She’s upped the ante

Oh Wow.

So I got to work this morning and things were manic. I’ve been covering our coordinator for the last week as I always do when she is on holiday or unwell and that means I am the person that allocates cover for staff that are unwell or on holiday and means I am the go to person for the support staff and sort out capacity and answer any queries etc. I was rushing around helping one of our lawyers with some urgent work and I saw work friend in my peripheral vision. As I said yesterday I am trying to just stay out of her way at the moment as I have no intention of trying to be the one to fix this latest spat again. So I kept my head down and looked at the piece of paper I was holding.

She then (very loudly) tutted, sighed and made a comment along the lines of “Oh for Christ’s sake” and I just ignored it and carried on with my work.

An hour later she “Replied To All” to an email I had sent to the entire department. This included lawyers and support staff. She replied to all to ask something which she thought I had not dealt with and in my eyes, tried to make me look bad again. She could have emailed only me (or phoned me, or asked me face to face).  I was furious and so I replied only to her and told her nothing was needed because it had been dealt with. I wanted to tell her never to do that to me again, but thought better of it. Trying to keep our spat separate from work – unlike her.

I then went to lunch an hour ago with two of my other friends and we were sitting at a table eating our lunch when she appeared in the canteen. Obviously this made me feel very awkward and tense (nervous if truth be told!) because I didn’t want to ask her to join me because we are not talking and I am keen to actually resolve our issues and not just do the usual sweep it under the rug thing… she then proceeded to slam her food tray down on the table right next to us and pull out her chair loudly to make a point. She then sat there on her own and began to eat her lunch.

I felt SO uncomfortable because not only was she sitting on her own which made me feel guilty, she was so close she could hear everything I was saying which is just awkward and made me feel as though I couldn’t relax even at lunch. Like it isn’t bad enough getting things shouted out at me when I am walking to the bathroom at work! Anyway I decided to try and ignore my feelings and so just carried on eating and talking to the others.

A few minutes later she jumped up from her chair, causing the chair to shriek across the floor, slammed her food on a tray and stormed over to my table where he stared at me in a way only your mother could – a total look of disapproval and anger and shouted (literally shouted) “REALLY??? REALLY?????????” then stormed off.

The “Really?” was clearly her way of voicing her disapproval and anger at me not inviting her to join our table. She is now back in victim mentality and knowing her as well as I do, she will probably now cry and tell anyone at work that I am ignoring her for no reason and excluding her, forcing her to sit alone at lunch time. I will be made to look like the bad guy as always.

I am so sick of this. I try so hard to fight against my feelings of just smoothing things over for the sake of keeping the peace, but I don’t want to be emotionally blackmailed like this anymore and so I am trying to stay true to myself and stick to my feelings that if she wants to join me for lunch, we clearly need to resolve our differences first and have an adult discussion – not at work and not in front of other people.

She needs to stop making me feel obligated and guilty if I don’t see her and playing on the fear that she knows I feel not knowing when she will ignore me or huff and puff or verbally shout at me.

She needs to separate our friendship from work and stop with the emails and she needs to respect the role I am in when I am covering this coordinator and respect that as everyone else does (i.e. when she decided she was unwell the other day and couldn’t come into the office, she should have told me, but she didn’t because she feels she is older and therefore has no obligation to tell me – despite the fact that she DOES tell the actual coordinator when she is here and she is younger anyway!!).

It isn’t much to ask is it?

So now what do I do? I am now feeling even more tense and nervous and awkward – the atmosphere is awful as you can imagine. All of this is intolerable, I do not want to be in this position and I do not want to feel I have to sort things out just to avoid feeing bullied at work. She is 53 for goodness sake.

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24 thoughts on “She’s upped the ante

    1. Do you? Secretly I feel like I’m being bullied… same feelings. My whole body is buzzing and nervous and tense and I am clearly in fight or flight mode – my heart beating fast and my back is aching where I am tensing.. its horrible. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is either my coordinator (who’s job I am doing until tomorrow) and then there is my direct boss and lots of others as well as HR but it all sounds so petty and to be honest I’d rather not involve management.

        I think perhaps I need to set out my boundaries to her if she wants to continue any relationship with me but at the same time I don’t want to be the one who has to do this YET AGAIN in order to smooth things over and make work tolerable. I feel that is why she does it and she’s upping the anti in the hope I will respond xx

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      2. I’m not sure that you talking to her is going to help tbh. I would definitely recommend you talk to one of those people you’ve suggested…. you deserve to feel safe and calm at work x

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I know how you feel. I have a similar thing ish with a boss at work and I won’t report it because I’m too scared. But I know that that is connected to when I was little and was unable to reach out for help. I wish for both you and me that we get the courage to ask for what we need x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You are so right. It isn’t our normal to “tell” or to seek help is it… so we put up with it even now we have learnt what is and isn’t right or acceptable…… Eugh jeez. I hope you manage to get some support with your situation and I am sending you courage (that I don’t have myself)!! haha xx

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  1. I would go higher and get some advice. She seems to starting to bully you. She’s being very petty and the email is just stupid. There’s no need for behaviour like that just because you won’t have lunch with her! I’m sure your employer won’t want petty behaviour like hers slowing the work down. x

