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Yesterday I talked to my boss about the woman who has not been treating me well at work. I led with the fact that I had a job offer, and explained that the woman who sits in the cubicle next to me is a large part of the reason I want to leave. I explained my reasons for not wanting to confront her directly without at least one other person there, and my boss agreed that one on one conversations of that nature are a route to be avoided in case it degenerates into a finger pointing debacle where one or both sides has a case of memory loss, misinterpretation of tone, etc... The past couple of days have been rough at work. One day I was pretty upset, it's not cool when someone repeatedly makes comments, refuses to help, and acts self righteous. I wanted to go in and tell her off, but didn't.

After I told my boss that the leads were not being fairly distributed she explained that she would take immediate action, and probably has based on my past experiences with her and difficult situations. I'm giving up hours I would like to be working to help someone else and getting screwed out of new business by a veteran whose sales are going 'gangbusters' (this is the exact word my boss used), this is not fair to me, she's complaining about how much work she has, I'm bored out of my mind, and fortunately for me, my boss got it. One of the things I like and admire about her is that she's pretty good about sizing up people and sees their deficiencies without me having to put together an exhaustive list that proves that this woman is not a 'team player'.

I was so nervous when I was talking to her. I felt like I was in the wrong, I admitted that I'm an overly sensitive person, I said my own actions and behavior were possibly somehow to blame, and basically let the fact that this woman has bullied, threatened, tried to intimidate me, taken advantage of me, and done a lot of other really uncool things be minimized because I felt guilty. I saw through this woman right away, I've already complained about her once, but I let my boss talk me into staying at a job I knew was not a good fit for several more months because the victim role feels very normal to me. Thankfully my boss didn't give me a lecture about being the bigger person, or trying to hug it out or anything like that.

Her advice was to ignore her, I've been doing that, and in my opinion this woman knows that the game has changed, but she doesn't have a copy of the new rules which are; please treat Jessica in a humane and respectful way. One of the reasons I delayed talking to my boss is because I thought that I wanted a different job. This is true, but there's a good possibility that there will be another person at the new job who behaves in a similar manner to this woman. I couldn't get along with some of the people at previous jobs, this is a huge milestone because I stood up for myself and was rewarded rather than punished for addressing a grievance. 

Sometimes I think the hardest person to convince is myself. I knew that this woman was bad news, but I didn't know what to do about it. I was and am the new person. I still deserve to be well treated where I work, and everywhere else for that matter. Throughout the years I have won a fair amount of awards and received accolades for what I have done in a work related setting. I won't take home anything with the company logo on it proclaiming that I performed exceptionally well, but this is significant, and may even be one of my greatest accomplishments since it's often easier to get along with and do things for customers or clients than it is to deal with another employee. 

I need support. I need encouragement, I'm very lonely, and I rely on interactions with others to meet social needs. Sitting across from a woman who has never liked me and is caught up in her own drama makes for a long and depressing day. When she's gone, so is her malevolence, but I'm still not getting those needs met. I can and should be getting this outside of work, but I also think that there are jobs where there is more interaction with other people, and I really need that no matter where I end up eventually. For me, the actual work is less important than the people I work with, I thought more people were like this, but some people can put up with the people as long as they like what they are doing.

I'm still at a career crossroads, at some future point I will probably leave. There's just not enough to keep me there. I told my boss that I want it to work, and that was true. It feels like a challenge to me and quitting feels like I'm going to be forever a job hunter and never a full time employee. But sometimes you need to take a leap of faith and treat it like I would a romance where the guy is nice enough, but the spark is just not there. I am not passionate about what I do, I got into a bad habit of fooling around at work, that's when I knew I needed to do something, since then I've become a sales robot, and found that this is not really the answer either. I need a job where my personality is appreciated, and I can build on relationships I've forged with others.

Today is Friday and I am ecstatic. There will be other jobs, I have a four hour work day, my time there is limited, I can do this, it will not get easier going forward, but I am not the person I was yesterday, the day before, or the day before that. The bunk beds are still gone, we're going to have a family meeting tonight or tomorrow, whenever my daughters and I have a chance to connect. Writing about other people helps me. My friends and family have given me some very good advice and I'm grateful for that. It's nice to be believed when I say that someone is unpleasant and problematic at work. People used to discount what I said, and it feels wonderful to have more credibility than I did. 

On a completely unrelated note I changed my Tinder bio and I feel better about that. I never thought about it this way before, but now I view the bio as a shield that keeps the people I don't want near me away while inviting those I do want closer. Yesterday I talked to a grad student, someone who works in hospice, and was unmatched by the guy who had self esteem issues. He said he would call me, never did, said good morning to me as if I was going to respond to that without an apology on his part first. It came hours later, by then I had given up on him, he screwed up, and he knew it, but then he tried to put the blame on me and I wasn't having any of it. 

Dating and work may not seem related, but I think as your confidence and skill set improves in one area of your life, it carries over to another. I had no trouble putting that guy in his place. He hadn't followed through on his word, and then tried to see if he could get away with treating me poorly rather than giving me the apology I deserved. Had he led with the apology and then said good morning to me, or combined the two, we would probably still be chatting. He did me a favor so even though the encounter was not exactly fun, and there are some hurt feelings on both sides, it's clear that we are unable to communicate well, and therefore I am grateful it didn't work out not that I had any grand expectations from him in the first place. Life is strange, but I'm better off today.



P.S. I wonder what it will be like when I go into work today...


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