Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Purge, and Why I Am Terrible

The great purge of departed library patrons continues. One of my coworkers came up with a much more expeditious way to work through the list, and using that method I took dozens and dozens of people out of our computer system yesterday. Students who have moved, parents of kids who graduated years ago, departed staff members -- you name it. Some of them were families who applied to our school but never showed up. Why they have library accounts I'm not sure. We need to make some adjustments in the way people are added.

I'm going to continue that project today and probably tomorrow. I'm still enjoying it -- the intense focus and concentration -- to the point that I feel mildly annoyed when I'm interrupted by someone who wants to check out a book! (I hide it. I think.)

I found out yesterday that a guy who used to bully and torment me when we were both in middle school, and in the Boy Scouts, died a few years ago. I don't have any details. I wouldn't say I felt happiness, but I did feel a twinge of...justice, maybe. Even that may make me a terrible person. I can't help it -- that's what I felt. I hope he matured and became kinder and more reasonable in the intervening years.

(Photo: Tigger, dressed for winter and waiting outside on a council estate in Harlesden.)


  1. I think your feelings are completely natural. And your words triggered some memory I have -- I just listened to a radio show/program about this very same thing. A guy who sought out his middle school tormentor and what he found. Where did I hear that? Oy. My short term memory is failing!

  2. Sounds like a subject for NPR or This American Life with Ira Glass...I wonder what it was that made this kid want to bully anyone,,,How did you and your school deal with it?

  3. I think that Elizabeth is talking about an article in the New Yorker. But the guy was probably on NPR too. But don't trust me- I have a terrible memory.
    You know what? I'd love to purge those names too. That is just the sort of thing that makes me happy.
    Poor Tigger!

  4. I was bullied by a girl in junior high too. I don't know why but for some reason she had it out for me. I was so relieved when she went to a different high school but she must have transferred to mine at some point (though I never saw her there) because the one and only time I went to a reunion, she was there. When I saw her, read her name tag, I just blurted out 'Diane Reed, you made my life miserable in junior high school'. She just sort of blinked at me, clearly didn't know me from Adam, and said 'I did?' and then she apologized. A year or two ago, an old high school boyfriend added me to the school FB page and I started getting friend requests from a few people who totally snubbed me in school. When I posted a status about that and how odd I thought it, one of the women commented that one would hope we had grown up and changed.

    I guess we all have memories like that.

  5. I too think your reaction is quite normal. I had a similar experience to Ellen, when I went to the only class reunion I've ever attended, I was surprised at how friendly some people were who were quite rude to me in school. Most people really do mature but, alas I fear there are a few out there who never do.
    I'm certainly glad that Tigger has his coat on.

  6. normal feelings. i think we all had someone in our lives that when they left the world it was a relief.
    i have always felt uncomfortable fearing i would run across that person again.
    i love to purge...anything ha ha

  7. I think that everyone has a bully in their past, They must serve a purpose (?) whatever, they have a lot of impact !I am sorry you were bullied, that hurts my heart. Now that he is dead and you are living a fabulous life with Olga, a lemon tree and Dave, it really is like retribution to the evil doer.

  8. I love Tigger! As you know, Mike & I like to dress up our critters, but we generally leave them inside :)

    I'm Facebook friends with so many people that I would never have associated with in school - the Pretty People, the Jocks, the Partiers... I had, like three friends. But I was never bullied. Unless I was oblivious, which is ENTIRELY possible.

  9. I was bullied in school by an older classmate. I never knew why she hated me so much. I guess in a way I have never forgotten it, but it also made me stronger. The fact that I never let her know she got to me was important to me. You are not terrible. There is such a thing as Karma after all ...

  10. Elizabeth: That sounds familiar to me, too. I wonder if I heard or read that same story somewhere?

    E: I have a feeling his home life was no picnic.

    Ms Moon: Maybe that's where I saw it! And hey, at least Tigger has a jacket.

    Ellen: It figures your bully was named Reed. :) I'm also Facebook friends with some people who made my life miserable in elementary and middle school. Funny how that is.

    Sharon: Yes, most of us seem to grow up, don't we?!

    Vivian: I can honestly say I wouldn't have wanted to see that guy again. The sum total of my experiences with him were completely negative!

    Linda Sue: I suppose, like Lynn says below, they make us stronger. That must be their evolutionary purpose!

    Bug: I was oblivious to a lot in school, too. I think it was a good thing. :)

    Lynne: I can see how keeping your feelings private gave you a sense of power in that situation. I remember walking on one of my neighborhood streets one day when a couple of local toughs came up beside me on their bicycles and started taunting me. I kept a cool head and walked the entire length of that street, as I had planned, before turning a corner and heading for home -- and like you, it felt good that I never showed them that they bothered me.

  11. Strangely, I have never been bullied, not even by bosses who were horrible bullies. One in particular I kept expecting to turn her vitriol on me, but she never did, and when i got laid off years later, she gave me freelance assignments from her new position and could not have been sweeter. it was surreal. She didnt seem like the same person. maybe the old company (same one that laid me off) had brought out the worst in her? in any case she seemed to have evolved.