Friday, February 20, 2009

I could use some advice

I offended someone yesterday, and she told me about it today. It was inadvertent, done without malice, and honestly - it was something that would not have offended 99.99% of the population.

But I did it. And it made her mad. Really, really mad. And I'm very, very sorry.

This is someone who has never liked me, and never made any bones about it. I don't know why, and it doesn't really matter. I've made a point of staying away from her when possible, and being unfailingly polite to her all other times.

I work with her. Thankfully, when she called me on the "incident" she did it with my manager right there.

I apologized. I tried to explain, but she wouldn't have any of it. I apologized again and again. She told me that she refused to accept my apology.

Later, my manager told me that maybe this person was having a bad day, because she was out of line. She told me that she'd talk to my coworker later.

This hasn't happened to me since 8th grade. But then it probably happened to pretty much all 8th grade girls, since 8th grade girls are a mess. It's just the way we were. Maybe they're more mature now, but it was a battleground in my middle school.

So, I'm going on vacation for a week. When I get back, I'll return to my former modus operandi (being polite, but avoiding if possible).

It's been over a year of side-stepping this person. I love my job, and I'm not leaving it.

I've been crying over this off and on all day.

Have you ever had anything like this happen? What did you do? How did you handle it?


Vodka Mom said...

Yes, I have. And i have to say- honestly- that I confronted, I mean met with- the person. I was TOTALLY at fault, and went up to her and said, "I may have fucked up, and I am sorry....."

I might be an ass sometimes, (even if the person deserved it) but I ALWAYS feel better when I pay the piper.


Anonymous said...

I am ALWAYS doing this at work. In fact I did it today. I do the company newsletter & someone submitted something that I thought was funny - well the person that it was about didn't find it extremely humorous. Even though we joke with him about it EVERY DAY - but apparently it has gone on too long & he finally snapped.

It happens. I'm always the one offending someone & all you can do is say sorry & be cautious about it next time. I always learn something new about human beings each time.

~ Sara Rose

Emily Branca said...

Annie, I just have to first tell you that you are possibly one of the MOST polite, generous, kind, compassionate, understanding, caring, empathetic, loyal, loving, nurturing and AMAZING women I know. It sounds to me like this person is happier to be unhappy. You've done all that you can, but stop beating yourself up over it. You've apologized, you've tried to right your wrong. If she won't accept it, then you need to just let her have her hissy fit, and move on. Remember who you are, and don't let this person cause you to question your amazing character.

Hal Johnson said...

I should just stay out of this, because I'm not sure I can be at all illuminating. I feel like I understand women fairly well until I watch them interact with each other, when I'll often ask myself, "What the hell just happened there?"

That said, I do have a couple of male coworkers around who look for fault in folks like a hobby. I just try to be civil and avoid talking to them. There are too many employment and legal consequences to seriously entertain the notion of kicking them in the privates. Just kidding. Mostly.

idiot said...

I agree with Emily. This person enjoys being unhappy it seems. I can only speculate. Here's my advice: You love your job. God has you there for a reason. Your splendid personality will keep chipping away at her. She will break and you guys will be best friends forever. Probably not. Your workplace is your mission field Annie. I'll be praying for you.

Keith said...

I was told I coulkd sit in a room of 400 people that all love me and edify me, only to find myself sick over not knowing why someone else by the punch bowl hates me.

I suppose iot is like the prin cvess and the pea. As long as that pea is there, I cannot get a good night's sleep. I sometimes have to look hard at why nI am uncomfortable. With me, I wonder if that person is going to poison my good name, or try to screw up my lunch break.

Often no easy answers for me. I know I try different things. But often I start by making sure I do not do anything to make the situation worse...

Kathy said...

Oh yes! I wanted so badly to make this person okay with me but there was nothing doing. It realy hurt me that I could not fix it. People like that are just plain mean.

Just be strong. Don't let her still you happy space. She dosen't deservie any of your energy. You know you are totaly in the right. Hang on to that.