Sunday, November 27, 2005

Dealing with one of the most annoying people I've ever met.

I've been away for the last few days because I've been trying to transform my life--one little annoying situation at a time. Here's the dope:

There is the woman from work (henceforth affectionately referred to as WFW) who I find most annoying. Every time WFW sees me, she rushes over to me, her hands clasping together in an exaggerated saintly way, and she exclaims, “Oh dear! How aaaaAAARRREEEeee you?! How is your fooOOOOoooot? What diiiIIIIIiiiiddd the doctor say?”

That's no southern accent I'm portraying but simply a sampling of the most cloying behavior I have ever come across.

Now, you are most welcome to get up right now and try that out. Pretend you are the most holier-than-thou person you have EVER met, clasp your hands together (that is a very important part of the recreation), put a deep, meaningful, saintly expression on your face, and ask the make-believe, handicap blogger standing there before you, “How aaaaAAARRREEEeee you!” Put everything you've got into the performance!

I promise you most sincerely, if you were to do what you consider a gross exaggeration, complete parody, of how someone would act that way, you're just beginning to approach her actual behavior. I find her treatment of me surreal, like something from the Twilight Zone.

Every single time it happens, I am mortified. What keeps tripping me up is that I'm completely helpless in this situation. Here I am, hardly able to walk at times, making a beeline for any room where WFW is not in while she trails behind asking one question after another.

The part that really manages to boil my blood is that she's done everything she can possibly do to let me know she doesn't want me to work here. And there is not a shred of emotional intimacy between us other than that which arises from unmitigated conflict. But now that I depend on a crutch to walk, she just has to be nice to me (see previous post).

Last night, it suddenly struck me, the reason that I feel so helpless is that I've never made a decision to deal with this. I have needed to be careful because of our relationship within the context of work. But bugger all that now. I am definitely going to deal with her. I cannot wait for her to ask me, just one more time, how aaaaAAAAMMMMMmmm I doing.

This post traces my thoughts about what I've decided to do. It's like a trail of bread crumbs, so I can find my way back when I get lost in this situation with her.

First, I decided to actually communicate with her. One thing that drives me nuts about all of this is that everything is unreal with her. The fake concern, the fake facial expressions, the tone of voice.

I become helpless. Like I'm being tasered. Or even more like I'm lost in a foreign country. I become emotionally disoriented because nothing in this relationship is real.

Deciding that I have to say something was a huge breakthrough. I will do this radical thing call “communication.”

I've been thinking through what to say. Here was my very first draft:


WFW:

How is your foooOOOoooot?!!!

me:

Pretty good. How's your manic depression coming along?


ahem.

As you can see, my plan needed some serious work and I've been devoting all my effort into thinking through this.

In the end, I just have to figure out a way to deal her. She's not going to change and she will be in my life for years to come. And if she isn't, some other WFW will be.

Ok, so what do I tell myself to help me in this situation.

Well, I have noticed I totally hate this situation and I would really like it to go away. Put another way, I really want to be in a good situation, with people being loving yet light. I wouldn't mind being genuinely cared about. I just can't stand fake.

My response to WFW, my utter disdain of her, is a form of hatred. Hatred is hatred. It's one of the reasons my country is in Iraq right now. It's why murder happens and why abused children become abusers.

Hatred is hatred. And hatred of this WFW is highly addictive. Much more addictive than the narcotics I'm currently taking for pain. I roll the hatred around in my mouth, swallow it in gasps and feel it burn all the way down my throat until it hits my guts. It's wonderful stuff.

And all of that hatred has its root in my hope that I would be treated better than that.

I have thought about this a great deal in the last few days. I am trying to be in a good situation with loving people who genuinely care about me by indulging in hatred. If I hated her enough, maybe she would go away. Problem solved.

When I look carefully at that, at my attempt to use hatred as a means to attaining a loving and happy life, it is laughable, is it not?

And besides, I've been trying a steady dose of hatred for four years, full time, and it hasn't worked. I'm using a drowning man as a buoy.

I have thought and thought and thought. It's getting late, so I'll blog more on all the bits and pieces later. But for now, here is my current plan:

WFW:

How is your foooOOOoooot?!!!

me:

WFW [insert her name], whenever I see you, you ask me about my foot. In an effort to have compassion for me, and for you, I need to let you know that I don't feel comfortable discussing my health. What I need to happen from now on is for us to discuss something else. We could discuss, for example, our boss. He is a terrific boss and very caring. We could talk about that or something related to our work. Whatever we discuss, it will need to be something other than me. Does that seem reasonable to you?



It's a work in progress. Feel free to come back and see how it's going...


7 Casrh Tset Reulst:

Blogger Tara said...

Hey there, found your blog via BE. I gotta say, I HATE people like that. They drive me nuts! I feel for you. Unfortunately unless I have a few hours/days/weeks to think about it, I don't have a solution for you.

November 28, 2005 3:50 PM  
Blogger Zagu said...

thanks Dawn. Just being understood and listened to is wonderful.

The more and more I work on this, the better I'm starting to feel.

Thanks for dropping in.

November 28, 2005 4:14 PM  
Blogger Dear Jane said...

yes, the shit heads are everywhere it seems. Perhaps you can come back with one of the most ANNOYING phrases every created "Bless your heart." Everytime I hear that phrase a little bit of vomit makes its way up my throat. And since I live in the south & hear it a bazillion times a day, I think I am becoming an unwilling bulemic.

November 29, 2005 1:05 PM  
Blogger amadeasworld said...

hi zagu,
could you help me, please?
suddenly, out of the blue, the "about me" and the index has moved to the bottom of my posting.
before it was always on top. do you know how I can change that?

regards,
amadea

December 01, 2005 12:25 AM  
Blogger Temujin said...

I work with someone who annoys me in a similar manner. A great response to her "how are you feeling" question would be: "terrible, thanks! how the hell are you?"

That one has gotten me a lot of good facial expressions and responses in return.

December 01, 2005 9:22 PM  
Blogger Zagu said...

that made me chuckle. thanks!

December 01, 2005 9:29 PM  
Blogger Zagu said...

I've been thinking about that last comment. about saying, "terrible. How the hell are you."

What frightens me is I realize that doing that would make it a LOT worse. She is soooooo annoying she would say, "Ooooo nooooooooooooooooooooo, what iiiiIIIIIIIIiiiiissss the matter."

December 02, 2005 3:09 PM  

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