Seriously, by now I should know better than to relinquish future association of ANYTHING!
The story of duuuuumb bitch #5 starts like this...
Long, long ago, I worked in this crappy factory (the same crappy factory that I wrote about in I hate the word, "Panties.") and stumbled upon the opportunity to work in the administrative offices for a short stint, much to the dismay of my fellow floor workers. If you've never worked in a factory, especially a crappy one, consider yourself lucky. When I entered the healthcare field, I remember being culture shocked. The difference in people and work ethics were large. Of course, there's always a slacker, scammer, stealer, faker, back-stabber, brown-noser where ever you go, but never as much as when you throw everybody into a factory, tell them to assemble a bunch of boring shit, make them do it fast while standing in one place, turning the temperature waaaaaay up, adding in the smell (and the feel) of melting plastic... and you've got a crappy factory, full of petty gossip, petty competition, and petty drama... and all of that at the most archaic and brutal of levels.
I got off the floor and away from the receiving docks and junky forklifts for a while and I was ecstatic! I literally remember feeling as though life had new meaning...
That relief was only further confirmed after I caught word of a fellow floor worker stating that I only received that opportunity (and he didn't) because I was fat, just like everybody else "up there," and skinny, good-looking guys (as he categorized himself) weren't allowed. Of course, the fat comment stung a bit, even if it was true (especially at that time), but I filed it away smugly and kept on.
So there I am, drowning in the administrative duties, and trust me, I had no idea, OR CONFIDENCE, in what I was doing. None. Zilch. When I reflect on that opportunity, I actually feel bad for the lady (aka Night Sweat) that chose me as her assistant because I was clueless as to what she wanted and no matter how many times I tried to ask or figure it out, I simply could not grasp the scope of what I needed to do. It was the weirdest thing and I still wonder to this day how I managed to NOT conquer that position especially because my nature is that of a conqueror, so to speak. The me of now is not afraid to figure something out, regardless of possibly placing myself at looking-stupid-risk. Anyway, throughout that administrative adventure, I don't think I completed anything that was of any use to her, at all. Pretty sure not even once.
So one morning, there I sat at my little island desk surrounded by other fatties that knew what they were doing and the general manager himself (who often smelled like a hangover and whined about how the hottest girl in the plant was dating him, but not treating him right, blah, blah...). I loved mornings because everybody kept to themselves and I could savor sips of my fountain Mt. Dew and chug my 5-hour-energy, waiting for the superpowers to hit. However, on this morning, the lady I was assisting (aka Night Sweat) was restless; she was sighing and moving about her cubicle, exuding some funky energy that could not be overlooked.
Somebody finally asked her what was wrong (it was actually the one un-fat woman who worked up there), and the lady I was assisting (aka Night Sweat) said, "Oh dear god, I am so sorry if I am distracting anybody, but I am having a terrible, terrible hot flash!"
I remember looking up from whatever I was attempting to do and judging her. I was appalled. And sickened. I knew that if she was sitting there having a hot flash, that meant she was sweating, and she already wasn't a pretty picture (in my judgy, snot-faced book). I was mortified. I worried that with her sweating might also come with her stinking. How frightfully gross! But most of all, I could not fathom why she would even admit to having a hot flash.
Who would dare admit to having a hot flash?!?
Then two things happened:
First, she stood up from her chair, leaving behind splotches of sweat, even where her butt had been. I had to look away, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I simply could not believe that these things were happening before my very, youth-entitled eyes.
Then, second, she walked by my island-desk, quickly. I remember holding my breath because I was afraid to smell what she might smell like, but then curiosity got the best of me; I breathed, carefully. It took a moment but then the waft followed shortly after she passed... She smelled like cedar chips. I thought that was odd. Cedar chips. I wondered if she was wearing clothes that she kept in a cedar chest? Did she burn cedar incense? Did she live in a cedar house or sit in a cedar chair? What? Did she wear cedar spray? How could an old lady that was sweating like a beast smell like cedar chips and NOT boob sweat or cheese??
For a few more weeks I worked that job, and I would watch her out of the corner of my eye, observing her morning struggles with sweating. I would almost retch. One time I noticed that the hair at her neck was wet and stringy, she was sweating so terribly. She would always leave her chair splotchy, but eventually, she placed a cushion on the chair. I wonder if it was because of the embarrassing butt splotches or for comfort? Maybe it was a cooling cushion? After I noticed the wet hair on her neck, I started calling her "Night Sweat" to myself and began associating her cedar chip smell with that of unwashed night sweats (*rolls eyes* who knows where this shit comes from).
OMYGAWSH, what is the point of this post!?
My point is this:
Shame me to hell for judging and looking down my stupid Dutch nose at that woman for sweating her ass off.
Shame. Shame. Shame!
Because guess what? Guess who's having the hot flashes now? That's right... this duuuuumb bitch, right here. Right. Here. Oh, lemme tell you how unbearably unpleasant they are, how tired they make me, how embarrassed they make me!
So I look around, as I suffer (likely Karma for being so inside-my-head-nasty about Night Sweat woman), and I wonder what little snot-faced youngin' is judging me as beastly gross and holding their breath as I walk by afraid that I might stink? I check my seat when I am at work after I've been sitting (on that rare occasion) to check for splotch because it happens!
All that appalled me is now happening to me. All of it.
I think of Night Sweat woman often. I feel like a shit for being so in-my-head-mean. I feel so bad that she struggled like she did. I feel terrible that she splotched her chair and sweated so bad that her hair stuck in strings to her neck. I feel so bad that I held my breath assuming that she would stink. But mostly, I feel bad that there are some young species viewing me as I viewed her, subjecting my human worth into a little, useless box. It hurts, man... it hurts getting old, knowing that you're losing rank. And it hurts, man... knowing that this will occur over and over again, a woman such as myself will write about her changes in life and how helpless she feels against those changes. Ugh. My words will likely change very little in the big of this world, however, those damn hot flashes have humbled and changed me...
I am the new Night Sweat woman.