work, manners, ethics, good character

Be Our Guest!

I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a girl at work. The summary of this conversation was basically that she was getting messages from an old co-worker about where things were at her old place of employment, such as various supplies and files and the coffee for when guests came to visit. Her position at her old employer was an assistant to a high level executive and hadn’t been filled yet at the time of the conversation. She said the person who was texting her was annoyed because he made more money than she had but since her old position was still vacant, her old job’s tasks were divided up amongst several people until a replacement was found. She found it funny but also agreed with this guy that it wasn’t “right” that someone in his income bracket was getting the coffee for guests. I have a huge problem with that kind of thinking. Huge.

Upper management in many many companies is continually asking why there is a divide in offices? How can we bridge the gap? How can morale be improved? How do we obtain good “mojo?” If we are all pieces and parts of the overall success of a company, we should all help where it’s needed, when we can. I’m not suggesting we pull high level executives from big deals and time sensitive projects to get coffee all the time. I’m talking about when there’s an immediate need or a shortage or you’re simply the first point of contact and trying to make a genuine good first impression. That’s my take. If getting coffee to make your guests feel comfortable is beneath you, try telling that to your guest and see how that goes. “Oh, would you like a cup of coffee? Great! But I can’t get it for you because I make over $65k annually but let me go try to find a $25-40k worker to get it for you, because that’s in their skill-set. Be right back! But hey, don’t go anywhere and please become my customer and give me your money because we at (insert any company’s name here) will ALL always work hard to treat you right because you matter and we here at (insert same any company’s name here) will ALL work harmoniously and together as a team to make sure you are always completely satisfied! Unless you ask me for coffee”

This is more than a work issue to me. More than management versus assistants or blue collared workers. More than higher education and skill set. It’s a character defining moment. It’s insulting and it explains why she never helped in my areas while I worked with her because she made a considerable amount more than I did, even though we were both assistants. She never got a single cup of coffee for any guest. She couldn’t even be bothered to help answer the phones if I had to be away from my desk. The buyers helped. The director of finance and administration helped. Sales reps helped. But not her. I guess she figured my overall abilities were beneath her and defined by my income bracket. Her busy trumped everyone else’s busy. That mindset insulted me and every other person who did pitch in to help. It also explains why I sought employment elsewhere. That same uppity mentality was found in other areas of the company and I simply couldn’t thrive in that environment.

Is it eerie that she texted me yesterday with questions about where I used to pull info to make specific weekly reports? Geez you’d think they’d teach that at her imaginary assistant school. At least she knows where the coffee is. Whether she actually ever gets anyone but herself a cup is no longer my problem. But the cycle goes on.

I’m happy to report I now work in an office, albeit much smaller, where we ALL get coffee for anyone who wants it. Or water. Or tea. For each other. For guests. For volunteers. No matter what you earn, we are all treated as having value and worth, by every single person in the entire place. I love that. I feel like I’m home. Won’t you please come in? May I offer you a cup of coffee? Be our guest!

*Image: from Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast”

narcissism and emotional abuse

Nice Shelf

Something is ironic when it produces the opposite result of what’s intended.

A storage shelving unit is purchased to help a person who hoards everything. The need for organization and purging of broken, unused or duplicate items is imperative to cleanliness and safety.

The shelving unit is put together and numerous items are organized and placed on the shelves so the person doesn’t have to get rid of stuff or shove things in corners, drawers and under chairs. Many of the items that were decidedly to be trashed were found, put back in the boxes and bags, but instead of debating, they are put on the shelves. Hoarding is an exhausting condition to deal with and battles must be carefully picked. While cleaning up the box and wrapping that the shelving unit came in, a 20 minute discussion is had as to why the free cheap tools that came with the shelf aren’t needed and can be thrown away because this person owns a full toolbox with the same types of high quality tools. There is no shortage of these tools.

The cheap tools are then hidden so they can’t be thrown out. They will likely be discovered at a later date in a box with broken vacuum cleaner parts for vacuums that are not even in the residence anymore and empty plastic food wrappers and other things that might be needed one day, along with 10 other sets of cheap alum wrenches and stripped screws that can’t even be used because they are so damaged. And 5000 plastic shopping bags.

It’s ironic that money and effort was spent to help organize the stuff accumulated by a hoarder, and yet nothing was really purged. And only more stuff was kept. And zero thank-you’s were exchanged. Guess the hoarder was too busy hurling insults at the person trying to help and didn’t have time to say thank you.

The shelf looks nice.

narcissism and emotional abuse

Happy New Year, You Insubordinate Child!

This past weekend, my mother’s question to me: Why are you taking down the Christmas tree before New Year’s Day?

