Monday, January 11, 2010

They Call Me a Pit Bull for a Reason

It's midnight on a work night and I have a huge presentation that I have to conduct tomorrow, which means that I need to be up in the morning bright and early. I can't sleep and my stomach has an ache in it. My heart keeps thumping and I feel like I just want to rip someone's head off over a work email that I just received from a co-worker.

I initially turned to the internet because I needed to maintain my sanity in a world where I typically have to walk around sometimes with a poker face and keep some of my aggression in check. I needed a safe space to say what I really wanted to say, and be who I really wanted to be because frankly I don't want many acquaintances in my real life to really know who I am. On the internet I can just say whatever I want to say and be my true self, without having to strategically analyze whether every word that comes out of my mouth will be used against me or to my advantage in the war of office politics.

It's funny how you can become so intimately connected with people online without ever having met them or spent time with them face to face. It's amazing the connections that you can form with people without even knowing one another's names. And I've come to the conclusion that unleashing my true self online is sometimes the only thing that holds me back from losing my cool at work and bitch slapping someone. It'd be safe to say that people who have come to know my online persona well probably know me better than most people who I have come into contact with, with exception to a very small group of close friends.

The truth is that I have a horrible temper at times and am overly aggressive. "You should aim to be assertive, not agressive", is what I've been told and has been shoved down every woman's throat since who knows when.

Well, the truth of the matter is that I am overly aggressive sometimes and think that there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes we have to be aggressive for different reasons. I've learned to manage my aggression over the years, so much in fact that lately I have been feeling like I put a muzzle on myself.

I'm tired of being undermined in various aspects in my workplace and have become increasingly aggressive with dealing with bullshit behavior over the past couple of months.  I've always been spoken down to and undermined by other co-workers. Other managers have not informed me of things and when the ball is dropped somewhere I am blamed and made to look incompetent. Rumors have always been spread about me-who I am sleeping with, what I said or did to whichever Joe Blow, and anything else that people can think of.

My boss has always told me, "You know why they do this to you, right? You are intelligent and crazy competent, and it intimidates people. People know that when you walk into the room that you know where the dead bodies are buried and can read right through them to uncover their bullshitting.  They just want to make you look bad."

I've always just ignored it all, because I know in part what he is saying is true and I always tend to gain momentum when I am staying above all the pettiness. There are many times when I have kept my mouth shut because I think that it is better to win the war than the battle, and I prefer to strategically stick the knife in when someone is not looking and chop of the head when he or she least expects it. It is often so much more delightful just to patiently watch for people to hang themselves, while you kick back and quietly provide them a little rope to use.

Except something happened to me when I was on vacation a couple of months ago and since I have returned it's become increasingly more difficult for me to keep my aggression in check. It all started slowly with me and now it is as if I am sniffing around for blood so that I can tear certain people apart. It's as if all of the years or months of waiting patiently for people to hang themselves is catching up to me and I want to jump in and tie the rope around their neck for them.

Something at work has been building up for the past couple of months and tonight it finally just climaxed. I have been long suspecting that someone has been undermining me and my boss and yet I have been trying to strategically think of how I can minimize her behavior. For the past week, I have been strategically giving her a little rope and waiting for her to grab it.

And today she grabbed the rope. She grabbed it right after she sent me an email telling me in other words that I was not doing my job.

And the tigress came out to pounce.

I verbally bitch slapped her and gave her such a "a big fuck you" in the most professional way, telling her and five other people (as well as copying the head man in charge) just what I think of their undermining ways. And there will be conflict and repercussions about this email, considering that on Friday I was called into the head honcho's office for giving her an email beat down on Friday.

It is what it is. I can't tolerate it any more and feel like calling out anyone and everyone who tries to pull this crap, but I know that for strategic purposes I can't do such a thing. I am going to have to go into work tomorrow looking bright eyed and innocent, to try to balance out my overly aggressive behavior.

Wish me luck.


Absentminded Oracle said...

Ugh! Why do women in the workplace go after each other and feel intimidated rather than help each other advance and be great. this chick gets whatever you give here times a hundred.

LetsEatCake said...

We are on the same page here. They keep trying, and it only makes them look worse in the end. Especially when I keep track of every email and every piece of paper ever, so I can immediately rub their fuck-ups in their faces. And I was so prepared to be nice! Geez.

How did it go?

The Absence of Alternatives said...

LOTS OF LUCK! 100% agree with A.O.' comment. I feel the same way about ourselves in the workplace and am frustrated by it. Stay above the pettiness yes. But I agree with you: when the shit gets too much, if you don't growl, they will take you as a pussy cat. People can smell weakness, and they do not take pity of the weak. They eat them because they are easy prey. Good for you for speaking up. We are rooting for you!!

p.s. Your reason for the blog is exactly the same as mine. I also have the reason of being surrounded by GOPs in my office and I have to bite my tongue always.