Comments About Weather

Being as how most of you just met my coworker, L, through yesterday’s post weather, I thought I’d give you a little background on our ummm relationship in today’s post.

**BE FOREWARNED – THIS IS NOT A POSITIVE POST – I APOLOGIZE, BUT THERE”S NO OTHER WAY TO DO IT**

I started working here in 2004.  During my first week almost everyone in the office tried to “warn” me about L and her horribly nasty attitude.  I brushed their comments aside trying to give her a chance without their comments seeping into my head.  That first week was tolerable while she trained me telling me every 5 minutes that I needed to take all notes on sticky notes (I really don’t like sticky notes) and highlight different items in my notebook (I abhor highlighting).  I would explain over & over that is not the way I think & I continued putting items in my notebook.

I soon realized that she spews hatred for anything different than her personal protestant beliefs (isn’t the message of Jesus love?).  A cow0rker had just adopted an Asian baby.  One of our coworkers, who happens to be Asian, helped decorate for the party we threw for her.  He put up different Asian symbols, and one of them was a small paper Buddha.  L walked into the room and completely flipped out shrieking and yelling that she couldn’t be in the same room with idols and that we absolutely HAD to remove the Buddha from the room.  Everyone was shocked that she caused such a scene and the Asian coworker took the wall decoration into his office.  Of course she has no problem entering Asian restaurants where there are Buddhas present in many different areas of the restaurant, but I digress.

Fast forward 2 years and J had a baby.  YAY for J, B & their beautiful little boy M!!!  J’s husband comes from an extremely large Italian Catholic family where the tradition is the have the baby’s dedication in a Catholic church.  She invited a few people from the office and L once again flipped out on us.  She explained to J that she couldn’t possibly raise that child in a Catholic home because Catholicism is a cult and her child will go to hell because of this baby dedication.  Who says such a thing to a new mother?

Even more disturbing is that she’ll see something in the newspaper and start spewing hatred towards people she’s never met because they have a different lifestyle, or beliefs, than her own.  I’ve learned to never, ever, go into the break room while she’s eating and reading the newspaper.

As assistants to the partners of our firm, one of our tasks is to collect accounts receivable.  I usually send an email that reads, “In looking through our invoices, I don’t see where XYZ was paid.  I do hope it wasn’t lost in the mail.  Could you please check on this invoice and let me know the status?”  I do everything through email because I like to have a paper trail to look back if someone says they didn’t receive something.  Anyway, I usually get a response of, “Oh no, I’m so sorry, I’ll check on this right away” etc.  Her method isn’t nearly as effective.  She calls the client and the one-sided conversation goes something like this… “I was calling about this invoice XYZ…Well it’s 30 days old and I need the payment…You’re responsible for this payment, not the person taking out the loan, so you need to send me a check today.”  It only gets worse, but you get the idea.

On top of everything else, she has extensive health issues (due to her weight), she constantly complains that she has no money while asking everyone how much things are, and she has an hour long argument with her daughter over the phone at least once a week during regular work hours.

I’ve tried, tried, tried to be nice to this woman.  I even did a 30 day trial of trying to be nice to her every day, but at one point I just gave up.  I’m now not necessarily rude, but I’m not overly friendly either.  If she asks how my weekend was, I say good & leave it at that.  If she asks how I’m feeling, again I say good.  I find that if I leave responses to one word, or short sentences, I can tolerate her.

Again, I’m sorry for the negativity of this post, but thought it would explain L a little better.

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6 Comments »

  1. Sad … the best approach is to stay away from negative people, but it is tough when they work with you and are There! All you can do is feel sorry for her and pray some day she turns around. Shake off her negative vibes …

    • 2

      I’ve always felt sorry for her, but have to do what I can not to complain and get sucked into the negative vibes that surround her. I found that every day I would go home & complain about this one person. I realized I was then part of the problem and now brush off her rude comments, etc.

      • 3

        I can totally understand. There are people out there like this who just can’t be “happy” unless they are miserable. They then blame it on other people when things don’t go their way. I have a coworker, J who complains about everything to everyone. Then when she complains about something to the manager, and the manager calls her on it, she says she is out to get her. Even if it was someone who went to the manager and this is what that person talked to J about. Even if she gets what she wants she complains about it. You can’t ask her how she is because she is never good. She has this aura of negativity around her and she wonders why she doesn’t know what is going on in the office…

  2. 4
    eof737 Says:

    Sad, really sad… I can’t imagine the amount of pain she lives with; sounds like she is carrying much pain inside her and the negativity has become familiar territory and a safety net. I appreciate you taking the time to elaborate… Is there really no hope? Let’s all send healing light and love her way… if nothing else, we can clear the air. 🙂
    Thank you,
    Eliz

    • 5

      Short of her going to counseling and getting all of the resentment she feels towards so many issues out in the open, I’m not sure she could ever be truly happy. I’m sure that a lot of my perspective is that I sit in the next cubicle and hear her conversations all day. If I just had a passing acquaintance with her, I’m guessing I would feel different, but unfortunately I know so many details about her life that I really would rather not know. Maybe I’ll try writing down things that she does well to see if that helps.

  3. 6
    eof737 Says:

    Great idea! It will be a great shifting tool too. 🙂


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