Chasing dust-bunnies

This week, while the spouse and the child are away, I find an endless joy in achieving and maintaining a level of cleanliness and tidiness denied to me otherwise. My Swiffer sweeper is busily exploring corners and edges underneath furniture. My Lysol wipes are attacking every bit of grime and grease in the kitchen, every splatter of coffee, every spot of gunk. I am particularly triumphant because we now live in a small city apartment with hardwood floors. You can traverse the entire apartment, at a leisurely stroll, in a handful of seconds. This is bad, I know. But in terms of keeping tidy? It’s wonderful. There are no corners I cannot reach. I am master of this domain.

But now that I am going micro on this endeavor, I’m finding that the endeavor is also bottomless.

I am chasing dust-bunnies all day. Wikipedia claims that dust-bunnies are “small clumps of dust that form under furniture and in corners that are not cleaned regularly.” Wikipedia LIES. Dust-bunnies appear within hours of a thorough cleaning.

Is it the cat? Is it hair-shedding season? I don’t know. But is this level of constant vigilance is what normal people live? Is this how they maintain a lovely interior whenever you drop by? Because that’s just not acceptable. Maintaining this level of tidiness most of the time is like air-brushing. It sets the rest of us up for failure. It’s completely impossible. I can maintain it when I’m the only person at home, but it’s going to be difficult when the other two return, and dump their devices, shoes, receipts, etc etc etc on the kitchen table, by the shoe-rack, on every clear surface available. When you are the only person in the family who actually sees dust-bunnies, you are at a huge disadvantage.

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Abusive practices by senior colleagues

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There is much to unpack in this video created by a South African doctor, Yumna Moosa, about her experiences of being sexually harassed and essentially hounded out of the medical career by senior colleagues. Her crime? She did not toe the line of submitting to the abusive behavior of her senior colleagues.
First: Institutional coercion. As a former medical professional who has been hazed out of her profession, she has nothing left to lose. I have been there. There is a “systematic culture of abuse” in many professions. “This is what your seniors went through” and if you complain about it, your bad attitude will get around, and no other senior colleagues will want to hire you. Being a victim at the hands of dysfunctional senior colleagues is a black mark against you. I have had similar experiences in the academic profession, and I have been cautioned – by critical, progressive, Left-oriented colleagues – to remain silent about them. Because you cannot afford to be perceived as a complainer.
An example: one of the accusations against Yumna Moosa was that she was an undesirable employee because she wouldn’t want to have a beer after work. This is precisely what many young Muslim American women worry about, even as undergraduates – that their teetotalism will earn them pariah status at work as well as in informal networks (See Chapter 3 of “Muslim American Women on Campus.”) In American life, this expectation that you will want to have a beer with other adults is pervasive.
Dr. Moosa’s case is a South African one, but the abuse by senior gatekeepers in professions is worldwide. Policies and procedures are in place, but practices are separated from such regulations. Power rules.