There is this colleague of mine.
The rambunctious type.
(apparently rambunctious is a non-formal North American word, I just found out. Lol.)
Always has to let everyone know what she's thinking / feeling.
The whole office will know if she's happy or she's sad.
She lets people in on her secrets, with a raised voice.
No whispers, no, no. That would be absurd.
She'd be like "Hey Jack, I have to tell you something, but John, you can't listen!"
Yes, this type of person.
A handful, to say the least.
Me being the slightly introverted person that I am, these type of people generally annoy me.
But I've built a tolerance, of sorts.
These are the people that make the workplace interesting, I think.
If everyone was like me, we'd have a somewhat quiet office.
Everyone would pretend to do work, chit chat for a bit, and at the end of the day go home.
Every now and then though, I do get annoyed and I do respond back.
Sometimes making fun of what she's talking about, sometimes I criticise her way of thinking.
For the most part, she disagrees with what I say.
She sometimes agrees with what I say, but she will stick with what she thinks is right.
Stubborn. A lot like me I suppose.
Wait, scratch that.
I am stubborn, yes, but I tend to process what people say longer rather than dismissing it immediately.
More often than not, I find myself agreeing to what was said to me later on, even though I thought it was a bunch of phooey (yes apparently that's how you spell phooey, I did not know).
Anyways, today I think I may have overstepped my boundaries.
Or maybe, she thought "I'm not gonna take anymore crap from this junior engineer."
Oh, prudent to note, she also has a bit of an ego when it comes to work, if that was not yet apparent.
Just before lunch, she was ranting on and on about her work problems with a senior engineer.
Also good to note, she is NOT a senior, however feels that she already should be one.
How do I know this? Because she told me.
Yeap, just painting a picture here.
Anyways, there she was ranting on and on about her problems, and this senior, who is NOT known for his patience, is perhaps in a very listening mood, and was very attentive to her needs.
Perhaps he understood that sometimes people need to vent, so he obliged.
I, on the other hand, was NOT very understanding.
To be fair, it's not that easy to be understanding when you sit very close to her and hear her whining and moaning almost every day about this problem.
Day after day after day, for a few months now.
So I suppose I cracked.
I stood up, in plain view of both her and the senior, and I imitated what she was doing.
The senior found it amusing, but clearly she did not.
We then proceeded to lunch together, and along the way she was trying to explain to me why she was like that i.e this is an actual problem, not something that I should be trivialising.
I said to her that the stress comes with the position. You wanna be a senior engineer, this is the type of shit you're suppose to deal with. If you want a no-stress position, go be a graduate engineer.
(did not actually use the word 'shit' btw)
She of course disagreed, saying she has done everything she can to solve the problem, or in other words, I'm right and you're wrong, Yasin.
There's not much I can say at this point, plus I can't be sure that I wouldn't react the same way if I were in her shoes, so I kept quiet.
Lunch proceeded with no further discussions on the topic.
However, after work, I received a Whatsapp from her.
"Yasin, I don't like your attitude when you imitated me today. It is not polite and not acceptable for me. I don't need your opinion about how I lead someone and about my situation. I hope I will not see this kind of attitude anymore. I don't need to explain what I did to you also. Next time I will take further step. If you feel disturbed, just tell. Don't make nonsense like that. I think you're right. I need to change just like I was. So I get more respect from people."
Apart from fixing a few spelling and grammar mistakes, that's pretty much verbatim.
"OK I apologise."
First off, I thought we were friends, equals, that are able to criticise and take criticism from each other.
CLEARLY this message tells me that she thinks she is above me. And I am beneath her.
Which is hurtful.
Of course, if I saw her as someone who is above me in rank, for example the senior she was talking to, I would not have made the joke in the first place.
Because clearly that's disrespectful.
I am aware that I may have overdone it with the imitating, but still if that was she was upset about, I would've totally understood.
In fact, in the elevator on the way to lunch, I told her I normally would not do what I did, I am not doing this just to spite her, it is just my way of conveying the message.
But that is not the case. She is upset because a subordinate is being rude towards her.
Had I known this is how she perceived herself, I would not have been so friendly with her.
To be fair to her, technically speaking, she is one rank above me, i.e I'm an engineer, she is Engineer 1 but it's just a ranking system.
In my office we don't really have that obvious hierarchical society, it's more of a friendly family setting. We show respect where it's due, of course, but interaction-wise, we see each other as equals.
Again, I probably was being very mean, but that's why I apologised.
I didn't bother explaining myself, nor did I felt that I should retaliate.
Of course I was a bit angry, but... I've come to the conclusion that some people have their own egos.
I have things that I take pride in, everyone does.
Everyone has something that they feel people should respect and acknowledge.
You be an introvert long enough, you pick up on these things.
You spot these things on people, and check to see whether you feel the same way or not.
It's the only way you're going to be a better person.
I try to eliminate all sense of entitlement from me. The world doesn't owe me shit.
God owes me nothing.
Which is where I feel bersyukur comes from. But that's a different topic altogether.
On a slightly happier note, I have found another person that can read other people.
Perhaps even better than me.
Our interactions have been somewhat minimal, but somehow he knew that I am inquisitive.
Perhaps he found out from other people whilst talking with them.
Or perhaps he deduced it in the very few instances we were in the same room.
Which is pretty darned impressive if that's the case.
Maybe I was doing a lot of questioning when he was around. Hmm, could be.
But he seemed pretty sure.
The thing about reading people, it only gives you an idea of what the person is like. It may be true, or you may be totally off by a mile.
But he said "Knowing you, you won't accept that kind of explanation."
Which is indicative of him being pretty darn sure. Which is incredible.
I must say that I was shocked, but it was a pleasant surprise.
Must be more careful in exposing my behaviour and attitude nowadays.
For more reasons than one.
As to the original topic, from here on out, I think I will treat her a bit more differently. Probably distance myself a bit, not physically, but socially speaking.
But I won't treat her badly or anything though. I feel that that's never the solution.
Plus it's not as if I don't treat people badly enough already. Lol.
Sigh, curse of an introvert. Always thinking and rethinking about social interactions.
Enough for now.