Office Conflict


Let me tell you all a little story-During the last hellish winter, I got to know a certain co-worker who, unfortunately turned out to be a total bitch and who later tried to stab me in the back. After said petty backstabbing, I was obviously not as friendly with her and pretty much gave her the “eye” whenever she sauntered into my office. This led her to pretty much give me the same treatment and since then, we pretty much both can’t stand each other.

But sometimes I wonder- Would have been better if I had just ignored her bitchiness and continued to pretend to like her? Probably, but how does one fake liking someone who is THAT big of an asshole? Its really, really hard.

When I started this job and received training from the last person in my position, she told me: “Just stay out of trouble, keep your nose clean and you’ll be fine”

Which I fully intended to do and stayed cordial with people but pretty much kept to myself, so I wouldn’t get wrapped up in any office gossip b.s. This was my plan, but unfortunately I still managed to get sucked into a conflict with someone and now work functions are tense and uncomfortable whenever we’re together in a room. I guess I am just way too honest and straightforward for my own good. I tend to wear my moods and impressions of people right on the surface, not all pushed down and repressed, where they should be. When I was younger, I used to hate how fake adults were with each other-All saccharine when greeting and then talking shit about the other person right after they left the room. But perhaps, that is the key to survival in the passive aggressive world of the office. Ignoring and singing “la la la can’t hear you” when the jerks of the world try and get a rise out of you and putting on Oscar worth performances of faked respect seem to be the keys to happiness and harmony in the workplace.

Patience and maintaining a professional demeanor (no matter what) are probably things I should work on. Well, until we get home, then I can bitch and moan about difficult coworkers as much as I want!;)


17 thoughts on “Office Conflict

  1. f.B

    It’s a dance. You give a little, let them lead (or think they have more control than they actually do) but the whole while you get to know just how quickly you could step on their toes and squash them.

  2. XUP

    Yes, part of the soul-sucking requirements of the adult workworld is to pretend to get along with co-workers. It’s best if you can compartmentalize people –men are much better at this than women. They can hate someone’s guts but still work with and support them on projects in the office. You’re not going to like everyone you have to work with, so I try not to think of those people I don’t like as people. I don’t think about their home life or what they’re wearing or why they are the way they are, I focus on them just enough to get done whatever needs to be done at work. In your shoes I would try to be the bigger/faker person and treat her like necessary office equipment.

  3. Marie

    I’ll usually be polite but firm when needed at work. I also don’t like bsing, but unfortunately in the work place it’s sometimes needed.

    Being straightforward is what I do best. Being fake? Not so good at it.

  4. quackattack

    I can completely relate. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection over the last several days and realized that, although I strongly appreciate and accept my emotionality, I have to stop BEING my emotionality … at least in certain situations, the workplace being number one.

    Thanks for sharing your uncomfortable situation.

  5. Titania

    Hmmmm, this is why, aside from 3-4 close friends, I keep my distance and avoid socializing with people in my office… ambitions sometimes run too high and respect get compromised. And, like you, I just don’t know how to fake it, my face always says everything

  6. Kate

    Man, it’s SO hard for me to conceal my feelings, but I’ve made an effort to try really hard at work … it certainly makes life easier when you appear to be happy and pleasant all the time. In fact, I learned the art of faking it at work (hee) from an admin job I once had at a sales company. My boss told me and the rest of the crew — in no uncertain terms — that whether we were happy or not, we’d better damn well act like we’re happy.

  7. hannah78 Post author

    Robin-You too eh? It can be very difficult not to show everything.
    f.B-Sounds like an apt description, but I have no interest in dancing. I would rather just sit in a corner and watch all the other people dance and make fools of themselves.;)
    XUP-Think of her as office equipment? Hmm..that just might work. (Did I ever tell you that getting rid of useless, old, shitty equipment is part of my job? *evil grins*;))
    Chris-Unfortunately. Blarg!
    Marie-You sound like my kinda gal! 🙂

  8. pinklea

    This is yet another reason why being an adult sucks sometimes. A child would just yell, “I hate you!” or throw rocks at the other child or do something equally upfront. Both kids would know exactly where they stood with the other, and nobody would have to play these coy little games where we all pretend to get along and value and respect each other. Because, let’s face it, some people are just not worth it.

  9. Jocelyn

    Maybe one way to keep your personal integrity and follow those impulses of saying what you think…yet also not getting involved in the tensions…would be (at some point in the future, if there’s ever a moment) to have a quiet moment with The Bitch and just say, “You know, we’ve gotten to a bad place, and it’s making work not so fun for both of us. Any chance we could hit the reset button?”

    Then you can still think she’s a bitch–cuz she IS–but you also can try to rein things back to a less tense place.

  10. hannah78 Post author

    Titania-It is really difficult not to let emotions show up on your face. Its like we’re expected to be like robots and that’s just not who we are!
    Kate-Sounds like tough but wise advice.
    Beth-Yep, it sounds like an odd skill, but it really is a skill.
    Pinklea-Yeah, kids are probably too blunt and their brains haven’t fully developed so their impressions of other people tend to be pretty skewed, but I do like their honesty. (Well sometimes. LOL) But yeah, the ‘games’ that adults play are pretty ridiculous and often times I don’t have the energy to play them with some people.
    Jocelyn-I was considering doing something like that, but I’m not sure she would get it. But its still a good idea!:)

  11. meanie

    there is a woman at my current work who i don’t get along with. while it’s slightly immature of me, i take great pleasure in being really nice and polite to her. even when we are disagreeing on something, i’m overly nice about it. it really throws her off her game and she can’t say anything negative about my behaviour (i.e. she’s too nice, she’s too polite etc etc). heh heh.

  12. Friar


    This rings too close to home. (Are you SURE you dont’ work with the same witch I have to work with? Maybe they’re sisters…)

    This is why I can’t stand to watch reality shows like ‘Survivor”. All the tension and back-stabbing and politics. It’s too much like the real world.

  13. hannah78 Post author

    Blueberry-There really is no ‘winning’ in office politics. If you ignore office jerks, then you feel like a pushover and resent them and if you stand up to them, you create “drama”. Being an adult sucks sometimes. 😛

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