It most definately is discrimination and it is over my (lack of ) skin color, and is very wrong on so many levels. Her other complaint about me was my bad use of language and she feels 'uncomfortable' around me. I talk to the kitties there as if they were my own and sometimes I'll use some Americanisms, like if a cat is being bad I'll say (in a joking, affectionate voice) 'You wanna knuckle sandwich?' and pretend to wave my fist, and similar things. It's very apparent I'm kidding and that I always pick the 'bad' kitty up and give her a kiss right afterwards. I also seem to think she has a problem with my nationality as well as my pigment problem. Basically, it was implied that she views me as American trailer trash because of the way I 'look' and 'talk'. She is the one who basically said I looked like a dirty bum. I do wear old clothes there because what is the point of ruining good clothes to clean out cat cages and boxes?
I suppose because she's such a valuable asset they put up with her prejudices and her high opinions. Yes she is a very good volunteer, there is no taking that away from her. I could be that in the future (knowing every area, in and out, helping prepare adoptees that are being flown to a new home, etc) As much as I like working with the cats, there are a few things about the way that place is run that puts me off. Whether she 'likes' me or not should be none of her business really. I'm there to work , the same as she is. I just can't believe she'd rather work with a woman who makes it obvious that she can't stand her than one who actually didn't have a bad word to say about her before.
My boss said to me the other day that there is a chance that I could be hired as a staff member in the future, as they do hire volunteers from time to time. However, my level of Spanish is not on a professional level right now, it's only basic. (We're in Spain, my first language is English). So if I work hard to improve my Spanish, I could be a full staff member some day...and HV would have to put up with me calling the shots.
HV is retired and has no grasp of Spanish so she would never be considered.