six months or so, the dislike took the form of being ignored.  Again, in a small room this is awkward.  She liked to bring stuff – you know heart shaped chocolates and such on Valentine’s Day.  I remember last Easter she brought little chocolate eggs and put two in the mail trays of only the people that she liked.  Apparently the people that she didn’t like included me and about three other people.  I, as I tend to do, obsessed.

“I didn’t get chocolate eggs!!!!” I said to good pal, Glenda.

“Really?”  Glenda laughed.  “That is so 12 years old.  Want one of mine?”  No, I think I said or maybe it was yes.

So I don’t miss that kind of office, uh, pettiness.  But for the most part it was not like that.  We had a good time together, unwinding during breaks and at lunch hour.  As our staff got smaller and smaller (seriously, for awhile there it was like one long slow death which oddly, has kinda not died), you ended up sitting with people you hadn’t sat with before.  It turned out well.  I really enjoyed those last several months sitting with M, A, Y, G, C sometimes and a few others.  I somehow had gotten my hands on 80’s Edition Trivial Pursuit and we would try to guess the answers.  It was Canadian edition so many of the answers seemed to be Bob and Doug Mackenzie but no matter. 

The salad days though, those were the year before, doing the Vancouver Sun (when we still got the Vancouver Sun) crossword with W, M and sometimes G.  Great fun. 

So I miss that a lot and am not sure I will be able to find such camaraderie again.  I spoke recently to someone who is still there but thinking about leaving.  She has other pans in the fire really.  But it’s hard, she said, her co-workers are like family.  I understand that.

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