Since last week, I’ve been feeling some sort of way about the freelance comptroller working at my organization for the past few weeks. She’s not a fulltime employee, and probably won’t be spending much more time with us once our annual audit is complete.
My ill feelings toward her started when she approached me about a cash payment for a rental of our facilities last year. In addition to my programming responsibilities, I manage the rental of our space and my duties include negotiating and collecting the rental fees.
For the rental in question, a young, Black single father, rented the space to present a play and panel discussion regarding single fathers traversing the family court system. This guy is just a regular Joe trying to find a way to help young men be better fathers. He worked hard to meet the fees for producing his activities in our space and yes, paid the fees in multiple cash increments. I meticulously recorded his payments and his event went off without a hitch.
Well when Little Miss Bean Counter asked me to sit down with her and review the multiple receipts for his cash payments, she offhandedly asked (in a joking tone), if this gentleman had paid the fees from his drug corner dealings. My demeanor changed immediately and I let her know how much I didn’t appreciate what she was inferring. She apologized, but didn’t seem to understand what I found to be so offensive and I haven’t been able to let this go.
I know I work in an alternative type of environment, and to a certain degree I’m insulated because it’s a small, non-profit arts organization, where staff and board of like-minded folks surround me. But this woman’s comments hit me like a slap in the face and it’s reminded me that my situation is the exception and not the rule. I should also mention that other staff members heard our exchange and did their best to diffuse the tension between us, but they too have seemed to cool to her daily attempts to engage folks in conversation.
I’m not excusing her, but I do wish I could evolve into the type of person where this sort of exchange could just roll off my back. I mean--- DAMN, I made my point, said my piece, she apologized, but still I give this woman shade. I know what her comments and insensitivity says about her, but what does my still cool demeanor and inability to forgive say about me?