Author Topic: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...  (Read 3959 times)

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caradi

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Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« on: February 20, 2009, 07:48:22 PM »
I'm new here (just rediscovered this site a few days ago)...anyway, I have/had a situation and would really appreciate your expert advice. I would have given anything to have known about WAIA a couple months ago. Here's the situation:

My dh has worked for a local, family owned business for the past 37 yrs. Dh and I have been married 16 yrs and together over 20 yrs...so I have known this family (and they me) for a couple decades now. Having been a sahm to 4 great kids for 14 yrs...I went back to work in 2007 as an assistant/clerk for my dh. He's in a Vice President position and just does not have time for "clerk work". He arranged things so that I could work from  home (which was awesome). So, for nearly 2 yrs. I put my heart and soul into helping him manage a new division (that he's in charge of). I created an entire system of tracking, logging and billing hundreds of construction jobs. Anyway, because of the recent economic crisis...dh had to lay me off last November. While I was upset, I understand because he has superintendents on salary that he's trying to keep busy. So for now, one of the supers is doing my job...and yes, I trained him LOL!

Okay...now this last December is where the "situation" started. While a company wide email went out inviting "all employees" to the year end awards/foreman's meeting/xmas party, I didn't receive it. While I wasn't the only female in this very dominant construction company...it is made up of mostly guys. Because I was the "link" between the office and the field, I became great friends with several of the guys (supers/foremen). So when one of the supers asked me if I was going to go to this year end xmas party (I had gone to the previous year's party), I said I hadn't received the email. He then forwarded the email to me which plainly stated to those receiving the email to be sure and "pass it on" to as many employees as they knew (as a lot of employees had been laid off due to economics and weather). My dh was going to be out of town and wouldn't be attending...but my friend the super said he wasn't going if I didn't go. So I figured why not.

Some of the gals from the office were there as well (handing out sweatshirts, hats and gift cards)...I won't even go into the fiasco related to that, but suffice it to say, that I did not feel welcome from the office folk. I sat with the group of guys that I knew and had worked with for almost 2 yrs. Some of them I know better than others, but because I'm their boss's wife, I really went out of my way to establish easy-going relationships with all of them. After the awards/giveaways and dinner concluded...my super friend and I stayed to help clean up (party was held in a local hall). We folded chairs, tables, picked up trash, etc...It wasn't a great time, but overall, I had a good time with my buddies. It's nice cause they treat me like "one of the guys" and it was always really fun working with them.

That party was Friday night and the "office" xmas party (for management, etc.) was on Saturday night. The owners son (who's in his mid 30's) has taken over as president of the company...but the owners Mr and Mrs. S are still involved, especially with "social" things. Anyway, the night before...I had seen both Mr. and Mrs. S (though not together) and both were very nice to me. Like I said before, we've known each other since I met my dh...so we go way back. A little background on Mrs. S. She is in her early 60's. She has battled her weight for years...and while she may have been a little overweight, she was never what I would have considered "obese"...yet a couple years ago, she underwent gastric bypass. Aside from nearly dying from this surgery...she has undergone a "drastic" change. She lost so much weight (so fast) that now she's "skeletal" looking and has aged 20  yrs. While these people are quite "well off" they're always trying to buy their happiness...anyway, she seems quite miserable. Now she's thin...but she has all this loose skin and it has just really "aged" her. I have truly felt terrible for her situation. Mr. S is not the most sensitive guy and I have a feeling that much of the "work" she's had done is to try and please the unpleasable (Mr. S)...

Fast forward to the night of the office xmas party which was held at a very nice restaurant. We were one of the first couples to show up...so we picked out our seating, etc...and began mingling with the guests that were still arriving. When Mr. and Mrs. S arrived...we were standing there talking with some other people when Mrs. S walked up to us. I think I might have said something like, "...oh hi "S", nice to see you again...", then Mrs. S proceeded not only to completely ignore my comment, but to make this comment (to which I was truly speechless): "...Oh yeah, C was at the party last night and she did her best to 'pick-up' every guy in the place, but none of them would take her home..." OMGosh...I can't remember the last time anyone embarrassed or insulted me that way. To say I was "dumbfounded" is an understatement...and seeing other people's uneasiness, awkwardness, etc...I quickly said, "...yeah, the guys take great care of me..." as in, even though my dh wasn't there, they sat with me and were good buddies. I then just walked away (to compose myself). Sheesh...my dh encouraged me to go, cause he knew I'd be with the Atmos crew and we're all good friends. I was hardly up trying to score guys. ...it's been over 2 months ago, but everytime I think of it or retell the story to someone, my blood begins to boil.

