Tuesday, December 2, 2008
True story about me.
There is a security guard where I work. Oh, let's call him Mr. Clean. That is what he looks like. Only, he wears a black cop's uniform complete with handgun on his hip. No, not a taser, not pepper spray, but an actual gun.
Last week, he brought these very different peppers from his garden. Small skinny red ones, yellow ones that are bigger than cherries, and shriveled green ones. He also brought ones called Habaneros. Only he said they are hotter than regular habaneros. His own special breed I guess. He is a very nice and relaxed guy. I enjoy seeing him and exchanging pleasantries. He is well liked.
When I leave at night, he walks me and all the female staff to their car. He hangs out, making sure we get in our cars and they start. Now, I park about 20 feet from the clinic entrance. Really, no issues with having to walk far, like say, to a parking garage. It takes thirty seconds to get to my car.
Yet, he does this, every time he works. Also, he opens the clinic door for me as I exit. As he does with all the women. Which I don't mind really. I like having doors opened for me. Well, I like the acknowledgment of being a woman, in this very polite way. I like being a woman. In fact, it rocks.
Yet I am so very, very threatened and put ill at ease by this ritual. Threatened by him, the security guard. It is not the gun, the uniform, the masculine Mr. Clean energy. I feel comfortable with who he is. Yet, I have to breathe through these times at the end of the day.
Figuring out why is a no brainer. I lack a filter to understand what nice and safe male attention is and what is threatening. I lack discernment in my alarm system. My mind goes into over analyze mode during these types of events. Scanning for signs of potential harm. My mind thinks around this situation, scanning, being alert, and leaving me out of breath.
What I need to do, is mentally shut up. I need to cue into what I am feeling. What I am sensing. This, really, is nothing but thanks for walking me to my car. I have worked so many places where I, as a nurse alone, have walked to my car in the pitch black. Many, many times, running to my car at midnight, jumping in and locking the doors. So yes, this is awesome; having a security guard making sure the women are safe.
I am kind of miffed that this type of security escort didn't happen where a nurse was actually raped in the parking garage after her shift. That parking garage had like 20 levels. I always parked where I was not suppose to. Closer to the door. Screw them and thier parking signs, I err on the side of safety.
And maybe this is what I need to do. Instead of shutting up completely, perhaps blend the mind and the senses. Use my senses to feel for danger, using my head to know the danger.
Sounds better than having a taser or pepper spray. This would be a bad idea. After all, I actually sprayed pepper spray in my dorm room to see what it was like. No one can accuse me of being a genius.