I’ll always leave room for the fact that I might just be wrong (hey, quit laughing, I’m being serious). But I do believe that perception is reality. If you believe that I’ve hurt your feelings, that means that your perception is reality. I may not have intended to, but you feel that way and that is what matters. Yet, isn’t that where we go wrong as a society? Especially at work.
45 minutes before I was set to go home, a “supervisor” that has barely spoken more than a sentence directly to me since the day I interviewed (I’m not exaggerating; this supervisor never really speaks to me during the day) asked to speak with me.
We went into a conference room and she asked how things were going.
As a background, yesterday I received an email from my difficult coworker about new addition to my job duties. This bothered because of the background her and I have. She has an intolerance to mistakes and while none of my coworkers may admit it – she also has desired for a long time to be a supervisor of the entry level people. Which is awful because of how bad she would be at it. My opinion, of course.
So, when I received this email from my difficult coworker, I promptly notified the “nice girl” in the office who is supposed to be the go-between for coworker issues and requested that anything related to my job duties get emailed by her.
Apparently this set off a shit storm of conversations between the “nice girl” and management.
Here we are back in this meeting between me and this supervisor I never speak to.
How are things going?
I do explain my wariness of the email I received the other day, explaining how our history of emails have never been good.
Then she says, “Well “the nice girl” told me you were reluctant to email “the difficult coworker” anymore.”
This is a “taken out of context” comment. The reason I was reluctant to send emails to my difficult coworker? Her sudden warning that she would notify the entry level people of their mistakes in formatting (an unnecessary part of her job).
I go on to explain myself.
I don’t feel comfortable in situations where I’m having to explain myself. It begins to move out of “explaining myself” and into “begging for forgiveness.” This is my supervisor though so I try to remain as agreeable as I can without getting my back dirty from all the feet walking over me.
Long story short – I begin to feel like I’m turning into the “difficult coworker.” I’m turning into the person with low tolerance who berates people unnecessarily. The real difficult coworker who I feel like an unwelcome f*ck up around is suddenly the wounded party. Since I have developed an intolerance to her rudeness, I am now the difficult one.
I will always leave room the fact that I am wrong in this situation. But what I took from this meeting is that I would be better off keeping my mouth shut. If I get a nasty email, I will have to accept it.
Have you ever been in a situation where you start out feeling like the victim and turn into feeling like the one at fault?