Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Life can't be all skittles and ladies

November already, eh? I'd love to be able to say 'wow, where has this year gone?' etc but the fact is, I'm glad it's November. 2010 has been sucky, and I'll be glad to see the back of it. Well, it hasn't all been sucky - Paris was pretty amazing, and Nic and I have had lots of nice trips and good times but still. 2010, I'm over you.
I'm feeling the rage a lot this week, for a variety of reasons. One of them is the fact that our downstairs neighbours are loud hallions. I don't think they're deliberately anti-social, more that they have a bass-heavy stereo system and spend a lot of time playing video games. We've asked them to turn it down before and they have, they're not the asshole-y type of noisy neighbour but as they don't know when they're being loud the problem continues. It's annoying having everything accompanied by a dull bass sound making the floor shake.
I'm back at work full time and I have been for about a month now. It's grand and it's been made easier by the fact that I have sympathetic and sensitive managers and that my colleagues are excellent people. There is, however, one exception and I'm beginning to get really angry about it.
When I attempted to return to work in September this colleague was so horrible to me about my reasons for having been away that I ended up being that girl that cries in the toilets at work. I hate that! She made it very clear that she thought my reasons for being off were of little consequence and that she resented the extra work she'd had to do as a result of my absence. I'm smart enough to know that her problem wasn't all about me. She has that attitude generally, you know, no-one works as hard as she does. I tried not to let it bother me too much and it wasn't because of her that I ended up taking more time off, but it certainly didn't help matters.
Her attitude hadn't changed much when I went back to work at the start of last month. We don't work together closely and the nature of my current task means that I don't have to see much of her, but when I do she is extraordinarily rude to me. She flounces past me, glares at me, rolls her eyes at the work that I'm doing and generally makes her dislike of me very obvious. She doesn't speak to me or acknowledge me at all unless she has to, and when she does she speaks to me as if she's telling me off (she came to get me for a meeting yesterday - one that is informal, and not in my diary, but she barked at me "We're having a meeting now, if you'd like to come") It is in marked contrast to how she speaks to other colleagues and I feel sure that this isn't lost on the people around us.
I don't take personally the fact that she obviously dislikes me and that she thinks I'm bad at my job. To be fair, when I was ill I wasn't coping with the demands of my job and as she's only been in our team for a few months she hasn't worked with me when I've been good at my job. Our acquaintance will be brief due to the closure of our organisation so it's not like I'm going to have to endure this long-term. Still, it's really starting to stick in my craw.
Her attitude towards me isn't having (what is presumably) the desired effect in that it's not making me feel bad about myself or upset, but it is making me very angry. So, I'm in a bit of a dilemma about what to do next.
On a personal level, her unpleasantness doesn't bother me. Some people are unpleasant and that's the way life is. I deal with that aspect of it the way I deal with most unpleasant people; when she does deign to speak to me in her unpleasant and dismissive manner I respond warmly and in a friendly way. I can't see that pointing her behaviour out to her will do anything other than to give her a chance to give me abuse - it's clear from her manner that this is festering in her. I can't see that bringing her behaviour to the attention of management or HR will really make a difference either. It's true that she might speak to me a little bit more civilly, but it won't address her attitude, which appears to be that mental ill-health is nothing more than laziness. Nor do I think that it will do anything to correct the fact that she's a bully. She dislikes me and resents the fact that I have been ill, and her way of dealing with this is to attempt to intimidate me and make me feel uncomfortable.
It's precisely this that makes me want to tell someone, though. I hate the idea that I'm allowing someone to bully me. Especially someone who is doing it out of ignorance and disregard for the fact that I have been suffering from an illness, albeit a mental one (I am sure she wouldn't be treating me in this way if my time off had been due to a broken leg) Her attitude and behaviour are so unprofessional and discourteous, and I hate the fact that she's being allowed to continue in it. I'm just not sure at this point what is the most constructive way to deal with it. I have considered being asked to move teams when my current task is finished, but that's clearly not really a solution. And you know how it is, nobody wants to be the office tattle-tale. But if I saw someone else being treated in this matter I'd want them to do something about it. I'd want to do something about it myself. I have a few days off next week and I'll take some time to think about it, and hopefully by then I won't be letting anger cloud my judgment quite so much. But I am angry, I'm really fucking angry that she's being such a mean bully because I have dared to inconvenience her with my illness.
Anyway, enough ranting for this evening. Nic is cooking me up an enormous pot of vegetable soup in the enormous tureen we scavenged last week, and I always feel less rage-y when I've had something to eat. And I have some awesome things to look forward to this week - the Aspire Style launch party on Thursday night and then the seaside at the weekend. Yay! Maybe 2010 isn't so bad after all.
No outfit shot this evening (but for the interests of disclosure, I'm wearing this dress. It now has buttercream on one sleeve after I knocked the top off a cake stand in the cafeteria at work) but after all my bitching and whining, I should leave you with something pretty to look at. I'm going to steal a photo from a wonderful new blog I've started to read called Seawatch:

Beautiful Sandgate beach