Goddammit The Pedant is such an idiot sometimes.

The Pedant works as a security guard. For the past year or two he was posted at a fancy apartment building, but he didn’t work for them, he works for a security company – who recently transferred him to a different posting. Now he does “stand-and-glare” duty at any one of a couple of “sister stores” downtown.

This morning I had a modelling gig and I realized I was within walking distance of at least one of The Pedant’s stores. I’ve been curious to see him in uniform. Obviously his job is to watch over the store so I couldn’t distract him in any way, but I thought it would be neat to swing by, maybe do a little shopping (I happen to like that chain of stores anyway, and go there often-ish) and catch a glimpse. So I texted him:

Me: Where are you posted today? I can come ogle you at noon when I’m done work. 😀

Pedant: I can’t have visitors where I’m posted.

Me: I didn’t say I’d talk to you. I said I’d ogle. It’s obvious to me that you can’t have people talking to you on the job.

Pedant: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that extends to standing and staring as well.

Me: Okay, I can take the hint that you don’t want me there. But your excuse is absurd. Try harder next time. Or better yet say “I would not be comfortable with that” – BOOM – problem solved.

Pedant: What makes you think that it was an excuse?

Me: …So you genuinely think I’m such a slobbering idiot that I couldn’t help but stand and gawk, then? Or is it that you get in trouble every time any random shopper glances over at you for longer than a second?

Pedant: The people most likely to strike up a conversation with uniformed security personnel are the mentally ill. The people watching the cameras will respond if they think an emotionally-disturbed person is taking up the time of the uniformed guard on duty. When those guards find out that it’s just a friend of mine, they’ll end up having to tell their bosses while they’re explaining what they were responding to. Then it turns into a whole thing. So, while I don’t necessarily get in trouble every time, it does waste people’s time and look unprofessional.

Me: And again you assume that I would be talking to you or otherwise drawing attention to myself. Doesn’t speak very highly of your opinion of me.

Pedant: You were going to come all the way to a retail store to not actually speak to me? That I would actually be uncomfortable with.

Me: I was working at [intersection]. If you were posted at [store location], I would have walked a WHOLE BLOCK to look at their nail polish selection and briefly get a sense of you in a different context than usual, yes.  You said you can’t be talking on the job – which I assumed anyway, and I told you as much. Then you were like “well you can’t be standing and staring, either.” Tell me how that DOESN’T mean that you see me as an idiot with no sense of couth at all.

Pedant: I’ve seen people escorted out of buildings who weren’t acting “uncouth” per se, so your level of couthiness wouldn’t necessarily matter.  And now I’ve told you that it actually would make me uncomfortable for you to be there and not speak to me. So just drop it.

 

Him telling me to “drop it” is one of the harshest things he’s ever said to me, so I have opted not to reply. But I kind of wanted to, because:

  • Okay, so he’s uncomfortable with the idea of me going to his workplace and ignoring him. Probably he would be uncomfortable with me trying to chat with him, too, because he might get in trouble. Ergo, HE IS UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ME COMING TO HIS WORKPLACE. He could have goddamned said so instead of making it all about me and how I’ll clearly be powerless not to come up to him and wank like a zoo monkey while staring at him, or whatever the fuck he thinks I’d do, and get him or myself in trouble.
  • Why the fuck did he even add the bit about how he’s seen people get escorted from buildings who weren’t “acting uncouth per se”? Why the implication that I would somehow get myself kicked out of a fucking retail store? I’ve been shopping on my own for like thirty years and managed – somehow – never to get escorted out of anywhere. Shocking, I know.
  • This is actually the second time he’s indicated that I’m somehow too inappropriate of a person to even be in public. The first time, I texted him something about being on my way to a pro domme gig and he said something about how I’d need to be careful not to get kicked out of somewhere – I can’t remember exactly – and I was like “dude what the fuck do you think I’m wearing right now, exactly?” Did he think I was in a tube top and thigh high lucite heels or what? He ought to know that I don’t own anything like that, nor would I want to wear anything like that. My sex work persona looks like I work in Accounts Receivable at a bottled water company or some shit. But anyway it bothers me that The Pedant has defaulted to the whole “you’ll do something inappropriate and be kicked out” theme more than once now.
  • Seriously, I’ve been doing various kinds of customer service work for my entire adult life, with over a decade of that being in very conservative corporate environments. I KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE AROUND OTHER HUMANS. I may be socially awkward in the sense of being bad at small talk, but I know how to go to a store, browse, and leave without looking like some big suspicious security risk. I promise. It’s really not that hard. I even know how to come off as a nice, polite, harmless, middle-class lady if someone in authority does decide he needs to speak to me for some reason. Even with my crazy punk hairdo and what has become almost a uniform of disgusting cat-haired sweatpants, my Harmless Middle Class Lady act plus my white privilege pretty much defuse weirdness with authority figures immediately.
  • I told The Pedant right off the bat that I understood he couldn’t have visitors due to the nature of his job. I told him I would not be talking to him if I came by. That is literally the second thing I said to him. Is it just me or did he conduct the rest of that conversation with some imaginary version of me that does not correspond with anything I was saying? I feel like he does that a lot – jumps to conclusions about what I’m saying and doesn’t actually listen.
  • I somewhat regret telling him how hot he is all the time because it seems like he now believes I’m so attracted to him that if I’m in the same room I’ll stare at him with enough tenacity that I make myself look like a weirdo and get kicked out by security.
  • This conversation has made me realize that I consider my iron self-control one of my biggest strengths. Therefore, if someone questions my self-control or jokes that I have none, it will immediately piss me off more than almost anything else. Especially coming from The Pedant, who has put me through some shit that required me to have self-restraint enough for both of us (and ultimately he was the one who caved to temptation).