My reply: I don’t know, I just have this feeling or superstition that I don’t want to take the old year into the new year with me. A fresh start, a clean and organized house on the first day of the year makes me feel like the remainder of the year will be smoother and organized or I can handle it better. Some small way for me to feel like I have some control in a world where so much is out of our control. Plus, it’s productive and not hurting anyone.

Her reply to my answer: that’s stupid.

Me: How is it any different than cooking pork and sauerkraut every year, on New Year’s Day? Because it’s a tradition and supposed to bring you good luck? It’s a food. And a tradition. And we know pickled sour cabbage and pig parts can’t really bring a person luck, yet you do it because it makes you feel like you’re doing some small thing to control what you can. And I’m a vegetarian anyways. My need to purge and clean are the same for me. Plus my kids aren’t with me, which makes me sad and lonely so I’m doing something productive to make myself feel better.

Mother Dearest’s reply to what I just said: you’re stupid.

Me: Good talk. Now go away. I’m purging trash. (In my head I said that because aloud makes no difference to ignorant unkind people.) I just walked away.

This later lead to a conversation about how she is no one’s subordinate and that I am her subordinate and always will be. I’m 48 years old but my mother believes she is superior to everyone. And that as her child, I must obey her always. That I may not have an opinion that differs from hers. Doing so makes me insubordinate. As long as she makes no sense to me, I’m good. I don’t want to understand her way of thinking.

An irony here is that I blog to help myself feel better. It’s a form of purging out the old and unwanted stuff. The stuff that keeps you tied down, or at minimal, stuck in the same spot. I also feel like it helps people to better understand me and why I react, don’t react, or just generally view things the way I do. But I do this anonymously so that doesn’t really work. I started doing this after confiding in people, friends and family, purging what happens to me so I can get it out there and feel better about myself. Maybe have a few people say “wow, that is crazy! Sorry that happens to you. No wonder you’re guarded or hurt easily. No wonder you’re afraid.” But what I got a majority of the time was to “get over it!” Or told that I’m too negative. So I blog to keep my mind clearer but it also does at times feel like it keeps me stuck. Until I remind myself that I mostly blog for me. If it can help one other person not feel alone or keep them from feeling like they’re losing their mind, that’s great. If it can make someone look at a person in their life who is sad or seems down on their luck, or who seems lonely….if they really look at what that person has been through or what they are going through and it gives them pause and makes them slow down and not judge, but instead have some empathy or compassion, then I have done something good. And that also helps me feel better.

Divorce and Narcissism

Emotional Abuse

A family member said some very hurtful things to me a few months ago. We didn’t talk for about a month. Later, around Thanksgiving time this person wanted to talk, but not about our argument, they wanted to just talk and act like nothing happened. When I said I wasn’t ok with that, based on how our last conversation had gone, and tried to talk about the argument, get them to explain why they said the hurtful things, this person said I said hurtful things too. I asked about what things I said. They told me they didn’t have the energy to talk about it. And that was that, an abrupt end to them messaging me.

This is how emotional abusers operate. They throw out statements like “yeah, well you did this too and you did that” and when asked to back it up or give examples, so a chance is given to explain or apologize, they shut you down. Why? Because there are either no examples to give or they don’t want to go down the path of accountability. They don’t want to hear that they hurt you. They don’t want to hear that their behavior was cruel and unkind. In my situation it is even more of a head-scratcher because this family member tells everyone how life is too short to be angry and they are spiritual now and there are energies and what you put out is what you attract. And to be kind. To be genuine. To be happy. Just “Be.” This person doesn’t tell anyone about the shit-storm of wrongs they have committed against family and friends. They now hide behind doing charitable work and putting out books and going on tours, being a motivational speaker. Fuck as many people as you want but claim spirituality and that justifies it all. It’s different. It’s love and openness and being clairvoyant. That’s how to live your life, didn’t you know this?

Then this person sends me the quote pictured, just yesterday. Another example of emotional abuse. How can I possible respond to this quote? I’m not angry. I’m hurt. If I say anything, explain anything, they are the bigger person because they’re going into 2019 forgiving me? Life is too short to be negative? I did reply. I said I wasn’t angry with anyone and wished them a happy new year. They wished me the best year yet! Oh how awesome is this person?! How big of them. Best part for them is they don’t have to talk about the hurtful things said to me a few months ago! They get to tell the story about they reached out to me, because spiritual people forgive! So inspiring! This person gets to dismiss my feelings because that’s what their love is all about! They rock!

I’m not angry, I’m hurt. And if this person needs to do this to feel like the bigger and better person, (I am the most negative person they have ever met and I make them sick- their words) they can have this one. I’m not angry. I’m just done. It doesn’t matter if a person is your family, if they’re toxic and continue to make you feel bad about yourself, you need to find ways to minimize contact. I am doing that. And while I’m sad, deeply sad, I have accepted this. I’ll blog to get it out of my system and then I’ll move along. Life IS too short.

