Play nice.

A sales manager walks into my office and stops.

She looks at me.

I look at her.

She says nothing.

I raise my eyebrows.

“You know who you look like right now?” she asked.

“No. Who?”

“Amber Heard. You look like Amber Heard sitting there at your desk.”

“Oh. Okay.”

(Was it the dirty look I gave her or the way I sound when I’m mad?)

A few days later she stops by my desk again.

“I wish I had your life.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, you work four hours and then go home and do nothing.”

“Yup, that’s what I do, go home and do nothing.”

(Damn, nailed me again!)

I would be lying if I said I was always perfectly nice as pie to people when I’ve got stuff on my mind or when there are difficult things going on home. I know that her father is seriously ill and she’s overworked. But this kind of behavior is making me realize how annoying I must be when I take stuff out on other people. I don’t go in with outright aggression but I certainly do the snippy, sarcastic answers when someone tries to speak to me, or I go into full-on meltdown mode when I can’t handle the stupidity any longer. In this case, her attitude towards me isn’t really merited because she’s not someone I’ve ever taken things out on (I already have designated scapegoats for that).

For me, I find that the best way to alleviate the stress is simply to tell people that I’m not in a great mood, that I have X, Y, or Z going on, and often that’s enough not to be in the bad mood anymore. Or, going out of my way to try to be kind to someone else who’s having a shit day (as long as they don’t have an attitude with ME; then it’s game on.) Announcing that I have PMS is a great way to get everyone in line, too.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I don’t work in a very professional environment.

65 thoughts on “Play nice.

  1. Saying “You look like Amber Heard sitting there at your desk.” is such a bizarre thing to say. Even if you don’t get along that’s such a strange way of expressing dislike. That woman has issues. I would not take what she says seriously and you are right, she does not know about the rest of your life and has no right commenting on it. Ignore it and move on unless she causes you trouble then speak to a higher up manager (assuming that’s an option). I hope this issue gets resolved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Report to the higher up… Heh heh heh… You ARE new around here. The only one higher up is my boss. I’m not in the mood for even THINKING about her. Unless y’all want a post…? Anyways, yes it was indeed a very bizarre comment. I was actually more annoyed by the comment about how I barely work and do nothing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes I guess I am new around here. What she is doing is bullying and I was hoping you could talk to a higher up manager, but if that is not feasible it’s a sticky situation. It happened to my aunt as well (a long time ago). She felt trapped but eventually she got out of it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, you’ll learn, trust me… And you’ll be sick of hearing about her like everyone else here is. It’s not that I can’t tell the boss, it’s just not worth complaining about someone’s bad day, and plus she turns everything into a federal case, AND she throws lies about uninvolved people in just to drag them into the fray to see if she can smoke out any other guilty parties.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s not fun. My aunt who was bullied by her boss could not report it or complain because the guy in charge at the top was the bully’s husband. She took the insults every day while actively searching for a new job and then one day she when she had found another job she quit. That’s not a suggestion, just what happened to her. Every situation is different. It is just sad that there are so many unprofessional and bad managers.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I was going to say something completely inappropriate, but Iโ€™ve caught myself. Anyway, Amber Heard? Iโ€™d say, well I was trying for the Jack Sparrow look, but โ€ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I know it technically shouldn’t be an excuse, but as someone who’s acted that way for less, I write it off because I depend on other people doing that for me. And I don’t really have self control if I’m telling everyone on the Internet about it ๐Ÿ˜›.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Very unprofessional environment. And the blame falls squarely on the upper local management for creating and/or nurturing it. 100%.

    You can quote me on that. Tell your boss, hey, I know this guy, Roy, who writes a blog from Kansas City, and he said this. That’ll devastate her!

    Once someone I knew started whining to me about how I had a great job and all we did was sit around all day in our trucks, waiting for a trouble ticket to come in (not how I would characterize my job then) and how he had to work hard all day. About the fourth time he said this, I blurted, well, obviously you’re smarter than me–I must just be luckier than you. This actually shut him up.
    Anyway, sorry you work in such toxic conditions. I’ve been there. Many, many times, off and on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The boss really does allow this type of behavior because the TMI and personal comments start with her and it all goes downhill from there. We’re all too familiar and casual to the point where we don’t worry about the repercussions of insulting people. But I’ll let her know a fellow named Roy said it’s her fault. Maybe I’ll cushion the blow by telling her I’ve made her internationally famous.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I just meant to use the word formality in its generic sense. Rituals that allow people of different cultures and backgrounds to interact without confusion or confrontation. The formality is what makes people equal in a particular context.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I think it’s that everyone has their own challenges and struggles and needs compassion and empathy, but no one can really give it because everyone’s dealing with their own challenges and shit. But that’s the charitable read. Honestly, she seems weird. What an odd thing to say. Also, I never understand the celebrity look-alike thing. Like I never see the resemblance. You could be literal twins with Amber Heard and I probably still wouldn’t see the resemblance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the problems in human nature, I think, is that our own pain is more real to us than the pain of other people, especially if we can’t see it. I’m guilty of that myself. When I see from a third-party perspective what certain obnoxious behaviors look like, I try to be more mindful of not doing it and putting myself in the shoes of the other person. People really start losing their minds in that store, especially this time of year. If you’re shopping and you see a retail worker singing to the Christmas songs, they are not happy, trust me. It’s a sign they’ve finally cracked. Anyways. When I see someone who resembles someone else, I call them the “poor man’s version of X.” I think the fancy word for that is “ersatz.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that our own pain gives us tunnel vision. Hard to care about another person when you can barely see straight or keep your own head above water.

