I recently had an interaction with a “friend” from high school on Facebook. We’ll call him Joe. A more accurate representation of our relationship would be that we knew each other by face and name. I’m not sure we ever had a legitimate conversation in school, but after our 20th class reunion I got a friend request from him. In the spirit of reconnecting with former classmates, building relationships with some people I didn’t know well, and growing relationships with others, I accepted.
Based on various comments, it became clear Joe liked to denigrate teachers for what he considered a fluff job–you know, only working from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., having tons of days off and sitting around sipping daiquiris all summer long. Piece of cake. They’re also a bunch of lazy whiners who get the day off at the drop of a snowflake … because teachers are sissies, according to what Joe had intimated. (I’m one of those cakewalk teachers, so those comments struck a chord with me.)
The post from Joe that irked me most recently insinuated that because of a snow day called for most districts in the area, teachers were down to only working seven months of the year. A totally asinine notion.
So, this is where the problem begins for me. I should have rolled my eyes and scrolled on by. I could have even said out loud what I was thinking–What a fucking tool! I should have considered the source and gone about my day without a comment … but I didn’t.
I have a few personality flaws:
- I’m mouthy. If I have something on my mind, I’ll say it. Usually with diplomacy, but not always. I’m not known for backing down in the face of a bully or asshole. I will not be bulldozed.
- I’m intuitive and smart. I will not be bullshitted. I have this thing–I don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse–but I can peg someone in the first 5 minutes of meeting them. I know if someone is a good person or an ass-pimple. If you’re duplicitous or a fraud, I know that. If you’re genuine and honest, I can tell that too. I don’t know that I’ve ever been wrong.
- I’m passionate. I wear my heart on my sleeve. When I’m happy or excited about something, you’ll know. When I’m pissed, you’ll know. I process everything as a feeling. You can say any words you choose, but I hear what you’re really saying based on how you say it. And if you’re condescending or shitty to me, it pisses me off.
- I’m opinionated. And, apparently, I’m one of those assholes who thinks everyone is entitled to my opinion because I’ll share my thoughts with you whether you ask for them or not–especially if you say something that gets under my skin because you’re being a dick to me or someone else who doesn’t deserve it.
- I despise people who are disingenuous. When someone is fake, it annoys me. When they say something condescending or rude and then try to play it off as something less than that, I get really irritated. It goes back to the thing where I don’t do bullshit. I can’t stand when someone tries to soft-pedal a total douchebag thing they said or did.
I won’t sit idly by when someone is being rude to another person–especially when it’s not warranted. Typically I try to be decent and diplomatic, but every once in a while I let my inner bitch go for a walk … and, on the day of “the trolling incident” I had on my walking boots.
In response to Joe’s lamentation that there were more days off for teachers, I commented, “Don’t worry, Joe. They’ll be in class extra days in June to make up for the days missed now. What’s your beef with teachers anyway?” He replied he didn’t have a beef with teachers and wondered why I asked. Another friend and fellow teacher commented almost simultaneously with me, “because you always slam teachers when they’re off.”
I won’t bore you with the play by play. Suffice it to say the other classmate and I both interpreted his comments as insults to teachers for being whiny slackers who don’t really work. He said we were “presumptuous and reaching” to come to that conclusion. You’d have to be a special class of idiot to not see that’s what he was saying, especially after he said, “teachers, I know, went into the profession for 3 words. June, July August.” Then he tried to say that he didn’t “discount anyone” for what they chose to do professionally. After the other teacher commented to defend her personal reasons for becoming a teacher, he said he wasn’t painting a broad stroke about all teachers, the ones he was talking about knew who they were.
But here’s the thing. He absolutely was making a broad statement and not just talking about a few.
So, after Joe repeatedly insulted teachers and then claimed that my friend and I were “presumptuous and reaching” to come to that conclusion, I laced up my Bitch Boots and gave him a piece of my mind:
And, then he called me a troll:
Am I a bitch? Probably. Am I an asshole? Maybe. Does that make me a troll? I don’t think so.
I clicked Unfriend. And moved on … well, except for writing this post. Now, I’m moving on.