Author Topic: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work  (Read 6096 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

frogonmytoe

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 233
s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« on: July 27, 2012, 12:15:47 PM »
I may just need to vent about this, but seeing the other thread made me relate to the situation...  long so feel free to ignore :P

I tend to be very private at work. I'm friendly with many, especially my small department, but I don't open up to more than a handful of people. And the person I'm closest to is the only one I would ever consider a friend, even outside of work. I'll call her Jane. We've been close and confided much in each other in the past few years.

I have seen a pattern in her friendships with others, where she will be hurt by what she takes as a slight against her.  While I respect that her feelings are hurt, from an outside perspective, it's usually what I consider a severe over-reaction to something that was likely not intentional or even a conscious decision. She's often relayed the situation to me and I try to remind her that the offender likely just was caught up in their own lives and didn't mean it.  Her usual reaction is to ignore and be mad at them, and eventually confront them, discuss what was wrong, and apologies are given.

Well, what goes around comes around right?

Since I came back to work 5 weeks ago (from a brief medical leave for fracture in my hand), she's ignored me completely except for work related interactions. I was actually really hurt by this, because the last time I was at work wrapping things up when my Doc told me to stop working, I was having a complete mental breakdown and she was the only person I confided in at the time. (I found out that day that I didn't have disability coverage, which meant however long I was going to be out, plus for my maternity leave, I have no company benefits AT ALL.) 

So I knew something was up when she refused to ask how I was, how my hand was, how my pregnancy was... And yes, I know that like the advice I have given her, she may just have been busy and stressed with her own stuff - but knowing that she would never tolerate that from one of her friends, and that she usually would never neglect her friends in such a way, I was quite hurt by her actions.

I also know from her patterns, that she must have taken some offense to something I did, and is expecting me to apologize. But I can't imagine WHAT I possibly did!  The only possible things:

- The day I had the breakdown, she was trying to help by sending me old emails, which really just made me feel stupid because apparently it was spelled out quite clearly what we had to do to have disability coverage (at the time, though, I had no clue it covered maternity leave, and I was single.)  She may think that I was not appreciative, but I was crying and freaking out, I was not in the best frame of mind.

- When I returned, I was given a task and she had been involved in the project, so she said "be sure to do XYZ". This complicated my task, as I had not worked on the project in over a year, and had a computer upgrade so the software wasn't even on my machine. I asked if she could help (as it would be 30 minutes max for her - took me 2 days dealing with IT to get the program then 3 hours to recall how to do it and get it done.) but she was very busy. I said "no problem, I'll get it done."  In trying to determine what had to be done ASAP and when XYZ had to be completed, the project manager took the discussion to Jane, despite my attempts to say no, I was handling it, Jane is busy.  So, it's possible she is upset that I asked for her help (although I completely accepted no for an answer) or brought PM over to her, even though I tried to stop him (she wouldn't know that.)

That's it, the only possible things I can think of for her to take offense. Unless it's something completely off my radar. Oh wait, one more!

- There was a temp consultant in our group for a year who was very offensive particularly to women (I had complained here, and to HR about him, but no one would remove him from the department). At his goodbye luncheon, Jane and I were both equally eager to not sit anywhere near him. I just was trying to judge the seating situation as people approached the table, but she literally PUSHED me out of the way to get in front of me to get a seat, and then he almost sat right next to her - she called over another coworker to sit between them. I hung back and managed to get at the other end of the table. (9 people total). She was upset that I ended up in a better spot, meanwhile she was the one who behaved horribly in the pushing and making another person sit next to her.

Her attitude is spilling into our work interactions (I know her well, although she says nothing wrong it's completely clear to me), and when I tried to ask about it she denied it and said "she hasn't said a word to me. feel how you want to feel."   I didn't continue the conversation because I feel she's expecting me to grovel and apologize for something, and I frankly feel that I deserve an apology from her as she's not behaved like my friend for over a month.

I know the answer for the work environment is to behave professionally and politely, and just leave it at that, but I'm seriously hurt by all this and it's like a friendship breakup which makes things much messier. But I also don't know that I really want to repair the friendship, as I just see this being her usual pattern and don't feel like being a sucker who goes through it more than once if that makes sense.  The situation is pushing all my "end of friendship" insecurities from when I went through a bad patch of friendship breakups, and even if it's mostly their issues each time it makes me feel like something is wrong with me.


cookie if you made it through all that! I just haven't been able to vent and articulate this to anyone else (my husband just isn't getting it lol), so it's helpful to do that, though I welcome any advice or commiserations! :D Thanks!








Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9436
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 12:33:20 PM »
First, I'm sorry that Jane is behaving like a toddler- wait, I take that back. It's insulting to toddlers. Jane is being a pill. Since you know her pattern, I'd simply stick to being coolly polite and if she confronts you, deal with it as you see fit. I would also remove her from my confidence and my friendship. It hurts to lose a friend, but a PA drama creator is not a good thing to have in your life.

