Complaint 94.1

by Paul Hostovsky

So I took my grievance to the grievance coordinator but she didn’t really address it, she basically just wrote me off, so then I had a grievance against the grievance coordinator, which was a more grievous grievance than the original grievance, which I won’t go into now because it would only distract from the egregiousness of my grievance against the grievance coordinator, whose job it is to address the grievances of the aggrieved. So I asked her for the name of her supervisor because this was totally unacceptable and I was going to go over her head and escalate my grievance to her supervisor, who was somebody by the name of Egon. So I wrote this Egon a long excoriating email concerning my grievance against the grievance coordinator, and three weeks went by and I didn’t hear back. So then I had a grievance against the grievance coordinator’s supervisor, and where was I supposed to go with that grievance? I mean where was this leading? I mean where would it end? I mean was this America or some badly translated Kafkaesque novel I was living in? “Do you not be happy with her as the coordinator of the grievance of you?” Egon finally replied, a one-liner whose mangled syntax smacked of transliterated Czech, or Slovak, or Bulgarian, or I don’t know what language. And so now I have a grievance against the whole world, for learning English, the new lingua franca, and tormenting me with its mutilation. And where in the world am I supposed to go with that grievance, I’d like to know.

Paul Hostovsky‘s latest book is MOSTLY (FutureCycle Press, 2021). He has won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, and has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. He makes his living in Boston as a sign language interpreter.

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