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Just a quick update before I get to bed (got home from work at 10:30 pm? Have to be back in by 7:30 am? Check)

I got into work today and was dying to figure out what had happened between Boss and Nasty Coworker. I had been out on Wednesday, as had Amazing Coworker, so I was trying to figure out some covert way of hearing about it.

She was there when I walked in the door, crossing off “She got into a huge argument with boss and was subsequently fired” and “She decided to take a stand and quit” off my list of possible outcomes.

Amazing Coworker knew, and the first chance I got I followed him to the break room. Apparently when Boss questioned her about it she’d deflected the blame back onto me.

He told me that over lunch she’d stuck to the story, claiming that I’d refused to learn to program and that she’d tried to convince me that it was important. Right- except for that glaring email she’d sent to the boss saying that she’d taught me everything I needed for the meeting. She also stated that she’d sent me the agenda in an attempt to persuade me to learn the program. Again- why would I purposely sabotage myself going into a meeting like that?

Anyway, I’m sure all of this will sort itself out. I’m leaning towards the option of having a sidebar chat with her and setting everything straight. Maybe if I determine the root of all of this it will stop- before something happens that messes with my reputation here.

For now, I’m just grateful that my job isn’t like this.

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Finally, something that I actually really want to write about!

And while I did love Starting Over’s fantastic idea of sloshing a few back, I think -and this is VERY out of character for me- that I am too angry to drink. What was the deepest level of aggression again? Fury?

I’m furious.

I know that we all have “that coworker”, the one where there is just no chance that you will ever get along with them. The one where, in the first week of the office, you already cringe at their ticks. I almost felt bad for this girl when I first started because something always seemed off with her. And then my favorite professor, a professor we happened to share when I was still at graduate school, pulled me aside after class one day last fall and said, “so Nasty Coworker mentioned that you’re struggling at your new job. Are you ok?”

I wasn’t struggling. I was FAR from struggling. And this is after I had lent her all of my books and old notes from his class that she was taking at the time, meticulous notes that had gotten me the only A in his class that semester and pages already marked for the take-home finals and projects.

A few weeks after that, she made an office-wide announcement that she wanted to organize an office dinner, one where we could all bring our significant others. Which is a great idea, considering that these people have become a sort of family to me and I’ve never met their, well, families. At the time, there were eleven of us in my particular office and I was the only one not in a relationship of some sort; everyone else was either married, engaged, or on the verge of engagement. After this announcement, she turns to me with over-exaggerated sad eyes and goes, “oh, I guess you can come too.” I have no problem being single. I love being single, I love having focus right now. But my singleness seems to mean one thing to her: I’ve been referred to as “the office tramp” on more than one occasion, following the simple equation that since I’m not in a relationship, I must be after every piece nearby me.

I refused to let this get in the way of my work, refused to even bring it up to my boss because it was petty. I was pulling great cases and my investigations were being widely recognized and there was no reason to acknowledge aside from a random venting.

So in preparation for a huge meeting I had today with my boss’ boss’ boss (yes, that’s confusing, but it should be noted that he’s very important) my boss asked her to prepare an agenda of things my Amazing Coworker and I needed to discuss. I got in to work Sunday at 1:30 pm to finish preparations for it. At that time, she told me the agenda wasn’t completed, that she was still working on it. I worked a couple of cases, prepped my notes, and did some minor video review. At 4:30 she made some comment in passing about GoogleEarth- my office uses to top version of that to plot information. Since she was doing the agenda, I asked if I would need to prepare anything to present on our work with GoogleEarth. I have little knowledge of how we plot the information; that’s mostly her job within the office. “No, no,” she said. “I explained everything to Amazing Coworker so that he can present that info.” I asked about seven times if she was sure; she said yes. Since she was getting ready to leave, I asked if she had the agenda ready. “No, I still haven’t finished it. I’m going to have to finish it at home and email it in later tonight since I won’t be here tomorrow.”

It doesn’t take an investigator to realize that something wasn’t right.

This morning I got to work and my boss asked if I was ready. I had my black button up tucked into a white pencil skirt, with black patent heels and a few strings of pearls. Hell yes I was ready.

“Ok, so you can you pull up the GoogleEarth information with all of the plotting on your LCD tv?”

