I seem to be furiously angry. Work was a bit better yesterday, where we had an outing to the Eurocup semi-final in the afternoon. I enjoy watching soccer, and was cheering for Germany, who unfortunately lost. I liked sitting with the other people in the department (not my team).
At work yesterday, I’d been trying to not be intimidated and shut down by my boss, but to keep at her if I didn’t understand. Mostly I’d been avoiding her, but that’s not working well for me. And she actually came back with a good idea, something I can do to figure out more what is going on there. I started reverse engineering some documents, figuring out how the information was compiled. Anyhow, though she was dismissive and mostly talking in a jumble, that idea was good, and so I did that yesterday and some of today.
But overall, what’s happening is not pretty. This is a strange woman. She’s got two people on her team, my co-worker and myself, and she plays favorites so blatantly it’s ridiculous. She seems to have annexed this young girl, who is my co-worker, B. B is very shy, quiet and focused on her tasks. J (boss) constantly is at her desk, micro-managing her tasks. She talks to her about work, gives her lots to do, and tells her what’s going on. And B is kind of flattered. Sometimes she resents the micro-managing, but mostly, she seems happy that she is valued and needed.
J is ignoring me entirely, unless forced to address me because her boss needs something from me. I have little to do for the most part. If I ask her anything about what I do have to do, she talks to me as if I’m stupid. In any case, she is difficult to understand, but she is making no effort at all with me. It feels as if I’ve done something and am being punished.
I sometimes respond by being super apologetic for not knowing things. Or flustered, or just feeling bad and as if I need to shut up forever.
So I’ve been struggling with not shutting down, with not collapsing into depression. Tonight I did collapse, lying down for a few hours after work, no supper or ability to eat.
But now I’ve just become mad. I am furious.
This was one of the points mentioned by my predecessor in her resignation letter – that J creates a ‘poisoned atmosphere’ by leaving her out of meetings, making teamwork impossible. I am sure that was softened a lot from the actual situation, because she is doing it again.
She also is offering B various tasks that are in my job description, when B is already fully occupied and I have little to do.
I suppose J is so insecure, she can only feel comfortable with someone who is totally accepting, totally self-effacing, who has no ideas of her own whatsoever, and who craves approval and acceptance very much. I suppose i also crave approval, but not to the extent that I’d let someone annex me as B has been. I stay my own person.
For sure, my own stuff is being triggered here. That’s where I get confused – I know I have a lot of issues, so I tend to think it’s me, it’s my insecurity, and after all, I do have less knowledge than B on the department, having been there just a short time. But…..I think actually this is a dynamic this woman plays out over and over. It is chance that I saw my predecessor’s resignation letter, but still. It’s information. J had set up this situation with her previous team as well.
I’m going to request a meeting and speak with her about this. Somewhat diplomatically, but still. I feel I have little to lose, and I might feel a whole lot better. I’ll say that we just need to get through three more months, and it’s in both of our interests to try and work things out to meet that goal.
We had this gross team coffee this morning. J thinks these are ‘team meetings’, where we chit chat and pretend we like each other. She insists on buying both of us coffee and a treat, which felt so wrong to me. I told her I’d like to pay for my own, and she insisted on paying for me. Yuck. In general, she will not tell me anything, but feels she is keeping up her end if she comes and chit chats with both of us every few days. I am not her friend, I do not want to be forced to chat with her, I don’t want to share any of my life with her, I don’t care about hers. It’s hard for me to be unfriendly, actually, because I do crave connection, but I feel like I need a shower after our ‘chats’.
I think my plan of asking for a meeting is a good one. I need to think out what I want to say. It will be hard for me not to back down immediately, as soon as J denies any points I make. I want to stay firm, but of course not aggressive either. Or emotional either. We also have HR matters to discuss – apparently I get sick days, which she doesn’t want to give me. We can discuss that.