Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Over Now, Time to Pick Up the Pieces

I was in what Robert calls 'biker mode' on Friday. Followin' Thursday's debacle and breakdown, it was the best armour to wear. Turned out it was a good decision. It allowed the eyes to really see what the heart refused to allow it to see before.
After the way things went at work Thursday, went in prepared for the probability of losin' my job. Fortunately, that did not happen. Nor was I put on any kind of disciplinary action, though not from a lack of tryin' by the other party (the person formerly known as the little brother of my heart or HLB)!
Went in a couple of hours early to make up some of the missed time from yesterday, the other party was late. I almost hoped he wasn't goin' to come in at all, which would make the day a little easier. Then I chided myself for such an uncharitable thought, as it occurred that he could have called in because of a turn for the worse with his deathly ill parent. Something I could still sympathize with as I'd just learned that mornin' that Daddy had been admitted to the ICU at the hospital with pneumonia. (Those are not words one wants to wake up to, believe me!) Such a thing is somethin' I wouldn't wish on anyone, even a worst enemy.
A little after 2pm, the department manager collected the two of us for a meeting to work out the issue (sound familiar?) Possibly, in retrospect, he might've been better off to talk to one person first. Get that person's full story, then talk to the other and get theirs, then bring the two together. Unfortunately, he chose the more time expidient method.
Whenever you get two fuedin' parties in front of a neutral arbitrator, it seems that one person always takes the 'alpha' approach, overtalkin' and interruptin' when they sense they're not winnin'. That 'alpha' often makes an ass of his or herself, tempers flare and the situation goes downhill without a strong arbitrator (think Judge Judy/Joe Brown).
Hell, this meeting would've made an interestin' episode of Jerry Springer, minus the bared boobs and beads! There certainly would've been a few bleeps! To his credit, our department manager is a very kind - hearted man who gives a lot of respect to his team. Probably more respect than we realize. He attempted to set the goals for the meeting, which was for us to talk things out as adults.
I knew in my heart that this wasn't going to happen. Been there/done that. As aoon as the manager said he was open to hear what anybody had to say, the other party's mouth went into overdrive before I even had a chance to draw breath.
Given the posts he'd put on FB Thursday night that were tauntin', hurtful, and completely unnecessary, I had a feelin' what direction the other party would take and made a sarcastic noise.. The manager called me on it, and I apologized, realizin' it would be better to let him run his mouth, then tear apart his story point by point.
So I let him spew. And he spewed like Old Faithful with a bad case of stomach flue. It was a tirade of epic proportions that he delivered with cunning condescension. I have that meetin' recorded for posterity on my quick memo app.
He began the character assassination by bemoanin' how he received texts, FB posts and emails related to work from yours truly every 15 mins durin' his precious three days off in a row. He stated that he didn't want to be bothered with work related matters on his days off, he'd told me this in no uncertain terms, and I got bent out of shape about it.
That came as a complete surprise, and was certainly not the case, so there was the first bending of the truth. This coming from the same spoiled brat who had appended an email I was required to write to the manager and team lead one recent Sunday re: why the team didn't make the goal. His piggy - back comment stated 'my team knows they can call or text me anytime for help with work related matters when I'm off.'
2) He didn't want to bring the problem the day before into work on Thursday. But because he wouldn't discuss it with me 'on my terms', yours truly turned to sarcastic comments and "smart ass" emails to him. I learned then that was when he made his first of many calls to the team lead and the department manager to complain about my behavior. Supposedly, he was told that if things persisted in that manner, she'd send one of us home.
3) He claimed that I suddenly leaped up from my chair to start to make a smart aleck public apology to him, and denied he ever stood up to tell me he was waiting for such from me! (Second lie). Y'all know that while he'd said he wasn't havin' the discussion on the floor and we were supposed to meet outside to talk about it that he actually went off to call the team lead yet again and the results of that second call.
4) His next claim was to remark about my continued harassment of him after I'd clocked out oand left the building. That he was bombarded with posts from me on his FB page and on our other team mate's cell phone about how upset he'd made me to the point of bein' sick - all comin' from the parking lot for nearly two hours. (Damn! I'm pretty talented to be able to write texts and post on FB when I'm passed out for the same amount of time!)
