Saturday, October 01, 2005

Work Rant No. 2: I lothe my employer! (warning this is long)

I once felt that I had the greatest job in the world. Then I got the coworker from Hades. Please, my dear and gentle Reader, understand that I am not generally a woman to malign anyone or to comitt the grave error of vicious gossip. I find such things to be abhorant and something to be scorned by any proper adult and most definately by any proper lady. I thank my mother for her influence on my with respect to this matter.

I must, however, give you a brief character sketch of J- for you to understand why I have been functionally begging my employer to place me with a different lead teacher for the past 2 1/2 months. For any offense, I shall beg forgivness in advance. I am afraid that my language may be most unbecoming.

J- is at her heart, I'm sure, a very sweet and compassionate woman. I am certian that at the core of her being she is benevolently inclined towards all and prays nightly for the good of humanity. Her actions and apparent attitudes at work, however, do not present such a rosy picture of her. Neither has what I have learned of her outside of work. I get ahead of myself, however. At work, J- is rather two-faced and fork-tounged. The woman seems to have some kind of control complex.

She feels the rediculous need to compete with me for the attention of children, down to the point of even making herself look like an absolute fool for that sake. Regularly antagonistic and bitter, J- seems to think she is justified in her holier-than-thou attitudes. She also seems to feel that she is some how justified in being demeaning and condencending to her co-workers, especially those who she feels are her subordinates. At the same time, her attitudes towards her surperiors is that of a fawning servility that is rather disgusting in a woman who is living in a free nation uninhibited by the risk of life and limb for minor social faux pas.

Outside of work, I have learned, she has an almost neurotic need to control every aspect of people around her. It is apparently even worse then her control issue at work. She is morbidly still wrapped in raw grief from the passing of a close family member, mind you that death was over three years ago. She also seems to blame the world for her problems, stating that she is always the victim in any incidence of conflict. Apparently that pattern of behavior is unchanged between the work and the social environment.

I find myself torn between loathing and pity of this wretched creature. I do know, however, that if I must work with her I will not act with my usual decorum. I have been taxed to my limit and I find myself wishing at times, my dear Reader, that I could rend her limb from limb for her thoughtless behavior that regularly endanger's the safety and well being of the children. When this rather regular anger is aggrivated by her deliberate antagonisim and denigration, it is ... extremely difficult to remain civil.

After her repeated attempts to provoke me into an argument on 9/27 I realized I couldn't handle it any more. I found the limit of time I could tolerate with this woman and it was just shy of four months. I had already reached such a high stress level that I was scarecly able to sleep and several of my bodily functions were not acting as they properly should. When I woke on 9/28, I found myself on the verge of tears at the thought of going to work. every act I took towards getting prepaired for the day drove me closer to sobs of abject misery. I knew that if the events of the past day were repeated, as they would be, I would possibly fly into a rage and scream at this woman infront of the children (a thing I refuse to do, for the children need not be subjected to such incivility), sit down and weep, or just simply quit my job. I had no desire to quit my job, lose my temper or be embaressed by weeping for no apparent reason in public.

I did the wise thing and stayed home. My mother called such days "mental health days." And I desperately needed one. When I called my boss, she chastised me. She stated that I should have discussed the woman's inappropriate behavior and it's unfortunate effects upon me. This is a rather rich version of situational irony because I discussed just that matter on 9/25. I did not take offense to my boss's behavior. After all, I was one of 5 persons that had called out and I will acknowledge that discussing the situation with my employer is a wiser course to take then just hiding from the problem.

When I returned to work on 9/29 I learned that my status as an employee has changed. I am no longer a full-time employee but part-time. I did not argue with this, for it had been mentioned in my rather desperate plea on 9/25 as a more favorable option then working with J-. The full implications of it hadn't struck me until that evening. I would be unable to afford my health insurance and I knew with the certianty of the bones in my body that my hours were going to be cut rather neatly in half. I discussed this with my husband, that dear man.

He was righteously offended. He clearly delineated the injustice of what is functionally punishing me for doing what I could to remain employed and begging for assistance from my employer with regards to a hostile work environment. We have agreed that I must look for another job. He does note that there is a possiblity that this period of my reduced activity at work may change for the better.

I doubt this, however. If they couldn't resolve the situation between J- and I over the period of 4 months, then I won't be back to full-time status for well over 9. And that was how long it took for them to make me full time. Ironically, I was hired for a full time position, but my supervisor at that time hadn't enough positions open for it to happen. I was lied to. I was a fool to expect these vipers to be honest with me. I have learned.

No comments: