new theme for anishinaabeweziwin: resistance on the daily (cuz that’s how anishinaabeg roll)
by waaseyaa'sin christine sy
so yesterday a nice lookin’ older electrician working on my neighbours’ apartment chatted me up in the laundry room which separates our apartments. if memory serves correct this is the same man and group of electricians that worked on updating my unit (they are doing all the buildings here i guess). anyhow, within minutes this is what i learned about my neighbour, er, i mean, him:
her apartment smells awful
so awful they had to wear fumigation masks
(which he was wearing as he was talking to me and waving his hand in front of his face)
she has two kids and two dogs living in there with her
i learned that the young man standing beside him also had something to say about it but presumably given his lack of skill and ease with disparaging women he was not able to speak loud enough or assertively enough for me to hear him so he got the eyebrow raise, the squinty eye and was ignored (because you know what, if you are going to enter into the glorious world of sexism and misogyny you better own your shiii young man. piss or get off the pot so the world can respond how it will.)
i also learned that i did this nice looking electrician a solid with my laundry-ing as it created a strong fresh smell allowing him to take off his fumigation mask and inhale deeply and smile at me with grateful, kind blue eyes.
made me recall the time that one white boyfriend who i loved so much told me i wasn’t like all the other indians. me made grateful that i could recognize the feeling of being constructed as ‘better than’ someone because _____; in this case, better than her because clean, hygienic, smell nice. made me shake my head because he was giving me all the grapes thinking i’d be complicit in his heteropatriarchial-hating-on-women-masculinity. made my stomach roll because the world allows him to be so sure he can run off like this and be considered wonderful….he can socialize young men standing beside him into the world of sexism and misogyny and still be considered boss.
nobody has time for this but i’m an educator and a resister by nature. i rage. my heart throbs. i hope for something different but know as one wise FB friend says, “It’s only a transformative experience if you take action; otherwise it remains a story.” (Sarah Sandy, FB, June 10, 2015)
just printed out a letter of concern to the leasing office.
cc’d the company that runs the leasing office.
cc’d the tenant, too.
naahaaw, mii sa iw for today.
Update: After hand-delivering my letter to the leasing office and talking with a leasing agent, the manage in the office read my letter. Within about an hour she came to my apartment and assured me that this behaviour was not acceptable to their company and while the electricians were not employees of the leasing company they did recognize they needed to attend to the matter immediately. She assured me that it was being addressed at that time. This was in the afternoon.
This evening I had the chance to give my letter to the tenant and chat with her about the electricians exchange with me and to update her regarding managements’ response. She thanked me and also said that our conversation shed some light on a visit she had this early this morning by the boss of the electrical company. He said that based on information he received about how she was treated by one of his employees, he had fired that person. My neighbour and I discussed this series of events and we both agreed that firing someone for disrespectful treatment is overkill. In fact, my experience with Human Resources and labour law (in Canada) suggests that there has to be some disciplinary procedures and efforts to support employees to engage in corrective behaviour. You cannot just fire somebody based on third party information. We did alot of surmising and it is not sure if the same man who talked me up about this woman is the one who was fired. She said she was confused as she had not had any negative exchanges with the electricians. This makes me wonder if someone else on site witnessed his behaviour and made a complaint or if this is altogether a different situation. All we know is that someone was fired this morning based on an account that a man had mistreated this tenant. Given I did not address this matter with the leasing office until this afternoon, there seems to have been a few incidents with this company. It’s too bad someone was fired. Disrupting someone’s livelihood is a drastic move and not one that should be taken lightly or made reactively.