Pissing Blood: Work Sucks

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://recomposition.info/2012/11/07/pissingblood/">Recomposition</a> - by Abbey Volcano

This is a story about anger, “non-profits,” and pissing blood. I was in my fifth year working at an independent health food store run by religious fanatics in a suburb outside of the city and I needed more money. I started off part-time at a cultural center, working the events. I would mainly be there at night, during performances and exhibits—taking people’s tickets, helping the artists set up, serving hors d’oeuvres, cleaning the toilets, etc. I was paid $12/hr to do this work and it was the most I had ever made in my life and it was the only job that wasn’t in the service industry, so I was pretty excited. Pretty soon after I started they asked me if I could take over the secretarial position. This was a full-time desk job. I really needed the money, especially because the health food store was closing down since a Whole Foods had moved into town. I took the job since I couldn’t have really done much better as far as pay went.</td><td><img title="money" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2009/bloodlust.jpg"></td></tr></...

I know some people think that non-profits are non-capitalist or are somehow better for society and people who work there and so on. People who work in management positions at non-profits tend to be kind of smug because of this. The place I worked didn’t really operate much differently from any other job, so if there’s a non-profit difference, I didn’t see it. This job had been salaried before I took it but they switched it to hourly and they had me work 10-5p instead of 9-5p so they could opt me out of health insurance, sick days, vacation leave, or bennies of any variety. At first I was happy about being able to start working later in the day (I’m a nocturnal insomniac) and I had never had insurance through a job before, so didn’t think much of it. But I realized pretty quickly that this was bullshit. Everyone else in the office was on salary. Sometimes I felt bad for them because if they worked longer hours, they still received the same pay, but I was mainly upset that I was the only unsalaried person. Others clocked in: the janitor, the tech people, part-time people, but I was the only one in the office who had to clock in.
Pretty much everyone mostly just fucked around on the job. Now, I’ve done my share of fucking around on the job. I’m all for fucking around on the job. It beats actually working. But in this job, other people would get mad at me if I needed to do something that meant they had to do some work instead of fucking around on the job. My job made me the first person anyone calling or coming into the cultural center made contact with. If I wasn’t there, someone else had to take calls or questions, or give tours, or the worst: make their own copies and fax their own memos. The other people in the office would be pretty pissed if I wasn’t there on time, or if I was in the bathroom, or late, whatever. They weren’t mean to me, but it disrupted their regular schedule of fucking around in the back and I could tell it annoyed them.

So there was me in the front office and four people in the back: grant writer, administrative person, accounts manager, and the executive director. Everyone else had a lot of flexibility, like you would expect at a salaried job at a cultural center to have. When they had dentist appointments, doctor appointments, their children were sick, they were sick, or anything that required them to be out of the office, they were allowed to go without penalty. Now I didn’t have health insurance like the rest of them, so I didn’t need to worry about getting time off to go to the doctor or dentist. Lucky me! I was pretty bitter about these dynamics, especially since we were all supposed to get along and be friends and what not. I found myself pretty focused on the fact that they had access to all these things and I didn’t. I’d see them laughing and joking around and I’d just think to myself how much easier it is to put a smile on at work when you at least get bennies. (Of course, work sucks, full stop. Fuck work.) So I hated my job, I hated almost all my co-workers because they were smug and on power trips. The executive director—that’s another story all its own; she is a character. A character you love to hate. She’s a rich liberal who thinks she’s a radical. Gross.

Here’s a brief story to demonstrate her fake radicalness, her loyal opposition. The executive director seemed to fetishize me as a radical. She knew my politics since I had been cooking with Food Not Bombs for a couple years and we used the center’s kitchen. So we had chatted a bunch and she considered herself a fellow radical. I’m not sure why she thought this of herself, but she did. When I first started the secretarial position, it was not explained to me that I was to be both a secretary and a personal assistant to this woman. One of the first things she had me do was look over a schematic she came up with that demonstrated how the office was organized in a non-hierarchical manner. She asked me to look it over and offer her suggestions—I think she wanted to pass these out to the office workers to boost morale, but I’m not really sure. The only suggestion I could offer is that it was completely untrue. She was interested in why I thought this, so I took the time to explain to her that the office is not organized in a non-hierarchical manner, as she had clear authority over tasks and the division of labor, she clearly made about $50k more than the other salaried employees, and as looking at it from my own standpoint, I didn’t even have insurance, sick-leave, vacation days, nor salary. It wasn’t just pay that divided us, but the division of labor was clearly and rigidly set by the board and the executive director who also established the various rules and regulations (formal and informal) which we were all to follow. It was really gross to have my boss try to convince me that we were working in a cooperative, non-hierarchical office situation. I continued to oppose everything she offered to support her argument, but she eventually dropped it and just laughed it off. I never saw that schematic again.

