Tuesday, November 8, 2011
CELEBRATING DIVERSITY: DOES BEING A SMARTASS COUNT AS DIVERSE?
If not, it should be. I mean, how many smartasses do you know? Sure, you probably had one or two living in your house as you were growing up. Public Schools were absolutely LOADED with them, although probably not as many in the days when corporal punishment was still allowed. Getting one’s ass beaten in class by the teacher in front of the other students for this infraction or that probably helped to curb the flippant remarks likely to be uttered by the child (always a boy) in question.
In recent years I learned from a childhood friend that my Mom told her Mom that I was a “defiant” child and that I constantly “backtalked” her. I honestly don’t remember this behavior because I didn’t get slapped around for it. More than likely this was because I could outrun my Mom. I could have been on a walker and STILL outrun my Mom. Hell, even ZOMBIES could have outrun my Mom. Ok, now you get the picture.
My pre-schooling (so to speak) in SMARTASS 101 must have started then. At some point I got really good at it from following my Dad’s examples. Then he would turn around and discipline me for my “Lip Problem”. Even then I recognized the irony of being punished for being a smart mouth – from the very person who taught me to BE a smart mouth. Funny, right?
My smartassness has continued on through my adult life, in some ways no less sharpened than it was but in other ways a bit more refined as well.
The eventual showdown I knew I would face with so-called “superiors” came one day. At the job site there was a program called “Celebrating Diversity”. As I was in a struggle with a couple of “superiors” who wanted to make things rough for me and abuse the authority of their respective offices with regards to myself, they didn’t think it was funny at all when I complained outside the normal chain of command.
I started calling attention to their behaviors to people who began questioning them. Boy, they didn’t like that! And, on top of everything else, they weren’t amused when I was called on the carpet to explain why I contacted outside sources and I simply just asked them to “celebrate my diversity”. Apparently in their respective times as “superiors” they had not dealt with anyone like me. Hence, I was “diverse” – at least that’s how I saw it.
Things turned out great eventually and I moved on from under their control. My flippant mouth has alienated a few folks, but hey, they DESERVED to be alienated. Everybody else, especially those who love me for who and what I am, have their own ways of celebrating my diversity. Guess that means I won.