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Berated by co-worker in front of new boss

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  • #112145
    Jeanne Forsythe
    Participant

    To keep it short, we have a student worker in my department. Sometimes, we let her help other departments, but they are supposed to ask/check with us. A woman went to the student with enough work to last until her quitting time. So, I said, “Excuse me. You’re welcome to use the student, but please let Audrey know first.”

    That’s it. That’s all I said. I went to the bathroom then stopped in to let my new boss know that other departments are to inform her before taking our student.

    Kristi stopped in front of the office and started yelling at me! She called me snarky and mean and accused me of talking about her behind her back. I was shocked and asked “Why are you so angry? I’m just letting Audrey know.” She continued to yell with a very red face. She stomped off and I came back to my work area shaky. My cubicle neighbors came to check on me. They told me they overheard and Kristi overreacted. I tried to let it go and luckily it was time for me to go home.

    I gather my things and am verbally attacked again by the back door. She even said, “It’s no secret that you and I don’t like each other.” Well that was news to me. I asked again, “Why are you so angry? I simply asked you to….” She said, “It’s your looks. Your tone. Your attitude.”

    I was humiliated in front of a brand new boss and the VP walked through and overheard part of it. I filed a complaint in HR and they addressed the issue by talking to me, her and co-workers. It was decided that she overreacted and needed to find a better way to deal with her stress. And that was the end of it.

    But I sit here at work nearly every day trying to fight tears back. I don’t understand it. She never apologized to me. She avoids me. I’m very sensitive and I don’t even want to work here anymore.
    Please help! Should I give it time to lessen the hurt? Should I move on? My boss and the VP are not upset with me, but I still feel humiliation.

    I’m likable. Most people call me nice. My old boss told me I’m the nicest person he’s ever known.
    πŸ™

    #112149
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Dear floridajeanne,
    I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. It’s so frightening beeing yelled at, isn’t it? That person has serious issues, but it’s not about you. You might worry about what your boss and VP might be thinking, but I believe most people will judge these kind of situations right and you have nothing to worry. You did very well by staying calm and polite, it makes her look even more ridiculous.

    #112150
    Jeanne Forsythe
    Participant

    Thank you Peppermint!
    I feel the love. And I needed it!
    πŸ™‚

    #112156
    Joe
    Participant

    @floridajeanne

    You have nothing to feel bad about, if you have stated that your boss and VP are not upset with you. It seems like this person has some serious issues and you are not responsible for the way she has reacted. She had no cause to treat you the way she did.

    The only thing I can suggest is to avoid this person wherever and whenever possible, and avoid joining in with any conversations if any of your other colleages should start talking or gossiping about her. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to communicate with her, make it polite but short. If she continues her behaviour, the only thing I can suggest is to make another complaint.

    I hope this helps

    Joe

    #112167
    Jeanne Forsythe
    Participant

    Thanks so much Joe. I’ve always had the problem of wanting everyone to love me or at least like me.
    I just don’t get it. But I’m ready to let it go thanks to all of the support here!
    Sad thing is I even wrote her a personalized birthday song that I sang for her when she first started here!

    Jeanne

    #112191
    Al
    Participant

    Jeanne,

    I am sorry for the suffering you experienced.

    Despite the unfortunate negativity your colleague shared with you I am glad you did not simply post with words and emotions in reciprocation of her behavior. For this, you are indeed a truly beautiful being. And, this is where you must trust in the beliefs that govern your good-hearted nature. Do not fall into sadness, confusion nor distress. Instead, use your heart to look passed your colleague’s own suffering. When you do, you’ll see that there are things hidden that could explain her general, or current/temporary, attitude and behavior. A traumatic past could be the cause, or a betrayal by someone she loved, a series of hardships may have plagued her as of late or perhaps it could be due to a toxic upbringing. The scenarios are endless. My point is, we all journey this life encountering unique experiences that shape our being. And, as is normal and intended, not all of these experiences can be good ones. We must encounter the difficult ones to help us learn and grow. Sadly, some of us experience these type more than their counterpart. In addition, some of us may never have been taught or have the capacity to learn how to manage the difficult ones. This can result in a lifetime of suffering and/or negativity. It’s fair to state this could be the case for many of us, including your co-worker.

    With this knowledge, it becomes apparent that we should embody a compassionate nature. In this existence, we will all experience the same things; like love, hurt, joy and sadness, awe, anger, beauty, exhilaration and all of the others we’re able to feel and express. We are all beautiful beings, beautiful humans that sometimes are not immediately able to foster a positive mindset. For her, wish only for the day she obtains her nirvana. Do not look at her with hurt, anger (if you exhibit any), or any other chaotic elements. They will not benefit you. Look, speak, think, interact with her only with love. It may be quite a task, yes, however, looking at it in terms of ‘this-occurred-so-I-may-practice-compassion’ may help. In fact, this may the reason why this predicament happened. But, don’t you agree that overcoming this hurdle will benefit your being?

