Sunday 26 June 2016
I was asked by a new colleague to sit in on a meeting last week because she wasn’t feeling particularly confident in dealing with an event as she felt that she didn’t know our workplace or processes all that well. I ummed and ahhed about it because like her, I’m just the relief, and it’s not my place to make decisions that impact upon the permanents at work. However, I agreed to stay for the meeting because in all likelihood the event that was going to be discussed would be handed to me to begin organising until the permanent staff member returned to work.
I’m not sure what made my new colleague (NC) think I was a suitable person to sit in on the meeting. I’m not sure what made her think that I knew more about our workplace processes than her. I’m not sure why she felt so comfortable telling me the stuff that she told me. I’m not sure what made her think that I was any more qualified to do anything than she. I mean other than the fact that I’m clearly quite a bit older than NC, and have probably been working in our chosen field for a lot longer than she has, and I’ve been at our current workplace for what sometimes feels like an eternity.
Anyway, I stayed for the meeting, and did my best to let her run things from our side, but what became clear was that she was deferring to the visiting colleague (VC) in whatever he chose to say, and in whatever decision he chose to make on behalf of everyone involved in the event. Look, to be fair, VC is in charge of organising the event this year, so I’d expect that he ensures that every possible thing is covered, and that contingencies are in place. Unusually for me, I contributed to the meeting – only regarding things that I thought were important and being overlooked, or needed clarification.
Something new for me. Yep. I’m not really one to contribute to meeting discussions. It’s not my thing, especially given I’m just the relief. I keep saying ‘just the relief’ because as it turns out, NC seems to think that I’m funny. Y’know, in a comedic, side-splittingly funny, why-aren’t-you-doing-stand-up-comedy way. I’ll let that sit here for a bit whilst we all try to get our head around it. Me, funny . . .
Now, I don’t believe that I did or said anything that was particularly hilarious at that meeting. Perhaps there was a lil banter prior to the meeting with another colleague (AC), NC, and I, but I don’t think it was anything to write home about. Don’t worry though, later in our conversation I was brought crashing back to earth with her interpretation of one of my off-the-cuff remarks, but I’ll get to that later. In going over the events of the day, I considered that it was the same ol’ story when people meet me, or they think they know me – most people make the assumption that I’m funny. And with all due respect to what anyone else might be thinking, this time I wasn’t doing anything that I would consider even remotely comedic. I wasn’t using the ol’ humour to distract from the situation, or as a defence mechanism. Nope, I was just chatting about work and stuff.
So, NC and I are leaving the premises, chatting about other stuff, and she says, ‘Shit, you’re funny. I mean, like, really, really funny’, and I laughingly reply, ‘Only when I’m not being a b!tch’. NC comes back with, and this is where she brings me crashing back to earth, she replies, ‘Yeah, but you’re being a b!tch in an honest way’. What. The F#*k? What. The actual. F#*k? I’m being a b!tch in an honest way. What the f#*k is that supposed to mean? No. No. No, no, no. Nonononononononononononono, and no. And lady, I was joking when I said I was only funny when I wasn’t being a b!tch. But really, what the sh!t are you saying? You don’t know me well enough to agree that I’m being a b!tch. I’ve only spoken to you for about 20 minutes over the last four weeks, and this particular day was the extent of the whole 20 minutes of our interactions.
I’ve never admitted to being easy to get along with. I don’t trust all that many people, nor do I trust others easily. And I most definitely open up to even fewer people than I trust. I give out only the information I’m comfortable giving out, and it tends to be information that anyone might be able to discover of their own accord. So maybe I can see how NC might confuse being collegiate and keeping people at arm’s length with being a b!tch. Ummmmmmm, yeah, no, I lied. I can’t see that at all.
I’m not writing this post for your sympathy. I’m certainly not writing it because I want people to jump on here or on my Social Media accounts and tell me how wrong NC is, and how I’m an awesomely awesome fabulous person. If I wanted that I’d go cry to my mama. And I’m not writing it so that my friends get up in arms, or want to reassure me that NC is wrong. I know who I was, I know who I am, and I know who I’m becoming. I’m not writing it for any other reason than I felt I needed to offer up a post on my blog today.
Alright then, I’ve discovered that in my interactions with people some see the old, allegedly funny me, and some new people apparently see the new, allegedly b!tchy me. But when, I hear you ask, did you get so b!tchy? Ummm, no idea but it seems I’ve turned into a grumpy, b!tchy, old woman. I’m totally at a loss as to how this has all come about, if indeed it actually has come to pass. But d’ya know what? I’m pretty sure if I am a b!tch, I’ve earned the right to be as such, so suck on that. And as I head further in to middle age I think, hey, why not try something new? 😉