Thursday, April 01, 2010

Wimped out and am feeling pathetic

Today I had a colleague yell at me. In public, in front of half my branch. She was upset about the insertion of some text into a report not being clear enough. I explained it was in a standard format but that didn't help. She then brought up how I screwed her over a couple of years ago when she submitted copy for a report but then didn't check the proof afterward and only found out after it went out that a graphic she'd included had the wrong treatment (so, actually both our fault on that one - and I have the written evidence to prove it because I keep everything to cover my arse).

So ... I took it. I took it all. I said that it was a standard format, she ignored that, and kept ranting. I let her say her piece then I walked away to "fix it". I got all hot in the face. And instead of gathering to enjoy festive treats with the others - whom she'd just ranted at me in front of - I sat at my desk glowering. Later, she came over and offered to compromise on it, but still the damage was already done. And this a day after she begged for a favour from me to do some extra formatting work to help her out.

Now I am not one for confrontation. But I should have said at the very least during her initial rant 'this is probably not the right place for a conversation on this - let's move it away from here.' But I didn't. Perhaps I was too stunned at the onslaught and the flailing of limbs as she worked herself into a frenzy?

Needless to say it was unprofessional and inappropriate. And while I was able to amend the report to address her concerns part of me wanted to flat out say 'no, get fucked, I won't' just to be obstinate. But I didn't. I took it all, and I tried to fix it. Because that's what I do.

I'm glad my new boss wasn't there. I asked her when she came to our section if I could ever use her as a bad cop - because on occasion I have to say no, and mean it, but preserve a future relationship. If I get my boss to do it then it works out for me. New boss said no worries.

Yesterday a colleague wanted me to do something ASAP for records management. My boss intervened, said I didn't have time, and had it shifted to next week. Then apologised to me later for even arranging that. She said it was unfair to put that stress on me given the sheer amount of work I have to do at the moment.

If my new boss had been here, and seen the fury, I hazard she would have likely stepped in and done some pipe hitting back. And she sits opposite the ranter!

Maybe next week I will brief my new boss on what happened and see what she wants to do? It's a risk though because said freak out person three times in the last two days snarled at me because of stuff I said that was inappropriate.

That's the trouble when you're an acquired taste. When you need help from the org in situations like these, all that stuff you do that seems hilarious and fun gets counted against you.

Double industrial strength sigh...

Oh, another thing happened re work and unpleasant people. A colleague wants to work for a section that's headed by Backy McStab, a former boss that screwed me over for my dream job. She had no idea what I did or the importance of what I do. She also didn't like me personally or my politics (she was overtly right wing). The colleague asked my advice about working for her.

I didn't slag off Backy McStab. I candidly admitted we had a personality clash, and that I was an "acquired taste" after-all, and that Backy lacked knowledge of what I did which made it difficult to manage me as a supervisor.

This, mind you, after she gave a referee's report that was the greatest workplace arse fuck I have ever received.

So there you go. I am either a cowardly fuck ... or I just don't rise to their level of meanness. I'm not sure. It's weird, cos while I do hold grudges for a long time, I don't actively seek revenge even when I am well placed to do so.

But I am working on this, trying to let this grudge stuff go. Because at the end of the day all it does is hurt me long term to bottle it all in and keep seething. And given I am almost literally full of shit as it is, I can't afford to have a hurting head in addition to a hurting body.

Peace out peeps.


  1. I'm the same as you, as you're already aware - when people start yelling at me, I stand there like a rabbit in headlights and take it all, don't say anything, get accused of "sulking" because I don't say anything, and later on get mad and weepy at myself for being such a wimp and not sticking up for myself.

    So frustrating.

    You should speak to your boss about the bitch lady. If she's going to pull you up for saying something inappropriate, then by god you should do the same to her for acting that way!

  2. I think I would've reacted the same... incredulity that she could behave so inappropriately, only to think later of how I *should* have managed it. That sucks.

    But the Backy McStab thing... I think you were too kind. I think it's perfectly fair to let your colleague know what she did to you re your reference- lord knows you might prevent someone else from suffering the same fate. Stating facts isn't slagging someone else off, even if the facts aren't kind to the individual concerned.

  3. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Don't beat yourself up. I wish I had the strength of character to not rise to the bait. I simply can't let a person behave like that and not put them in their place. But I've lost so many good jobs, promotions, friends and money with my zero tolerance approach. Plus afterwards I always feel like I overresponded and regret it.

  4. *hugs*

    I've been there too. Had a supervisor ream me out in front of a group of people (including our manager).

    Thing is, I had proof on my desk that she had never asked me to do what she claimed.

    I didn't do anything, but I know that many people since then have been bullied by her. Yet everyone (including management) write it off as it being "just X. Ignore her. We all know what she's like."

    I say speak to your manager when you get the chance. Your boss sounds awesome.


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