I did send Mr. and Mrs. S a nice thank you note expressing our gratitude for the lovely evening and for the gift cards we each received at the xmas party. I haven't seen either Mr. or Mrs. S since that night, but it's only a matter of time til we meet again at some other social function. I just don't want to lose my cool. For what it's worth, I'm 10 yrs. younger than my dh (he's 54, I'm 44) and a decent looking chick and generally get along well with everyone. This whole thing just came out of left field and I felt so unprepared and blind sided that I just don't understand it. I have never been anything but nice to this woman. I worked hard for HER company. I just don't "get" it.

If you've made it this far, bless your heart...I am just wondering, if I handle the situation correctly and how to handle future encounters with her. While I would love to "get even" I know that is childish and wrong...I especially would not want to do or say anything that would shine a negative light on my dh. So what do you all think? Should I just forget it? How should I handle any further insults this woman may throw my way? I really wish I would have known about the TAIA back then. Any feedback would be very appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

C.

Only me

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 11:32:51 PM »
Hi

Actually it sounds like you handled it fine? Her comment was totally unappropriate.
I wonder if she is jealous of you for some reason?

Justme

TaylorMade

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 11:41:32 PM »
Who did Mrs. S say the comment to?  Did she glance/see/know you were there?

After you walked away, what, if anything, did you DH say to her?

I'm just trying to get the visual in my head a little better...

caradi

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 01:55:28 AM »
First TaylorMade and OnlyMe...thank you for reading and responding to my story.

Dh and I were standing there with several other couples (just mingling). I saw she and Mr. S walk in. Mr. S stopped to talk to someone else, while Mrs. S came over to our group. I said hi, nice to see you, long time no see sorta thing (sorry, my CRS is bad and I can't remember my exact wording, but that was the jist of what I said)...then something was said about my "filling in" for my husband (since he couldn't be there the night before) and that's when she said, "...yeah, C tried to pick up every guy there...blah, blah, blah..." While she was saying it, it was almost as if I wasn't standing there. She wasn't actually saying it directly to me, but rather to the folks that happened to be standing there. She said it in a joking way (kinda giggling along the way), but it was most certainly an underhanded insult. After she said it, it was like, wow...did she just say that, and then I was scrambling for something to say to ease the tension. As soon as I had dh alone (after we sat down for dinner)...I said, "...I can't believe S would say a thing like that..." Of course, dh was like, "what?". After going over with him what she said (musta went over his head LOL)...he said, "...oh, she was only kidding/joking..." I then proceded to educate dh in the ways in which women "politely" or "jokingly" insult one another.

Like I said before...this is something that came completely out of left field. I honestly don't know what her problem is. She was always a really good looking gal, even well into her 50s...but that gastric bypass just really ruined her. I mean, she's not really been the same since. I think that deep down she's just an unhappy, miserable person...and though they have tons of money, she cannot not buy the contentment she so desires. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I suppose it's possible that I wasn't personally selected to "insult", but perhaps I just happened to be on the receiving end of her bitterness, kwim?

