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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There is a lot to be said for appreciating one's heritage and knowing one's roots. On the one hand it can be a source of pride, a shared bond among members of an ethnic group that says we belong together even if we did not grow up together, and it is a platform for beginning to understand who you are. The From Whence You Came is just as important as the To Where You Went and all the steps in between. With any luck your ethnicity helps you see where you can be strong and where you may run into trouble.

Being German has some distinct advantages, chiefly tenacity, persistence, pride and determination. A tenacious German doesn't release his or her goals without the attempt to achieve them. Persistence, related to stubborn or tenacious, means that there is always more than one way to skin a cat (How did that cliche happen? I dunno). If one path doesn't work, try another. And another. And another. Pride in self, craftsmanship and heritage should give a German an edge over others by granting the most fleeting of human pursuits in the realm of self help... finding self worth. Of course inflated pride becomes egoism and egoism destroys entire ethnicities when left unchecked. Determination is the thing that finds those extra reserves of strength... the ones you didn't know or forgot that you had. It all helps make us meticulous in our crafts, intellectually strong and focused.

Being German has some disadvantages too. Sometimes we don't know when to quit, persisting to the point of futility. Sometimes our pride makes it more important to be right than to be anything else. And that single-minded, focused determination can alienated people around us and allow us to trample on other people. [TODAY THE PART OF GODZILLA WILL BE PLAYED BY YOURS TRULY] If I am going to get chewed on because things are not getting done the way management wants and I have spent months seeking the cooperation of my "team" to no avail then I see no point in continuing to be nice about it. I have been nice. And nice didn't get me anywhere. So I tried angry since it was the only thing that got any one's attention. And that got me the "Leave your personal issues at the door" lecture. I also got the "Everyone has problems. No one wants to hear it. Get over it." while the other person at work who was involved in the conflict was allowed to persist in his behavior. Another employee was allowed to "piss in my wheaties" without apology or correction which has escalated to physical damage. So... having been told to get over it and basically shut up, I did.

The first one put me in my place one day. And I have been doing what she said. I haven't said anything about my issues with our co-workers and the mentally abusive environment. I haven't said anything to her in weeks. So today we had the meeting. "I don't want you to think this is a gang up on Sherry thing." So class, what have we learned about people who tell you what it isn't when it looks exactly like they say it is not? It has to be their way or no way. Smile and move on.

The staunch German in me rebels at the thought. The logical German in me says that I should cut my losses. The angry German in me wants me to self destruct rather than capitulate. And the Non German Ethereally Connected part of me tells me to hang on because the better thing is so close to showing up, that if I leave I will be missing a chance at something wonderful. But it won't tell me what that is. Of course with a car loan waiting for approval I am being strongly discouraged from leaving and starting over...

And here is where my German fails me.

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