My heart dropped a little and I stammered that I didn’t know how to do it, forty minutes before we were expected to present. My Amazing Coworker slid over a copy of  the email from Nasty Coworker, a steady string of emails back and forth from my boss and her.

Boss (Friday): Here’s the tentative agenda, can you type it up? Caitlyn and Amazing Coworker discuss cases, Caitlyn discuss Google Earth, etc…
Nasty (Friday): No problem
Nasty (Sunday, 10 am): Here’s a copy of the agenda [with attached agenda]
Nasty (Sunday, 4:50 pm): I taught Caitlyn how to do everything with GoogleEarth. She’s been prepped for the presentation.

Amazing Coworker understood what was going on immediately: Nasty Coworker had set me up. She’d lied about not having the agenda ready, knowing that I’d only have an hour Monday morning to look at it. She also lied to my Boss about having taught me everything, and she lied to me about not having to do anything with it. She set me up to bomb in the biggest meeting I’ve had with this company to date. On top of that, she was asked to update the majority of the information on our slide show and she didn’t.

Despite all of this, Amazing Coworker and I pulled the strings together perfectly. We performed nearly flawlessly, even answering perfectly when the big boss interrupted us to quiz us on random numbers.

Even still I wasn’t going to say anything; I don’t like to stress our boss out with drama that isn’t case related. But our boss came over after Amazing Coworker had left for the day and said, “So…did you just forget how to use the program this morning or were you just flustered before the meeting? Because Nasty Coworker said that she taught you everything yesterday.”

In a carefully-worded and polite response, I told him that she hadn’t, that I saw the email she sent him and that she had lied to him. That she had told me I wouldn’t be using it even after the agenda had been created. I saw the moment it clicked in his brain when the muscles alongside his jaw shifted.  When I asked if it would be best for me to sit down with her and talk about this, he responded that he would be the one talking to her.

So I guess it’s out of my hands for now. I’ve got a few days free before she returns to work and I fully plan on focusing on work until I have to deal with that. Other than that, I’m not so sure on how to proceed. Have you guys ever had a coworker like this? What’d you do?

I’ve wanted to post for a very long time, I swear. Actually, there’s a list of things that I’ve wanted to write about including the fact that I graduated with my Masters last week, the fact that I recently got national recognition from the company that I work for regarding the cases I’ve pulled lately, or this cocktail party that my girlfriends and I are having later this week.

But some other stuff came up.

I’m used to getting nasty comments on here. I get it: I groan about relationships for the majority of this website. After the post I wrote about my friend Chris dying, I received a comment that said he deserved to die, that god gave him leukemia for a reason. That hurt. But one of the latest ones that I got was “I think this whole thing could have been chopped down into a few short statements: Caitlyn meets Perfect Guy. Caitlyn falls for Perfect Guy, finds out he has girlfriend. Caitlyn tries to ignore, becomes obsessed. Rejection ensues.”

You’re absolutely right. It could have been summed up in that. And not to compare myself to brilliant pieces of art, but Lolita could be chopped down to “pervy old man lusts after/falls in love with his step-daughter. Has sex with her, goes to jail”. Any goddamn story can be chopped down to the basics. And then they’re no longer stories, they’re just cheap imitation summaries.

The other night I was driving along with one of my girlfriends delivering the invitations to our cocktail party. Somehow blogs came up, something about how our good friend has one. She kept talking about how cool they were, how she wanted one. “I have one too,” I told her, and showed her the link on my Blackberry. Her response… seemed really fake. I’ve known the girl for years, I can tell when she’s lying and when she’s faking. I just knew that she’d known beforehand, but that she wanted me to think she hadn’t. I played along, told her the things I loved about blogging: the ability to vent, the support you get from other bloggers, the weird connection you have to them. I email almost daily with one blogger, and caught up with friends I haven’t talked to in years on here.

To “chop things down”, as that commenter so kindly put it, I found out that two of my closest friends had had a conversation regarding my blog a bit ago. The entire thing was dripping with sarcasm, about how they could have a psuedo-political, overly emotional blog too but they’d have to fake it like I do.

That conversation was between two of my closest friends.

