Elder abuse, age discrimination - who knew there were such things? I didn't, until it happened to me at the very Space Center I founded at Central School, Pleasant Grove. The perpetrator was none other than Isaac, a newly appointed Space Center Magellan supervisor.
On the surface Isaac seems rather meek, timid, kind to a fault, and generous (except when asked to share his trademark microwave burritos). His co-workers have nothing but good to say about his character. His picture is on the bulletin board and labeled "Trustworthy" at the Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Confused in Highland. His application for "Outstanding Teen of 2015" is on file at the Lollipop Guild's Utah Headquarters in Holiday. He was the first in his fifth grade class to memorize Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address. And finally, Lone Peak High School's PTA has him listed as the first high school student ever to enrol as a member.
"Isaac is a gem," Connor Larsen said when I reported the abuse I suffered at this supervisor's hands. "Isaac isn't capable of doing what you're describing. You misunderstood the situation."
"Misunderstood?!" I retorted. "Misunderstand THIS!" I held the review he had just completed on my performance in the Magellan Second Chair position under his nose. "He gave me a B- on that last mission. Don't forget, I'm the guy who started this place. I'm the guy who invented Flight Directing. I'm the guy responsible for these simulators. Your supervisor gave me, the Founder, a B-."
Connor hesitated for a moment. I could tell he was holding his next remark carefully in his mouth, unsure whether or not to spit it out. He raised his finger to make a point and let loose what everyone else in the room was thinking. "Do you think just maybe you deserved the B-?"
A second blow was given. I teetered unsteadily on my feet, regained my balance and replied. "So this is how it is. I'm gone for a couple of years and come back asking for a bit of training on the Magellan systems since the new USS Voyager at Renaissance Academy will be using the Magellan's flight controls, and I'm treated like this?"
"You came to us," Isaac snorted from the Discovery Room, evidently listening in to our conversation. It was obvious to all that he was enjoying himself.
I sat the review next to the 2nd chair computer and my empty 44 ounce Harts Gut Buster. That's when I understood what Elder Abuse and age discrimination really meant: picking on those too old and feeble to defend themselves.
I'll let you neutral Troubadours read my evaluation. You be the judge. Am I a survivor? Was Isaac justified in writing up a review on my performance? Let me add, his review was unsolicited and written underhandedly. He sat beside me during the mission offering occasional help. During the ordeal I noticed he was taking notes. He wouldn't let me see them. I assumed he was recording my imaginative scan answers to use for future missions.
How did I know he was critiquing my work; using my inexperience as the knife to silence the would be king.
Et Tu Brutus?
There it is. What do you have to say? Am I a survivor? Where do your sympathies lie? Do I have grounds for a libel suit?
I know I'm taking a risk posting this. Many of you Troubadours might side with Isaac. You may admire him for taking on The Man. Who, except a young wet behind the ears teenager, would imagine themselves worthy to write a review of Mr. Williamson's performance in the control room?
Perhaps the tale of what Isaac did will be told at Space Center gatherings for generations to come; the story of how a David from Highland stood his ground against the Goliath of Experiential Education, putting him to the ground with a simple pen and paper.
I'm a survivor. I've lived through worse (just ask me about the 1972 Rapid City Flood). I'll get through this. I guess there is a lesson to be learned. For the first time in twenty-five years, I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of a Space Center performance evaluation.
When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade - right?
Bruised, but soldiering on...
P.S. Isaac, your space station is childishly immature............. that felt good.