I have been really frustrated with the sisterhood lately…and it’s really wearing me down. Since I have worked in the Education industry for basically my entire adult life, I am well accustomed to working with women – there’s an awful lot of us in this profession. When I worked at the elementary level, it was mostly women…which was more than a bit of an adjustment. When I returned to high school, I had hoped that things were going to improve, and that I wouldn’t be spending my days putting up with the antics of emotional, judgmental, bitchy women while I’m just trying to keep my head down and get my work done – no such luck. The difference is that the women at the high school level are snottier and more miserable than their elementary counterparts… and I don’t get it.
I’m all for a healthy competitive spirit, I’m full of it, in fact – however, when I compete, it’s against myself. I’ve never been a person who feels the need to build myself up by making those around me look bad – I just don’t roll that way. Never have, never will. Instead, I’m a person who goes about my business, does my thing, and expects nothing in return. If I receive praise/acclaim/the keys to the city, then that’s great – but it’s not necessary. I don’t need somebody else’s shortcomings to make me feel better about what I do – that’s bloody ludicrous. As well, I don’t need constant praise and reassurance to motivate me to keep doing my job – the fact that it is my job and my responsibility is motivation enough. However, it appears that I am amongst the minority these days, as every time I turn around I encounter an insecure, bitchy female who feels it necessary to try to put me down so that she can feel better about herself. I thought I had moved past the point in life where mean girls run rampant – I guess I was wrong. 😦
Let me tell you about what’s been going on lately. I work at a relatively small school, that is connected to a larger school, within a very large district – so, in the course of a week, I will have countless interactions with people from all three levels. Things at my own campus are cool – we all are good with each other. Thank goodness for small favors. However, as soon as I leave the cocoon of my little home base, things get dicey – there’s problems with some of the neighbors, and problems with the larger group within the district. I have long moaned to my boss, begging her to tell me what it is about me that is so bloody annoying to these people (let’s be real, there’s probably a lot to choose from). Her response is always the same: it’s not you, it’s them, they’re threatened by you, we’re in a competitive business. Huh? I don’t want their jobs. Not even a little bit! I want MY job, and I completely plan to stay at this school for a very, very long time. I don’t go out of my way to try to make them look bad – in fact, I am the first person to jump up and praise the work and efforts of everyone else. ALWAYS. I lavish praise on everyone around me – because I think celebrating success is really important. I would never try to make someone look bad on purpose – however, the shabby behavior these women are currently showing to me is making them look bad all on their own. One called and let me know that she and I and another woman were required to attend a training together. She then went on to explain that the two of them had compared calendars and chosen a date that worked for them – and I’d have to go that day as well. My inner response was huh? I found that so bloody rude I can’t even tell you….it was very disrespectful of me and my time. However, in the spirit of trying to be cooperative, I canceled my appointments for that day and attended this mandatory training. When I got there, the two of them were sat in a room, surrounded by other people, no chair/workstation left for me…and they didn’t respond when I said hello. I ended up sitting by myself in another part of the room – I could have attended another session of this training, as we didn’t work together on the material anyway. It was a colossal waste of time, not to mention a massive slap in the face. I felt embarrassed – we were the only team not sitting together….and it was obvious. They had gone out of their way to make me look stupid – and it sure worked. As much as I hate to admit it, that hurt my feelings. 😦 This story is just one drop in an ocean of things like this….it just keeps happening with this same group of people over and over again.
I want so badly to blow my stack and tell them very specifically where to go and how to get there; however, I know that will be disastrous for me as they will file a complaint against me with HR before sundown. Something has to change, though. I’ve attempted addressing it with them directly – nothing. I’ve attempted working through our mutual supervisors – nothing again. I suppose that I just need to do what I tell students who are experiencing strife like this – grab a straw, Cookie, and suck it up, Buttercup. It’ll all be fine in the end.
I just can’t wait until this situation ends.