Monday, July 18, 2011

Sticks and Stones

You know that saying... "Sticks and Stones my break my bones but words can never hurt me?"

I don't think that's true. I think words are just as awful as sticks and stones, and the bruises take much longer to go away, if ever.

This is a story I have been trying to find a way to tell, but have been struggling with it. I am going to be as vague as possible because my intention is not to call anyone out, it's to get some emotions out of my system and tell a story that made enlighten many to some of my deepest fears.

At a job I had, I became close with 2 girls I worked with. We had lunch together nearly everyday, talked all day while at the office, even did things outside of work like movies and dinners. After a few days of having a funny feeling, I investigated and found a very long, very vicious instant messenger conversation they were having during the day at work - and it was 90% about me.

I was floored. How could they sit and say these terrible things about me and then turn around and go to lunch with me and we all laugh and have fun? It was one of the worst feelings I have ever felt.

I am very sensitive about what people say about me. I want everyone to like me. When I blog, I hope that everyone likes my silly stories and photos.

I am not a confrontational person at all. I didn't call anyone out but one girl figured out quickly that I at least had someone seen something. I explained that I was hurt and that I had done nothing to bring on this kind of behavior. She apologized but that felt half assed.

This really came to light the other day when reading Chloe's Blog about jealousy. I am not the kind of person that thinks anyone should be jealous of me. Not one bit. I am pretty meek and tend to be quiet until you get to know me. I am not flashy, I am not high maintenance, I do not do anything to bring attention to myself. I usually follow someone's lead...

I know you are dying to know what they said. Here are a few snippets.

In regards to my work out ethic:
Girl 1: She is holding me back on our workouts because she doesn't like spin class and only likes the elliptical. 
Girl 2: Well she only wants to be skinny, not be in shape. I would work out with you they way you like because we both played sports and she didn't - it's painfully obvious.
Girl 1: in fact the other day we were late getting to the gym becuase she was waiting on an email from [a client]
Girl 2: Ugh I am so tired of her ass-kissing. Like the other day when she rushed back to the office because she had to do something. I suppose she just wasn't getting enough male attention.

Really? If Girl 1 didn't like how often or how I worked out, why didn't she just say something? I hate working out. HATE IT. I don't keep that a secret either. I tried spin class and couldn't keep up. I like treadmills and elliptical. Then calling me an ass kisser because I was trying to make sure a client was taken care of before I left the office for the day to go work out? I don't even know what to say about the male attention comment.

Other things they touched on was how the boss's new baby isn't even cute, but I was drooling all over it to be an ass-kisser. They talked crap about everyone else in the office. They talked about a coworker with a baby and how she is rude and they are sick of her. They talked about our admin's, they talked about the boss's. It was awful.

They go on to talk about my eating habits, and then start talking about what they want for lunch and it does include cookies. Hypocrites, much?

I guess my point in bringing this up is that even though it's been a good amount of time, I remember these comments almost every day. When someone new is hired into our office, I am immediately nervous that this could happen again. When a coworker schedules lunch with a boss, I wonder if it's about me, did I do something? Say something? I worry that any time, someone I am on good terms with at the office is going to turn on me. It's very unnerving.

I could understand if I said something that came out wrong and they were talking about that, but they were all over the place from my competency at my job, to the personal attacks on my looks.

While I realize they never intended on me seeing these comments, I am still at a loss of why they did this. I bet neither realizes how bad it hurt me and how it still affects me to this day. Neither one of them ever came acknowledged what they did.

What do you think? Words are pretty hard to forget, aren't they?



Carlin said...

My grandmother told my mother on her deathbed to watch out because for no reason people will be jealous of me because I had such happiness and kindness in my heart as a young child and that many people would not understand this sort of joy and will try to hurt me because of it out of jealousy. It was true. I had many similar stories to what you are writing and I just know that even though it meant they were missing something out of their lives. Did those two girls have a wonderful husband and relationship like you?? Did they just get blessed by a newborn baby like your boss? Probably not....

I love this quote:
"Its so funny how the people who know the least about you, have the most to say."

Chloe said...

Yep. Words are difficult to forget.
And they hurt. Sometimes too much.
I'm sorry you had to go through this.
I think you're a great woman.
A great person. And a wonderful mother.
Don't listen to these girls.
I think this kind of comments comes from jealousy.

em said...

I know that feeling. I was in an office environment like that once, it was all female, I think 6 of us, me and another girl were hired at the same time. The two of us ended up quiting after about a year because of that same crap. It does stem from jealousy, and in my situation it had to do with their inabilities to learn new tasks, (something about teaching old dogs new tricks could apply). Needless to say, they talked about us behind our backs and tried to befriend us and I just couldn't deal with that. The bosses tried to intervene a couple of times, but that only made the situation worse due to 'tattling'. Adults, being adults, right? Office drama, it exists everywhere, you just have to figure out how to work around it, and hope that your abilities to do your job shine through.

Missy said...

Sounds to me you are too good to be eating lunch with or working out with these ladies!

Joshua said...

"I worry that any time, someone I am on good terms with at the office is going to turn on me. It's very unnerving."

You just described at least once a month for me. And it's always the same department. I'm sorry.

gailofgreenliving said...

This hurts me, because I don't want anyone hurting you! People don't have enough to do, and for sure, don't have the right motivation and attitude when they behave like this. You have an "attitude of gratitude" and they could learn something here! If they don't, whose problem is it? It's hard, but you can let it go.

Breann said...

I will say my boss was pretty hip to the situation and knew something was going on. Eventually, those 2 girls were no longer working at the job and I was. It's just hard to shake the paranoia.

Heather M said...

Ok I think we are the same person!! I’m the exact same why, alI I ever want is for people to like me! I had a work experience a lot like this, I went home crying everyday! Ill never forget the day I was moved to a different office, My husband looked at me and said its so good to have the old Heather back! I had no Idea I was letting it effect me that much!!! Im so sorry that you had to deal with this, I know it hurts, but Trust me when I say this! You are beautiful and funny, and an awesome mother!!! Thanks for sharing your story!

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

Mean girls suck. So sorry, Breann. ((hugs)) This brought back a few encounters I've had with mean girls myself. I'll never understand why they have to be so vicious and cruel.

Megan said...

I am sorry you had to go through that. I hope you realize how much of a better person you are! I am a new follower....