Learning Experience — Part V
This is Part V of a 6-part series of posts. To jump ahead to Part VI, click here. To start from the beginning, click one of the following links:
- Learning Experience — Part I
- Learning Experience — Part II
- Learning Experience — Part III
- Learning Experience — Part IV
The next day, she pulled me into her office in a much calmer manner. I had hoped that she would apologize for her overreaction and that we could settle our differences. She never admitted that she was wrong for anything and we went around and around in circles until I finally declared that we were at an impasse and wouldn’t be able to resolve this issue. She agreed and on my way I went.
We both approached Sarah from HR, asking for help to mediate the conflict between us. Our first meeting seemed to be going well. Until Karina dropped a bomb that I had a history of “overstepping my bounds” and “being difficult” before she arrived at the company. I looked at her questioningly. Who had said this? went through my mind but I was keen enough not to ask. But Karina offered a name anyway: Jane.
Interestingly enough, I had kept in close contact with Jane since her departure from the company. I asked Jane for critical feedback on my performance with her, promising not to be upset, but it was Jane who ended up upset—for Karina putting words into her mouth that she had never uttered and for not being able to defend herself.
I went back to Sarah saying that Jane and I were friends and that I trusted that Jane would not say something like that about me, especially not to Karina. Sarah seemed concerned but wanted to give Karina the benefit of the doubt to resolve the issue. Sarah spoke to Karina without me there but emailed me later to say that Karina had not heard this from Jane directly but had heard from someone else who had heard it from Jane.
To me, it was a backtrack. She initially said it was information that had come Jane and now we were playing Telephone: “Oh, I was told something by someone else who had been told this information from someone else.”
This was the final straw. I couldn’t take it anymore. My boss didn’t trust me and didn’t respect me. In turn, I felt the same way. I couldn’t trust that she was in my best interest and respected me as a person. And I’ll just be honest, I didn’t trust my boss, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. A former colleague, a writer who had contact with her, said she felt like “an abused puppy” when she left the company. I identified with the feeling completely. I felt abused and battered. Nothing I ever did was right in her eyes; nothing she ever did was wrong in her eyes. I apologized for my actions over and over (even for things I didn’t feel the need to apologize for), and I can’t remember a time she ever said sorry to me for anything. She hated being edited and would roll back most, if not all, of my edits to the point where she missed spelling errors. She, for some odd reason, thought I was out to get her, to undermine her, to make her look bad. Those were never my intentions. Ever.
This is Part V of a 6-part series of posts. To read Part VI, click here.