08 February 2010

Tear the roof off the sucker

I am very sparing with personal information. If I feel that the questioner or questionnaire doesn't require a certain answer, then I won't provide one. I started this on my PSAT test when asked to identify my race (not required).

I am the bane of Census takers and Human Resources employees. I have perfected the silent stare. I can be silent for as long as necessary. The 2000 Census taker thought he could wait me out.


When filling out the paper work for my last job, I did not provide the (not required) race or ethnicity data, and sent it in, and went about my business.

So when my three month anniversary rolled around and I went from probationary to regular employee, I got a call from Human Resources. The woman on the other end politely commented that I'd forgotten to fill out the race and ethnicity data, and would I tell her what that information was. I politely but firmly replied that I had not forgotten, and that no, I would not provide that information.

The following week, I got another call from Human Resources, from the first woman's manager. It appeared that I'd neglected to fill in the race and ethnicity data...

No, I replied.

My phone didn't ring for a bit, and then one day I got a phone call from someone way UP in Human Resources. They had to make their required quarterly reporting on hiring data, and there was no race or ethnicity data on me...

I waited.

...so if I wouldn't mind telling them...

I replied, politely, "I'm sure you are aware that I am not required by law to provide that information."

"Yes," she said in a steely tone, "but I am required by law to report that information to the government."

"I see," I said.

"So...," she replied.

"I'm afraid not," I told her.

"If you don't tell me, I am required to make something up."

"Feel free," I said breezily.

"You know, I can pretty much tell what you are."

"Then you're set," I told her.

The daughter is reading yet another horrible book for school that appears to be identical in content to books she's been assigned in each of the last three years. She is not pleased. In an attempt to make this one more fun, since all the kids are balking at reading essentially the same plot set in the same country, the teacher gave an assignment to do the family's Chinese horoscopes.

The daughter: "Mommy, what year were born?"

Me, immediately suspicious: "Who wants to know?"

The daughter: "Mrs. H."

Me: "Mmmm."

I thought for a brief moment.

Me: "1974."

The daughter: "Is that the Year of the Tiger."

Me: "Yup."

And I smiled.

Go listen to some good music: "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" from the album The Best of Parliament by Parliament. Best. Fucking. Bass. Line. Ever. At least for tonight's purposes.

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