Don’t tread on me

My co-workers think they know me. Some of them do, actually, because they are my friends. Others, not so much. I have a new co-worker who has been pressing my buttons repeatedly in the last year since she started, and while I was upset every time, I always responded respectfully and kindly, because I’m an adult, and that’s what adults do. I figured there is some deep wound in her that causes her to treat me the way she has consistently in the last year, and I gave her a pass, and tried really hard to have compassion for her.

And then there was yesterday.

She sent me an email that was so condesciending, insulting, and completely out of line, that I decided it was time to draw the line. She made the mistake of copying my supervisor on the email, because she was trying to get me to do something that is not my job, and I guess she thought my supervisor would see things her way. What my supervisor saw was the way I’ve been allowing her to treat me for the last year, and that made me mad. it embarrassed me, actually, because I had been sacrificing my well-being to keep the peace and that’s something I promised myself I wouldn’t do anymore a long time ago!

So I wrote back, respectfully and calmly, and told her that not only would I not do what she was suggesting was my responsibiity because IT’S NOT, but also that the way she treats me is unacceptable. I drew the line. This is where it stops. The mental health folks call that a boundary, and I set it without room for misunderstanding. My supervisor is 100% behind me (which is really fabulous) and so we go on.

Today the co-worker was FROSTY, to say the least, but I don’t care. I have lived with a master manipulator all of my life, including now, though my mother has mellowed in her old age, and also her memory is too faulty for the necessary gas-lighting, so I admit I’ve been a little out of practice. This woman is an amateur. The cold shoulder is nothing new to me and I’m great at ignoring it completely. I have carried on today as if it were like any other, and I will continue to do so. We have work to do, and that’s really all that matters.

I get that this is not about me, and I do have genuine compassion for her. I can tell you exactly how her mother (or someone) speaks to and treats her because that’s how she speaks to me. Always finding fault, belittling, scolding. Ultimately, though, it’s not my problem, and I just want to work out my last 8+ months at Acme Health Services doing my best and enjoying a job I’ve done for a really long time, working with some really dedicated and wonderful people.

So it had to be done. I should have done it sooner, but I felt sorry for her, starting a new job, under a lot of pressure, I’m a bigger person, take the high road, yada yada yada. I also thought it would get better once she relaxed and realized I”m easy to work with, pretty good at my job, and just generally terrific. LOL!

She pressed the issue, though, when she got my supervisor involved. Pushed her luck too far, and pushed me too far, finally. I won’t let it get that far next time. I’m hoping she really heard me, and that she will honor my boundary and treat me with respect, but if not, I’m prepared to lay down the law again, gently and kindly, I hope, but you never know. Mess with the bull, you may get the horns.


2 thoughts on “Don’t tread on me

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