So one day I felt like I had a urinary tract infection (UTI) coming on. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular malady— congratulations because they are the worst. It causes you to have to pee constantly, but when you try to urinate it doesn’t really work, and it feels like razor blades are coming out of your urethra instead of urine. It’s awful. Vaginas are more susceptible to them and if you’ve had one, you’ll likely have another since it causes scar tissue, which causes more UTIs, which causes more scar tissue, etc. There are some over-the-counter drugs to ease the pain, but you need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection so you can pee normally again. When you have a UTI, you can’t really leave your house. It’s awful. A 5-minute ride to work can be too much to handle. When I say you have to pee constantly, I mean it. Sometimes you just sit on the toilet waiting to pee. Sometimes you wear a pad so you can let out little bits of pee. Perhaps I’m getting a little TMI. But the point is, holding in your pee, even if it’s a miniscule amount, is pain that no one can bear.

So I had a UTI coming on and I knew it. I did whatever I could to try and address it with natural things so I didn’t have to go to the walk-in clinic. I drank incredibly expensive gallons of 100% unsweetened cranberry juice, I drank more water than I thought possible, and I also took incredibly expensive cranberry extract pills. That will usually steer me clear and take care of things, but not this particular time. I had symptoms for over a week. I was incredibly uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, but I knew that I didn’t have money to pay for the walk-in, to pay for the meds, and especially to take time off from work and lose those hours.

One morning, about eight days into this ordeal, I woke up to go to work and realized I was now pissing blood. UTIs that get bad enough to piss blood are rare. They’re rare because most people wouldn’t put up with the amount of pain and length of time it takes to have an untreated UTI develop into one which causes pissing blood. Pissing blood is kind of the last straw. So I was pissing blood and knew I had to get to the walk-in as soon as possible. I reluctantly called into work, explained the situation, and told them I’d get there as soon as possible, but that I needed to go to the walk-in first. This was a pretty difficult task since I also didn’t have a car at the time since mine had been stolen from that same job (wee! And also my wallet was stolen off my desk at one point). So I borrowed a car, went to the walk-in, they confirmed I had a UTI and scolded me on waiting so long to treat it, gave me a prescription, and sent me on my way. I went to the pharmacy, got my pills, and drove to work so I could at least make some money that day.

UTIs are treatable and one of the most common infections—all you really need is to take an anti-biotic for a few days and it’s over. My co-workers were shocked that I was pissing blood, they were very concerned and asked why I waited so long to take care of things. The women, especially, winced when I told them the pain I was in. They even told me to go home for the day. At this point, I had pretty much lost any ability to remain calm. I explained to them that I couldn’t afford to take time off of work, I couldn’t afford the walk-in clinic, and I couldn’t afford the prescription, and that was “why” I waited so long. I stayed the rest of the day, of course. I didn’t speak to anyone and my eyes were daggers.

The fact that I had to be pissing blood in order to justify taking off a few hours from work is bullshit. When smug well-off women at “non-profits” are shocked and ask you why you waited so long to go to the doctor when you have a UTI, you pretty much want to kill them, and anyone else, hell, everyone else. They couldn’t understand what it meant not having insurance, not having sick-leave, and not having the ability to even get to a doctor without borrowing a car. They were so used to their salary, their benefits, their vacation time, that they seemed unable to understand the problems I was having and why I didn’t do things the way they would have. I didn’t mince my words, so they started to get it a little. Then they just walked around in a kind of guilty manner the rest of the day. These are the same people who could’ve made my job full-time, offered me benefits, etc. They made the choice to change the job when I took it. I think they knew I’d take it since I was desperate and they weren’t worried about filling the position, so why not screw me over? Worst is, 35 hours in my state is considered full-time and I believe I was entitled to sick leave. Trimming my position to 35 hours/week made them feel better about taking away any benefits, but it wasn’t legal. They felt guilty when they found out how their decision to change my job had affected me, but not so guilty as to pay me more or provide me with health insurance. Fuck liberals, their useless guilt, and their loyal opposition. Furthermore, like I said, fuck work.

