…. but my angry outburst to my boss Thursday came straight from a rather unfiltered place. It’s the place where I am no longer going to be the “nice girl who sucks it down and says nothing” – better known as standing up for my own self.
In a nutshell, one of my co-workers (whom I like very much, btw) negotiated herself a deal a year ago when she came to work there that gave her some lee-way on her hours because they couldn’t match the salary she was getting at her old job. (Makes mental note to try that angle some day.)
And so she rather comes and goes as she pleases without a lot of regard to anything else. (IMO, anyway. Biased, yes.) It’s gotten particularly bad this past week where she and another co-worker went out for a walk at lunch – FOR TWO HOURS! And they did this twice this week, with other co-workers commenting on what a great thing they’re doing by getting some exercise.
Part of the issue for me is that they are each other’s back up so if they are both out, phones and whatnot fall on … guess who? That would be me, the one doing two jobs most of the time now. The back breaking straw though was Thursday when she left to move her car and grab lunch and texts me an hour and a half later saying she was out shopping. Again with the two hour absence. She comes in late and takes two hour (or at minimum one hour) lunches when the rest of us peons who didn’t negotiate such a deal are left there being held to the thirty-minute lunch times the company offers.
I think I just had it, you know? It’s been bothering me for a while and I really tried to view it as not about her at all but about my desire to not be there that kept poking me. But this time? Yeah, I went over the edge and told my boss that it wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair. He asked if I thought she abused her privilege of flexible hours and I had no hesitation in saying yes. If I did that, I’d get called on it like a big dog. So would just about any other assistant there.
Well, Friday he told me he talked to her and “her reaction was as you can imagine”. He did tell her that she and other co-worker can’t take walks together more than once a week or so and not two hour ones at that. (Other co-worker? Also managed to wrangle a deal when she came over so she comes and goes as she pleases, too. Nice, eh? Other co-worker happens to be boss’s assistant – sweet job if you can get it.) He suggested she be more mindful of her time out of the office and to come back to a more balanced place with it.
Of course, she wasn’t really talking to me much on Friday after all this. And you know me. I felt like I caused all kinds of friction and discontent by speaking my mind. I was sad for most of the day about it. Walking to my car, I realized that I had set a boundary for myself and that’s all kinds of uncomfortable because it stirs up conflict. But I had to do it. It was scary, too. As I was rather blowing it out at my boss, the little voice inside me was terrified. (Truly. Terrified. The voice was saying “watch who is listening …. will they tell her you went off? … will everyone hate you for saying this? Will SHE hate you for saying all this? Why can’t you keep your mouth shut??”)
Lessons are hard but this one has been brewing for a while – I had to speak out. Had to. Whether anything changes is out of my control. What IS in my control is how I communicate what I need. Even if it’s scary. I suspect the Universe will be providing me ample opportunity to do so in the near future.