At this point, the manager interjected to ask if the other party had blocked me. That was the first true thing the other party uttered. I stated the other party was also blocked from my account. The company has no problem with co - workers bein' FB friends, thought there are some guidelines, like not talkin' about work related stuff on the public timeline. Private messagin' might be a different thing.
(He'd recently butted heads with another co-worker he'd accepted as a friend, who had written a post to him on his private FB messaging about a work related issue. He currently has a report in to the ethics board on her. Since it wasn't on the public timeline, it's likely the ethics panel will not see it the same way he does, despite his reference to the employee handbook. Guess we'll see).
The manager threw the first unexpected curve ball back at the other party by stating that he couldn't fault me for makin' use of the communication tools the other party had invited me to use. That didn't set well with his majesty. He couldn't keep his yap shut long enough to hear the manager and kept overtalkin' him!
Point, Lowecat.
I'd listened quietly to his diatribe, despite hearing the sneering condescension in his voice and the manipulative twistin' of the facts to suit him. I was on a slow simmer the entire time. When it was my turn to talk, I'll admit to usin' a somewhat condescindin' tone myself.
Point, the other party.
"He's tellin' you a very wonderful story that paints him out to be the 'oh poor poor victim' in this thing --"
The other party interjected with this taunt, "Go on, Myra! Let's hear your side!"
I snapped right back with "Excuse me, did I interrupt you when you were talkin'?"
"Yes!" he crowed triumphantly.
"OK, one time," I admitted.
The manager interceded and allowed me to continue.
I addressed the communications on his off days, regretfully not mentionin' the email noted earlier. Admittedly, it would've been sweet to rub that one in his face.
Point, the other party.
So I worked through his claims:
1) Yes, the other party received an email from my work address, very brief, sharin' the good news about the salary bump. In response to this sharin' of good news, I get an email reply from the other party (email from his work not personal account) 'oh, I guess since I'm making more than the new base, I get a reduction in pay!' Because I was also distributin' assignments that day, I didn't respond to him right away. When the time presented itself, I did reply that the other party might want to ask our manager about it. Withini seconds came the response that he wasn't goin' to the manager as he hadn't heard officially from anyone but me.
Well, snicklefritz couldn't keep his yap shut. He jumped right in to defend his email. I called him on his outburst, as I'd stayed quiet after my initial one and let him spew. The other party's mouth was in overdrive as he called me out as a liar.
"If you're gonna tell the story, at least tell the truth!"
That did it. "I AM tellin' the truth, darlin' I have the proof!"
Point, the other party.
"So do I, and this has nothing to do with what happened yesterday!" he spat back. "It wasn't all on company email anyway!"
I indicated to the manager that this was the attitude/behavior I'd experienced the previous day. The manager was tryin' to get the other party's attention, but the kid just kept on yappin'.
Point, Lowecat.
The manager finally managed to get a word in edgewise. "We're trying to get your attention. Myra has the floor, she let you talk uninterrupted, now you need to give her the same courtesy."
Point, Lowecat.
Unfotunately, I didn't maintain the upper hand for long. "If he wants to go tit for tat, I can go there too. I'm in full biker mode, my father's in the hospital in ICU as of today - just as his -"
"Well my mother is too!" he cut in with a whine.
Considerin' I'd been about to mention that same fact, I blew up and retorted the worse thing possible at the moment. "Well, la de da!"
"That's your attitude!" he spat.
"It is now!"
"That's been your attitude for three days now!"
"Now that's not true, and you know it!"
He sniped back "It's a work relationship now, and that's all there is to it!"
"It's not even that! It's not even a work relationship with the way you're behavin' right now!"
Our poor manager again tried to calm things down, get out focus back on the matter at hand by gettin' the two of us to listen to each other. I was too angry and hurt by the other party's comment by that time to listen.