    My friend, don’t allow one bad experience ruin all that you’ve achieved and become. Else, what is the point of it all? When you cook and use a little too much of one ingredient, you do not throw the entire thing away. You find ways to mend it, right? It’s the same concept here. Mend your situation, and all situations in fact, with all the love that exists within your being and you will always exhibit constant joy and peace.

    Al

    PS: please forgive any grammatical errors.

    #112194
    Eevee
    Participant

    Hi Jeanne,

    Honestly speaking, anyone that reacts in that kind of unorthodox manner might have some other issues than it seems. I’m sure your VP and boss understand what happened, given how your cubicle mates tried to reassure you and the fact that you did nothing wrong. You have nothing to humiliated about, dear.

    Let your coworker deal with her issues. You should continue to do your work like you always do. πŸ™‚ It’ll be hard to mend the relationship with her again, but I learned that a smile goes a long way. If you truly want to be friends with her again, start by being sincere. Soon, it will be a thing of the past.

    #112216
    Jeanne Forsythe
    Participant

    Al and xeeveex,
    Thank you so much for the support and insight. I certainly agree she has to have issues. Recently, my old boss who retired told me that Kristi’s boss said she’s dealt with a lot in the past. I admit it really helps when you try to see the whole person and not a bad day.

    However, I also have an abusive past and it is no excuse to mistreat people. It’s probably why it hurts me so deeply. I promised myself as an adult I would never allow abuse that I could not prevent as a child happen again.

    Today, unlike last week, I’m glad this happened. I feel closer to my cubicle neighbors and I found this site on my search for some peace of mind. Hearing from all of you amazing beautiful souls has truly lifted and inspired me.

    In a world where we often feel people are bad, hateful, selfish…just WOW…you are all proof there truly are beautiful people in the world!
    Thank you!
    Jeanne

    #112223
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jeanne:

    I like your promise to yourself to “never allow abuse that I could not prevent as a child happen again. My hat is off to you.

    Your co worker, when she screamed at you, she was really screaming at someone else, someone from her past or present. She didn’t see YOU. She saw someone else who indeed was or is “snarky and mean” and who “talk(ed) about her behind her back.” There was or still is someone in her life who doesn’t like her and she doesn’t like him/ her (“don’t like each other,”) and whose “looks… tone… attitude” reflected this dislike and meanness.

    She inaccurately projected that person into you. Something about you and the recent event reminded her of that person and she released her anger at the person she projected into you.

    And this is what abuse is often about: a person abused by X projects X into Y and punishes/ abuses Y. This is unfortunately very common and the victims are too many, millions and millions… this is business as usual, unfortunately.

    If she yells at you again, or otherwise, you can ask her: who are you really talking to? Who in your life was snarky and mean to you? Otherwise, you can possibly gather that kind of information about her if you pay attention. This way you may switch your focus from being distressed to learning.

    anita

    #112225
    Jeanne Forsythe
    Participant

    Thank you Anita,
    I am really trying. I saw her this morning and smiled and said “Hi Kristi”, thanks to the advice here. She didn’t reply or smile, but that’s okay.

    Her work partner probably knows nothing of any of this and returned today from an overseas trip. She greeted me with the biggest smile and hug.
    I hadn’t thought about projection onto others with the pains of the world. All I know is I was feeling so out of sorts and frustrated and down…My heart actually hurt. Not just from this unfortunate event, but maybe it was the straw. I just felt “I can’t take it anymore.” I really felt close to a breakdown. I began googling “how to deal with difficult people” and “self confidence” and “change your life” and I found this site. It’s been a GOD SEND!

    Once again, thankful for you all!
    πŸ™‚
    Jeanne

    #112226
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jeanne:

    You are welcome. I wouldn’t try to reach out to her by “Hi Kristi”- or anything. After all, she has been abusive to you and the abused shouldn’t try to reach out to the abuser. This is an unhealthy dynamic for you, to “turn the other cheek” so to speak, to “love thine enemy.”

    I suggested to learn, not to reach out to her. Best to you, Jeanne.

    anita

    #112227
    Jeanne Forsythe
    Participant

    I wouldn’t have gone out of my way, that’s for sure. But she was sitting with the co-worker I was hugging. So I wanted to acknowledge her.

    πŸ™‚
    Jeanne

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