The Duggar’s Are Innocent… I guess?

I had to go to Dallas for training for two weeks when I started working at the ticket counter.

The system we used was from the fucking stone age and it was hundreds of codes that were very finicky and they made me cry nearly every day.  So I requested to go to training since the person training me was absolutely useless.  My manager agreed, so off I drove to Dallas for two weeks of intense classroom training.

I was one of the younger people in my class and every other class I had taken, I had made some great friends.  Usually my classes involved me going to the bar every night or drinking in hotel rooms with six other people who I still keep in contact with, and have several pictures with.

But this two week class was the bane of my existence.  I didn’t make any friends in this class and I almost got fired by the end of the class because one girl took everything personally.

This girl was from Arkansas and she was… Oh, how do I put it?  She was a girl who seemed like she needed daddy to survive.  She was sick nearly every day, and while I was battling a horrible lung infection for the majority of this training, I understood.  She seemed nice at first, she even sat with me and invited me to the bar a couple of times.  But I had declined because I was certain I was dying and I ended up having to go to Urgent Care. I had lost complete use of my right lung because of how swollen it was in my chest.  Not pneumonia though, surprisingly.  But it was the sickest I had ever been, and I did not miss one minute of class.

gas mask

How awesome is this mask?  Seriously?  I really needed it too.  

My first lunch at the training center I was sitting with a flight attendant who was super funny.  She was great.  And the Arkansas girl sat next to me.  She had been talking to me that morning, letting me know that she was a Razorback, she was working on her third college degree in an advanced science.  If she was telling the truth, I will say that she was incredibly intelligent.  And when she spoke to me, she talked to me like she was highly intelligent, which I really respected.  However, after five minutes of talking to her, all I could think is how immature she was.  Some people are just really immature, and that’s fine, but it actually got on my nerves.

And if anyone reading this has read my blog, they know that I am, in no way, mature.

When she sat with me and the FA at lunch, I introduced her as a new hire who was “stupid smart.”

I said “stupid smart” because she was so highly intelligent.  I meant no disrespect.  I thought it was a compliment.  Apparently it was not.

Now, this girl had a very poised look whenever she heard something she didn’t like.  She would look straight ahead, bite the bottom left corner of her mouth, and take a deep breath.

The reason I remember this so specifically is because I saw it a few times and this damn look nearly got me fired.

resting bitch face

Suspiciously like this, actually.  I think she just had a great resting bitch face

I tried to be friendly with this girl, I really did.  She and I had a lot of shared interests, but something about this girl just screamed,”I’m just so lucky because daddy takes care of me.”  I don’t know if it’s true or not, but a lot of youth I had met in the south had daddy giving them money to chase their dreams before settling down and doing the good southern thing of getting married and having a thousand fucking babies.  For all I knew she was just a full time student.  It was over a year ago and the details about her are kind of fuzzy.

The straw that broke the camels back was three days before the end of class.  I was not awake yet.  My lung infection was starting to subside, but I still had a fever and I was taking a handful of prescribed pills in order breathe.  I was missing Alex, I was feeling considerably lonely since I didn’t really bond with anyone in the class at all.  I just wanted to go home.  So badly.

This, mixed with my intolerance for complete and utter bullshit at 7 AM caused word vomit to spew from my mouth.

This girl liked to be the center of attention.  Which is fine… most of the time.  She invited me to sit with her and half the class for breakfast, and I didn’t even have coffee in me yet.  She began to talk about how she had watched her friend’s wedding she was in on TV the night before.

She said that it was the most beautiful wedding and she saw herself as one of the bridesmaids and that it was just a match made in heaven and perfect in every way.

I looked at her and said, “Oh, what TV family?”

She gave me the look and said, “I don’t know if I should tell you.”

I shrugged.  “I was just curious, who you’re friends with is none of my business.”

“It was one of the Duggar weddings.”

“Cool.”

I was pretty disinterested and went back to my coffee.  But then she went on and on about how the Duggar’s are never acting.

“How they act on TV is how they act in real life.  There’s no difference.  They’re just great people all around.”

This was one week before the sex scandal, folks.

Now, my half asleep, drug induced conscious of sickness, homesickness, and overall exhaustion from not having a comfortable bed for two weeks hit me.  I blurted out, “Oh, so they’re bigots in real life too?”

I regretted the words as soon as they left my mouth.

The entire table went silent.  Two people dropped their silverware.  Everyone’s jaw dropped.

shocked face

WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

In my home state, with my own friends anywhere, this would have gotten a laugh.  This would have gotten an applause for timing.  But I wasn’t in my home state.  I wasn’t with my friends.  I was in a strange place with strange people who had deep roots in the deep south.  For one of the first times in my life, I felt like a true outcast who had truly and really fucked up and I realized it as soon as the words left my lips.

As rehearsed, Arkansas looked straight ahead, biting the bottom corner of her mouth before giving a calculated response.

“They’re not bigots.  It’s their christian belief and they can express it any way they want,” she said to me in a cold, calm manner.  And I don’t blame her.  In fact, I commend her for how calmly and politely she responded.  She had far more tact and grace than I had or ever will have.

I did apologize as soon as I said it.  “That came out far harsher than I had intended,” I said.  “I’m sorry.  I just don’t agree with most of their actions.”

She didn’t say anything more to me.  She didn’t have to.  I excused myself, grabbed my coffee, and went to the class.