After some back and forth between the two of us, The other party wanted to present himself as tryin' to be the professional and I was the unreasonable one. He claimed that what I was bringin' to the table had nothin' to do with the job, and he never wanted to discuss the matter at the workplace anyway.
"We shouldn't even be here!"
"I agree, but when the situation is preventin' one from bein' able to do their job --"
"That's your hang up, not mine!"
The manager told us we were both actin' like a couple of kids. He was right. We were like a couple of spoiled brats fightin' over who gets the prize toy on the playground. I had no idea how to stop myself at that time. Neither could the other party.
The other party brought up the same refrain that because things weren't goin' my way, I was gettin' bent outta shape, so I asked him if he had a degree in mental health. "Since you don't know me, quit sayin' what I think or feel. Do not make diagnosis about me."
"What have I diagnosed?"
I just didn't dignify it with an answer. The manager at least let me explain to him what had been goin' on that week with Daddy, the furbabies, the disagreement with the hsuband - everything was comin' in at one time. Then I read the text I sent that triggered the whole thing my phone call to him that started the problems between us.
The other party tried to lie his way out of his response, and I threw my phone right on the desk with HIS response in black and white including an eight letter word he claimed he'd never used in relation to work. Lie exposed.
But it didn't end there. He slung verbal poo, I slung it back. When he tried again to lie about the public apology, I yelled at him to shut up.
"Just shut up and listen for once in your life! You know damn well you did, right in front of the entire center! I figured if that's what you wanted to make you happy, I'd give it to you."
The manager decided to go to HR about the problem, he stated that we cared about each other and the fightin' was a facade.
"No, there is no care for each other, not any more." I stated.
The other party had to get more licks in, snidely commentin' on bein' my shoulder to cry on about the cats and Robert, and then tried to play the sexual harassment card.
"I felt that we were crossing boundaries as everyone in the center was talking about us. She didn't like it when I called a halt to it."
Oh. My. Frackin'. God! Granted, I had experienced a bit of a crush on him. We shared so many things, but tryin' to force him into an affair? He returned the hugs for Christ sake! He used little endearments like 'dear, honey.' Hell, he'd even gone so far as to leave a note under the windsheild of my car that said 'Love ya!" with a smiley face on it. My car, by the way, was parked at home.
Yet I'm the instigator?
The manager decided that it was best to turn the matter over to HR. He knew he was in over his head and couldn't get past our stubborness to help us. By that time, I was seein' my former HLB in a totally different light. He was a liar, a fact manipulator, cruelly condescending when he wasn't gettin' what he wanted. Basically, he had turned from a knight in shining armor to a shitty asshole.
Tie match.
We were sent back out to the call center. I walked with my head held high, but inside was doin' a simmer of rage. I sat down and did the job. The other party chatted it up with the rest of the crew like he's cock of the walk. I kept listenin' to him remark about the customers, the quality of in bound calls we were gettin' and his snide dismissals of the customers. I overheard him many times transfer people to another department because he didn't want to call the techs to ask their ETA.
My mind flashed back over the past few months since he'd joined our department. One of my co workers on days had mentioned his 'holier than thou/know it all attitude', but I had foolishly defended the other party. Listenin' to him speak to the customers brought to mind the number of times he would rudely shut down a customer who was arguin' with him and the number of times they'd call right back, get me, and complain about him.
I thought of the way he'd griped and moaned to me about our manager and team lead when he didn't get his way. Most recently was the distribution of the new schedule a couple of weeks ago. He claimed that with the 4/10 shift, he was promised certain days off. The team lead who writes the schedule had told all of us there would be no set days off.
The schedule was delayed gettin' to us due to an off site trainin' session the team lead had attended. We got the new schedule the day before the old one ran out. Forgettin' that the other party had access to work email and could check for the schedule himself, I had sent a text to him that he was workin' the next day. What followed was a flurry of work emails and text messages complainin' over his inability to contact the mgr and team lead and beggin' our help.
Yet, he didn't want to be bothered with work related emails.
Whether the love you have for a person is filial, eros, or agape, it can make one blind to their faults. Wakin' up out of the dream and findin' out how rotten they really are underneath is a shocker.
