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I Choose Life

Curds 'n' Weigh: I Choose Life

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Choose Life

Today was a particularly stressful day at work: though I only have four other co-workers (besides the owner), the women in this office thrive on gossip, hearsay and drama!  I try to live a very peaceful, stress-free life and look at things from a positive perspective most of the time; this office is the polar opposite.

Very long story short...H, the owner's personal-assistant and self-proclaimed office manager, met with some colleagues from our sister company last Friday.  I have never personally met these colleagues, but have worked with them at length and we share a mutual high-esteem for one another.  During their meeting, she spoke negatively about J (the receptionist), T (my supervisor, head of Compliance) and myself.  Among other things, we are supposedly difficult to work with, she used to be "our boss" but since we moved offices (in May) we no longer listen to her, I walk around like I run things...among others.  What she said is not why I'm upset.  In fact, I found it humorous because she was never in a position of management, but tried to use her seniority to give other people her work (even though no part of our job overlaps and the only people that I have ever reported to are T and the owner).  The part that upset me is that just a couple weeks ago, though H has always been grumpy and cantankerous, I flat-ironed H's hair and did her make-up for her staff photo.

Let me give you a bit of background here: months ago, I started working on the company brochure and requested that J, the receptionist, and H provide staff photos since they did not have one on file.  H showed obvious trepidation at having her image immortalized on an 11x14 sheet of stock paper.  H is short, chubby, she resembles the rocker Meatloaf with frizzy hair.  I work in financial services and we deal with very high net worth clients; professionalism is of utmost importance in my field, yet H often looks like she has rolled out of bed and grabbed the nearest pair of capris and Birkenstocks.  She looks like she does not care, but in observing her conversation, I realized that she feels ugly.  When the conversation of the brochure came up and she refused to have a photo included, I offered to do her hair and makeup if it would make her feel better.  She turned down the offer and we didn't speak about it again.  About two weeks, after months of her doing malicious things (going through my office while I'm away, telling lies about me and other displays of personal dissatisfaction) she approached me and said that she'd seen the draft of the brochure and didn't like that she was the only one without a picture so she wanted to get her picture taken after all.  She asked if I would do her hair and makeup and I agreed.  I was excited for the opportunity to have her look in the mirror at herself and say "Wow".  I was excited for the chance to show her that she could be beautiful if she put forth a little effort.  I was excited to see her walk with confidence.  The act was from the goodness of my heart, not with any expectations; however, perhaps a small part of me believed that it would be a peace offering to help promote a more cordial and professional work environment.

Fast-forwarding to last Friday's meeting.  J, the receptionist, overheard H speaking about the three of us and confronted H about it after the colleagues left.  Claws came out, curse words were thrown and something akin to an old Western showdown occurred.  H called J over the weekend to apologize: she said she didn't know why she said such bad things about us, that both T and myself had been so kind to her in the past, she was deeply regretful.  She begged J not to tell the owner and, moreover, not to tell T or me.  J, unmoved, told her that she had to own up to what she did.

I walked into the office Monday, completely oblivious to the tension that fouled the air.  J pulled me aside and filled me in on what happened Friday and over the weekend.  H was quiet all day.  The normally boisterously loud grouch had been silenced.  Needless to say things were very awkward.  She called out Tuesday (the same day that the owner, B and T went out of town, leaving only J and myself in the office).  Yesterday, H said not one word again all day.  Today, H had been quiet all day until I overheard her again talking negatively about J and me.  I am confused at how someone can wear two faces so easily...until now, I had only heard that H had an issue with me by hearsay.  H has always been reasonably pleasant with me and any animosity was not directly targeted at me.  I don't know where this is coming from, neither do I understand how she can have the audacity to do the things she does.

I understand that it's not personal and says nothing about me and everything about her: her feelings about me are only a mirror of what she thinks of herself.  Knowing this doesn't make it hurt any less that I too often extend myself to people who only trudge upon my pearls like swine.  I feel betrayed, though I never had an illusion of loyalty.  I feel disrespected, though I always gave her more respect than she earned.

Normally I would come home and pour a glass of wine, sulk in my feelings until the sweet rest of intoxication took over and sleep pulls me into her bosom.  I would eat as many sweet, salty, fatty, creamy, empty foods as it took to numb my emotions and then I would feel guilty about my binge and eat more.  This time, however, I refuse to allow negativity to derail me.  I am going to Zumba tonight and going to sweat out my worries, breathe out my anger and dance out my frustration.

I choose life!

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At July 20, 2012 at 5:11 AM , Blogger itsAmy9 said...

"I choose life."

You dont know how much you inspire me. I, so, needed to read those very words. I have been succumbing to emotional eating and the regret that comes shortly thereafter. For today I have inscribed your words on my hand to remind myself why I started on this journey. It truly isnt about the figure I want. It's about the heart I want to keep well. Peace and love!!

At July 20, 2012 at 8:54 AM , Blogger B. Amour Love said...


That makes me smile! If only you knew how much you also inspire me as well. Sometimes when something feels too raw or vulnerable to write, I am inspired in knowing that if only one person benefits from my story, that it must be shared. I am happy that you were given the reminder that you need to recommit to taking better care of yourself. I love your statement: "It isn't about the figure I want; it's about the heart I want to keep well." Sometimes I get stuck on the goal weight and dress size and it's important that we keep focused on our health...the rest will work itself out. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you continue to choose life! If there's any way that I can support you along your journey, please don't hesitate to reach out.



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