Monday, June 1, 2009

New Beginnings, Fender Benders, and Racism

How's that for a title? Well, I'd all but abandoned my blog and I thought it was about time I revived it.

I'll start with the new beginnings. I finally found the Italian and I a new place to live. My previous place was the size of a shoe box and not a whole lot going for it but when I moved to Portland, it's all that was left in the neighborhood I wanted to be in so I took it. Now, there's a surplus of apartments in this area and as a result, I found us a great deal! This place is so much bigger!! It also has a balcony and a beautiful view of Mt. St. Helens and downtown Portland AND it's two blocks away from work! I love not having to drive and saving on gas as well as saving the environment. I come home for lunch, it's great! I had some friends over this weekend and they could not believe the deal I got. I can't wait for the Italian to see it!

I had a fender bender a few weeks ago but no one was hurt except for my poor car. I accidentally backed into my friends car. His car had not even a scratch, thank goodness. I was on a really steep hill trying to parallel park. There goes my good driver discount....Boo! I had never had to deal with a body shop and insurance before. What a pain! My insurance was actually really nice, it was the body shop that made it difficult. They kept my car for 3 weeks. Who knew one could have separation anxiety from a car!

My job is going great! I am doing really well. I have only been there two months and I already got a promotion, however, it was not without drama. This is where the racism comes in. I was hired as an assistant although the person I was assisting had no background or education in that position. She has worked in the medical field but as a medical assistant. Medical assistants really don't make much so she took a job as the clinic receptionist and was actually making more money. When the position became available she volunteered for it and the office manager decided to take a chance and train her. This isn't really a job where one can just be trained. There is so much more to it. It takes some education. Eventually I was hired as an assistant because she (we'll call her "A") was really struggling. "A" knew that I had the educational background and ever since I started working there she has been really snippy and condescending. I can hold my own, but being that I was new and her assistant, I didn't want to be insubordinate. So, I let a few things slide. Everyday I would catch mistakes she was making and when I presented her with them the look on her face was clueless. The sarcasm on her part got worse. Now I see that perhaps she was threatened by me. One day we were discussing Spain and she said that she was treated badly there because of the way she dressed (she's very hippy/bohemian, not that it matters to me but just to give you an idea) and then she said that Spaniards are the "lowest" of the European community and my response was that I had never heard that and that I disagreed with her. She continued to say, "You know, just like how Mexicans are the lowest of the Latin American countries". She said this to my face knowing full well that I am Mexican. I could feel the blood rushing to my face and my fists clenching but I wasn't going to indulge her in a reaction like that. I knew she was trying to push my buttons. I just told her that that is absolutely not true and I had never heard such an ignorant thing. Her response was, "Oh, I don't feel that way, but other people do". I decided to let her ignorant commment go. She obviously doesn't know any better and has no class or tact whatsoever. I later found out that she insulted Spaniards because she thought the Italian was Spaniard. Can you believe that?? I mean if she doesn't like me fine. But to generalize a whole culture and to put someone down that she has never met and knows nothing about??!! I feel sorry for her.

Shortly thereafter, my boss came to me extremely frustrated and asked me if I wanted "A"'s postion because she was making way too many mistakes and costing the clinic money. I can't tell you the feeling I had inside. I was so happy and the term poetic justice rang like a melody in my ears! Of course I accepted and she said she would put "A" back into her original receptionist position, which would now make me her boss. I knew "A" would not be happy. She started with her sarcasm again, but this time I gave it right back to her. Now she is acting really nice and is acting like she is relieved not to be in that position anymore. I know this is just a defense mechanism of hers. It is a very challenging position and there is a lot of attention to detail. I'm sure she is humiliated but she needs to learn to be humble. She goes around the clinic acting like she knows more than everybody else. As terrible as it sounds, I hope she leaves. Everyone else in the clinic is so cool, she's the only moody one. Can you believe now she is actually inviting me to see her boyfriends band play...Ha! We will never be friends. I don't surround myself with people like that.

On to a happier note, as a result of my promotion I get to do to Dallas for a conference on June 10th for 4 days!! Things are going great for me career wise and in my personal life. The only thing missing is my Italian and I am really hoping he makes it here by August so that we can start our life together!


