Friday, April 11, 2008
Here is some stuff I wrote on a piece of paper on Wednesday:
I had a rough day yesterday and did not feel welcome--one of those days that make me glad I draw tarot cards every day for guidance. The cards told me to keep to my highest principles and protect myself, because there was some strife/duplicity in the surroundings. It's about work stuff, which I try not to write too much specifically about in here. Mainly I have been feeling rather unwelcome there--just noting that I am specifically not asked for input even on things I am "up" on, not included in office small talk (to the extent that, if I do try, I am ignored/talked over), etc. And the couple of people who are OK to me even seem to think I am dim--tell me stuff is "over my head" or assume I don't know how things are done (like I wouldn't know not to use materials straight from another source, or that handouts/presentations need to be reviewed). What corporate rock must I have been living under in my entire working life? On that one, I think it's just that the person may be worried that I want to do "their thing." I was sort of shocked by getting what felt like a reprimand for saying there would be handouts in a training session. I felt bad--I didn't know you could DO training without handouts, so I didn't view it as a special added bonus.
Worse, though, was yesterday, when I slipped up and tried to offer words of support to a new mother and got a very rude and unkind reaction because of where I used to work/volunteer. I immediately apologized and backed away. Luckily it was about lunch time, so I was able to just leave. This reaction I got does explain why the pregnant person and the new mother have been noticeably unfriendly--I guess a couple of others are just going along with them as part of a clique. I find it regrettable that they prejudged me before actually getting to know my opinions or views. But, it's easy enough to be quiet, speak when spoken to, and stick to work topics.
I am proud of myself for not doing what I usually do and try to explain myself or defend myself (or the incredibly dysfunctional nonprofit organization whose judgmental representatives probably gave these women the bad impression in the first place). When she apologized later via IM, I just said my intention was to support her instincts because she knows her situation best. She said she appreciated that and I said OK. The end. I will not participate in conversations about child rearing in the office again. That is easy to do. Just act busy. I have church, email and knitting friends willing to talk about family stuff with me, so I don't need support or openness at work.
I hope that, in time, I find friends or a place of comfort on campus. Otherwise, days will be long. I hope they fill me with lots to do soon, too. That will help. I can easily bury myself in work when I have some. This kind of unkindness makes me sad. But, I have insurance here. I need to stick with it and be strong.
The good news is that I am feeling a lot better at the end of this week than I was earlier. I have had plenty of work the past couple of days to keep me busy, and people have been treating me "normally" (including me in conversations, etc.) Maybe it's blown over.
It has also helped greatly to have Lee's support and kindness when I have needed it. Just to sit together and watch the oak pollen blow around has been healing. (We had a rain night before last that knocked most of the oak blossoms off the trees--the volume is incredible.)
My knitting friends made me feel better on Wednesday, too. They are very welcoming! Just sitting at the big table and enjoying the friendly conversation, kindness and generosity of the very diverse group there reminded me that people CAN get along even when they have different views on lots of subjects. It's been a lot more open and friendly there in recent months, and that makes me happier. It helps me remember I do still have friends and support, even with Tuba Boy distancing himself and Jody moving across the Big Ocean.