Comments

This is so manarchist. I mean, who writes this way? It sounds like you are trying to use your hip words and clear language to make friends and gain power over their opinions by making your thoughts accessible. The comment about work and blood are super off putting to woman who have to feel blood come out of their vaginas once a month and feel embarrassed about it. Unless you explicitly state that you are a female and that you also bleed, it is absolutely insensitive and the moderator should remove this story immediately. Your post also has a huge who-gives-a-fuck factor. Why the fuck do you think people care so much about you, your words, and what you have to say. Do you think that you are god's gift to the people? That is such a manarchist thing to do - finally, are you narcissistic? Why does everything have to be about you and your experiences? All men seem to have this way of making everything about them and their problems, they never care about women's problems. You should start to care about women's problems. You are a liberal manarchist. and you are an opportunist. you use your words and the people around you to get published and get your name out there. that is a huge manarchist thing to do. strong independent women are out there trying hard to make a name for themselves, doing their own work, and then this manarchist comes along and snaps a finger. check your male privilege.

this is funny and all, and i am absolutely down with abolishing feminism along with all other forms of sexism, but really i have to ask what this person was doing working for a ngo in the first place. this is something that guilty petit-bourgeois do. you need a college degree and you actualize liberal/socialist politics. who is the 'fake radical' exactly? or is there any realer radical than a trustafarian 'declasse'?

hey brosef stalin step off, the religious fanatic health food store was going out of business. standard prole problems.

yo only bourgies can be choosy these days you take what you can get

calm down, Mittens

I have roofed buildings housing non-profits on multiple occasions, but I'm cool. I recognize how privileged I was to be doing shit work for a cool liberal thing. That's why I know we don't need a union. Because our bosses are like, progressive and shit.

Pretty sure she said this was a secretarial position-- prolly didn't require a college degree or specific politics. But, yes, I agree-- working is so bourgie!!

This post gave me an ice-cream headache.

it's a lady, ABBEY VOLCANO.

also you didn't read, they say they have a vagina.

where can i get one...just need it for a disguise is all.

IGTT: 7.5/10

I hope a certain special edition trust fund anarcho-barbi read this and squirms at her cowardice and self-delusion.

Jesus this obsession is creepy. I get that she broke your heart, but get over it.

She didn't just "break my heart" ok. She cheated on me with some white dude, not even a manarchist, a fucking hipster! Wait, who we talking about here?

This write up is terrible I must say and doesn't offer much insight except that nonprofits suck and so does poverty. Next time you get a UTI take Uva Ursi, you can get it from many health food stores for relatively cheap compared to pure cranberry products (since you need lots) or forking out $200 for antibiotics once you get desperate and go to the ER as the UTI progresses to a kidney infection. Stock up on Uva Ursi (it comes in pill form at whole foods trader joes etc and tea form at herb stores) and take it when you first feel symptoms, it should go away within the day. Good luck since you are more susceptible to future infections.

word. my understanding is that cranberry juice is more of a preventative measure, and not for reoccuring UTIs. uva ursi, also known as kinnickinnick, is a little shrub found all over the northwest, and often used as ground cover in gardens and such, so you might be able to find it growing in yr hood. i've also heard of folks using goldenseal - it contains berberine, which is also the stuff in oregon grape root that gives it that amazingly bright yellow color, and can help fight hella infections. i think a lot of these methods are discussed in zines like hot pantz... or consult yr local plant nerd!

all of that is bullshit. AZO maximum. 4 dollars at walgreens.

-K.P., Licensed SEX EDUCATOR, PhD

Uva ursi is not bullshit. It works and is just as affordable given that one bottle of pills can be used for multiple occurences. Also for those in the northwest it can be gathered. don't hate on herbal alternatives that are effective ps no one here cares about your licenses or you PhD

Okay, it's unnecessary, potentially poisonous, and inefficient - especially if one has a life of any kind and needs to be anywhere, and doesn't want to be in excruciating pain - or going outside gathering poison berries in the woods and boiling them...Egads..

It "teeters on the boundary between stiff cure and potent poison" and it takes longer to work...so, yes, it's usable, if you have the time and patience.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080531100033AAEtEvC

http://www.ehow.com/how_5868384_use-pain-urinary-tract-infection.html

K.P., Licensed SEX EDUCATOR, PhD

You don't have to gather it, they sell it at whole foods, its not counterindicated for that many things. Don't generalize.