Divorce and Narcissism

Why I Want to Be Left Alone

Why does this enrage me so much: being asked out or hit on or having gross comments made to me by older men? TWO ARE THE FATHERS OF GIRLS I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH! Ffs. I seriously can’t take this shit. And the best part (heavy sarcasm) is when I gasp or say something to reject them, they say it’s my fault for being irresistible. I’m too kind. They can’t help themselves. Wtf is that?

I need to rename my blog because there is no more broken heart. How about “Adventures of a Pissed Off Single Mom?” I’m open to suggestions.

Divorce and Narcissism

Selective Anonymity and Past Reflections

The three great former loves in my life all did not turn out to be the men I thought they were. What does that say about me and my clouded vision of love and who they appeared to be? A crook, a narcissist and a man who can’t love and uses women until he admits he can’t fake it anymore. What they left behind is a woman who is now single but gaining strength daily. That’s not to say I don’t still get sad and I’m not lonely. It just means I don’t need a man to define me. And I’ll never again settle. I can only realize these things if I face my past and try to understand what led me to become involved with these men in the first place. I make no apologies for talking about it. Here, in anonymity, it’s safER. I’ve made the mistake of telling a handful of people about my blog and with that comes the associated risk of them telling others it’s me. Is it really a mistake though? One recent person did share my anonymous post, exposing my identity, as far as I can tell. But I really don’t care because if telling a criminal I know about his past made him not want to text me anymore, what did I really lose? I (we actually ) decided we would not date and had not communicated in a few weeks and then out of the blue he messaged me wanting a truce. Somewhere in between that message and when I finally did reply, (maybe 12 hours later?) I believe this person I shared my blog with this guy which talked about this criminal and she told him. So thanks for that A, it saved me explaining to him that I knew he had a record, saved me from having to listen to his excuses of why what he did wasn’t as bad as his criminal friends/associates and they’re in prison, and that he wasn’t in federal prison so there’s that. Saved me from doubting myself. Saved me from explaining how what he did affected numerous people, his ex wife and child included. And that exposing only the parts he deems necessary to share, it is still deceit. So thanks, A. You can tell him that.

Divorce and Narcissism

On-Line Dating & Text Messaging

Not good. Not good at all, for me. Or maybe it’s just me who fails to state what I feel effectively. Maybe I am the problem. Whether it’s a new person, an old flame who finds you to reconnect or something in between, it’s just been a pitiful experience for me. Nothing beats face to face talks. You can pay attention. Hear inflections and see body language. You lose that with texting, unless you know the person very well, and even then sometimes there are misunderstandings. But some texts are clear. And mean only one thing. These are some of the things I’ve heard:

“Send me nudes.” This is a very common thing these days. The digital age is killing me. I’m not ever going to be “down” with this.

“Aren’t you very sexual?” after I stated I wasn’t comfortable with sexting as an icebreaker.

“Meet me tonight” said by a man who posted no pictures and would tell me nothing about his real name and then cursed me for saying no.

“I’ll smack your ass if you do that again! Oh, but maybe you’d like that?” This was his reply to me apologizing for taking a bit to reply because I was busy.

And the best: being contacting by a boyfriend from 24 years ago and feeling excitement. He was always so special and never forgotten. No romantic love was still felt after all these years but the chance to begin reconnecting and learning who each of us had become was exciting and fun. I was still fond of him. I was nervous. We met for dinner. I had an amazing time and was looking forward to seeing him again to keep catching up. He was smart and funny and kind and polite. And yes, still just as handsome as he was 24 years ago! But I blew it. I didn’t harp on the past with him, the past where we were a couple. But I did mention he looked great, very much the same. We kissed goodnight but nothing intense. A quick kiss on the lips. I asked if it was ok to kiss him goodnight. He kissed me and then promised he would contact me to meet up again because he had a great time. And that was it. Apparently that makes me appear to want to snag him up and get married. Like tomorrow? Not my intentions. But I guess wanting to kiss a handsome guy goodnight is frightening for the guy? It’s ok for flirtatious things to be said to me by him. But me? Nope. I didn’t get that rule book. So I ruined it. Damn me.

Sad. There’s no where I can meet anyone new, in person, on my own. I took that step feeling like it was the only way. But I forgot my most important lesson and discovery: I am ok. Being single isn’t the end of my world. It’s a lonely world but I am alive and I deserve more. No settling. No filtering who I am to please others or make sure they are comfortable. No going back. I’ve learned from my past and I like the present me. The old me would have tried to fix whatever he made me feel I did was wrong. Not this time.