I guess that there are several points here, the first being that I never saw myself coming across like that here. I’ve liked having a semi-anonymous place to vent and sort out thoughts. Do I really come across like that, so overly emotional and fake?

The second part is the fact that two close friends said that. I have the option of covering a surveillance this Friday night, the night I took off to host this cocktail party with them. And really, the former is looking like a lot more fun than the latter right now.

Back in college, my group of friends had a “golden couple”. I think most groups of friends have one of these: They were the two friends who had started out pretending that they were just watching a movie together, just grabbing dinner together in the cafeteria… until they finally realized that we all knew better. And then they were just holding hands, just kissing, just falling madly in love. Where one was, the other was, until eventually they were seen as a couple instead of just individuals.

I feel like I will never do them justice with my descriptions. E was one of my best girlfriends, the girl I’d look to on our Thirsty Thursdays and for going out on Fridays, and then for late morning brunches after nights out. Almost every single one of my memories from college involves her laughing, dancing, curling up for Grey’s Anatomy. Throwing on the craziest outfits to go to parties. Smiling deviously as she mixed our favorite drink of lemonade and vodka (What were we thinking in college?)

And C, her boyfriend, was quite possibly the nicest guy you could meet. He was the kind of guy that would drive us to go shopping, and spontaneously buy things that he though E would like. And if we ever had a problem, he’d be the one for us to talk to. I remember him jokingly slapping me once because he said it was the only way to get it through to me that PK wasn’t good enough for me.

During the summer before our senior year, E and I drove out to our friend’s house in Pennsylvania for her 21st birthday. E had just spent the semester abroad, so I hadn’t seen her in over six months. I still remember exactly what I was wearing that day as I pulled into the restaurant to meet them: a blue and white polka dot halter top, white pants. They were already there and a few drinks in, whispering conspiratorially at the table. A, the birthday girl, tackled me as I sat down with them. I asked E how her semester abroad had been, and before she could answer, A blurted out “Tell her!”  so loudly that everyone at the nearby tables could hear. E shushed her, then looked at me with a guilty face. She started talking about the school, the classes, the late nights in the pubs. “You’re forgetting something,” A sang, before lifting her drink back up to her mouth.

I remember being stunned when E confessed to having met a boy at a pub, having danced with him all night. “I was really drunk,” she professed. And then she talked about bringing him back to her flat, alluded to clothes coming off. A was giggling, but I felt terrible. The restaurant was on a river, and I remember looking out towards the boats passing by instead of reacting the way I wanted to. I wanted to yell at her: What about C? What about the ring on her finger that he’d given her? What about the fact that, even though they weren’t officially engaged, they always said that they were meant to be together?

I’ve never been one to wear emotions well, and she instantly could tell. “Cait, it’s nothing that will happen again. I know I’m going to marry C, so it’s something I got out of my system. Just don’t tell C.” I put it out of my head, and never brought it up again until recently.

We’d always known that C was planning to propose in the year after E and I graduated. E and I had a falling out about a year ago and have never reconciled. In fact, it seems like she’s fallen away from just about everyone we were friends with in college. C and I still stayed close, so it was a surprise to me on Thanksgiving when he told me that she had broken up with him. He was a mess, but I comforted him by saying that she was probably just nervous about getting engaged.

But by Christmas she hadn’t come back around, and C was even more upset. She was pulling away even more, not just from C but from everyone in college. We were only hearing whispers of what she was doing, though we all had our own assumptions. In the new year the situation had reached its peak. C was a mess, and though I didn’t immediately address it there were rumors that she had met another guy. That she had fallen in love with him. C was still optimistic, but the rest of us were livid with her.

Finally I broke down. “She cheated on you, C.” And I told him. I had no loyalty to the girl anymore, not to someone that would put someone else through so much pain. Not to someone who disappeared from all of her friends without an explanation. Not to someone who, even in our last semester at college, was going out dancing inappropriately with other guys.

I need to know: Did I do the right thing? On one hand, it wasn’t my place to tell him her secrets, something she’d asked me not to say. It wasn’t my place to get in the middle of their relationship. And it broke C down, I stayed on the phone with him while he cried. But on the other hand, he’s the one that I’m friends with now, he’s the one that was wronged in their relationship. Have any of you guys faced something like this? And how’d you handle it?