Friday, February 18, 2005 · posted at 7:01 PM
Retract those claws.

Evelyn: Well, I wonder where Marge could be? She's missing her own initiation.
Susan: I hope she didn't take my attempt to destroy her too seriously [slurps her drink loudly].
     - The Simpsons, "Class Struggles in Springfield"

Have you ever suspected that someone doesn't like you? It's never something blatant that triggers the thought (e.g. someone slashing your tires would be a glaring red flag), just little ambiguous things that can be construed either way (e.g. a "lost invite in the mail" could be intentional or an oversight).

Some people, particularly those of the double X'ed sex, direct thinly veiled barbs to others with the intention of hurting them while appearing on the surface to like them. This is called cattiness. I know it well because I'm a recovering "Mean Girl."

There was a time when almost everything out of my mouth was malicious and I felt so clever delivering back-handed compliments and sarcastic remarks. I'd like to think I'm now older, more enlightened and have tried to (1) stop expending effort on people I don't care for and (2) start holding my tongue before lashing out with hurtful comments.

Now I feel like I have a heightened sense for when someone's engaging in my old favorite pasttime... For example, there's this woman from my work who rides the line between obliviously blunt/naive and heinously bitchy. I'm not quite sure what I could have done to offend her, as I seldom interact with my coworkers period, but there is definitely a weird undertone whenever I run into her.

Situation #1
She introduced me to a new coworker by saying: This is Christina. She works for Dr. Z taking care of clinical matters and she supervises interns and she also, well, that's pretty much it, right?
Positive interpretation: I don't blame her for not knowing my job functions because I can barely explain it on my resume and I don't really know anyone else's either. For example, beyond talking loudly on the phone to her boyfriend, I didn't know what she did at work either.
Negative interpretation: She could have mentioned that we work on one of the same projects (when budget cuts were made, they kept me and let her go - which may explain the dislike). Also shouldn't you make a point to portray team members with positive wording, especially to new team members?
My reaction: She clearly never practiced the Bridget Jones "introduce people with thoughtful details. Such as: 'Sheila, this is Daniel. Daniel, this is Sheila. Sheila enjoys horse-riding and comes from New Zealand'" rule. But I've never cared whether my coworkers (new and old) liked me or not, so really, her comment was inconsequential.

Situation #2
She approached me to tell me how glad she was that my boss was mentoring her intern. "It's so great that Dr. Z has taken Intern A under her wing. She might even hire her. She sees a lot of potential in Intern A and I'm sure sure Dr. Z is glad to finally be working with someone who wants to be a doctor."
Positive interpretation: She really is excited about Dr. Z and Intern A working together. She feels proud that one of her interns is blossoming under her tutelage.
Negative interpretation: She was trying to make me feel bad or threatened about my relationship with my boss.
My reaction: Again, not a huge need for love and acceptance for things relating to work. I think it's great if someone is actually getting something worthwhile from the workplace.

Situation #3
We run into each other in the hall. She tells me, "I like your pants. You don't see people wearing that style much anymore. They're got that retro 70's/80's look."
Positive intrepretation: She really does like my pants.
Negative interpretation: She was trying to insinuate that my pants/style was out of fashion.
My reaction: "Oh, no she d'dnt." Inflict all the work-related digs you want, but this is just personal now. For the record, I was wearing my tan corduroy flares... the kind that is super mass-produced right now that you can find at Abercrombie, American Eagle, Macy's, wherever. So though that may speak to the unoriginality of my fashion sense, it clearly shows it is not circa "out of style." Maybe she just hasn't seem them in a while because they don't carry those kinds of clothes at Talbot's or Lane Bryant (oops, I'm a work in progress - old habits die hard).

So from just reading the rant above, I'd probably say I was overanalyzing her intentions. But when I'm face to face with her, I swear I can like hear her claws scratching against the floor waiting to pounce.

Bring it on girl, I'd love the excuse.

Recent Posts
Beautifully Human. I went to the Jill Scott conce...

Author's Note: Usually I renounce Valentine's Day ...

Allow me to introduce you to my pukey face. And i...

One night stand. Most women think it's completely...

Just say no and other taglines. Let me introduce y...

Anything you can do I can do better. I can do any...

How old would you be if you didn't know how old yo...

Dear Abby... Due to a series of unfortunate event...

Regina: But you're, like, really pretty. Cady: Th...

I always feel torn when the bigwigs come into town...

Morning news
babie goose ryan
daves son
high entropy
invisible cube
starfish + coffee

March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
January 2007
March 2007
April 2007
November 2008

 all humiliation © by author