I was later pulled out of the class and had a briefing on how hurtful my comments were and how I was being incredibly disrespectful.  While I technically didn’t say anything that could fire me, and thank god I didn’t make a comment on the “Christianity” side of the Duggar’s reactions, I was let off with a warning.  If I would have criticized the Christian-like tendencies of the Duggar’s and argued religion, I would have been unemployed and sent back to Louisiana.

But I wasn’t.  This girl and I avoided each other like the plague the rest of the class.

The last day of class though, I went up to her and shook her hand.  I told her that I felt she would do well in our industry, and I drove home.  I never saw or heard from her again.  I have no idea if she still works there.

A week later the sex scandal happened and I didn’t feel nearly as bad.

I said a number of things those two weeks that were unwarranted.  Mostly she talked about how the few times she had worked the counter, she had really nice passengers.  And in that part of Arkansas, I had really good luck with people too. I drove through the town she worked in several times whenever I drove to Minnesota.  I had stayed in that town several times over the past three years.  Of any place in the deep south, that particular area was a very nice, very welcoming area that really embraced the “Southern Hospitality” mentality that I never really got in Louisiana.

Where I worked, however, I had people threatening to kill me every day.  I had drinks thrown in my face.  And when I had someone telling me how easy the job was and how everyone was sweet and nice all the time, I did laugh.  A lot.

Because she hadn’t experienced the hell that bad weather brings.

So, Arkansas girl, if you ever do read this, I mean it when I say “I respect your opinion and I’m sorry for disrespecting you.”

To the Arkansas Girl, I’m fairly certain you’ll never read this, but if you do, I will say I commend you on how tactful you responded and I do have great respect for you, even though I completely and whole heartily disagree with you.  I wish you the best of luck.

Have you ever had an experience where your mouth got you into trouble?  Have you ever had an instance where you were called a bigot for calling out crazy behavior?  Ever deal with difficult people? Let me know in the comments

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Duggar’s Are Innocent… I guess?

  1. That sounds like a perfectly awful experience all around, I’m sorry you had to endure that. I also apologize for the long story I’m about to post.

    In general I think everyone puts their foot in their mouth and says things they regret. One of countless instances that I can relate that to was when I was in High School during class. I guess there is something about small confined spaces that bring the worst out of everyone, haha. There was a girl who sat next to me who consistently brought food and drinks to class, which was against school policy and the teacher made a point to mention it daily but took no action. She also talked over the teacher and chatted about boyfriend drama all class period. Her complete disregard for rules and classroom decorum is what made me dislike her as much as I did. Sometimes I would say things under my breath, with no real intention of them being heard, but one day she heard me. I had said, “Oh, just be quiet.” She replied, “Excuse me?” At this point, I knew there was no playing off what I said as a mistake and I also felt an adrenaline rush from finally having my feelings about her actions known. I retorted back to her, “I said… just be quiet.” It was at this point her friends were all wide eyed and cooed. She came back with, “I can do what I want. What’s it to you?” I replied, “Okay, you already finished your group assignment, but we need to face forward and pay attention. It’s very distracting for everyone when you’re talking and snacking loudly.” My voice had risen and was shaking at this point and the entire class was suddenly silently observing the spectacle. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m dreadfully shy, especially back then. She gaped at me, slammed her hand down and started shouting, “YOU KNOW WHAT BI-?” when the teacher cut her off. I had completely forgot that the teacher was in the room and had watched the whole thing. My head tilted down ashamed and scared of what was about to happen. The teacher said, “Sara brings up a good point, you did finish your group assignment so there’s no more reason to talk right now. I’ll talk to you both after class.” The girl scoffed at the teacher before class continued and I felt scowling on the back of my head the rest of the period. I could hear a guy in the back say, “It’s no wonder she has no friends. What a bitch.” The end of class came and the internal dread piled up as I waited for everyone to leave the classroom before approaching the teacher. To my surprise, the guy who said that last statement was stopped by the teacher. “Apologize to her. Right now.” He shuffled past me and muttered, “Sorry.” The teacher reminded the girl of the rules and motioned to both of us that we really shouldn’t make a scene in the classroom again, but appreciates that I tried to bring some amount of decorum to the classroom. The girl left and I started to cry, the teacher was surprised and said, “You’re not crying, are you?” I tried to play it off as being sick and then excused myself.

    It really upset me to hear that this same teacher died during the first few weeks of the following quarter. On a day I felt so horrible about sticking my foot in my mouth, she supported me. I regret making a scene over something so trivial, no matter the outcome.

  2. When one of my daughters was a teenager, she bought a new pair of high heels — really high heels. And these stilettos were all strappy and sexy looking. When she showed them to me, I said, “Oh — slut shoes!” Now, I didn’t mean it how it sounded — all judgy and puritanical. What I meant (and tried to explain, over and over) was that they were sexy and strappy and cute. She was SO offended! I kept saying, “Every girl needs a pair of slut shoes!” I think that made it worse. To this day (more than a decade later) she still brings it up — and is still offended.

    • Oh that’s too funny! It’s crazy how stuff like that happens. My mom says kind of mean stuff too, but my mom is super shy and introverted (complete opposite of me) and she gives me tons of crap for stuff. I bought a pair of heels that were kind of spikey and they were cute and when I showed her she said, “You look like a hooker. No.”

      I was going to wear them to a wedding. I was like WTF MOM! She has no regrets lol

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