You guys have apparently missed the point. You will not avoid economic exploitation by better UTI treatment. Assholes!

Currently I have no cookie cutter solution to opting out of economic exploitation that others haven't already thought of, author included. There are however a myriad of cures for UTIs that they apparently (and understandably) hadn't heard about. When sickness=debt sharing diy medical knowledge is you know radical...

Glad I'm not the only one. The answer here isn't that the author did the "wrong thing" for her infection, or that she ought to be shopping at Whole Foods, or that if only she'd done holistic X, she wouldn't have had to worry about ailment Y.

What if she'd had something more serious, like uterine cancer or a tumor of the spine? What would all the simplistic "healers" be advising then?

Uva-ursi is a better treatment for UTI than AZO because when an we become grounded and active in our own treatment, the healing goes beyond the immediate illness. $4 at Xxxxxxxxxx only makes you sicker.

Uva-ursi is not poisonous any more than than any other drug. That's anti-nature propaganda, something modern society is full of. Espeically shit-ass sources like Yahoo Answers and eHow.com.

Use the leaves of uva-ursi, not the berries if you want medicinal effect.

Eat the berries in your hot cereal for a tasty treat. Smoke the dried leaves for a relaxing occassion. Drink a tea of the dried leaves for help with UTI.

up this comment

Definitely will keep this in mind. I don't really get uti's, I guess it's cuz my junk aint so close to a butthole, but I do love relazing occassions.

You might have a fucking degree but you are still wrong. Fuck off. It was a native food source, so using medicinally wouldn't be harmful.

What? If you eat the wrong mushroom or berry, you can get dead. You have to know what you're doing with natural cures. They can be just as harmful as synthetic ones.

K.P., Licensed SEX EDUCATOR, PhD

The only thing I could think of after reading this is slow clap. And then I YouTubed it, and thought this was was a bit a pro pro (you have to be a fan of the show to "really" get it).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87ejOe6MJnQ

Based on the caliber of stories this week on @news I had to double check the calendar and make sure it wasn't April Fools. Nope, still November. huh.

I thought the comments were for this kind of crap, not the articles. Come on... What's next? Maybe someone can complain about there parents or the admin at there junior high. Jesus.

Yeah, god forbid anyone should talk openly about what their actual relationship to capital is like, or indeed anything relevant to our real lives. The purity of our ideas can only be maintained by keeping them as beautiful abstractions.

Yeah god forbid, I honestly don't give a fuck if they don't like they're job. I think stuff like the reason for this article is why I'm an anarchist. But seriously this is just whiny bullshit. Keep your beautiful abstractions.

Whiny bullshit is the reason why you're an anarchist?

great little piece about real life power dynamics. also, this must be written as a memory from like a decade ago, cause now they have a pill you can take for uti at every drug store that takes care of the peeing problem and the pain (which is no joke!)

of course, it's poorly written, because I'm guessing it is supposed to be an example of how stupid women who work at terrible jobs among wealthy, privileged people are, and how terrible and stupid "workerism"...but, anyway, it does highlight some of the hypocrisies and dynamics.

yes, bc the person who is writing them should just get a job writing propaganda for the state already. oops, they probably already have one.

Here, let me help.. "bad, dumb, workerist, bitch, bad, etc..." it's pretty nonstop... the person writing this garbage is incredibly shallow and ignorant.

their government employers "treat them very well" :)

Well, we don't need to go into that...My point being, many of the people in their same field (which is really not all that glamorous, comparatively) will have stories of feeling exploited among supposed liberal and fair employers...I wonder if we'll ever get a 'male' character for these 'examples'?

I was wondering the same myself (?)

don't hold your breath. they have a very obvious program, and have for years.

Who? What? What exactly is the accusation here?

bahahaha probably not...the rhetoric isn't that clean

That sucks. At least you didn't get lectures about being more responsible and handling things when they're easier like you spent your paychecks on x-boxes and dro. Liberals can always be counted on to be slightly less obnoxious than conservatives on an interpersonal level. I've been asked what I did with "all the money I made" while working an irregular part-time job I had to commute to for $7.50 an hour. Lentils, gasoline, and $150 dollar tickets for $50 car repairs I couldn't afford, that's what.

Just FYI, uh did people read? It was written by a woman. They are a frequent user here too. Also they definitely anti-work enough for your assholes, also probably IA enough for you too!

-klas batalo

The top comment is obvs one of her friends trolling. It's totes hilare.
The rest is a-news being stupid.

Is that a fact?

