Bitch! WTF is your Problem?!

I am in rehearsals for a play called Dark Road. It is about an all female concentration camp during the Holocaust. My character is a female guard and the cast is made up of wonderful people…..for the most part. Last night was a bad, bad, night. Bad, bad, bad night. I got their a tad bit early to walk with one of the characters to get coffee. I don’t drink but I wanted to hang out with her alone because we hadn’t gotten to do that yet. I really like her and her energy. As we were walking the 3 mins to coffee she shared some very personal stuff about her life with me. Things that she doesn’t share with just anyone. That isn’t the first time something like that has happened with me. I create a very safe space for people to feel comfortable being themselves so often times I hear, “I don’t know why I am telling you all of this.” Which she said a couple of times during our walk. And I contributed to the conversation as well and we both got distracted and stuff like that. It was very nice. She isn’t the Bitch that this post is about because she isn’t a bitch to me. I had been having trouble staying awake all day. On my hour commute to and from work and then also on my drive to rehearsal as well. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. Another thing you need to know about this awesome girl is that she knows some Sign Language. If you haven’t read any of my previous posts, I am a Sign Language Interpreter. She has taken classes before and wants to become an interpreter as well so every so often we will sign together during rehearsal.

So……in comes this really sweet woman. She always has something nice to say about everyone and talks….too much but it’s okay because it is normally nice things about you or the play. She isn’t present for rehearsals often since normally they are closed rehearsal meant only for the actors. However this woman is also in charge of costumes for the play as well as the mother of one of the actors in the play. She is also a holocaust survivor herself so I understand that, that must come with a ton of scars, trauma, etc. However that is no excuse! So anyways, the other cast member and I are signing during a meeting in order to be respectful and less disruptive. She is saying it would be fun if for the Gala night she sings a song while I interpret it. Then I ask her about a specific song. And then all of the sudden the woman who wasn’t even paying attention to us when we started signing is livid and yelling at the two of us in front of the whole cast. Okay the cast isn’t that many people but still!!! Saying that we probably don’t believe her but that she is deaf and that she reads our lips and how disrespectful that is. I am a sign language interpreter and that means that she is technically deaf but she doesn’t identify as a Deaf person. Because that would mean that she is a part of the Deaf community and knows sign language. Most Deaf people use sign language and are appreciative if you are using it when around them so they aren’t lost. Yes we weren’t talking at the same time……So basically she was attaching me as a human being because I was trying to be respectful and she was attacking my profession as an interpreter. To my fucking face! I would have spoken up for myself but I was on the verge of tears and was trying to hold myself together.

However that girl I went to coffee with did it for me. Angry she said, “Can I say something to that?” Basically asking if she had to take that or if she could speak up for herself. She spoke directly to the woman saying that if she has a problem she shouldn’t have done it in front of everyone. She should have waited until a break or after rehearsal to come up to her individually and say something. So of course the woman countered that she was talking to both of us not just the girl speaking up for herself. The girl said that we were trying to be respectful and non disruptive.

We weren’t disruptive but everything about this woman, even when she is positive is a disruption. She talks all the time and has no gage of when it is too much, inappropriate and when she should stop. Her daughter is the female guard opposite me and I thought we could be friends but now I am closing up to her at least on the inside. Even though she isn’t her mother I still feel they are close and it is no longer safe for me to be friends with her.

The other upsetting thing is I didn’t have energy for any of this. Then the director is great and always tells us how amazing we each are and what we did great with our character before we leave for rehearsal and I couldn’t receive the wonderful thing she said about me. And the girl thought it was important that if the director talked to her about it after rehearsal that I should be there as well. But instead she needed to talk to the actor alone about something that wasn’t related to that. I got my stuff and whispered to the girl, “So I guess I waited for nothing,” exhausted I went to my car and bawled for about 15 mins before I drove home where two cars almost hit me on the freeway. I am a GOOD driver but everyone was in some god damn hurry at 10:15 at night?!! What the fuck!

I woke up this morning and texted the girl to see if she talked to the director about things. She “gets” me. She is my hero. This is what her text said, “Well basically I told her that it made you and I very pissed off and very uncomfortable. I threw some real shit in there, I hope you don’t mind. I said, ‘How do you think that makes quean29 feel? She already feels like she doesn’t have any friends and now someone just stripped her of the one thing that she knows and loves doing. How dare L do that.’ She just doesn’t have any right. That’s what pisses me off so bad.” That is exactly partly how I am feeling. I really felt like she channeled for me in the moment with L as well. I mean she has all the knowledge about Deaf culture so it makes sense. I am just used to being the person who is educating people. And the girl has worked with this woman before and so she doesn’t take her shit.

I posted on FB trying to get support. And I got a lot of support which normally works and at least helps me feel a little better. I want it to, that’s why I posted about it….vaguely. However nothing is hitting me in that way or making me feel better. And the whole time writing this I am trying not to cry. It is too painful and I am so SICK of crying for days about one thing or another. I get that I am transitioning and transforming to my new life in many ways all at once and I am turning 30 next month but I just need a day or so break. I think I deserve that! Why do I have to cry so deeply everyday? I don’t care that I am an empath and super in touch with my feelings. There has to be a better way then having to experience this much pain all the time. Well….so much for not crying.

