24 June 2005

Here's how it all ends

So, after many hours of seething, wandering around not getting anything accomplished, sucking at the report I was trying to write and getting chastised for the suckiness, going for a walk to "soothe" my unquiet mind, I got an e-mail. From the SC prez.

"Can you call the caterer and ask them about...?"

Yes, I agree with your reaction. WHAT?!?!

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.

I made the call.

I am many things, but stupid, doormat, or schmuck are not labels I would generally apply to myself when someone launches verbal projectile vomit in my direction. Generally, I react right away, and I was surprised at my self-restraint when I was being attacked. But the powers that be intervened and gave me this wonderful opportunity to come out on top.

This is how it went:

I waited an appropriate amount of time before making the call. Then I waited until the SC prez was alone in her office. I walked up, knocked on her open door and waited for an invitation to come in.

I sat down, and said, "I made the call and got the information you requested, but before I tell you, we need to get a few things straight."

I listed my demands:
a) Not barging into my cubicle and verbally abusing me. "You are not my boss. I am not your employee. I don't consider that appropriate under any circumstances (she does it to her staff all the time) but you and I are essentially equals, and that will not happen again."
b) Respecting that I have other work to do. "I told you twice that I was on a deadline for my boss and asked that you come back later. It was inappropriate for you to not respect when I'm working on something, and unfair that you wouldn't give me a chance to defend myself when I refused to engage you at the time."
c) Not calling me a liar. "Maybe there was a miscommunication, or misinformation, but I did not intentionally mislead you. I am not a liar, and if you want anything accomplished from me, you will not accuse me and then expect me to work with you."

She interrupted a lot, but I kept going. I kept my voice calm and stuck to my guns.

And she apologized. She admitted to being wrong about the first two, said she didn't think I was a liar and apologized for "accidentally implying" that I was kicked off the Social Committee. She asked if I was still going to help with set up for the staff summer party.

I did. And not because I'm a big masochistic sucker, but because I really did want to help.

I will be limiting my involvement in the SC for the duration of her term (end of March, or April). But I'm going to stay involved because I like it. I like finding ways to make the office fun.

The party was last night and it went well. The game we had planned got screwed up, so it was a little frustrating. But I ate lobster, drank lots and feel fine today (a day off!) so I consider it a success.

2 comments:

Tricky said...

You got some balls of STEEL, lady!

minako said...

In the interest of transparency, I guess I should mention that, while I was resolved to say something, I was both frightened of how the exchange would go, and scared that I would be unable to control myself and start crying. I think I lucked out.

I also forgot to mention that after the list of terms and the apologies (I did own up to some mistakes I made as well), she hugged me.

Then I had to listen to her talk about her kids for 10 minutes.

Then her weight troubles for 5 more.

A disingenuous attempt to be "buddies", methinks.

But, yeah. I was pretty ballsy. :)