Schadenfreude

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Schadenfreude

Despite her pink wardrobe, Barbie is a serious dude when it comes to the important stuff of life.  If I had to characterize her value set, I’d put her somewhere between Nancy Drew and Wonder Woman. Maybe this is the influence of her more recent appearances in animated movies but when it comes to “doing the right thing”, Barbie is your gal.

I decided to be guided by Barbie’s example when she saves the Diamond Castle and music (saving music is a pretty important task, you’ve got to admit) from the evil muse, Lydia, and her brave actions when Barbie appears as Corinne in Barbie and the Three Musketeers (Tim Curry does the voice of the evil Philippe, incidentally) –

Corinne, the daughter of a Musketeer, hopes to one day follow in her father’s footsteps. However, when Corinne arrives in Paris to join the Musketeers she gets only laughs…Musketeers are for men only. Corinne ends up working as a castle housekeeper and meets 3 other housekeepers who have the same dream as Corinne. When strange happenings begin to put the Prince’s life in danger, it’s the swordmanship of Corinne and her new friends that prove worth the title of Musketeer.

Gurrrl power! Take the high road when faced with adversity and always keep some pink lipgloss in your epee sheath.

Last week I was unable to blog due to being otherwise occupied with working at our company conference where I was responsible for representing my area and manning our trade show booth. This involved starting at 6 am and finishing my day at around 11 pm for 3 days. I was supposed to be sharing this task with one of my co-workers, who had been chosen to attend the corporate feedback and strategy session along with the facebooking co-worker. Let’s call them the ugly stepsisters. Although I felt that as a more senior employee and having been at that office for a year longer than either of them I would have been a more appropriate choice, rather than being confrontational I accepted with a smile.

Stepsister 1 was supposed to arrive at 6:30 am to set up the booth with me on the first day. I was there at 6 am, finishing the set-up at around 7:15 by myself, and she sauntered in just after 7:30. Stepsister 2 was supposed to be helping my over-tasked colleague who had arrived just before 6 am – let’s call her Cinderella – to set up registration. Stepsister 2 ambled in at around 7:45 am and then retired to her hotel room in the afternoon for a 2 hour nap.  That evening, they both complained vociferously about poor organization and minor glitches, which irritated me considerably under the circumstances. I left as soon as the conference social event permitted, trying to hold my smile in place while I said good night.

I hear that the Stepsisters decided to continue the evening at the hotel bar with the two men in the office and several of the conference attendees. Tequila shots were involved. At some point, Stepsister 2 sat herself in the lap of my boss and sang a drunken rendition of happy birthday to one of their fellow drinkers while Stepsister 1 looked on giggling.

The next day, Stepsister 1 staggered in to the conference hall fifteen minutes late for the strategy session, looking (as Cinderella so aptly put it) like a “hot tranny mess”. I had arrived before 7 to get the booth in order and continued to supervise the booth while she disappeared to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so to puke up whatever remained in her stomach from the previous night. Stepsister 2, who was supposed to be taking notes at the morning strategy session, didn’t even appear until 2 in the afternoon. I took a perverse delight in seeing their wan faces, drained of all colour except for a bilious shade of green, and made sure to speak to them in especially high-pitched and energetic tones.

Is it truly schadenfreude when the parties involved have actively brought on their miserable situation? In any case, Barbie’s make-up and ethics were intact and she did not have to engage in a battle of the skanks.

It remains to be seen whether there will be any fall-out at all from these events. Judging from the experience to date, it is possible that nothing will even be mentioned, which I suppose confirms that eventual escape from the sleaze-pit is the only long-term option. Nonetheless, Barbie and Cinderella have the satisfaction of having done the right thing so the music could play on.

 

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