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A pug dressed in a pug costume.

Photo courtesy of DaPuglet on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

Hello! I have a backlog of something like 300 unanswered questions in my inbox. I also have some travel, work deadlines, and life stuff that mean I will not be posting here or checking blog-related email until early November. I will try to clean out the spam filter every other day or so, but I’m not even planning to read comments all that closely. Be nice.

Someone requested an open thread to talk about the next 6 months of holidays, from Halloween roughly through Valentine’s Day, and the collection of family stuff, travel, stress, and anxiety that crops up around this time of year. Let this be that open thread. The question below is extremely related.

Hello Captain Awkward!

My question is relatively simple, I suppose.  Can you (or the CA Community) help me come up with some scripts for well-meaning friends & family who are guilt-tripping me about my Chosen Profession?

Every one always speaks very highly of Nurses as a group, but it turns out when you are one, your (or at least, my) friends and loved ones can be easily divided into two camps.  Those who Understand that This is What Being in the Medical Field Entails, and Those That Do Not.  Specifically as it pertains to my work schedule.  My job is not a 9-5 Monday to Friday position.  I do not get weekends or holidays off, because people still need medical care on those days.  I have an amazing bio family that I adore spending the holidays with, but every year I catch flak because if I’m assigned to work one of those shifts (we are REQUIRED to work AT LEAST one, in the interest of fairness to my fellow nurses) I don’t try to get someone else to cover my assigned holiday shift.  Even my close friends will make comments like “I hate your schedule, I never get to see you!” if it’s my month to work weekends.  I love my job and yes, there are parts of it that are annoying, just like every other job I’ve ever had.  But I’ve stopped venting those little annoyances to my non-nursing friends because I’m sick of hearing “You could always look for a normal job, with normal hours.  Then we’d get to see you more and you wouldn’t have to do such gross things!”

I don’t WANT another job, I love being a nurse!  I just want them to stop trying to make me feel guilty about my non-traditional schedule, and the differences in work culture that dictate if I’m scheduled to work Christmas Day, it is TACKY AS HELL to try and get someone else to work it for me.

They told me nursing was a difficult profession in school.  They just didn’t mention that Team Me might need some kind of Rosetta Stone for Nursing afterwards.

Thank you!

In feminist spaces we talk a lot about sexual coercion, but we don’t talk about the kind of smaller, social coercion that goes on all the time.

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Angry kitten, photo by Neil G. Hamilton. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by NeilGHamilton on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I recently have had the problem where I am involving myself in a new hobby, which is different from my other group of friends, whom I love and adore and have been really great to me since I moved over here a few years ago and didn’t know anyone, I can be really shy at first even though I have a bubbly personality, but thats not the problem.

I’m being nice to everyone, involving myself and helping out wherever I can, it’s a slow process making friends for me and I have a little trouble opening up. There is a small problem though, one girl who part of this new hobby i’m involving myself in (I’ve spoken to her a couple of times and she seemed nice) used to be part of my old friendship group, and long story short, they both hate each other with a vehement, in the past having public smackdowns in the past, hatred of each other. As soon as she discovered my association with them, she went from being polite to just ignoring me, making sure she is not even in the same room as me and when I do have to talk to her, I make sure I am nice and friendly and polite, but she wont even look me in the face and changes her tone and demeanour.

She’s a lot further into the group than me and I’ve told one or two people about the situation from both groups, and while they’re both understanding and I love that they aren’t getting involved or gossiping about it making harder for me, I just hate that someone has a problem with me that I didn’t cause and isn’t my fault and I’m not very good at confrontation (in fact barely despite again having a confident personality) so I don’t know how to broach this, and somedays I don’t want to show up and I haven no interest in making anyone’s life difficult or horrible. 

Long story short, how do I enjoy my second hobby and not get sucked into this? I’d like to note that my friends have warned me, but are understanding, supportive and know its not my fault so it’s not an issue with them.

Timid.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I am 21 years old. I am in a long term relationship, which will be going on four years this spring. He and I have had our ups and downs, but for the most part our relationship has been great. We have a lot of fun together, and have been through so much together. He is my best friend, and also a great, adventurous, and generous lover. We have great sex, and frequently. I love him. I love his family. I love his friends. I love his taste in music. I love his warmth and humour. I love our life together. I feel like being with him has made me a better person. But recently, something has happened that has things all messed up and confused for me.

That thing is this:

I’ve developed a huge infatuation with my college professor. (I’m wary about saying “I’ve fallen in love with my college professor”, because I know how silly that sounds)

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