And here’s what bugs me, now: I do actually go to those stores sometimes to shop, and The Pedant was so weirdly vehement that he can’t have me at his workplace – and kind of acting like he assumes I really really really wanted to come see him and that I wouldn’t be able to keep from talking to him/staring at him to a point where someone would remove me from the store – that now I’m almost afraid to go into any of those stores in case he happens to be working there that day. He’ll probably be convinced I’m there just to antagonize him. And if I go up and talk to him he’ll be annoyed by it but if I don’t talk to him he’ll think I’m doing some big weird power play or I dunno. Ugh.

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Goddammit The Pedant is such an idiot sometimes.

  1. jooyous

    This is a super-weird situation, but I feel like I’ve been on both sides of this, almost. I think he feels uncomfortable with you being there and doesn’t actually know why, but he’s also being defensive about being called out on something being an excuse. But maybe, like, he’s used to people not respecting “I would be uncomfortable” as a reason that someone would consider valid, so he sticks to scary concrete-sounding absurd reasons and can keep that argument going for longer than “I have uncomfortable feels about this and you should respect them if you care about me.”

    • This all sounds feasible.

      Honestly, dude seems pretty terrible at identifying his feelings or motivations at all so I don’t guess he even realized he was making an excuse until I pointed it out.

  2. I don’t see any good coming of this though…

    “Someone I know dropping into my work and interacting with me while I’m on the clock” –> Makes me look unprofessional.
    “Someone I know dropping into my work and purposely NOT interacting with me” –> Makes me feel incredibly weird and obligated to entertain them in some way, even if they assure me otherwise

    Obviously, this wouldn’t apply if I worked at–say–a grocery store and people I knew needed groceries; I wouldn’t be barking at them to get out of my store. But you didn’t say you wanted to do some shopping and that bumping into him would be a bonus. You specifically said [i]ogle[/i].

  3. Regardless of his ‘point,’ the tone of that last text made my eyes roll veryfuckinghard.

    That he ended the conversation with am empirical sentence is unacceptable. (in my humble opinion) I forgot whatever argument he articulated earlier once I read the four-words-worth of a condescending demand.

    But, I have anger issues 🙂

    • Yeah, the “drop it” makes me think he STILL didn’t understand my ire and was assuming the big thing was that I wanted to see him at work and was mad he wouldn’t let me.

      Or at the very least he didn’t CARE that I was pissed and just wanted me to STFU.

      I did not love it. But I’m probably gonna wait til I see him to talk more about it (if I even bother) so as to head off further misunderstandings. I feel like it’ll help him to see my body language and hear my tone.

  4. Brian

    The way I read it, you were both jumping to conclusions about what each other were saying.

    Did you start with “hey, I’m working at this place and would walk a block to shop at that place if you were working there today”? Nope. Did he start with “gee that would make me uncomfortable”? Nope. But he didn’t know how close you were. Did you respect his wish to not be ogled while he was working? Eventually, but only after you got all wrapped around the axle about it. Did he have trouble expressing his feelings about why he felt like he did? Absolutely, but so does 75% of the male population, AND you knew this about him going in.

    I think it’s much ado about not a lot, and maybe you’ve also defined a new boundary along the way. Just my 2¢.

    Oh – and Hi! Been reading a while, this one just squeezed that comment out of me.

    • Oh hai. 🙂

      Fair point that I could have been clearer that I would actually SHOP and wasn’t planning on just coming in for his sake – and that I was close-ish and not making some huge pilgrimage. Maybe he felt a bit too much in the spotlight or something.

      But, again, the fact that I wasn’t gonna visit with him/talk to him was literally the second thing I said and he got entirely stuck on it. Pretty much the whole rest of the conversation was just “if I’m seen talking to you I’ll get in trouble.” And then also the ridiculous allegation that I would STARE at him long and oddly enough to get removed from the store WTF. He knows me well enough that he SHOULD know I used “ogle” facetiously.

      I just really, really hate that he painted me as someone who has no idea how to behave in public.

      I was fully prepared for him to be like “I wanna keep my work and personal lives separate so I’d rather you didn’t come down” but he decided to approach it from a particularly mean place. 😛

    • I think my other irritation here is that he’s always painted himself as being very straightforward and just saying what he thinks. I’m beginning to realize that this is a load of shit but I’m still getting used to the idea. I tend to take people at face value anyway, and one of the reasons I liked him in the first place was that he said I’d always know where I stood with him. I feel kinda misled and pissed off. He is not as advertised.

      It’s not that I “eventually” respected his wish not to be watched while at work. It’s that it took him forever to even tell me that this WAS his wish. Even when I put the thought out there and steered him toward it. SO FRUSTRATING.

  5. melindamaybe

    it sounds like being oogled is a very categorized-by-society-as-feminine/subby/vulnerable thing for him, and in his head the idea of feeling like that has overclouded the fact that anyway, the outside world would not notice anything anyway.

  6. Pingback: Resolution | hiding in plain sight

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