Tuesday, January 22, 2013

character sketches


i find the best way to get out my frustrations from meetings is through writing character sketches. i figure they'll come in handy if when i write a novel about this peyton place (isn't every small town a peyton place?) where i live. writing these gives me the anthropologic distance i lack when i'm in the midst of the situation and allows me to return to a place where i have a cool head. probably the worst feeling of all in the midst of the actual situation is feeling that because i speak with an accent, some (but not all) of the players involved talk down to me, as if i'm a small dull child and don't understand. as you can see from the sketches below, i understand very well.

the tender manager: officious, arrogant, condescending, pedagogical and more than a bit self-satisfied. yet underneath, there is that insecurity that often comes from being a woman in a man's world - it leaks through in the mannish haircut, the abrupt manner, the defensiveness when legitimate questions are asked. in order to be accepted in the man's world, chooses to use archaic, anti-feminist, degrading characterizations of women to describe things - along the lines of calling them a flock of hens and such. despite being tasked to listen to the group and speak for the group (in writing), simply writes what she wants herself, bullying it through under the guise of technical and legal jargon (that upon further examination is neither technical nor legal, just not what the group thinks is important). allows her personal preoccupations to shine through, tho' the project technically belongs to others and the end product will not be used by her. furthermore, she has a strange aversion to the word "sustainability."

the project manager: ruled by the gods of the calendar. both loves and thrives on being able to prove how busy (and therefore important) she is by how many meetings are packed in, especially if they extend after normal working hours and to the weekends. may actually secretly (and even visibly if you're observing carefully) have a small orgasm right there out of the pure delight of filling her calendar with meetings, preferably months out into the future.

the secretary: a little sheepish about being secretary of the whole thing, because he is, after all, a man. the women's world of the public sector has rendered him emasculated and a bit defensive when any questions are asked of him. he is quiet and well-behaved, tamed, like a obedient dog.

there will undoubtedly be more to come...


5 comments:

Jody Pearl said...

Forget the novel Julie I see a sitcom in your future....that and a medal for enduring it. x

julochka said...

jody - you may be right, tho' it felt pretty unfunny to me yesterday when it all happened.

Ally said...

These sketches are brilliant. Both in your ability to accurately describe people and as a way of sharing on your blog without calling anyone out. Delightful.

julochka said...

ally - I'm sure if others from the meeting or any of those who I describe read it, they would know exactly who was who! :-) that somehow makes it all the more delicious.

Sandra said...

You made me laugh. I'm sorry, I know it frustrates you, but it is funny. Or at least you make it seem funny.