These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, October 09, 2006

the remark

this weekend as dawn and i were working on some painting at our new house (i've not yet blogged this about us buyinga house and will do so at the appropriate time), and i was scraping away at old paint on the window trim, when my mind wandered off.

you know when you do a task taht is mundane and repetitive, you have time to think about most anything in the world or in your life.

my thoughts turned to a remark a coworker made to me about five years ago at a newsppare in texas. ofr the sake of the blog, i will call this son of a bitch john.

before i continue, i wil say this about john. at my interview he was present, though he was not the managering editor. he was a sports editor. he sat there making comments the entire time and i was polite. when it was over, he said, "one thing you find out there is that i like to get the last word." i nodded and smiled. i should have said, "i guess you are that insecure that you must always have the last word." but i didn't. instead, he smiled stupidly and the interview was over.

the day of the remark, after having had several throughout the time that i had since been working there, he'd made many, we were in the parking lot across the street from the newspaper.

we were nearing his suv and had been chatting about degrees (in college) and i happened to say i had a master's in english. i was not bragging, just mentioned it because he asked.

as i was moving across to get to the passenger side of the suv, he said, with that tupid grin on his face again, "that's funny, you can't even tell." he gave a short giggle.

i let it go, as i let many comments go. i shouldn't have. i should have told the son of a bitch that i wasn't pretencious and and didnt' flaunt my degrees.

i suppose th remark had an impact on me since five years later, i still remember it. though, i tend to remember a loto f things people tell me, especially the bad ones.

i don't flash my degree. why should i? yes, i have a master's in english. so what? there are people that have no degree and are smarter than me. i simply went to school, studied, and got a piece of paper that is supposed to make employers (at least most) go, "ah, he's got a master's." no biggie.

about a year later at that same paper, john left, thinking he was cool because new people came into the paper (editor and publisher). he went to a small bi-weekly. some time after that, he left that job because he was asked to provide proof of his degrees. he could not. he said his records were locked ina locker with the army, sinc he'd been in the army for some time. (i guess he never head of calling up the college for transcripts, eh?). and so he had to leave the job, not providing any record of his college. turns out no one knows if he had a degree or not. and he was busting me for not acting like someone who has a master's? please, john. get a life.

and so i guess i don't act like a have a higher eduation. if someone doesnt' have any degree, how whould he or she know what it's like for someone to act when they do have a master's?

"call me ishmael."


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