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    1. It is petty, I agree. She’s always been petty and passive aggressive (which she accuses everyone else of being apart from herself) but today takes the mick. I think I will speak to my coordinator tomorrow morning when she is back – I just worry because she plays the victim so well and cries a lot so people feel sorry for her!! xx

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      1. I think the whole office would get fed up of her eventually anyway! Like Sirena just said, she’s an adult. You’re both adults! They would probably just politely ask her not to bring her personal issues with another colleague into the work environment. It’s a difficult thing to do but you haven’t done anything wrong. x

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  2. She might be 53, but you are not dealing with an adult here, that’s for sure. And as she moves into victim mode the impetus is for you to move into persecutor … or at least that’s where she’s putting you. Refuse that shit! Stay in your potent adult place and invite her to do the same. You can’t ignore this behaviour any longer and you need to speak to her. Tell her you hope you can both sort out the issues privately but if her behaviour doesn’t stop then u have no other option but to involve a third party. Reiterate that any personal issues she has with you can’t and won’t be tolerated in the workplace.
    P.s- what a fucking bitch, bytheway 😆

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    1. HAHAHAHAH love the ending of that!! The thing is, as I said yesterday in my babble, I don’t even WANT to sort it out with her. I genuinely would rather we didn’t speak ever again LOL!!!! X

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      1. Yeah by sort it out I meant lay down the law nice and clear for her, not be BBF’s with her.
        Remember, as the great and wise Buddha said ” do no harm, but take no shit.” 🤣😁

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I could talk to HR.. I could but feel like I shouldn’t – like our years of friendship dictate that isn’t the right thing to do…

      It’s a tricky one because I don’t want to sort things out with her. I do have things to say to her, I do have boundaries that I want respected (which aren’t being respected) but I don’t have any interest in becoming best mates again like she will and you can’t actually say to someone “I don’t want to be friends anymore” when you are this age can you.. unfortunately!!!! x

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      1. Yeah, its a tricky situation for sure. Maybe, there is a chance that She will approach you and want to talk everything through, or be open to you approaching her and talking it all through. Makes for a tough days at work, that’s for sure. Sending you hugs and support!!

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  3. Yikes she sounds crazy 😬

    But I get it. I understand, from my own experience, why you would feel guilty and apprehensive about speaking to her or reporting her. Because it was a friendship you wanted, needed and valued at one point. You met each others dysfunctional needs at the time, but now that you understand that, you no longer want or need it. Which is a bit shit for her. It’s also difficult because you know the likelihood of having an enlightening chat with her and her understanding everything and wanting to change the relationship for the better is close to zero. Also, it’s left a bitter taste in your mouth by the sounds of it, so even if it could be saved, you don’t want to, you just want rid. I get it.

    So I suppose if you’ve decided you don’t want to have a friendship with her anymore, then you just need to acknowledge the consequences of that and find your way of coping if you’re still to work together. Because she’s hurt, confused and still dysfunctional, so of course she’s going to behave this way. Don’t expect more of her because of her age, because as Sirena has said, you’re not dealing with an adult when shes reacting like that. If you expect her to react like a toddler that just had Christmas cancelled, she will surprise you much less and so hopefully that will reduce the anxiety. Expect her to lash out, expect her to protest, expect her to use devious methods to get what she wants. You just remember that you do not need to justify your decision to anyone at work, as it is a personal issue. Not until somebody presents you with a situation where they believe her crap and that belief is causing an issue at work, do you need to concern yourself with what anybody else’s opinion is on the matter. X

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    1. “Because it was a friendship you wanted, needed and valued at one point. You met each others dysfunctional needs at the time, but now that you understand that, you no longer want or need it. Which is a bit shit for her. It’s also difficult because you know the likelihood of having an enlightening chat with her and her understanding everything and wanting to change the relationship for the better is close to zero. Also, it’s left a bitter taste in your mouth by the sounds of it, so even if it could be saved, you don’t want to, you just want rid. I get it.” as always you hit the nail on the head. Exactly that.

      It HAS left a very bitter taste in my mouth. It seems a familiar pattern for me. I felt the same with the ex narc friend that I totally cut off and I feel the same with bitchface – and now this woman too. I guess it is anger and self-protectiveness in a way? Having felt emotionally blackmailed and played around with, it makes you want to protect yourself and say no thanks!! I know that does sound harsh but that’s where I am at unfortunately.

      You are totally right about not expecting her to react like an adult – I should try to remember that more often. I just get shocked and I guess when she reacts so awfully I get to say “look!! see what she is like” if that makes sense?

      You are right about those I work with… most people around know she is childish anyway so I guess I should stop worrying. Again another familiar pattern with me in this – I was the same about how my family viewed me after my mother doing her best to slag me and my boyfriend off to them all. Now I care less.. I guess I will care less here too.

      Bloodyhell, so much dysfunction around me its ridic!!! xx

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  4. I hope all the above advice gives you a solution. Its an awful situation. Dont let her guilt tripping make you shift your boundary. She must have serious issues and that is not your problem. To me not reacting is the best defence even if inside you feel like jello. Hugs ☺

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