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There is little so calculated to induce, blank, numb, roiling rage as

  • Some guy telling you of course he can do the thing, he will do the thing, he is the best person to do the thing
  • (Perhaps the context is professional, familial, political…)
  • While sending you off on meaningless busywork or menial labour, or else relegating you to a lesser plane of conversation
  • Talking over you, interrupting you, talking to the other fellows, repeating your point as though it is his
  • Only to tell you or for you to learn, much later, almost too late
  • That his words are greater than his capabilities
  • (For you to learn because he was too embarassed to admit it directly – or because he has no idea because he has lived a life in which he has been routinely encouraged and rewarded and in which people (read: women) pick up after his mistakes and so he has never had to work as hard or learn as well as he ought)
  • (Almost too late because it’s not quite too late for you to pick up the pieces)
  • And so you pick up the pieces – you are asked or made to or else routine, now, has established that it is your duty (just like you’ll get the tea, won’t you, love?)
  • And you get it done because you can do the thing, will do the thing, are the best person to do the thing
  • And your labour (your emotional labour, your report, your housework… although it is all emotional labour in the end, too)
  • Is not recognised, because of course you did the thing, or because it was that guy’s responsibility and he might check it over and pronounce it done well, sweetheart, with his final authority
  • And your other pursuits (work that is your responsibility – or the secret small things that you do to maintain your interiority in the midst of this extra labour and this rage)
  • Fall by the wayside or get pushed into tonight, into the future
  • And so you lack the time and energy to work on your own labour, and the chance for recognition of your own work, and you lack the time and energy to maintain yourself and the inner life that is slipping away in the name of this endless, wearying extra layer of labour – for time after time – year upon year –
  • (But quiet down, dear; better yet, say nothing, because you have fulfilled no responsibility of your own and you have helped someone out because you are a good, gentle soul: you therefore have nothing to be angry about.)