Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rude? Honest? You decide...

So I listened to this whole spiel the other day on the Bert Show (if you have no clue what the Bert show is and you live in Atlanta you might want to crawl out from under that rock of seriously, it's a morning radio show) about work etiquette when it comes to co-workers you can't stand (or that can't stand you). As I'm listening I'm realizing that I am very torn about this argument/discussion they are having. Here's the story Bert show style, and then I will give you my personal reflection of it....

Apparently in the old days of the Bert show there were two people that interned on the show. Fast forward to now and these two people work somewhere in the same building as the Bert show (this may sound way too coincidental, but there have been MANY interns in the history of the Bert show). Anyway, these two people have a passionate grudge against the show. Apparently the hatred they feel has even spilled over to new people on the show that they have never even worked with, but that's another story. SO, Melissa Carter (DJ for the show) is walking through the office/building recently, she rounds a corner, and one of these grudge holding people comes around the corner at the same time. Melissa says hello, the hater keeps walking without even so much as a nod. Melissa is very offended, and while she knows this person hates her and her show, she is baffled that they wouldn't even nod or say hello. Her argument is that while you may have a strong opinion about a person (valid or not) if you see them in the office or on the street and you blatantly do not acknowledge them you are rude, offensive, and disrespectful.

Bert would be the head DJ for the Bert show (I know you can't believe it but I promise it's true). Melissa, Jen, and Jeff are the sidekicks. Bert and his wife recently decided that they wanted to start living a more honest (AKA less "two-faced") life. They believe or have read or something that most of what people say and do is fake (something like 75%). This is done either as people pleasing, avoiding conflict, or sheer laziness (these are my words, not theirs....I just can't entirely remember the synopsis so I'm summarizing what I remember...if you heard the piece and I am wrong, feel free to tell me so). Anyway, Bert sees the behavior of the disgruntled ex-interns as fair, if not respectable. He says that he would rather someone who doesn't like him just ignore him than talk to him like they are long lost best friends.

SO, I am listening and finding myself totally identifying with both sides. This situation presented itself to me last year and is continuing to happen as we head into this year. I cannot be too specific so if you don't follow please let me know. The person that blatantly ignores me is not a co-worker in the traditional sense. I guess they would be more like the client maybe? Only they aren't directly paying me, so the dynamics are different. I should be people pleasing them until my face turns blue, but that's just not my style (I am really good at talking like I have a pair, but let's be many times in my life I could add people pleaser to the list of character flaws I have come to embrace). At any rate, I tried. I really freaking tried. The passive-aggressive nature of the relationship just became too much to bear and I just plain gave up. HOWEVER, I had to see this person in the halls and will have to even more this year. From day one of the end of our cordial relationship this person has ignored me, has gone out of their way NOT to have to see me, and has made it clear how they feel about me. My BIGGEST problem with this is that I, in turn, did the same thing. I stooped to their level. I mean, in the beginning I would say hello even when I really didn't want to. When I got no response, the real me started to emerge - the real me that this person had turned me into anyway. My excuse for this behavior falls under the avoiding conflict mechanism mentioned earlier. I have dealt with more BS conflict in the past year that I care to even share about. So I just decided to join this person's club.

Now, after hearing the bit on the Bert show, I am concerned about my own behavior (this is the point where you think to yourself, Jana needs to see a shrink - she is analyzing the daylights out of this - what you don't realize is, you are my shrink). I have to now decide for myself how to find closure. The Bert show has shown me both sides and I truly feel like I could agree with both *you have now entered the mind and soul of the indecisive female*. I obviously can't go back and just one day say hello to this person. Well, I could, but don't suggest that because I'm not going to do it. SO, I think in my own whacked out way my closure with this situation will be to do everything I can to ensure that I don't end up here again. That is feasible and oddly appealing to me so that's what I'm going with for now. If you have an opinion, comment now. God knows it may take me a lifetime to figure out how to be a teacher without questioning everything I do. All I know is I am NOT a disrespectful person...or am I? You be the judge.

1 comment:

  1. hey jana... dobbin here! very interesting post. i find myself getting too into the discussions on the bery show on a daily basis... do you know who they were talking about? i must have missed that day. personally i want to call wendy and yell at her because i think she is a terribly role model for young women in atlanta... were you listening the morning she was talking about her friends leaving her and she walked home all by herself at 3 am... or going to hotel rooms with DJs she just met. i am glad i am not the only one that thinks too much about the show! and "hi jana and seth" i just started reading so i have some catching up to do! makes me want to start blogging!?


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