Job Stress... Am I doing the right thing? (Long)

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Job Stress... Am I doing the right thing? (Long)

Post by Guest » Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:22 pm

My story is very long and complicated and I'm to the point where I have to make a change in my life.
I started working as a Receptionist/office assistant etc about 6 months ago. A few weeks after I started working there one of the 3 women I work with (keep in mind I work in a very small office w/ 10 employees and only four are women but the rest of the men are gone most of the day because they're salesmen) started being very rude to me. Any time I asked her a questions she'd be very rude in her response even if I asked her about something nobody had ever taught me up until that point. Any time I make a mistake (I do lots of data entry that I don't have the access to fix) she takes it personally and goes out of her way to rudely tell me what I did wrong in front of everybody. Whenever I talk to someone with her at the same time (other than the salesmen) she'll ignore my side of the conversation completely and interrupt me. She constantly whispers on the phone to the other two women and talk behind closed doors about EVERYTHING if I'm there to purposely leave me out. They'll all go out to lunch and never ask me to go not even once in 6 months. Now, to make this clear, I don't mind the fact that this woman doesn't like me, I'm not at work to make friends. I simply ask that she at least act civil to me while we're at work. The other two women really don't dislike me they just choose her company over mine, especially since one of the women is her best friend of 3 years. I have been hoping that she might get used to my presence and by ignoring her rude behavior that she would realize it wasn't getting her anywhere. The opposite has happened even though I know my boss/ president of the company has already told her at least once to be nicer to me. Everybody who works there has told me "that's just the way she is." I have been told by both women that she had made the previous receptionist cry frequently, got in screaming matches with her and made a daily game out of upsetting her. This situation has gotten even worse in the past two weeks. I've been suffering from insomnia, depression, and I frequently bicker with my live-in boyfriend about little things. All this coupled with the fact that my mother hasn't had a job for over a year and no longer has her own house and constantly asks me for money, my boyfriend was just wrongfully terminated (in our eyes at least but Texas is an at will state meaning a employer can fire you for almost any reason legally) and that I go to school full time on a scholarship is all being piled on me.
The only thing that I feel I have control over is my job (quitting school is not an option for me b/c I won't waste it while someone else is willing to pay for it). The fact that she's done this before and hasn't gotten fired for it even in a more extreme situation tells me nothing I do will change her or this situation other than finding a new job. Nothing short of firing her will let her know that she can't get away with this (which won't happen considering she's been at this company for 6 years out of 10 total). I've already started applying for new jobs as of today. I know legally that I could probably do something about this but I'm not out to hurt my supervisor which is all that will do. She is the one who needs to be punished. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold a real grudge against her because I know anybody acting like this to someone that she has no real reason to hate is a sign of some deeper problem but I'm not the one to tell her this.
I simply can't go to work anymore and be even remotely neutral about the situation. It's one thing to not like a job but another to be completely miserable, especially when it starts hurting the rest of my life. I plan on going into work with people closer to my own age. All the women I work with now are married and have kids and I can't really connect with them outside of work. I've also learned that a sedentary desk job is not for me so I'm also looking for a job that takes more energy. In other words I'm quitting for other reasons that might have led to me quitting, just a year later instead of this month.
Any feed back would be greatly appreciated...Anybody been in this kind of situation with a coworker? Just feels good to vent to anyone willing to listen. The more opinions I get the better the perspective I get on the situation.

Jessica

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Post by Mauveduh » Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:57 pm

Hi Jessica. Welcome.

You have articulated your problem well and seem like you have the ability to step back and consider the motivations behind the actions of others. Many people are so caught up in the situation that it never occurs to them that the person who is targeting them may have monumental problems that drive their actions.

This doesn’t excuse it but it helps in distancing yourself enough to know that you shouldn’t take it personally and it is probably their problem.

Your situation is really unfortunate since we spend so much time at work and it is really important to feel comfortable and good about what you are doing. This is what motivates us to improve and progress and make a success of any business.

In those terms, if this woman is working in opposition to that, she is hurting the company as well. It also sounds like there may be some jealousy involved or an inferiority complex that drives her to seek power by seeking out the new person to abuse. The public exhibitions to point out your mistakes support that.

The bottom line is, you deserve to be treated with respect as an employee. Have you tried talking with her to explain how you are feeling about this treatment? Sometimes people will warm up to you if you open up with your honest feelings. You would have to be very careful in your wording of this conversation and speak about how you are feeling, rather than be confrontational in any way. You don’t want to appear to be pointing fingers, which will alienate you even more. She may, in fact, be intimidated by you.

When I was younger and starting in the job market, I felt like I didn’t belong in any of my boring jobs with all of those people who had been stuck in that office for 20 years. I put up my own wall to make sure I had separated myself enough to know that I wasn’t “one of them”. And I never wanted to be! LOL My thinking evolved over time and I still managed to keep my individuality.

You are probably doing the right thing in looking around for other jobs, since you have no guarantee that talking to this woman will fix your problem and it seems that you are not really happy there anyway. It seems like you want to try out another kind of work. So why not? Don’t stay and be miserable. If you are unhappy there, stick around temporarily but actively seek other employment. The realization that you will be leaving soon will make the behavior a little more palatable in the interim. Staying in school is a good move. Maybe we can get more feedback from others with some insight for you.

Venting does help. That’s one of the reasons why we are here!
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Post by birthday » Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:29 pm

Don't let these people ruin your day. They have probably run off many others before you. I worked with a couple of ladies who had the worst attitude. I couldn't tell if they just didn't like me or they just wore that sour look for fun. I called them the lemon twins.
I didn't let them get to me. I would go in every day and greet them with a smile. I asked them how their day was going even when they tried to vibe me out. After awhile they couldn't keep it up and ended up warming up to me. I wasn't going to let their bad attitude rub off on me.
Don't be afraid to leave that place though. If you want to get a job that is more fun, go for it. Life is short. Don't stay and be miserable.

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Post by webwriter » Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:29 am

I have held a few jobs and found that regardless of where you work and what you do, there will always be someone, or perhaps a group of someones, who try to pull something and do you in. A few of my bosses were like that. One was so paranoid that he'd only show his face once a problem was out of his control, but he controlled it by firing and/or giving underlings a hard time. A few of these underlings quit in disgust. A few, like myself, were ultimately fired.

As far as regrets about ANY of those jobs go, I have absolutely none whatsoever. No longer a shy person, I tended to speak my mind, while at the same time planning my exit. In one situation, I was able to step into another job almost immediately after losing the first.

To be honest and frank, I think that a lot of these jobs are just crap and not worth one's precious time or effort. If you have any doubts, take another look at your paycheck stub and you will soon discover how much you are really valued. Work sucks!!!

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Post by birthday » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:07 pm

Hey I like your avatar. Are we related? I think we are long lost cousins. If we got married, would our kids have flaming halos?

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Post by webwriter » Fri Feb 27, 2004 12:51 pm

I doubt it. Still have too much of the devil in me.

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