I wish I knew for sure but that is def how I retain my faith in humanity.

u must not have much faith in humanity then, brah, coz that first comment is totes mindnumbingly lame

Acid will cure most of these symptoms ;)

UTI's are not STD's.

K.P., LICENSED sex EDUCATOR, PhD

licensed by the state, lol

Thank you for waving around your costly degree provided by institutional learning facilities. Your knowledge must be better and more accurate than everyone else's! We are really big on authority here at @news, so we appreciate you asserting your authority on this subject by repeatedly mentioning your credentials

Signed,
an unlicensed health care provider who knows way more shit about UTIs and probably all female bodied health related issues than you do

From the About section of Recomposition (where this article came from):

"The editors of Recomposition are Alex Erikson, Adam Weaver, Juan Conatz, Madaline Dreyfus, Nate Hawthorne, Phinneas Gage, Rachel Stafford, and Scott Nappalos. We are all members of the Industrial Workers of the World but our views are our own. We do not represent the IWW or anyone else’s official views. The group of us come from diverse traditions of revolutionary politics. We met and became friends and comrades through collaborating on different workplace, union, and political projects. We are particularly interested in waged work, workplace organizing, and the role of workplace struggle in building towards a revolutionary society. We think we have an original perspective, and we recognize that our perspective is partial and will continue to change.

We set up this site to share the thoughts we’re developing, and to help ourselves further develop our perspective through writing. We don’t necessarily all agree with everything on the site. We hope the pieces of writing here can be debated and used by workplace organizers and revolutionaries, while at the same time deepening our own thinking and practice."

"workplace organizers and revolutionaries"...ha ha

It would have been funny if they had put "workplace organizers/revolutionaries"...but you get the point. More comedy from IWW wobbly types.

Lol

"the role of workplace struggle in building towards a revolutionary society"
"our perspective is partial and will continue to change"
"deepening our own thinking and practice"

Why don't these people just admit that they're Leninist, AMIRITE?
Who do they think they are? Running a blog that Worker reposts entries from!

YOU ARE ALL RIGHT! LET'S BAN WORKER FOR BEING A LENINIST WORKERIST!

It begins !

I think the writer of this piece was female and then someone went off on her for being sexist. Nothing new from the Stalinist Femininst camp. I believe in gender autonomy, which means that one gender doesn't have the right to interfere in the other's lives.

That was a pretty obvious troll breh.

others'

amirite?

"gender autonomy"

"one gender doesn't have the right to interfere in the other's lives"

massification defined.

look, work gave this uti anarchist something to write about. otherwise she would have only ad two hours of radical food not bombs time per week to keep her occupied.

nearly all humanoids, anarchists above all, need work to free themselves from their TOTAL lack of initiative. i mean, trying to come up with a plan to reach their revolutionary ideals is obviously way too much work.

arbeit mach frei (uti)

I think a shitty comment just disappeared before my eyes.

Are there moderators here or something?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working:_People_Talk_About_What_They_Do_All...

less contemporary but if you like work experience stuff... good book

WoW! I really liked this post. I see some commentators didn't READ the post much before criticizing the author for coming from a MALE point of view--too funny, only it's not.

Instead of a lot of empty rhetoric/theory, this writer shares the nitty gritty in her daily life. Then another commentator challenges her concept of 'radical', and asks why the author chose to work at an non-profit. Having a poor white trash background, I think I can answer that--but the very question is alarmingly insensitive and elitist. The author describes having no health care, no vacation, no vehicle/transportation, and struggling just to survive. Yet the question is asked. Does anybody bother to read what they're posting about?
Only a comfortable elitist carb-stuffed yuppie would ask a member of the working class that question. As someone who has been homeless, wet, cold, and hungry, *I* resent the question. It's like asking someone why they're black.

The author has much to teach, and I hope she continues to do so. Her post read like a chapter from Studs Terkel's WORKING!

I can only pray she finds work she LIKES (a fundamental human right) that will sustain her and her family. This is an example of why there was (is there still?) a labor movement. Again, I find it fascinating to see how quick commentators were to presume the author was a privileged white male chauvinist pig, or how only a selected class/category of person can speak of the human condition/biology. If this be politically incorrect, make the most of it!

- amicuscuria.com/wordpress

Go away.

Testify.

^imposter amicuscuria.com/wordpress^

Am I the only one here that's not the same person?

Clearly, this old chap is lost and confused. An island unto himself, tho.

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