        Oh, I trust you! All the stresses of life coupled with the pressure of the holidays, and then you have the insanity of retail during the holiday season.

        Funny, I think of that “poor man’s version of X” more in the context of karaoke performances. Like my poor man’s version of Whitney Houston is about as awful as that sounds, but my poor man’s version Celine Dion is actually not too lousy. The really talented people though are the ones who don’t need to be a poor man’s version of anyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It was indeed an odd interaction. I figured, let the WordPress folks puzzle over it. I think being called a name like that would really piss me off as well. I have a coworker who says even more bizarre things like this when she gets a kidney stone. Like she compared my manager to a pair of pliers that she found.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The trouble is people began wearing their personal laundry to work. Being a corporate musician I was at the whim of more unchecked estrogen, migraines, plenty of people who were Smarter Than, or Better Than their environs and workmates. The beauty? I was always at least anywhere from 300 to 1500 miles away, could put my phone in the empty passenger seat, enjoy the scenery

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes and in that store they not only wear personal laundry to work but personal laundry they HAVE NOT WASHED FOR DAYS. I don’t see anything wrong with sharing what’s going on in your life, but it’s the nasty attitudes I can’t stand. But sadly I cannot go even three hundred feet away let alone miles ๐Ÿ™.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sounds like you’re having terrible relationship problems with people at work. I’m having problems like that these days. One of my roommates is a Bosnian War Canadian Army veteran and his PTSD is really spiralling out of control the past few weeks. He’s on the verge of a total mental breakdown. He’s been having memory loss and blackouts forgetting where he’s been. He misplaced his wallet somewhere and can’t remember where. He almost strangled his pet cat a few days ago and now one of the roommates upstairs is looking after the cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I’m lucky that my coworkers don’t pose any physical danger (that’s posed by the “customers” who come with guns or bats, I’m just lucky I’ve never been there when that’s happened). Is there any way for that fellow to get help? Although in Canada I hear that the “help” is pretty permanent these days…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We never know whatโ€™s going on in someone elseโ€™s mind. That doesnโ€™t make it easy to look through their attitude of course. But it almost always has nothing to do with the person they are taking out their shit on. Important to try and remind ourselves of that. You did well.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Hetty! People never want other people to have a good day, month, year when they arenโ€™t happy. Here is my revenge story. When I retired from my position it took 13 people to replace me and they are all overworked and depressed and want to quit. I havenโ€™t said a word because they pay me six figures a year for less than 1000 hours of support, just to help each of the 13 people accomplish the job they are paid an annual salary to do. I tell them, work smarter not harder. So far, that is the holy grail mystery to be solved. Those 13 people are now frightened to death of me. They donโ€™t insult me at all because they are definitely sure that I sold my soul to the devil to do the work of 13 people and appear calm, happy, and idle. My secret, never let people see me sweat. Smile, and ignore the misery others try to heap on me because I know the truth and that is all that matters to me. No one there knows what you know and when you take time off, they will feel the stress of not having you there. Itโ€™s easy to be an @$$hole because that is human nature. It takes significant emotional intelligence and confidence in oneโ€™s skill to meet ignorance with kind dismissal. Iโ€™ll bet you are actually good at that. ๐Ÿ˜‰.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know they feel the stress of my not being there judging by all the calls I take on my days off! I find people don’t think much of me when I’m sitting there working. It’s when they work WITH me that they see it. They’re surprised that my job is more than twirling around on my chair. But most of the time I find that people are only nice when they want something.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we are edging over into why I remained aloof to most of humankind. There are people who are important and worth having a meaningful bond. All the others thoโ€ฆ well, they have more poo to sling than they have time to sling it. I try not to disturb them with my presence mentally or physically and my clothes and mental health have less detritus to launder as a result. Isnโ€™t it a bit funny that all you do is twirl in your chair yet they could never do it so well as you. Thatโ€™s mastery because you make it look easy and simple.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You could turn this into a story. You’re a shapeshifter, taking on the guise of traumatized celebrities to milk malaise. You’re collecting Depression in jars which you sell to the Millennials.

    Liked by 1 person

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