'A Ball Does Not Stumble'

Bleeding hearts

by Carolus Augustus

People keep surprising me. There should be a Museum of Bad Ideas. Or a Museum of Really Bad Ideas. There is a Museum of Failure in Sweden, but that’s just for failed products and services.

The Japan Times reports the following:

An Osaka department store is reconsidering a plan for employees to wear badges when they’re menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among co-workers but triggered a public outcry.

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring a manga character named Seiri Chan (Miss Period).

Please note: there’s a “public outcry”. The “menstruating staff” who were about to wear this Manga Badge for Audacious Menstruation might be disappointed they’ll be missing out on all the bonding and sympathy they were promised. Because that’s what women wish for when they have their monthlies: they need colleagues and clients in a department store trying to bond with them, as in: ‘I’m interested in this tie, and the red one over there. Oh, and by the way, lady, I’m sorry about what you’re going through. My daughter started having these monstrous menses as well. I try to console her, and to bond with her, telling her that my heart bleeds as well, but she keeps telling me to fuck off and die, you twat. I’m sure she’ll come around, though. Okay, I’ll buy both ties. You’re courageous, my dear. Keep bleeding!’

Good intentions count for something: at the very least they earn the person or persons who came up with this idea a well-paved road to hell, or unemployment. I have some ideas of my own, for various categories of employees:

  • a badge for incels, featuring a paraplegic gorilla, sitting in an electric wheelchair and wearing a bomb vest. This way colleagues and clients will know who to pity, avoid and fear.
  • another one for personnel of the flatulent persuasion, symbolized by a miniature painting of the trenches in the vicinity of Ypres, Belgium, after the introduction of mustard gas on the battlefield by the Germans, during WWI. One can bond and sympathize with these colleagues… from a safe distance. Free dietary counseling will be provided by the employer, as a gesture of appreciation.
  • of course, there needs to be a badge for people you can’t make jokes about. Wearing one of these is not mandatory for members of protected communities, but if an employee wishes to work in a joke-free environment, then this is the one you need. People will go like: ‘Did you see the new Dave Chappelle show on Netflix? You didn’t? Well, there’s this routine about big and muscular and hairy guys who say they identify as…. Hey, Luka! How are you? I see you’re wearing one of those new badges. You didn’t have it, I think, five minutes ago. That was you, right? You were wearing different clothes, I believe… just, like five minutes ago. Hahahaha. Why am I laughing? Maybe they’re the same clothes. I’m not sure. Nobody’s trying to be funny here. I’m not funny. Not at all!’ The badge consists of Munch’s The Scream accompanied by the text: ‘No joke.’

These are just some ideas. Much more is possible. We pay too little attention to each other. Our hearts should be bleeding more often, and more extensively. Basically, we should all stick forks in our chests and die.

Everyone needs to be able to fully express and celebrate their authentic selves at work. We need to respect all communities and identities, and to take everybody seriously, always. We hear you. Unless you’re a mute, you dummy.

People learn through trial and error. More often, we don’t.