Monday, March 26, 2007

On repressing fake memories.

As is the case with most new places I work, somebody recently called me Jeffrey. I was quick to explain I prefer Jeff. Happily, that's as far as it went. I wasn't so lucky at the last place I worked. At that job, this guy called me Jeffrey, and continued to do so after I told him I really hated it. He figured the more he called me Jeffrey, the funnier it was.

One day, I took him aside and told him my uncle molested me when I was very young, that he used to call me Jeffrey, and being called that brings up a lot of painful memories so I'd be grateful if he stopped. He looked visibly disturbed, apologized, and never called me Jeffrey again.

My uncle never molested me. He never called me Jeffrey either. But from that moment on, whenever I was around this co-worker, I felt I had to take on the persona of a guy who had been molested by his uncle:

"How would a guy who was molested
by his uncle use the water cooler?"

"How would a guy who was molested by his uncle complain about the time-sheet software?"

"How would a guy who was molested by his uncle steal shit out of the office refrigerator?"

It was tough keeping up this charade. I'm glad I have a new job.

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