This discussion of hookers, lizards, and elephants inevitably brings me
to my work at the NYC Parking Violatons Bureau, and to its the chief judge.
In most workplaces, if a woman comes back from a pregnancy leave of
absence, you ask her how it was, if it was a boy or girl, how much it
weighed, etc. You may not like her and you may not really care, but you ask
A few weeks ago, I came back from an approved leave of absence. I was
one of the few judges that day assigned to hearings by mail. In walked the
chief judge. He walked right past me, went to the senior judge (my
friend--she happens to be a black woman), chit-chatted with her.
When doing my third respondent, I spotted a fake repair bill. I walked
over to the senior's desk, used the computer, and found that the same plate
had ten other disabled vehicle dismissals. I was the only person to catch
the guy. I mentioned this, then went back to my seat.
And I was thinking--what the fuck am I doing in this place?
I was later told that the chief judge always ignores men and chats with
women, and not to take it personally. Oh.
Maybe I should have said something.
HELLO! MY NAME IS BARRY POPIK! I'VE WORKED HERE FOR EIGHT YEARS!
UNTIL RECENTLY, I'VE WORKED MORE HOURS THAN ANYONE IN THE ENTIRE
YOU KNOW, I JUST RETURNED FROM A LEAVE OF ABSENCE THAT YOU
UNFORTUNATELY, BOTH OF MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!!
I'M DOING FINE, THANK YOU! THANKS FOR ASKING!!
Hence, the title of this piece.
Oh well. Life goes on.