Roam2Rome said...


It's called globalization backlash. Many countries are showing the behavior you describe here, and they each have a place they pick-on.

Gracias por saludarme hace un ratito. Uf, de todas maneras, menos mal que no escuché lo que te dijeron!

When I lived in the States, I worked in an Intensive Care Unit at a wonderful hospital, and a good friend of mine was a Physician's Assistant.

When she found out I spoke 3 other languages, she said, "Aren't you American? If you feel the need to have other cultures, then you need to leave the States."

I told her, "Actually, I'm moving to Rome to finish my graduate studies."

She said, "Good." Turned around. Never spoke to me again.

This was from some one I thought highly of.

In my opinion, they're missing out on the beauty of what the world has to offer.

Spain, for example, is a very beautiful country :)

Hang in there!

Piccola said...

Lo que me saca do hondas es que ella es Columbiana y habla y entiende muy bien el espanol pero lo niega. Pero bueno, alla ella. Como se dice en Italia...boh!

Wow, why would someone tell you to leave the states because you speak 3 different languages??!! Unbelievable. Ignorance is bliss!

fromtheworld said...

Welcome back!!! I am so happy that you wrote an update on your life. The apartment you got looks so nice and full of light! I like apartments with a lot of light in it. And congratulation on your promotion! It sounds like you really deserved it. Mean people are everywhere and racism is something difficult to die. I always think that people who come up with such a comments, like the ones you had to listen to, are very ignorant and they feel threatened by diversity and by what they don't know. You reacted in a great way! I am not sure if I would have been able to be so good!
I hope that your Italian can come to live with you very soon!

MissB said...

I was looking at a place on 23rd! I couldn't believe how many places were for lease going up and down the street. And at amazing rents.

Your place looks wonderful! And I cannot believe that woman at your job. She should be fired. Very unprofessional!

I hope he comes soon--it sounds like you two are ready :)

KC said...

What a hateful person that woman is! I'm glad you prevailed. Congrats on the promotion! That apartment looks amazing.

joe@italyville said...

Hi Piccola! nice work with A... beaatch (oops, did I say that out loud!:) The apartment looks great! love the furniture too! Glad you posted again.

Piccola said...

Fromtheworld-Thanks! The kitchen and living room get a ton of light, the bedroom is a little more dim which is how I prefer it. I love this place! You are right about "A" and that's why I decided not to react. Ignorant people just don't know any better.

MissB-How do you like the 23rd/Nob Hill area?? I love it here! I am only 2 blocks up the hill from 23rd on 25th. I love going for walks around here. So much to see and do. My advice would be to try to rent from a private owner versus a big rental company. the building I am in is owned by a lawyer and he doesn't charge a deposit, just a standard $200 turnover fee and firsts month rent. Rental companies will rip you off! And you are right "A" should be fired. I'll keep everybody posted.

KC-Thanks! She is hateful and that is why we will never be friends.

Joe-Thanks! LOL, I laughed when I read Beeaaatch because that's exactly what I said about her to my friends! Haha!! If the shoe fits....

Cecilia said...

Your apartment looks great! i am sure you and the Italian will have many happy moments there!
I get comments like that here in Italy, one person I knew told me, to my face, that she only wanted an italian nanny becuse that way she could at least teach her daughter proper Italian and added "what is a latin nanny going to teach my daughter? How to iron?" I could not believe her but said nothing. She knows I am latin but said it anyway. Oh well, can't escape ignorance I guess.

Congrats on your promotion, I am sure it is well deserved!

Amber~ Care and Feeding of Wild Things said...

Ciao Bella! I am sorry for your recent brush up against ignorance.
Have to say, I love your new apartment. Big windows and lots of light- perfect for you two!

Gail - Fort Rock Glimpses said...

Wow Piccola! So much has been going on in your life. I am glad that that girl was put in her place. She's lucky she got her old job back. It's more than she deserves. What a mean, small person. At least your boss could see thru her. You must be thrilled in your new apartment. How wonderful.

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Glad to hear things are going well--but that woman? WOW! Sounds like you handled everything beautifully :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Piccola said...

Thanks Anon. I welcome constructive criticism wholeheartedly :) I am hoping to have more time to keep up my blog now that the holidays are over.