So last week something happened at college that I didn’t expect to happen. I made a comment to my partner in creative crime Holly (@hollyjollyfish) and the reaction of the class was really quite over the top and utterly unnecessary. I wanted to stand against it at the time but my small attempt at explaining was drowned by their berating of me so I was unable. I would have appreciated if someone had come to my aid but they didn’t and it was seemingly accepted as a fine action to take. That it was ok to verbally gang up on me.
No. It’s not ok.
The original comment I made stemmed from a conversation about university housing prices and number of students per flat for where Holly will be studying for her degree. There was note that searching her uni’s website showed the halls were extortionate and that you share washing facilities with 50 students (or a number similar) which is where I interjected in a sing song voice “thats why you should go to ******** uni instead” (Another uni in the same city)
Now. Holly’s immediate reaction was an inevitable misunderstanding of my meaning. She made comment that what I said had been mean and before I could explain to her what I actually meant certain other classmates leapt into action saying I was mean and that was a horrible thing to say. ‘Why would you say that, it’s so mean?’ ‘That was a horrible thing to say.’ And other such comments repeatedly over a number of minutes.
Not everyone spoke. But those that did only muddied the situation further.
I was hurt, embarrassed, angry and honestly quite let down that no one spoke up for me when it was clear I couldn’t manage to do it myself even if all they said was, ‘ok that’s enough.’
After they left to go to the other classroom I explained to Holly that I was meaning the other university website as their halls have flats of only 5 rooms and I remembered them being much cheaper that her uni. Not a mean comment at all. And she understood then that in actual fact I had been noting something and not teasing or being mean. It was a simple comment blown out of all proportion because certain people can’t keep their noses out of other people’s conversations.
I never really felt welcome in that class and I certainly don’t feel welcome at all now. No matter. I am not there to play socialite. I am there to get my HND.
I thought long and hard about posting this I was going to say something to them face to face, but really, what’s the use? They will likely have dismissed the moment minutes after it happened whereas for me it rolls round my mind again and again while I mentally dissect every little detail of the encounter. Not because I want to but because that’s just how my brain processes it. I have no control over that.
With me spade rule applies always. It always has and it always will and that can cause wires to be crossed because these days people expect you to say one thing and mean another. Or say things in a roundabout way. That’s not how I work. And that’s fine. Leave it alone. It’s not broken, it’s just blunt. Information is just information.
But please. If you are going to stick your sharp little nose where it’s not wanted, perhaps you should be asking for clarification of meaning rather than just attacking because it gives you the ability to put someone down or feel powerful for a few moments. Because you know what? That’s mean.