I made the worst mistakes of all time.
A year ago I took a job that was beneath me. Not in stature but in experience. I did so because I needed a break from the treacherous manipulations of a third world management style woman who had my financial destiny in her reckless and immature hands. My employment here in Louisiana is tantamount to working for people, who have a clue how to manage nor have any character whatsoever.
My presences of mind was that I could work for a company I’d thought was benevolent and reputable because I identified with the mission statement of providing a community service for the local people. I would take a break. I would be able to excel in ways that I wouldn’t have before because the work itself would be simple. I would finally have some much needed rest.
That was my first mistake. My second mistake was thinking that master’s Degree’s meant that women were more educated and worldly. I remember thinking that the woman at the bank were so beautiful and so capable with their chosen dialog. It was a far cry from the retail industry where slang was not only an option but the norm. My second mistake was thinking that just because a woman has pretty dialog means that she is mature enough to carry on a just and fair conversation.
Even as I write this it seems judgmental to me. However, given that my decided lack of judgment and or action thereof has left me and only me wanting I shall continue.
A Vice President of the company, a woman, tried to friend me immediately. She joined my Facebook page and she invited me to dozens of races, of which I went to one. I became what I thought was good friends with a receptionist. That was mistake number three. Discernment has never been my strong suit. I spent the first few months of the company bestowing gracious remarks about my co-workers. I built a relationship with the receptionist and we were getting close enough for me to spend quite a bit of time with her away from work, on the phone and on Facebook as well.
One day I was helping transfer some ITunes to the receptionist’s IPhone and in the process left my phone in her presence. It was then she read texts from me to my husband containing confidential information. She took that information and shared it with the Marketing Manager and her Assistant. For months the four of us would have breakfast together and we would discuss hot topics. Although their views didn’t match my own, I appreciated the differences.
My fourth mistake was allowing someone to manipulate me with discussion of need. The receptionist told me that she was hurting. That’s my weakness. Poverty and lack of financial support wrapped up in a tumultuous relationship with a spouse; and you have my undivided peaked attention.
The breach was brought to my attention. I was dazed and confused at first until finally I realized what happened. I was hurt. The conversations at the breakfast table stopped. I withdrew. I felt betrayed. I should have had enough courage to call her out and tell her exactly how she hurt me but that was my fifth mistake because the obvious outcome of that non-dialog was months of pure hell. The Marketing girls were offended by my retraction of my attention. They were hissing mad with religious and social outcries. I remained above reproach never settling in for confrontation nor banter about betrayal. I never spoke ill of the receptionist nor of the others for the gossip and talk about what happened. However, the Marketing girls never learned of the Receptionist’s evil ways.
I should have made it public. That was part of my fifth mistake. I did not tell anyone about what the receptionist did; not even my boss, because I felt I was guilty for being stupid enough to lend her my phone.
It does not occur to me that people have the audacity to act evil. Their ways and their manipulations confound me time and time again because I wouldn’t act in such a way. Not for no reason whatsoever. I don’t understand other’s who are so undeniably without conscious.
The receptionist never let on what she’d done either. Her lack of soul managed a steady stream of innuendo and supposition surrounding that day that lead to the Marketing ladies distaste for my every view. I believed that staying above reproach was what God commanded of me. That was my sixth mistake. Believing I knew what God wanted me to do.
Some months passed. The girls showed that they were judgmental and non-Christian like with their words and actions and I didn’t take heed of it. I didn’t react. I didn’t judge. I went in every day and did my job as accepted. I forgave the receptionist and I began to be kinder, more gentle in my greetings. The girls convinced me to cut my hair off and I did hoping that I would finally fit into the group.
I donated over 16 inches and tried to get highlights. In the process the stylist bleached my hair. I thought it looked hideous but the receptionist told me that it was perfect. I believed her. Having chalked up the last betrayal as one evil deed and not a succession; I believed she was telling me the truth. My seventh mistake was not forgiving her but giving her license to tell me how she felt. She took my picture of the new haircut off Facebook and sent it to a co-worker with disparaging remarks in an effort to cause another to regard me as hideous and frightening. When my boss showed it to me I was profoundly hurt again.
Regardless, I came in and went to work every day. My actions still above reproach, I did not tell anyone, I did not gossip about it, I simply went about my business as my boss directed. I was told to remain as far from the 3 of them as possible. I felt at that time that was the best advice. That was my eighth mistake. I should have communicated my distain with what she did, because my lack of explanation for my removal of communication left an open door for the receptionist’s manipulation. I was told it was jealousy. I was told that the comments were because she hadn’t been told that the management knew of her treachery. I was flabbergasted that the drama was spinning out of control and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. That was my ninth mistake. I believed there was nothing I could do about it before it escalated.
The final mistake was thinking I could get in the car and ride 35 minutes to and from and event with two Marketing girls who believed that I was the worst kind of person who had manipulated and hurt her friend beyond remorse. The girls used that trip to lie about me and to spread untrue rumor to the personal lifelong friend and CEO. I lost my job over it.
Looking back I can outline what I did wrong. I can outline the actions I didn’t take. I can try to reason why this all happened when I was peaceful. I was someone who didn’t engage. I didn’t gossip. I didn’t hurt anyone and in the end I got hurt. What I know now is I hurt myself. I had plenty of time to stop the madness. I could have brought the gossip to the attention of the President or the boss much sooner. I didn’t do that. My intent was to allow the receptionist to hang herself, but that didn’t happen. She committed two illegal acts and still has a job because I didn’t speak. No one heard the truth and the constant manipulation, gossip and despair of that business continues on. I could have stopped it, but I didn’t because I believed respecting everyone showed more character than dipping them in the grease to save my job.
I suppose that’s why people create the drama. I suppose that is why women say and do what they do because if they don’t others will trample on them. I suppose….
What I hate the most is that this company proved this theory to me. I hate that the business world has come to this. I hate that I have a weakness for people and mercy for their contempt. Often I feel like I live in a world void of any character whatsoever.
I’m not sure how to process through this or what shall become of it, but I am certain that this weighs heavy on my soul. I wish I were the type of person that could put all this into lesson learned but it will forever change the outcome of my future interactions. Part of me wants to become the thing women see in me. I want to provide an element of fear so that they will not try to manipulate and hurt me. Part of me wants to ensure that I remain merciful. The battle of my two intentions will be a guest in my body for quite some time to come.
At this point, I have made sense of it. Now I just have to accept it.