Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Story of My Life

I think that in the past I might have mentioned that I am getting an award next week at work. If I didn't, well now you know. I've never been a person to really care about getting stuff like awards or recognition, because I have passion for what I do and I don't need anyone to recognize me for something that I am passionate about. It's just that I have had a really rough couple of months, and really a past horrible year practically, as all of this education crisis is just going to hell in a hand basket. So in a sense I feel that it is relieving to know that all the hell that I have been going through is at least recognized by someone.

I haven't really said anything to anyone about getting the award, because I am not the type of person to toot my own horn. The other day though my female colleague (who is equal and another manager in my department, and who actually used to be my mentor in my second or third year of teaching) found out that I was given the award from my boss. "I have never gotten an award", she whined to me. I mean, really, who says this kind of stuff to someone? I never have.

I mentioned to her that my boss has stated that she was given an award like five years ago. "That was a long time ago," she whined.

I just sat there and thought "Story of my life", because it just seems that far too many people in the workplace are too damn insecure and they always try to knock down successful women. 

She then went on to tell me that lately she has been considering moving up to another position, but wasn't sure if she would be able to move up without having done x, y, and z in her career. I said, "Why not? X (the boss) tells me all the time that they would pick us up in an instant if we applied to the job".

"He's never told me that," she said. Shit. I didn't even know what to say. I lied and said, "Well, he's told me that we both will get promoted if we apply".

Yesterday I presented with her to a couple of managers, and half way through the presentation it seemed like many of the other managers began to direct their questions and comments towards me. I began to wonder if I was too dominant, so I actually sat down at some points because I thought that it would put attention on her when she was presenting. However, some of the managers even turned around in their seats to talk with me and ask questions throughout the meeting.

I can't help it if I am confident with myself and my presentation skills, while she stands up there with notes in her hand and paces nervously back and forth. Am I supposed to feel guilty that I have internalized what we are presenting and that I don't require notes?

Today she came up to me and said that she didn't appreciate that the managers were talking to me, and not to her. Here we go again.

Then, this morning my boss called me in and told me that they would be putting me on an important committee and that I needed to stay late after our management meeting to discuss the details. During our meeting, she walked up to us and asked me, "What is this meeting? Why am I not invited?" Uh.

After the meeting, I went to my boss and asked why she wasn't involved. He shrugged and said that they didn't choose her to work on the project. I opened my mouth to tell him that I didn't think that it was fair and I was about to ask him if he could pull some strings to get her involved, but then I decided against it because honestly it is not my responsibility to have someone included in something, especially someone who is acting so insecure.

I talked to my boss about the past couple of weeks, and I told him about how I had mentioned to her that he always encourages us to apply for a promotion. "I don't tell her that," he said and just stared at me.

On my way driving home I felt bad for her and I almost called my boss to ask if he could get her included in the project, but I had to stop myself from doing so. Why the hell am I feeling guilty because I bust my ass and work had to be good at what I do??

Honestly, I don't know what my point is. I just feel frustrated because I hate when my colleagues begin to become insecure around me. This is what has been happening over the past couple of years--it seems that I begin to outgrow some of my colleagues and the majority of them respond in an insecure way. I literally used to stifle my talent because I hated the way that insecure people act, and I never want to be accused of being full of myself. It's a fine line between being humble and actually dulling your brilliance, though. I'm getting tired of stifling myself and holding myself back because other people can't handle it.

I'm not going to hold myself back anymore. I suppose that this is why they say that it is lonely at the top. Is this how it will always be, or am I in a toxic environment? Are people always insecure by the success of other people?


letseatcake said...

Man, story of my life too! It happened especially in school, in small group settings. We'd all be talking, and by the end of the conversation, inevitably the people would all be directing their questions, comments and attentions at me. Very strange. Unnerving. Oh well, if our biggeat problem is being too magnetic, fuck em. ;)

Anonymous said...

What you're doing is working, and she's trying to latch onto you and make her success or failure all your responsibility/fault. That way she doesn't have to improve herself--she just has to shame you for being successful.

There's a difference between extending a helping hand and being dragged back by a petty, manipulative fool.