The meetin' with the HR rep went a little better. At least no one yelled. Just as before, the other party did his thing about tryin' to paint himself the pitiful victim, and me as the irraitional rejected female. This time around, I didn't interject anything, just bided my time. When the HR rep asked for it, I quietly explained my side of things, includin' addin' in what hadn't been brought up previously, the amount of time it had taken for him to provide me with an assignment from first walkin' in.
Well, he tried to cover that, by statin' that while he was givin' out assignments, he wasn't at a desk to get his emails to know that I needed one, yet he'd seen me come in to begin work. I let him dig his hole, then I pointed out the holes in the story.
"Why would I send someone an email askin' for an assignment when it was obvious that the person was not at his desk and had no access to email in the first place? Addiitionally, he walked straight past my back askin' 'do you have an assignment?' and didn't stop to give one to me at that time, even though he'd seen me come in for the day and knew I needed an assignment to start the day. It wasn't until I'd gone to the bathroom and returned that a post it with an assignment was found stuck to my monitor, some 44 minutes after clockin' in."
Point, Lowecat.
Game point.
The HR rep was interested in that aspect of things, and inquired into the process of distributin', learnin' at that time that the night shift had been without a team lead for nearly a month (I suspect that situation may soon change!). She also learned that the duty rotated amongst the night crew, with the exception of myself, who'd been removed from doin' so by the mgr and the team lead that very day.
"I don't care whether I distribute or not, though it's always been my practice to get the assignments to people as quickly as possible. My personal preference is to get the requests and send them in email, so I have a record of who asked for what and when in case its' not possible to put 'em down on the tally sheet right away. If the managers believe this duty is not good for the team, I can only accept their decision and move on."
The end result was that the other party was put on notice that I would obviously continue my requests to him in email, and he was to respond in kind. If there is a delay of more than five minutes, I just forward the request and eventual answer to the mgt team. I can live with that.
Game, set, match, Lowecat.
During the remainder of the day, I was on the outside of the team lookin' in. Where before I had been included in the conversations, it flowed over and around me, but did not include me. The person who was distributin' was between a rock and a hard place that night, so I put little demands on her, communicatin' my needs by email and lettin' her know I wasn't upset at her in any way, size, shape or form, just tryin' to make things easier for her.
When the shift ended, I gathered my things and walked away, not once speaking to the other party. He didn't say anything to me. I didn't expect him to. After the way he'd behaved, it was best that he didn't.
He claims that all we now have is a professional relationship. We don't even have that. It's going to be a pain in the ass to deal with him on the days he distributes assignments. He has shown that he is capable of anything and will stoop as low as possible to harm those he considers an enemy.
I don't entertain any ideas that he'll ever try to make amends. He feels he has nothing to apologize for, despite the negative things he posted on FB at me, in private mail and texts to me.
I made my apology, and that's all I owe him.
IF, however, he ever says those two words, they will be received for what they're worth. The doors he bricked shut will not be reopened. That path has been closed for good.
I've had a few hours to sleep on this, and to relisten to the two meetings. I'm not proud of some of my behavior during the first meeting. I'm not happy that the management team arbitrarily decided to remove me from the distributor rotation without first givin' me the courtesy of alertin' me first. I learned via email to the entire team that day I was replaced.
So this is the last I'm goin' to be sayin' on this matter. Three blogs worth is more than enough.
To those of you who have been supportive, thank you. Your thoughts, prayers, kind words have not gone unnoticed. I bear some of the responsibility for this friendship - if there ever wasa such a friendship - dyin' the way it did. I don't bear all of the responsibility and do not accept all the responsibility. Nor should I be expected to.
A part of me would like to believe that at the time affections were shared by the other party that he genuinely meant them. Nor am I creeped out that he found my house one late night and left a note under my car windsheild. So he knows where I live. He's the least of my concerns.
If he worries that I might share certain things he told me in confidence, includin' certain things he told me about managers and co workers, he need not. I am capable of keepin' confidences, even if the person who shared them has shown he cannot be trusted.


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