Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dog Eats Dog; Film at 11

There should be a special circle of Hell reserved for people who go on Oprah to promote their books about how they overcame adversity through determination and courage. And every time an excerpt is reprinted in Reader's Digest, they get another red-hot poker up the tuckus.

Specifically, I'm thinking cancer survivors here, though the same principle applies to anyone fortunate enough to survive any dread disease, freak accident, or other disaster, who then goes on and on about how "I took one look at my children's faces and knew I'd never let cancer get me!"

Gotta love the plane crash stories, too, where everyone on board dies a horrible fiery death; and the one person who was prevented by some random circumstance from boarding says the experience has reaffirmed his faith in God.


I once interviewed for a job as executive assistant to a noted local breast cancer survivor and car dealership owner, shortly before I started working for the Hell place. She'd gone on Oprah with her inspiring story about how she broke the gender barrier in automotive sales and rose to the top despite having to deal with divorce, single motherhood, and breast cancer and a mastectomy. Even after everything I went through at Hell Marketing, I'm still glad I didn't get that job. The prospective boss was, in fact, charming and personable (successful salespeople generally are, the soulless bastards). She interviewed me in her gorgeously appointed office, replete with plush carpeting, decorator colors, expensive furniture, and tasteful paintings in gilded frames. She did not, in fact, have a copy of her book on display in her office - a fact I noted with surprised approval, which she forfeited midway through the interview by pulling a copy out of her desk drawer and telling me all about it. I didn't know at the time that breast cancer would very soon take my mom away, so I smiled and listened politely.

She had no computer. Run away, little applicant! Run away! I heard the woman she eventually hired ended up walking out after a few weeks.

I'm sorry to rant about this; but my sister-in-law has been both making and receiving a lot of comments about how she'll beat leukemia because she's strong, she's no weakling, she's not a quitter - and, quite honestly, I find the premise behind that kind of comment a bit hurtful. Obviously I'm pulling hard for her to get better, and I'm happy to say that her prognosis is very good. And I don't really have that much of a problem with people making such remarks to someone who's sick, to encourage them and keep their spirits up - no - someone facing what my sister-in-law is facing needs all the pep talk and encouragement and support and well-wishes and prayers and good vibes and mojo and crossed appendages that she can get. It's just when those comments solidify into attitudes that continue after the danger has passed that it becomes seriously offensive to me.

Well! I'll certainly be in a dilly of a pickle when Oprah calls me up to go promote my blog on her show.


At February 24, 2006 6:39 AM, Blogger Bainwen Gilrana said...

You just have to go on Oprah and talk about how you overcame adversity through freakish good luck. She'd have no idea what to say! You'd be the only person ever to catch Oprah speechless. And then you can write about that.

At February 25, 2006 5:55 AM, Blogger Bill D said...

But, why not tell Oprah about how you survived the job interview? You could get a car.


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