Funny how prejudice only shows when we’re mad or nervous or scared to the point we’re not rationalizing any more.
The other day I one of my interns translate an article for me, and then I reviewed and complemented it with a couple of paragraphs that were missing. My computer’s provider had just been changed (I have no idea what this means, but it’s what the IT guy told me when he fixed my computer), and for some reason my e-mail box was not set to make spelling corrections like it used to, but I guess I didn’t realize or remember that when I was writing the missing paragraphs. So I sent them to a co-worker of mine, for her to take a look at it — and as she didn’t have any corrections to make, she sent the article to the library girl, who’s responsible for publishing our office’s articles. A couple of minutes later, the library girl responds our e-mail, asking if she should correct the number of a Law that we had mentioned in the article, since it was spelled out wrong — instead of putting a coma between the thousands and the hundreds place, my intern had put a point, and I hadn’t seen it. So my friend answered her back and told her how the number should be. And then, a couple of minutes later, the girl sends another e-mail — a very rude one this time — pointing out a few other misspelled words and asking if the text had been reviewed by any of us. I was kinda mad at first, because it was a very rude thing to say, but it was my bad, so I figured she was right after all. My friend was really mad, though. And it got even worse when our boss later called us and told us the library girl had called her to complain about how we hadn’t revised the article and all. That I thought was really uncalled for. She didn’t have to do that. And I don’t even have to mention how my friend reacted. She was so mad. That’s when she said how absurd she thought it was that a person as unimportant and worthless as her — a mere librarian — would manage to think so much of herself as to call an associate partner of our office just to complain that two of her junior lawyers allegedly hadn’t reviewed an article before publishing it. And that got me thinking — philosophizing, as we like to say here in Brazil — about a lot of stuff. Like how we think we’re so pro-democracy, and so pro-human rights, and so equalitarian and all that, but deep inside we still think that just because we have a degree we’re more important than the person who cleans the office or organizes the library.