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Drop the Act….

Submitted by Megan Pipoli on October 29, 2010 – 5:54 amComments

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Co-workers It’s human nature that no matter age or situation, individuals forced together in any capacity will experience confrontation.  Now, it might not  be  that each individual finds themselves in a rebuttal with every person they happen to come in contact with, but  there will undoubtedly be that ONE  unfortunate relationship that will come to plague their work/play environment.  And as uncomfortable and awkward as it may be there comes a time where it becomes absolutely necessary to drop the “lets play nice” routine and have that dreaded conversation that no coworker wants to have.  Yes, it’s confrontation time!  The time when you have to grow a pair and take that imaginary script you’ve been mentally rehearsing day in day out, constantly editing to make it as professional as possible, and put it to the test.  And as you pray that you don’t back out at the last minute, that you keep your wits about you and follow through, you wonder, is this really necessary?  Do I really need to make an already awkward situation even worse?  And, can’t I just stick it out for a little bit longer and hope that he/she will eventually come around?  The truth is, NO, they won’t and NO you can’t keep putting it off.  But how is it that you should approach such a delicate situation?  What can you do to make it as easy as possible?  Exactly, how do you drop the act?

This is precisely where I find myself at this very moment.  Stuck in a situation where I fear there is no way out but to take that dive and stand up for myself.  As it has come to be I am working in an establishment which I highly enjoy, but as fore-mentioned I have found that there is that ONE person that I cannot seem to mesh with.  And it’s not that I haven’t tried, it’s just that this person’s personality is simply difficult.  I have put my best foot forward.  I have partaken in many conversations in which I have tried to get to know her and have even gone to the extent to include myself in group conversations to try and talk about non work related topics.  I have even played the “ignore her” card and have chosen not to talk to her to see if I would heed any response.  Of course, I couldn’t keep doing this because I work closely with this person and this, while it would be the easy fix, would not be a rational one.  And while I have gotten a couple of hopeful glimmers from her, it has been to erratic.   One day, she will talk to  me as if I were her confidant; another, she treats me like a subordinate who is there for nothing else than to act as her assistant.  The truth is, we have the same title; she’s just been doing it for a lot longer.  But that’s not grounds for one to treat someone as if they were an idiot and every day was their first day on Earth.

So, why, with all this back-up, do I still find it so hard to confront her?  To tell her, face to face, that I am to old to deal with pettiness and that I don’t need to be friends with her to have a respectful, working relationship?  And that if the person that she is is in fact difficult, then that’s fine as the only words I need to exchange with her are those in which we need to in order to get the job at hand done?  Why is it that I can so fluidly relate this to you and my friends and I cannot put it into words for her?  Because it is AWKWARD and unnatural and in a perfect world no one would have to have these conversations.  But, as we all know, the world we live in is far from perfect.  And of course I can say what I need to say to you, to my friends, but face to face, mano y mano, with that one person, it’s too real; scary, actually.  It’s not natural to have to take someone aside that you are forced to be around and tell them how you feel.  Keyword being FORCED; no one would voluntarily put themselves into a situation where they had to be around someone who was difficult; unless they were a masochist.  I digress.  So, bottom line is that I have to face the fact that the only way to make this situation better, is to potentially make it worse.  Simply, I have to drop the act.  I have to take a deep breath, grab the bull by the horns, and head into the fire with no fear.  And, with the notion of that, I believe a stiff drink is in order.

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