I would never want to stoop to that level of rudeness, caddiness, etc...but in the same token, I don't want to leave myself defenseless in case she decides to make me her target again. Fortunately, we only see the "S's" 3 or 4 times a year (though dh sees Mr. S at the office fairly regularly). I do feel torn because on one hand...just looking at her life, she's been thru a lot (her dh is a pretty insensitive, etc.) and it does make me feel bad, but on the other hand...it's like, wow...I thought we were friends having known one another for 20 odd years. Honestly, I'm more hurt than I am angry. For her to presume to know (or understand) the nature of my relationship with the guys (that I've worked with everyday for that last 1 1/2 yrs) is so way off...and for her to assume I was out picking up my coworkers while my dh was out of town is simply rediculous. My dh told me to go for heaven's sake...and we have an awesome relationship. He trusts me 100% and he at least understands and knows the type of relationships that existed. I'm still good friends with several of the guys even though I'm not currently employed...In fact, just a couple weeks ago, we (dh and I) went out to dinner with one of my buddies and his wife. We're a close bunch. This company is a  utilities contractor (all underground utilities). My dh started and is now VP of the natural gas division (gas pipeline). He has contracts with several gas companies, and I was hired specifically to handle all the clerk work for one particular gas company contract...and the guys I knew were all also doing jobs for this gas company.

Sorry for getting long winded again...hope that better explains the situation.

TaylorMade

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 02:29:30 PM »
Is it possible that she was joking? 

Is her sense of humor like that?

I am only asking because your husband thought she was joking.  I have 'that' kind of sense of humor.  I am slightly sarcastic and 'joke' like that with people that I have know for a very long time (like you have with Mrs. S)  I realize that you believe she wasn't joking and that she was purposefully trying to get a 'dig' at you, but maybe she wasn't.

Since you only see her 3-4 times a year, and she is the wife of the owner, I would let it go.

Just smile and be polite to her when you see her.  This is just one of those instances where you should probably suck it up a few times a year for the sake of your husbands career.

caradi

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 03:56:34 PM »
Yeah...you're probably right (about suckin' it up, LOL)...and I don't have a problem with that. As far as whether she was joking or not...I suppose it's possible that I just took it the wrong way. Though we've known each other for years and years...we're not close personal friends. Hmmmm...IDK, maybe I'm the one who made an interesting assumption, LOL!

Anyway, thanks for your advice! :)

nonesuch4

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 09:32:49 AM »
I am very sarcastic.  I can't imagine saying anything like that....unless.....it was someone I knew very,very well, and everyone within earshot clearly knew it was a joke.  Maybe, because she has known you for a long time, (but not well) she let that slip out without considering how it would sound out loud. 

I stop myself frequently, and just smile at the words coming together in my brain, and think "It's okay to keep that comment in your head nonesuch, it's not so funny out loud."

You handled it okay.  She maybe was having a bad night.  No one is going to believe it (or I wouldn't) cause who would be dumb enough to choose one of her husband's colleagues for a one nighter? 

Okay, people DO, but it's not very smart.

mechtilde

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 12:21:23 PM »
You ignored her rudeness and gave a perfectly polite response. That was exactly the right thing to do in the circumstances.

ETA You didn't fall flat on your face, but she certainly did. Don't let other people's rudeness make you feel embarassed.
NE England

caradi

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 01:46:56 PM »
Nonesuch...what's funny is not only are they my husbands colleagues, but mine as well LOL...I worked with this crew for nearly 2 yrs so I don't think it unreasonable or strange that I would sit with that crew...they're my buddies! I told my husband that I love my "guy" friends as they're like girlfriends only better...they don't have PMS or female drama, LOL!! I guess no matter how I look at it, it bothers me. I mean, if she just said it to be snarky...why? and if she said it because she truly thought I was out trying to pick up my co-workers...then wow, I just can't think she would think such a thing about me...so either way...it was a hurtful comment...but at this point, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt in that it was just a tasteless joke (maybe her hunger is getting the best of her, LOL)...

Mechtilde...thank you! You're right, I shouldn't let her rudeness make me feel bad. I know had I retaliated with an equally rude comeback, I would not feel good about that...so even though I couldn't think of anything clever to say...I can live with myself and hold my head up high. I think some people just lack the brain to mouth filter, LOL!

DianeRN

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Re: Feel like I fell flat on my face (advice needed)...
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 09:54:38 PM »
I think she was jealous on two fronts: one, you still have your looks while it sounds like she has destroyed hers and two, you have a rapport with the guys that she doesn't. She probably doesn't really want to sit and talk with the guys like you do, but she doesn't want you to either.

Just try to let it roll right past you. You seem to have a happy life and she was trying to pull you down to her level of misery.