I went up to Dallas for a work conference this week, and my short trip was quite the adventure. I drove up Wednesday (and thoroughly enjoyed the toll road that took me around Austin and the nightmare that is their traffic!), checked in to my hotel, chilled for a bit, had happy hour glasses of wine in my room, then headed out to do some exploring. I ended up getting the most amazing mani/pedi that I’ve ever had (for less than what I’m regularly paying here in San Antonio! I think perhaps I need to find a new place….), had Chinese takeout in my room…it was good. I spent the entire evening alone, and the peace and quiet was pretty great – despite the fact that elsewhere in the h0tel were about 50-75 people that I know pretty well through work. This conference was different in that every school sent a team to it except us – I was the lone wolf: I traveled alone, stayed alone, and ended up spending the bulk of my time alone. It got pretty awkward when we all gathered for meals and general sessions in the ballroom, as the people that I work with most closely (every single day, in fact) were rude, dismissive, and pretty much could not be arsed with me the entire time. It felt weird when the higher ups from Central Office asked why I wasn’t working with this team of colleagues, and hadn’t they invited me to join them so that we could collaborate and strengthen our joint programs – I brushed off the question and didn’t offer an answer. How was I to say that we never work together on anything because they can’t stand me?
It’s a weird thing to try to be polite to people that you know hate your guts, but I try. I’m not entirely sure why they hate me, but they do. I’ve written before of the troubles that we have going back and forth, and it just doesn’t seem to get any better. These people all flew up to Dallas – while I drove….I didn’t realize that flying was an option, and they most certainly didn’t bother to tell me! The funniest part of the whole week was that yesterday, when the weather had turned to crap, there was a snowstorm and the roads were all iced over, they were calling me for a ride home….their flights had been cancelled. Thankfully I had already left the area and was well on my way, fighting horrific traffic and driving conditions, spending over 8 hours to do a 4 1/2 hour drive….so I didn’t have to come up with an excuse to not drive them home. There was no way that I was going to let myself be used like that – hell no!! Once upon a time, I would have happily complied with their request, and then been upset and resentful about it for ages afterwards, but thankfully I don’t roll that way anymore. I’m generally pretty stubborn, and I do a good job of sticking to my guns. Still, I was disgusted – there are few things worse than people who only know you when they want something from you. Shame on them.
I would give anything to know what it is about me that is so off-putting. However, we as people rarely tell the people that we are rejecting (regardless of the type of rejection, be it personal, professional, etc) why we are passing them over…and this is a tricky one for me. On the one hand, I believe that it is kind to not tell someone anything that is hurtful – I am not in the business of hurting people’s feelings, and I generally don’t want to have mine hurt either. However, there are times when I really would like to know what it is about me that is wrong…so that I can either do something to try and fix it, or I can quit beating myself up for it and just move on. Don’t they say that the truth shall set you free? I wish I knew who ‘they’ were….and I’d ask. 😉