Recently I was asked if I liked gig work. I replied no, but I need the money and this work best fits my schedule to meet my needs.
What’s to like? Getting on my knees to reach items at the very back of bottom shelves or on my tiptoes using whatever’s available to reach items from top shelves? Realizing I still have a part of a customer’s order, taking it back to them on my dime, then getting rated lower for making a mistake but doing the right thing? Delivering in the dark to customers who don’t turn on their outside lights?
I know; you don’t care. If we were honest with one another, many of you blame me for being in the situation I’m in. You’re far from the only ones.
Local law enforcement never followed up on a police report I filed.
IRS and Treasury did nothing about my refund being stolen (I did get a check reissued after they were satisfied I didn’t steal it).
The Postal Service, complicit in the theft of my mail, never reached out to me. They’re still messing with my mail too. Most recently last week. I don’t know why anyone sends snail mail anymore through that clusterfuck of an agency.
Of the banking companies that negligently changed the mailing address on my accounts without notifying me, only one has reached out to follow up. Saturday I received a letter from Synchrony asking if the issue I called about on June 10, 2022, (seven months prior) was resolved to my satisfaction and giving me a number to call if it was not.
Any hopes I had for justice were quickly dashed. Yet another employee feigned concern then assured me that all is well now because the account is closed. I wanted to scream, NO THE FUCK IT IS NOT OK! Synchrony was negligent in changing the mailing address without notifying me, and for being less than helpful when I called. I closed the Ashley Furniture account because I felt I had no other options to protect myself, and because I closed a zero-balance account, my credit score took a hit.
My earlier statement that you probably blame me is not mere whining. Numerous studies have looked at victim blaming in domestic violence, rape, and fraud crime. In July, 2022, The American Association for Retired People (AARP) published the results of a study revealing that while 85% of Americans believe fraud can happen to anyone, 53% also believe victims are culpable and blameworthy, and 32% believe the victim should take much of the blame.
Maybe you think a person who is experiencing moderately severe depression should take on a quasi-government organization, several big banks, and her family, and reign victorious. Maybe you don’t consciously feel that way, but instead of focusing on the perpetrator(s)’ crimes, choose to look at ways I could have/should have protected myself or share why that could never happen to you because…
And herein lies the rub. Victims like me are shouldered with the blame because many of you want to believe the world is a safe and fair place where everyone pays the consequences for their actions. It’s called the Just World Hypothesis, first coined by Melvin Lerner, whose research attempted to understand why otherwise empathetic people working in the field of mental health would blame their patients for their mental illness. Lerner posited that people blame victims because they don’t want to believe something like that could happen to them. Instead the victim must have somehow deserved it.
It explains why people ask why victims of domestic violence stay instead of why perpetrators don’t quit being abusive.
It explains why people believe rape victims were “asking for it” instead of believing perpetrators who rape are criminals.
It explains why people don’t want to believe someone they know could abuse a child, instead thinking the child lied or that the system is rigged.
It explains why a state agency attorney, after my discussing with him the initial findings of a child sexual abuse case, stated the child was lying. When I blew a gasket, I was admonished by my supervisor and his supervisor for disrespecting the attorney (but the attorney wasn’t admonished for disrespecting the victim).
It explains your wondering why the hell I can’t just get over it, forgive, pull myself up by my bootstraps, or whatever sage advice you offer unsolicited to shut me the fuck up.
It also explains why I don’t care for most people. I’m tired of being blamed for a bunch of shit I didn’t do just so you can live in in some kind of fantasy world.
Justice and safety are delusions. You KNOW this. Granted, those with more means are able to afford more safety and justice than others, but anyone at any time can become a victim of crime. Like the nude, prepubescent girls in the photos found in the possession of David Stephen West of Leeds, Alabama. Or Army Pvt. Abdul N. Latifu of New York, who was killed at Fort Rucker when another soldier attacked him with a steel folding shovel. Or Quantasia Grant and Kaitlyn Jenkins, who were killed in a mass shooting Saturday night while attending a birthday party in Madison, AL. Thirteen others were injured, three critically.
BTW, if you had the thought Private Latifu should have changed his name or that the two young women shouldn’t have been at that kind of party, you’re victim-shaming. Cut it out. Their families are suffering enough.