(((hugs)))
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

frogonmytoe

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 12:53:15 PM »
Hahaha thank you. Losing the closest person at work is worth the reduction in drama... and I don't have to hear her complain when she does this to the next victim! :P  Hopefully we'll get back to a casual politeness that isn't awkward at some point.

shadowfox79

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2784
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 06:31:22 AM »
Out of curiosity, after she's been through the cycle of pout-confront-apologise, does she usually go back to being friends with the person?

If so, she will most likely confront you at some point, so use that chance to let her sort out whatever's wrong in her head, but don't go back to your previous friendship. It will be less drama for you and will drive her nuts.  ;)

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5954
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 08:56:19 AM »
Jane is not a friend. Mentally reclassify her as virtual stranger you happen to work with. Remain polite. If she approaches you wanting apology, act confused like you have no recollection of what incident she is referring to. Do not apologize! Sounds like much less stress with decreased contact.

Otterpop

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1175
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 10:34:22 AM »
It's a power game to her:  Act offended, get friend to grovel, resume friendship with superior/inferior positions (guess which one you get...)  Don't play.

frogonmytoe

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 01:21:43 PM »
Out of curiosity, after she's been through the cycle of pout-confront-apologise, does she usually go back to being friends with the person?

Yes, although I'm not in the loop enough to know if they go back to the same level of friendship as before.

I know I certainly won't be. :P Thanks all for telling me what I already know, just needed it confirmed!  I've tried at least giving a small smile when passing just to make it less tense, but she's avoiding eye contact.


Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9436
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 07:52:42 PM »
Oh, brother. It sounds like you're well shot of her.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Otterpop

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1175
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 09:21:34 PM »
Good for you OP!  Don't even bother to smile.  Keep it all professional.

(When her game doesn't work, she become friendly again, out-of-the-blue as if nothing happened.  If you become friends again, she'll give you the silent treatment for no reason at some point again, until you finally capitulate.  Still, don't play).
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 09:30:56 PM by Otterpop »

mrkitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 760
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 09:19:42 PM »
How on earth is that woman still employed at your company?! She sounds completely unprofessional.
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Carotte

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 922
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2012, 12:44:28 PM »
Cookies to you, I got a cut direct once that left me wondering for years (tried to rekindle, was cut again after a few months) and other insecurities and such.
Anyway, time to find someone who won't act like a spoiled teenager (easier said than done but worth it!), stop caring about 'Jane', that will drive her insane (look into the 'giving PA people what they want' thread and you'll understand.) and will make your life easier. Try to have witnesses or keep a paper trail of your professional interactions with her if you think she might try to make trouble.

Raintree

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5855
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 11:41:07 PM »
Quote
when I tried to ask about it she denied it and said "she hasn't said a word to me. feel how you want to feel."

There was your sign. As a PP said, "don't play." She wants you to grovel. I can't be bothered with people who take some kind of issue with me and expect me to work to guess what it is. She is a drama queen and it sounds like you were there for her when she was having her various crises, but she wasn't there for you when you were having yours.

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 01:27:07 PM »
First of all, sorry this is happening.

Please don’t spend one more second speculating about what you may have done or why Jane is mad.

She might be playing a mind game, she might be super-sensitive, she may have misinterpreted something, she might feel slighted, she might be mentally ill – who knows?

I fully understand that when a person is hurt, angry, upset, etc. they might need a “cooling” period before talking to the other party (if appropriate) or before getting past it.   But since this is such a pattern with Jane I’m surprised management hasn’t referred her to the Employee Assistance Program (or similar program) for counseling.  In a way I kind of feel sorry for her because unless she learns to handle her emotions better she is going to make herself and a lot of other people very unhappy, and most likely impact her career.  If she ever “confronts” you, you would be doing her a favor by telling her this.

I’d continue to be professional/civil, but I think you should distance yourself from her.

Take care.


« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 01:28:56 PM by oceanus »

Veronika Fate

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: s/o - Surviving the direct cut at work
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 11:17:55 PM »
I know PPs have said the same thing and you already agreed, but I have to chime in from experience that I think you should let go of the friendship attachment and work towards basic coworker treatment.

I had (had!) a friend who was just like this, having different orbits of friendship.  Slightly different in that when I was the lucky friend she was circling, she acted very selfish (didn't want me to go out with any other friends, wanted to be driven everywhere and paid for, agreed with, etc.).  If I didn't give her what she wanted, which was never directly asked for, it was the biggest personal offense and she would drop me completely and revolve around the next friend and went through the cycle of multiple people over and over.  She has tried to get me back in the rotation and although I miss the good times with her, those good times came with a fee and led to resentment and stress.

This sounds similar to what your Jane is doing to you and from experience I can say, it saves a lot of mental energy to drop her as much as possible.  Because it's at work it complicates things, but I think etiquette will agree that as long as you are the one who acts professionally it will be hard to mentally downgrade and accept that, but if she throws any kind of tantrum about getting work treatment instead of special friend treatment then it will backfire on her and not you. 

I'm sorry you confided in her in a hard time, just to get hurt worse.   :(