I know this is longer then most my posts but I had to at least get it down. Man, do I need that massage I am getting at 4pm today……

Write you next time.

There were so many better ways she could have approached us. Tell us politely and nicely to stop because it was bothering her which we both would have apologized and totally done. Instead she became a guard. Those who she despises and who tortured people….maybe even her. And without a warning ATTACKED!! Thank GOD it wasn’t just me…..but in some ways it felt like it was mostly me. Because that is who I am as a person!

Boss’

As a Sign Language Interpreter I work many different places and many different jobs in one week. Sometimes even in one day. Because of this I have multiple boss’. I am totally fine being an employee and reporting to my boss’….at least I think I am. 😛 However with more boss’ you get more miscommunication. I always find that funny. In a profession that is all about communication we still have problems on how to communicate with one another. Something I am trying to get myself to realize is that boss’ are NOT perfect. Just because they have been doing it longer. Lets say for example…30 years doesn’t make what I bring to the table any less important. One reason I was really pissed off last week or I guess it was technically this week was because I was given “feedback” that I didn’t ask for. I put feedback in quotes because it was criticism. It felt incredibly negative and feedback has a more positive connotation.

What people fail to understand….maybe even one of my boss’ included is that everyone is different. Deaf people the same as hearing people have different ways that they choose to sign. They could sign lazy and be difficult to understand, maybe they sign things inaccurately or maybe they are super clear and articulate making them that much easier to understand. So the fact that I didn’t tap the specific sign twice isn’t that big of a deal. The student understood and looks at me mouthing the words at the same time. It didn’t change the message. But I need a mentor, is what she says. And my immediate thought and reaction is….”I work at the agency every day and don’t get home till 4 when you all leave the office and go home so I don’t have time to be mentored PLUS and this is a biggie, I don’t trust any of you FUCKERS!!”

I team with my boss for this specific class that meets once a week. And in my opinion she is not a good interpreter. Her signing space is too small which feels to me like she is whispering or trying to be less noticeable, she fingerspells like a mad woman and I have no idea what she is saying half the time, she misses information, has trouble hearing things in class and hardly looks at me to support me when I am interpreting. Also NORMALLY when in a team situation you switch back and forth every 20 mins. The first day she said that she leaves that in control of the person who is interpreting in the moment. Okay….here is where I get pissed!! I have NEVER heard of that before!! There is an incredibly good reason why we NEED to switch. Our brains and bodies and hands get tired and we need a little break. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are doing. Plus this class is NOT easy to interpret and not having a set time to switch back and forth means that I have NO IDEA when I start interpreting. SO anyways I interpreted most of this class. Because the way she asked if I wanted to switch was by asking if I was….”okay?” SERIOUSLY???!!!! WHAT….THE…..FUCK….?!! THat is NOT how you ask. And now it is MY FAULT that we didn’t switch. So I told her that I am so focused on interpreting that I can’t pay attention to the time as well. It is just one more thing for me and I don’t have the time to focus on that while at the same time doing the hard job that is interpreting. I think I was clear with her now but next week I’ll remind her and see how that goes. That is if she shows up before the fucking class has ALREADY STARTED!!! One comment was like, “you interpreted a long time for a beginning interpreter.” It felt incredibly condescending. And EXCUSE ME but it may be my first semester working at this college but it is my THIRD year as an interpreter. So how DARE you treat me like a baby interpreter. Yes, I am still a beginner….technically…maybe more intermediate BUT this is not my first class or my first time interpreting. I AM NOT A CHILD!!! I am used to the past college I worked at giving me 2/3 hour classes FUCKING SOLO because she was horrendous at her job and was incredibly disrespectful. Yes I was struggling a bit but if my BOSS sees that then it shouldn’t matter that I didn’t switch us, she needed to take the initiative and make us switch anyways. It’s hard when I look to her and she is looking at the teacher or anywhere but at me. ARRRGGGHHH!!!

All this to say, I need to realize that this boss is FAAARRR from perfect and just because they say something doesn’t mean they are right. They are just humans as well and she is retiring at the end of the semester plus this class only meets once a week. Plus I have a high school client that ADORES me and complains about how shitty my sub/potential replacement is. The Deaf like me and appreciate me. It is the hearing boss’ that make my life more difficult. I adjust because different education systems have different rules for interpreters and some of the lines get blurry. I am trained for College but have adjusted to working in High School and I think I am doing great! So, FUCK, everyone else.

It doesn’t matter your skill level or how many years you have been interpreting. You can gain knowledge and insight from anyone. Everyone has had different experiences and I might know a new sign that I learned from a Deaf person that the “pro” does not. We can still learn from one another. Just because I haven’t been doing it as long doesn’t make me any less skilled as an interpreter.

This is still a fresh upset for me and as you will come to find out I enjoy cursing in my every day life. I might even write a blog about that some time.

Thanks for reading. Write you next time.