“Hostile Workplace” Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

“Sippican Cottage” is the blog of one of the most amusing people I have ever had the pleasure to read. If you poke around the blog, try to find the beginning of his multi-part series on fixing a rather significant plumbing problem in his about-to-fall-down house in Maine.*

Unfortunately he writes in fits and starts, and took a few years off from which he has only recently returned, only to recycle a post…but it is a fine one, and makes an excellent (and apropos of the current climate) point.

Sippican’s Greatest Hits: Hostile Workplace

There wasn’t anything left to discuss. We’ll fix it, you’ll pay, case closed. I leaned on my car and was writing some notes about the meeting, and she put her hand on my arm. She was very worried, and told me that I must leave, right away, because the sun was going down, and very bad people would come out. She pointed to a park across the street and said it was very dangerous, and that after dark no one like me should ever show their face there. She wasn’t frightened, exactly; she was frightened for me. I was born a few blocks from that place, and for all I know my parents took me to that park when I was an infant, but I didn’t mention that. She lives here all the time now. That’s seven no trumps. She went inside, and I left. I’m told recently that if someone looks at you funny twice, or maybe if a guy with bad breath instead of Fabio pectorals asks you out on a date at your cubicle farm, you’re working in a “hostile workplace.” I’ve been to a hostile workplace. I’ll raise my hand when you’re in one.

Read the whole thing, because he’s a really good writer, but he describes perfectly what a true hostile environment is, and it can be extrapolated to so many things we in our currently insane society have overreacted to in the last few years.

People leave incredible third-world shitholes, where life is awful, both economically and socially, to come to America. They break our laws to do it, and when we hold them accountable and put them in detention centers, if we don’t give them multiple flavors of ice cream from which to choose for dessert, we are the bad guys.

Entitled, spoiled, lazy, and ignorant students sit in college lecture halls, and if the professor says something even mildly at odds with their incredibly rigid and stupid worldview, they collapse into quivering blobs of protoplasm because they have been “triggered,” and demand that the professor be sanctioned, drawn and quartered, then hanged in the quad for all to see. That carefully ignores the uncomfortable fact that it is precisely those challenges to one’s preconceived notions that make a good education!

About one dozen unarmed Black men were killed by police last year. That number is dwarfed by the number of Black men and women and children killed by Black men (2925 in 2018…the latest stats I could find), but that is also carefully ignored so that large swathes of America can be accused of racism and working to return to a slave-holding society.

All of this is part of a stunning lack of perspective on the part of so many willing fools who follow these ridiculous attempts to sow division in our society and to paint many of us with the racist/sexist/evil-capitalist brush.

It is that lack of perspective that has opened the door to so many of our governors and mayors becoming the statist, authoritarian hacks they always wanted to be. “FLATTEN THE CURVE!” Okay…now what? How about some rational analysis of the risks? Like the fact that fewer than 10,000 deaths in the entire country from Wuhan Flu…fewer than the number who died in automobile accidents and from suicide, and that is a rounding error of the background deaths, which is about 3,000,000/year.

I was in our smallest state recently (it’s adorable and cuddly), and had the pleasure of sitting at a bar for the first time since March 12th. Because Rhode Island is slightly saner than New Jersey. But the bartender couldn’t serve us across the bar…he had to walk around to the other side of the bar to serve drinks and food.

That’s just stupid. What’s the point? What’s the function of that rule? Some unelected bureaucrat with more time than sense decided that he just had to throw in an extra regulation to prove his worth, and be damned with rational thought or perspective.

Until our country returns to some sort of reflective position…some sort of calm perspective…we will continue to ricochet from one extreme to another; bouncing from one insanity to the next, until we are exhausted and weak and focused on everything except what is important.

And that scares me.

*[“If you’re new around here, press on this Plumbing label and read the posts in reverse order.”]