Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: nuance

Bias and reason

One thing I’ve learned from reading advice columns. If you introduce animals to the question, all bets are off. Today at Ask A Manager, there was a question involving two large dogs, a party, and reasonable (or not) requests. And academia. It garnered over a thousand responses (granted, it was one of four questions, but I’d estimate that at least three-quarters of the comments were about this question), and the comments were all over the map.

It fascinated me because it’s a question i didn’t have much personal interest in. I wasn’t invested in it, so it was the perfect question to take the longview on. I could see what got people upset, what pushed other people’s buttons, and what made this such a thorny topic. And, boy, did it get ugly.

First of all, there is a way that the letter writer (LW) wrote the question. They stated that they hosted an open house once a month with their partner in order to help their friends and colleagues (acadameia) to socialize. They’ve been doing it for a year. It’s open in the truest sense in that people were encouraged to bring friends, kids, and dogs.

That was the one stipulation the LW made. They had two large, sweet, well-trained dogs who they were not going to shut up in a room. They were very clear about that to everyone who came to the parties, and it was not a problem.

Cue the actual issue. They have a colleague, Paul, whom they invited to dinner a while ago. They made sure Paul new about the dogs, and he indicated he was fine with that. When he got there, he wasn’t fine with that and ‘was rude about them when they approached to sniff him and greet him’.

LW decided to keep their distance from Paul outside of work. Fastfoward to now. Paul, recently divorced, asked if he could attend one of the parties. LW said it was fine but that the dogs wouldbe allowed to roam, and there would probably be other dogs, too. Paul said that was fine but then later texted to ask if the dogs could be put in a room and other dogs asked not to attend.

The comment section exploded. The first comment about this question (which I saw fairly soon after the new post went up scolded the LW for not being nice. And then it was an all-out bawl. The comments ranged from people saying the LW was completely in the right and that Paul was being a total dick to those who said poor Paul was being attacked (not physically) and LW was a complete monster.

It was wild.

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The truth, the whole truth, and shades of the truth

I have been thinking of truth-telling recently because of the coronavirus. I’ve talked in the past about how I want the truth, even if it was uncomfortable. I made sure to tell people how I reacted to the second jab because I had seen too many people blithely dismiss it as oh you might feel a bit achy and tired for a day or two, but that’s it! And, for many people, that was it. I’m not disputing that! It’s just that there are some of us where that isn’t true and we shouldn’t be made to feel that we can’t talk about it. And, no, I did not reveal my difficulties with the second shot to garner sympathy as was said to me on Twitter. (Still bitter about that, btw.) My motivation was to let people know that here’s something that can happen and to be prepared for it. I said then and I’ll reiterate now that because I knew it might happen, I was able to prep for it.

Side Note: The last time I got the flu shot, I had a very bad reaction. Like, three days exhausted, shivering, aching response. I don’t get the flu shot (but will from now on), but decided to do so that one year. This was several years ago and I can still remember how terrible I felt when I got it. A few years ago, my medical practitioner and I talked about the flu shot and I said I hadn’t gotten it because of the reaction I had gotten that one time. She snapped back that it was better than being dead. (Note to the side note: I really liked her and only stopped going to her because she took a job elsewhere.) Well, yes. This is true. But that didn’t mean it was a fun thing and we can acknowledge that.

If I hadn’t known that I could have a severe reaction to the jabs, I would NOT have been happy about the aftermath. By the way, I also had a more-than-usual reaction to the first jab, but that doesn’t even register because that’s par the course for me. I had a bump from the first shot that lasted until I got the second shot. That’s three weeks and one day. I also had swelling around the bump and tenderness for several days. I had tiredness for two or three days and that was it. Again, that was not noticeable for me because I always react to shots. I have to get my blood drawn once a year (used to be once a month) and I always have a big and visible bruise when I’m done. Doesn’t matter how easy it went (which, back in the day, varied wildly because I have terrible veins. These days, I tell them to use a butterfly needle in the back of my hand and it’s all good).

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