Friday, August 12, 2005

I accidentally push the button—with tears

The continuing saga—this is starting to sound like the drama of a reality TV show! My workplace would easily qualify for a reality series.

We got off the plane at 11:00 p.m. and yesterday you probably read my tale of traveling woes. I was tired, exhausted and yet had to get up at 5:30 a.m. in the morning to go in to the office to work. I couldn’t even go to bed right away, so got very little sleep.

Went in to work with piles of things to be done, lots of E-mails to answer and phone calls to return. Ex-favorite co-worker brought me more contracts to do. The spreadsheet was so messed up and missing all sorts of pieces of information needed for the contracts. The phone didn’t stop ringing, co-workers kept asking for stuff. Ex-favorite co-worker had shut her door for the entire day to do a couple of contracts last week and then decided they were a nightmare (so true!) and gave them all to me. I was tired to the point of exhaustion but still really mad about the business trip.

Bosszila and ex-favorite co-worker came marching in waving a contract, there was a typo on it and I had done it. "These need to be exactly perfect!" they scolded me. I KNOW! I wanted to reply and I could feel the stress rising up in me but took it well. But alas, that was not to continue…

The big boss, a friendly rather fatherly sort of guy came by to ask me about the trip. I told him only the success of the meetings we’d had and how nice of a site the hotel was going to be for our convention. But then he (somehow he’d heard) expressed sympathy about my lost bag and all the difficulties I must have had. That was the first time anyone had said they were sorry about my trouble and to my (and his!) great horror I started to cry!

Have you ever cried at work? It’s horribly embarrassing and I was humiliated that I had lost it, especially in front of him after getting through all my travel trials in a fairly professional manner. But it all poured out of me, anger at all the meanness and selfishness of Bosszila and how not a single co-worker had expressed any sort of sympathy for my plight. (Although, to be fair, the nice co-worker had stood by me during the whole thing, but we hadn’t discussed it at all.)

I ended up being sent to HR where with little hesitation I ended up repeating my crying performance, to my great embarrassment. The director took me very seriously, asked detailed questions and wrote down a lot of things. She said they would speak to Bosszila, as mine was not the first complaint they had received about her. The HR woman even made me laugh a little before I had to leave. I still felt sort of icky about the whole thing and wished I could just go home or even better—go back in time and not break down and cry, but there was too much work to do. I did take her suggestion and go outside into the beautiful day and walk a few blocks. It felt good to walk really fast and the fresh air made the puffiness of my eyes go down enough to go back to my desk.

I received another batch of contracts and was concentrating on the job when Bosszila popped into my office. “You look kind of sad, want to talk about anything?” I could feel rage welling up in me and quickly decided that now was not a great time to talk to her. “I’m not sad, just very angry about what happened on our trip” I said “And I need to do these contracts now so I can’t really switch over to that subject right now.” She waved a queenly hand “Well, whenever you’re ready to talk.” “I appreciate the offer.” I replied and got back to work, humiliated because she must have heard that I had been crying.

She was in various meetings for most of the day and I was swamped with work. It was past my regular quitting time when she came into my office again with some work for me to do, and her eyes were blazing. If looks could kill, hers would have incinerated me on the spot. She radiated pure hate. Calm now, I stared at her in wonder. So she hadn’t heard before? They apparently had just chewed her out for her bad behavior and now she was furious with me. I really hadn’t meant to tattle; it just sort of happened and had picked up momentum on the way.

Have you ever had an evil little imp prompting you from inside to do or say something that you know you shouldn’t? My inner evil imp wanted SO badly to goad her and say cheerfully “Well, I’m ready to talk now!” But I really try to be a person of peace and didn’t say a word. As I walked back to my car I realized that this whole nasty situation is going to come down on me. She’ll want revenge and has a lot more power than I do. HR could not protect the other people and they won’t really be able to protect me, either.

From my E-mail
Flying
Our co-worker kept trying to get her mother to fly out for a visit. "No way am I getting on an airplane," was the in- evitable answer. "Look, Mom, when it's your time to go, it doesn't matter if you're on the ground or in the air." "I know," said her mother. "I just don't want to be that far off the ground when it's the pilot's time to go." [Borrowed from Reader's Digest.]

12 Comments:

Blogger dan said...

Nice to see you back...

It's funnty how travelling can either be really crappy or really good, but you never get a good blend.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Katya said...

great to have you back, sorry that you are having such a crappy time at work, but i would have done the same thing, if she doesn't like it then she can try and be nicer...you aren't there to be bitched at...

:0)

6:25 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

Welcome Back
I am so sorry that you had such a tough time (I read yesterday's post too). I am however glad that one of your colleagues stayed with you at the airport. The others sound really selfesh and horrible. I hope this all gets sorted out at work. I would have cried too. Any sane, compansionate person would.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

What a horrible thing to have happened!

I've never cried at this job (at least not yet...;) but I did at my last one...me and my boss got into a screaming match and I grabbed all my stuff and was walking out the door when he stopped me and talked me into staying (which I stupidly did).

Hang in there, PBS...you never know what's going to happen...I mean, it seems there have been complaints against Bosszilla before, right? Maybe they'll realize they need to make a change (in her direction, if you know what I mean).

Good luck!

8:08 AM  
Anonymous John said...

You didn't tattle, you did what needed to be done. Some people should NOT be in management positions because some people get what I call the "I'm God" mentality after a while. Give them a tiny bit of authority, and suddenly they are invinceble.

Bosszilla will get her come-upins... You wait and see! You did well, no worries!

8:46 AM  
Blogger katie said...

I am so sorry. Do not let her intimidate you, or make you feel like you are in the wrong. A big part of being the boss is fostering a positive work enviroment. She doesn't seem to do that. Don't let her get you down.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

I'm with all the people who commented. Tears aren't the only way we push that button---I once kicked a wastebasket right across a communal office, and the consequences were similar. And crying doesn't hurt your toes.

6:04 PM  
Blogger That Girl said...

i've cried at work. isn't it nice that you can blog about it now?

10:48 PM  
Blogger deni said...

I wonder how Bosszilla can fit through a door with such a big head?

It's amazing how a kind word can make the tears flow. That has happened to me, sometimes I think we bottle things up and at the slightest bit of sympathy it all comes pouring out.

I hope things don't get worse for you at work.

9:25 AM  
Blogger sumo said...

I think you handled it rather well... but I wouldn't have wanted to cry either. But since it did happen...you were right to let the cat out of the bag.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wow, Bosszilla sounds as though she like the sound of her own voice!

1:46 AM  
Blogger glomgold said...

Wow, that really sucks. That boss lady of yours, what an asshole.

2:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home