Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22 Crazy Lady

Some people take psychology classes because they are generally interested in human behavior and brain function. Most people take psychology classes because they think that they can figure out their own issues with the aid of some generalized classes instead of sucking it up and seeing a professional. Of course, this begs the question, how much should we trust people who have moved forward and attained an advanced psychology degree. How fucked up are they? Well, I have answer.

The field of psychology has several touch points with the computer field. The primary one is "usability" which is essentially the study of making anything , in this case software, intuitive and easy to use. The main focus of software usability involves cognitive psychology- how we think; learning and memory.

When I first began my computer career, I worked for a company that grew from about 7 of us in our first year to over 100 by our fourth. In that fourth year, we added a woman who had a Master's in Cognitive Psychology and was to become our usability specialist. And she was one fucked up twat.

I'll call her Mavis. The reason its so easy to come up with a biography for this woman is because within a week of knowing her, she had shared her entire life with most of the staff. Not that anyone had asked. It goes a little something like this:

Before age 11: molested
somewhere around age 16: molested
somewhere around age 16.5: graduated high school
somewhere around age 18: raped
somewhere around age 19: graduated from college, because she was a "child prodigy"
somewhere around age 21: raped
somewhere around age 24: major head trauma in a car wreck (and no, I'm not interested in seeing the scar).

So we meet Mavis around age thirty five or so. Mavis can't be in a room with fluorescent lights because they interfere with her thinking. I'll give her that. I don't care for them myself- but she is so sensitive to them they cause headaches. Its the hertz that affect her.

Mavis constantly wears this loosely woven black poncho. Doesn't matter the outfit- the black poncho is a wardrobe staple. Okay- the office is chilly. Sometimes you don't plan your outfit well and need to wear something to keep the chill away.

Mavis is always right. A trait I personally can't stand (maybe because I might identify with it...sometimes?). But she gets argumentative over song titles. Honestly. Isn't the satisfaction of knowing you are right enough?

When anyone (such as your naive narrator) pointedly disagrees with a Mavis-proposed initiative, we are all reminded of the shame and pain Mavis felt when she was assaulted. And how not accepting her idea makes her feel shunned and victimized. Seriously. Its the first time I've ever heard a woman exploit her own abuse to get her way. Its one thing to guilt people into taking your side to get your way- but brining abuse or rape into it? Really?

I know I may not sound like the most compassionate person in world right now, but lets get one thing straight. Molestation is not an exclusive event. Its awful and life changing and happens to more people than will ever admit to it publicly. I don't want to hear about your issues until I know you personally for at least a month, maybe three. And if you are a coworker- I don't care if you were forced to suck off a Clydesdale when you were six- leave personal issues outside of the workplace.

Do I think her sexual history made her crazy? I have no doubt that it affected her in profound ways. Is it an excuse for her behavior? No.
How a person chooses to deal with the hand they are dealt is up to them.

Fortunately, Mavis and her defensive attitude and all her baggage lasted only a few months. I don't really know what her work contributions were, but her personal issues will live on in infamy.

Assignment Notes: Write a short bio about a crazy lady you know.
CG Notes: I realize this is more venting than a bio. I am so frustrated by people, particularly women, who choose the path of the victim for extended period of time.


tipsy texter said...

wow. just wow. loved the part about the clydesdale. i also always love the use of the word "twat." i choose to say it in my head the british way, though, with the short "a" sound. it's funnier that way.

Marsha Marsha Marsha said...