Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh, internet, you did it again: some updates

A lot has happened lately on account of this little blog. Can I just start out by saying, can you believe people read this thing? I'll always be amazed. Whatever your reasons for finding yourself here, thank you for visiting.

The internet is a crazy place, isn't it? I prattle on about The Children and boobs and figuring out life with my family, and then (some) people read it. I've mentioned before how grateful I am for the space that the internet provides me for working through the crazies and sharing a little bit about the world as I see it, but I'll say it again: the community of bloggers, of people who parent, cook, eat, create, read, and think, is an amazing place to inhabit. I've learned a lot, shared too much a bit, and regularly spit coffee out of my nose (the good kind of nose-spitting, I promise). Most Days I Win is a place for me to practice my writing, seek advice, and generally just share in the amazing things that arise from the day-to-day business of growing our family. It is most of all a space where I can think through the things that count most to me, including the world in which I raise my children. And this is why I have recently used this space to write about my feelings on discovering that my Alyce and Shira's doctor has been charged with producing child pornography, and about my decision to leave a hostile working environment. I wanted to give you some updates on both of these situations:

1. My children's doctor might be a child pornographer. After posting a few weeks ago about how frightening it was to consider that my children might have been in danger from their own doctor, I was contacted by the head doctor of our medical clinic. She reached out to me after having read my post and shared with me how, as both a doctor and a mother, she was devastated by the charges against Dr. Speight. And of course she was, but it mattered to me that she said so. She also offered to find our family a new female doctor, and as I mentioned before, finding a new doctor not an easy thing to do around here. In a matter of days we have now secured a new doctor who is ready and willing to help us move forward. Thank you so much, from our entire family.

2. So I quit my job. If you read my original post (to which I have since made changes), you'll already be familiar with my experience working these last couple of months. Last week I told you about how the working conditions at my office were such that I heard racist and hateful comments throughout my day. I was regularly offended, uncomfortable, and ashamed that I remained silent. Although I have never mentioned the name of the company I worked for, or even hinted at the industry, my post made its way back to my former office and made some people very unhappy. I was contacted almost immediately by my temp agency (on behalf of my former employer) and asked to remove all sections from my post that suggested any hint of the unprofessionalism or racism I witnessed there.

I was taken a little by surprise by their request. First I had to come to terms with the fact that anyone outside my circle of friends had even read my post, and then I immediately became very stubborn about the whole thing. I had taken what I thought were the steps to ensure that I was respecting the boundaries of my colleagues, never once referring to individuals, or characterizing anyone in the slightest. I didn't exaggerate a single comment (not that I'm ever prone to, ahem, exaggeration), nor did I reveal anything that hadn't been said in front of my entire office--about thirty people. I did not betray anyone's confidence or say anything out of turn. My intent was only to describe the environment of my former office while making a larger point about how racism in the workplace (or in any place) can't be tolerated. I wasn't splitting the atom, but just pointing out what should be obvious to everyone at this point. Except, it turns out, it wasn't obvious to my former colleagues.

Then why did I make changes to my original post? Why did I remove the specifics about what I heard in my office? Because ultimately my blog is a positive space, and I want it to remain that way. I see this blog as a place where I settle in and share with you a few things that have stuck with me throughout the day, or about things I hope to do and learn and enjoy. My original post was angry--for good reason--and though my observations were truthful and respectful of my colleagues' privacy, I didn't feel comfortable with the tone of my post. I had wanted to share my experiences with you, the internet, because I was so horrified that young professionals--educated and of this generation--could speak this way about other people. I was disappointed in them for behaving this way and disappointed with myself for not standing up for others. I turned to this space to share these feelings, but what ended up happening sounded a bit too much as though I was just complaining to complain, as though I'd left a job and wanted to gossip. Another reason I felt comfortable removing some of the specifics? Because I was heard, loud and clear. I can't offer you any details, but I will tell you that my complaints have become, um, "actionable." Amen to the internet.

I'm still a little uncomfortable with having edited my original post after the fact, but it was the right thing to do, for me. I like my space here, and I hope you do, too.

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