At least it’s an ethos

The other day at work, KIA had a picture of Hermann Goehring on her computer desktop. It had some quote about it being easy to lead people to war if you lie to them. The Angry Old Woman stomped over to KIA’s desk and demanded to know “if that was Hitler” on the screen. KIA told her no. The Angry Old Woman persisted, and said that it was a “Nazi of some sort”. KIA told her who it was and The Angry Old Woman stomped back to her own desk. KIA then came into my office, chuckling that The Angry Old Woman “doesn’t even know what Hitler looks like”, so unfortunately, I had to ask her what that was all about.

The next day, when it looked like the US was going to war in Iraq, KIA put up a new picture. This one was of women and children in a Baghdad bakery. She told CK that we should “at least see the faces of the people we’re murdering”. CK ignored the statement. The Angry Old Woman stomped over to KIA’s desk and demanded to know why she had a picture of Saddam Hussein on her desktop. That startled KIA for a minute, since that wasn’t “why” the picture was up. But, upon further inspection, she saw that there was a poster of Hussein outside the bakery. Well, it’s a police state, and he has his poster everywhere, so even a bakery photo might have this in the background.

The Angry Old Woman go so worked up over this that she could no longer function. She wigged out. She cried. She denounced the picture as unpatriotic. She brought in people who don’t even work in our office to look at the picture to see if they were also “deeply offended” by its presence. Finally, she filed a complaint with The Boss.

After seeing the repeated outbursts, which surely was the intended response, KIA changed the picture. The new picture contained one man repairing a Koran. His location isn’t *obvious*, as he could be doing this anywhere. But he is dressed in traditional Muslim wear and there are Arabic words written around the photo.

Nevertheless, a *meeting* had to be held to deal with The Angry Old Woman’s being offended by a picture on someone’s computer. She could just not understand that in the US, people really are allowed to think differently than other people. She refused to accept the idea that other people may not agree with her political stance. When told she could put up a picture of the American flag on her own computer, The Angry Old Woman complained that “no one would see it”, due to the location of her desk. She then said that KIA could get away with anything, and that wasn’t right. The Boss attempted to explain that the picture wasn’t “hurting anyone” and that didn’t go over well… especially since The Angry Old Woman thinks it is hurting her.

Tensions remain high in the office.


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