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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Challenges in the Office

I was inspired to write this post recently. Have you ever worked with a "nasty woman"? I mean you can just tell that they are "mean spirited"? I am working with one now.

I used to sit across from her when I first started my job as a legal assistant and I heard her just "trash" people all the time. I never engaged in those conversations with her just listened. I use to share things about my life with her and talk with her but 2 years ago I just got tired of being "friends" with her.

There were several moments when I would say good morning to her and she would not say it back. I remember one of our fellow co-worker's being promoted and she came to my cubicle to ask why that individual was promoted and I told her it was because she was suppose to be at that level. She then proceeded to say that "she could run circles around her". Basically, she was saying that she was a better candidate.

What baffled me was that she went to lunch with the person that she was trashing! It was unbelievable!

I was just tired of it. So I started to just ignore her. I stopped saying good morning, I stopped speaking to her period. I just stayed away from her. Well, she didn't like it. She tried several times to get me in trouble at the office. I always have fresh flowers in my office. I even had them in my cubicle when I sat across from her for 2 years. Well last year after we all got promoted, I was placed in an office next to her. I knew it was going to be awful. 

It was the month of my birthday and I was awarded our first employee award! I was so excited and surprised. Well two weeks later I had a bouquet of white lilies in my office. Now we all know that lilies can be very strong. Well at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday she comes to my office and asked if I could shut my door because my flowers were too strong. Excuse me? "You have a door why can't you shut yours"? People had been coming by my office for the whole week telling me that they loved the flowers and the smell. The interesting thing about that situation was she was leaving at 4:30 and it was FRIDAY!!! I had them for the whole week! Why are you complaining now when you leave in 30 minutes? 

I knew then that she was being petty. I had her shut my door and I took the flowers home which I was going to anyway because it was the end of the week. Well, I came back Monday morning and I told my supervisor first thing that morning what happened on Friday and told her that I taken the flowers home. She assured me that all is well but it was not. 

As soon as I came to my office one of the attorney's that I worked with came by and said that my NEW flowers were beautiful. The "nasty" co-worker then rushes out of her office and tells our chief that my flowers are making her swell and giving her allergies. Only she didn't know that the new flowers were unscented and were not the same. 

She didn't know that the lilies were gone so she looked like a fool. Not to mention I reminded the chief that I sat across from her for 2 years and she did not complain then (when I was talking to her). Also, she had gotten roses from her husband (inspired by me of course) a few months prior and last time I checked those are pretty scented themselves. I was truly disgusted by her. Maya Angelou said, "when someone shows you who they really are the first time, believe them". I believe her. She is truly nasty. 

My supervisor told me to 'stay in my lane" and to not worry about her. She assured me that the leaders in our office knew about the situation and that there was no need to worry. I did not start it she did. I knew that she had a reputation for not getting along with people. So I NEVER addressed her just moved right along. The chief also told me that, "you can't control what she does, all you can control is you". She is right.  

Some of my fellow co-workers said that they would have "told her off". But my husband and supervisor kept telling me to just continue to ignore her. She wanted my attention and needed it. She needed something "bad" to say about me because honestly she has no dirt on me. I have a good reputation at the office. I don't have any "home drama". I dress well, drive well, vacation well and work well. She has NO dirt and she needs it bad. She ended up moving herself to another office. I continue to ignore her and continue with my work. 

I have noticed that I am progressing in my life. I want to be a paralegal supervisor some day and I know I will. 

What I have learned about that situation is to "rise above it". Rise above people who want to cause trouble because they are jealous of you. Continue to dress your best, speak your best, work your best and live your best. Enjoy and do things that are in line with your beauty. Don't start to do the "my horse is bigger than your horse race with people like that. 

You would have to lower your standards to be where they are. I would have to lower my standards to dress like her, live like her, and act like her. I refuse. I refuse to be a class-less, back stabbing woman. That population is already high. I read in a daily devotional that said, "Comparison only leads to over-looking and wastefulness". She is one of those people. Very insecure. 

I heard a story about Michelangelo. One of his rival sculptors wanted to ruin his reputation. So he went to the Pope and convinced him to require Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Well Michelangelo was not a painter but a sculptor. His rival sculptor knew that and thought that he would fail. So Michelangelo agreed and for 4 long years he painted it and became the most famous artist of all time. But did I mention the name of his rival? No, because I don't know his name and most people don't know his name. And Michelangelo did not sink down to his level. He simply stayed the course and stayed focused on his work and succeeded. 

So let's paint our Sistine Chapels. Let's move forward in our dreams and goals and let trash take out trash. People who are evil, will reap what they sow, more than they sow and later than they sow but their crops WILL COME! And in most cases for me I am always a spectator to their downfall. I will continue to fight to be an elegant woman every day of my life. 

(photos via Pinterest)


  1. What a beautiful post, Mrs Shockley. I prefer to take the high road too, but it still amazes me when people can be so needlessly unpleasant. All I can think of is that they are very unhappy with themselves and their life.

    Good for you maintaining your high standards. You are an inspiration.

    1. Thank you Fiona! It was not easy trust me. I am the kind of person who would have confronted her head on but now that time has passed I am glad that I did not. As I listen to her with other people I realized that she has no substance and is not even a worthy adversary.

      She is just not worth it and most people like her are not. They are not worth our attention nor effort. You are an inspiration too! I have been reading your book and I knew that you would believe the same thing.

  2. You just keep doing what you are doing Mrs. S!! I worked for 20 years with multiple viporous women just like your co-worker. They hated me! I stayed the course as well and I am still standing (albeit for a new company) but they have all spun off in their own muck! You go Mrs. Shockley! You inspired me today.

    1. Thank you so much Donna! It has been challenging trying not to fire back at her but I just keep reminding myself that she will ruin her own career. You don't have to do a thing. And you have just confirmed it for me by saying that your snakes have spun off in their own muck. I love that!!! Thank you for the encouraging words.