Melissa laughed at my drunk pancakes today. This picture won’t explain why, but it’ll add proof as to the type of pancakes I made.
She may or may not have got the idea that I had (perhaps) overdone it on the booze this evening!
We had been on the phone since I got home from work. It was one of those days. So I visited with my daughter and listened to her stories while I sipped on a long island iced tea (or three….whatever). We had a nice visit.
What really started this whole process going was work. WORK! I try to not publicly talk about work. But holy shit, today was a day! I have a MAJOR project that I’ve been working on. It’s been pretty much non-stop with it. Everything else has been pushed aside. But then yesterday one of the owners asked if she could borrow my brain for a moment. Contarry to what you might see here, I really do have a brain. One that thinks and processes and figures things out and everything. So I headed to her office. Two hours later I got back to working on my project!
Then this morning we had a prospect come into the office so I spent a few hours with the sales person and the prospect helping out. I don’t take part in many of the presentations but I have to be there to answer the questions that the sales person can’t answer. So there’s another few hours taken away from my project.
Those two things are fairly standard. It happens frequently that I’m called away to assist in some way. But what really set me off is when things happen that should not happen. So…
Before I tell you that story, let me tell you this one.
I started working for this company in 1999. I had been there about two years. Long enough for the owners to really get to know me and understand what type of person I am. My husband worked for a company that at times put in bids for the same customers that we put in bids for. One of our salesmen expressed concern to the owners that I might have a conflict of interest since my husband worked for a competitor. I had never discussed work with my husband. We had far more important things to deal with at home than work. A handicapped daughter. Teenagers just getting their driver’s licenses. Elementary school children who had homework assignments due every day. You know. LIFE! Work is a place I went every morning and came home from every night. When I left work, I left all work related things at the door. It has NEVER been something that I’ve brought home with me.
So, this saleman expresses concern to the boss about a possible conflict of interest. The boss calls me into his office and questions me about what my husband does for a living. In all honesty I tell him what my husband’s job is. He asks if I know what jobs he is bidding. In all honesty I tell him that I don’t have a clue who his customers are. The boss (who has worked with me for two years) drops it. I was hurt. I felt like my integrity had totally been called into question. After a couple of weeks of kind of stewing over it I went into the boss’s office and explained that I was really hurt by the lack of trust and that I thought I had proven that I was a loyal employee and that I felt, from the moment that I was hired, that this would be the company I would work with until I retired. The boss apologized profusely and said that they did believe in me and that they hoped I would be there until I retired and that they made a mistake by indulging the sales person in their unfounded concerns.
That was ten years ago.
I think you all know that my husband and I owned a rental building. Mark’s boss rented the building from us. A month ago we sold the building and oddly enough, the place they decided to rent to run their business is owned by my boss. He works upstairs from me now. I will admit that I’ve had some concerns about him renting from my boss because in no way do I want to be stuck between the two of them. I don’t want it to negatively affect my job. I don’t want it to negatively impact the way that my boss thinks of my husband (even though my husband isn’t the one who owns their business…he’s just a worker bee).
So…today, after having hours taken away from this task that I have been working on, my husband’s boss comes downstairs asking where the water is shut off for upstairs because they have water leaking. All hell broke loose as they scrambled to get the water to the building shut off. This has NOTHING to do with me. It has NOTHING to do with my husband. But there is angst because something is broken and the owners of my company have no idea where the water shut off valve is to the building. And it has to do with the company upstairs. The company where my husband works. So I feel stress.
THEN, one of my sales people asks me (point/blank and in an accusatory tone) what the relationship is between my husband and the owner of this not-to-be-named company. I said, “They are friends and my son works for him.” She asks me what this company does. I explain (to the best of my knowledge) what they do. She then tells me that they also do MUSIC (which is something that she sells). It’s like flash backs from ten years ago. My boss and his wife are both standing there while the Spanish Inquisition takes place and I answer her questions honestly and as patiently and as calmly as possible. Clearly, I know how to hold my ground.
If that had been the extent of it, all would have ended well. But that wasn’t the end of it.
Throughout my days I have a chat window open with my friend, Gina. When I get a chat, I open it up, respond, minimize it, and carry on with my tasks. It’s a daily thing. Today was no different. And then I got the phone call:
“Did you email Glen?” (Glen is my husband’s buddy who at times competes for bids with us.)
“No. Why would I email Glen?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why would you even think I would email Glen?”
“Well, I thought I saw his name on your computer as I walked by.”
“I was chatting with my friend, GINA. Maybe that’s what you saw. And what would I possibly say to Glen???”.
The accusatory tone set me off. I looked at my colleague who sits next to me and just said, “This is Boardwalk all over again.” All she could say was, “You need to nip this in the bud right now!”
What the fuck! This person started working at the company four months after I did. We have been friends for all that time! For her to call into question my integrity just set me off like nothing else!
I know that I shouldn’t let it get to me. I know that I don’t share “trade secrets” so to speak with a competitor. I also know that this competitor RARELY bids the things that my co-worker does. I know that I have done NOTHING wrong! But I expect that someone I have worked side by side with for ten years should know me better than the way she treated me today! And that bothers me! On a pretty deep level. And it bothers me that it bothers me so much (if that makes even a lick of sense).
So I came home from work, had a stiff drink, laughed and joked with my daughter for an hour or so on the phone, sat in the hot tub for a bit, and made pancakes. Drunk pancakes. And I feel better.
But I have a feeling this isn’t over.