Wednesday, January 24, 2007

excuse me, teacher?

I was diagnosed in first grade, midway through the year. My parents took me out of the school I was in and sent me to a smaller private school where I could get some more ‘individualized attention’. I was the only child with diabetes in school. Everyone was very accommodating, and let me snack when needed test without going to the nurses office. Although, when I was first diagnosed there was not the emphasis on tight control and multiple tests a day. I’d rarely check at school.

If I was ever low I had an extra snack with me. If I had eaten my snack I knew the school had things for me in the teachers closet. I’d just tell my teacher and she’s get me one of the juice cans that my mom had given them. (yes, juice can- with the pull tab top)

I only ever needed to ask for it once. I was in 2nd grade. I remember like it was yesterday. Miss Huver was out sick for the day and we had a random substitute teacher. I watched the clock for a bit. School let out at 2.15. it was 1.30…. could I make it home while low so I don’t have to ask… I didn’t want to ask… I didn’t want to be singled out…. I didn’t want to be different.

I realized that I’d never make the 45 minutes left of school and the bus ride home without having to ask someone for my juice.

I recall timidly walking up to the substitute and trying to explain that the teacher had something in her closer and I needed it. No dice. Then I explained that I had diabetes and needed my juice. Well, low and behold, a classmate heard me. I recall a few taunts of “oh, you need your mommy” - “if you’re too sick for school you should not be here” and a few other jabs that were particularly hurtful. I never asked for another juice from anyone again. Ever.

Luckily I’ve never felt that small and uncomfortable about my diabetes again. That is, until today. How is it possible that a well adjusted 30 year old adult can feel like an insecure child? It was easier than you’d think.

I work in a very small office. There are 6 of us in the whole company. It’s a very quirky company. Most of the employees have been here for over 12 years. I just am starting on year two, so am clearly the new kid. We had a little incident when I started about the insurance plan, but we figured everything out. I’ve never had a problem with my diabetes and work. They like me, I do a good job, everything was just hunky dorey.

Today, one of the owners of the company came into my office. He is a bizarre bizarre little man. He is a fully grown adult with two kids in middle school. He has the worst case of adult ADD I could ever imagine. He asked my office mate for some Advil. She didn’t have any so I offered him some that I had in my purse. And he said…..

(are you sitting down? Because I am glad I was when he said this….)

"This doesn't have any of your disease on it does it, I don't wanna get that"

excuse me? My what?


just like that, I was asking for my juice again and felt 8 years old.

I’m still appalled, horrified, shocked…

So, I will no longer feel bad about blogging at work, or planning floral designs for weddings.
Today in that little moment, I went from someone that really cared about this quirky little company, to someone that really just cares about a paycheck.

Unreal. Just unreal.


Blogger Pies said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog from Megan's. For some reason that story really touched me. Amazing how quickly your view of the office environment can change.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Fred (didn't know it was a girl's name did ya???) said...

Just when you think you have heard it all...Ridiculous. You know, if something like that were in a stupid movie I might laugh, just because it is so amazingly stupid. Yet in real life, it is offensive. I bet floral arranging is sounding better everyday.

7:12 PM  
Blogger peter said...


I am reminded of the time we took campers to Buffumville and some woman pulled her kids out of the water, rather than let them swim with our campers.


11:10 PM  
Blogger peter said...

oops :) ! My dad is signed in to google on my computer!! That's me posting as "Peter"!


11:11 PM  
Blogger Chrissie in Belgium said...

I don't lnow, I am not THAT surprised. You hear all sorts of remarks. .... I so well remember the first red purse I got when I became D at 10. It was for the sole purpose of carrying some lifesavers, the candy. And they WERE life savers for me. The satchel was red synthetic cloth and brown leather..... Tons of pockets in it. I don't remember anyone picking on me! Have I buried the thoughts? I don't think so. Who knows, it was so long ago. But I rmember very clearly my packed lunches, the lunch box and even the plastic containers in the box, the classroom, the cafeteria, even the chairs, and the gym of school where I spent the first few weeks with my new "companion". I could easily, still today, draw a picture of all the "things" surrounding me. I definitely don't remember any mean comments......

2:09 AM  
Blogger floreksa said...

Do we work for the same person? Cause seriously, it sounds like it.

Gotta love it when it goes from a job to a paycheck.

8:26 AM  
Blogger MileMasterSarah said...

Holy crap. I laughed, but not at your expense, at his for his ignorance. I can’t believe it. I doubt I would have been able to hold my tongue!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Lyrehca said...

So what happened next? Did you give the guy a look? Tell him you hoped his headache was a migraine because you were definitely not giving him the Advil? Did he apologize? What happened afterwards?

As a total aside, I remember drinking tinny juice from cans back in the early years of IDDM, too.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

Wow, unbelievable.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Nicole P said...

Dear God. What a f**k nut.

I think I might have spit on the tablets before I handed them over - just to scare him a little more. Idiot.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow. What a jackass.

I might have had to knock his chicklets out. That wouldn't be very ladylike though would it...

But you know, that shows you what kind of person he is. And you're probably better off not devoting much of yourself to that company.

Sometimes the messages we need to see don't always come in kind packages. It's no fun.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Flmgodog said...

Wow!! Even though I know it happens I can't believe those words left his mouth. What a jackass.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

The owner is not a bizarre little man, he's a complete jerk!

I can't imagine anyone I know or work with saying anything like that. Did he think he was being funny?! Even so.

What an idiot!

5:20 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

WTF!! He IS a little man. I'm wondering if it was a bad attempt at a joke.

Nevermind, because he's an ass. Please don't feel belittled by what he said. He's not worth it at all!

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