Girls Will Be Girls…I Guess…?

So, last night was a rough night, which means I was super tired this morning. I have also been having problems with my neck, which is usually stress-related. When I’m stressed out, I guess the tension goes to the left side of my neck and nothing helps it. In fact, I probably make it worse by trying to stretch my neck muscles and massage myself. It feels sore to the touch after I try to massage my neck (I have sensitive skin). Heat does nothing, and neither do pills. It could be poor posture, as well, just leaning over computers and laptops all day and all evening. I’m not sure I feel stressed enough to be having tension pain in my neck and shoulders from stress. Either way, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. So, although I never want to deal with anything at work, this morning, in particular, I really didn’t want to deal with anything. I just wanted to go back to sleep.

Man, I get to work, and that female tech geek co-worker of mine starts IMing me about crap that happened yesterday, which I did not want to think, talk or write about. I got a difficult call yesterday, and the client called more than once. One of the times he called, he got FTG. So, she looked at my ticket, and, apparently, the issue was another one of those things that you’re supposed to pass off to someone else or get help with–apparently, I can’t just handle it myself, which is what I had been doing until she asked if I’d talked to one of the field techs. So, she told one of the guys I was supposed to involve in that issue that I needed help.

First of all, I was there when she told him, i.e. I could have told him myself. I didn’t tell him immediately because I was busy with something else. Either way, it was not for her to tell him. She takes over things that are not her issue all the time. So, yes, that aspect was irritating, and when I finally did get into the issue with that field tech I sounded annoyed, as I was. I also had the issue under control, although, eventually, I was going to need help with it because the client was making the issue worse by doing things he shouldn’t have been doing. So, it was also annoying because, to me, at least part of the reason for her telling the field tech that I needed help was an issue of my competence.

I’ve realized from this job that when tough shit happens at work, I need to let it go and stop thinking about it. I need to do that with everything tough. Women in general have a hard time letting shit go mentally and emotionally, and that’s actually one–for lack of a better word–rare way in which I am–again, lack of better phrasing–stereotypically feminine. I have reached a point with this job, though, where I am better able to move on from crap faster than I usually am with other things. And to be clear, with the job I’m talking about moving on from dwelling on not doing stuff exactly right at work, not thinking negatively about some co-workers. The former is the most important thing for me to move on from, and that’s what I am referring to when I say I’m getting better at moving on faster.

And so, I’d moved on.

But FTG brings it up first thing in the morning. Apparently, she hadn’t.

I’m a woman and everything, but I don’t really understand women. Do you know what I mean? My interactions with women have always felt awkward for me, if not for the other women all the time–definitely awkward for some of them. It’s not just FTG. I don’t know what it’s like for men when women are around, but it’s awkward for me when women are around. I almost want to say I don’t relate to women, but I have done some reading online and I know that a lot of women jump on statements like that. They respond with these, to me, politically correct comments about “how can you say you don’t relate to an entire sex” and “not all women are the same” and la-di-da. It might just be yet another matter of not knowing how to phrase the issue. All I can say is, for whatever reason, with most women there’s a tension there and a lack of commonality there that does not exist for me with men.

Another thing a lot of women would say is, “Well, that means the problem is you.” I say most of the time there actually is no problem either way, especially since I’m talking about something that has been the case ever since I was a little kid. Frankly, I don’t think it’s that different from how many people feel when they’re around someone of a different racial background than they are, except I’m like this with my own sex. Women have just always been something of a different “species” to me, and I don’t think it’s about sexuality because most women I’ve seen with similar stories as mine are heterosexual.

I’m bringing this up because my sense is that FTG didn’t say anything all afternoon yesterday, went home, probably dwelled on it and maybe even discussed it with other people. Not in the way that I do these things. I come home, blog and just react to something that someone said not in a hurt sense but just irritated, pissed off, “man, I can’t stand work,” “fuck people,” complain-y. I mean, I’m going to complain to myself and to the internet. But with her, my sense is stuff like someone getting pissed at her at work and some of the other shit that has happened between us hurts her feelings. I don’t know. I’m just wondering and kind of amazed. And I bring up “women” not to say that shit hurts women’s feelings, but, I think, more so to say that usually when I’m dealing with women they react to stuff in ways I don’t understand.

Basically, five minutes after I got to work, she just IMed me kind of telling me why she did what she did. First of all, I didn’t ask. Second of all, just got to work. Not what I want to be hit with first thing. For me, if something happens between someone and me or kind of between us, unless it’s someone I care about, I’m not approaching them about it to explain myself or anything. I’m moving on. I’ve had little dumb crap happen between me and some near-random female before, and the female comes back the next day wanting to address the issue. And on one hand, it’s cool. But on the other hand, as I said, I don’t know how necessary that is if it’s not a family member, romantic interest/partner or friend. Or maybe someone very important otherwise, like a boss. It’s like women just can’t stand for people to have an issue with them, or to think that someone has an issue with them. For me, the worry is people thinking I’m stupid, not people liking me or being mad at me. My default position is that most people don’t give a fuck about me, at best. I’m not going to try to change that; I’ll let it be.

So, I was just like, “ok”…and left it at that. That’s what I typed. And I thought and hoped it was over. But then, like, a few minutes later, she IMed me again and asked me to stop being mean to her. HAHAHAHA. Dude, how old are we? Yeah, she’s my age. We’re in our 30s. Two things for the record: 1) I’m not mean to her. I hardly speak to her. I hardly speak to anybody at work. 2) This IM is going on while it’s just me and her in the whole suite, let alone in the same room. I understand it can be awkward bringing up disagreements and things like that. I used to always write people letters when I was younger when I was dealing with stuff like this. But to me, always bringing stuff that makes you unhappy up in writing demonstrates a certain level of fear in even bringing up the issue, unless there’s no other way you can contact the person at the moment. If you’re afraid of someone’s reaction, I don’t think writing what you have to say is going to make their reaction any better. When you approach people vocally or in person, all you have to do is state things professionally, calmly, in a non-threatening way. If they get mad, they get mad. They’ll get mad in writing, too, probably, if they can’t handle you speaking to them in a harmless way.

Basically, if there were hurt feelings and fear (or nerves, however you see it) there, I don’t understand it–especially if there was half a day’s worth of that stuff. Like I said, the only people who will make me react like that at all are family, friends and romantic interests/partners. And because I really didn’t want this to continue to be a big deal to her, I told her in a very succinct manner what one of my main problems is with working at that place–that it irritates me that every time I turn around I have to get help with something. And that’s totally true, even still. After I wrote that, she was able to talk to me. She said that’s how it is there and that there’s a lot of stuff we’re not told how to do. In fact, they actually don’t want us to just jump in and handle issues ourselves a lot of the time. And I am basically seeing that’s true, i.e. that it’s not always taken as a shortcoming of mine but that it’s expected that we work together and rely on each other. Sorry, that’s just not my nature, i.e. to need other people’s help and to not know the answers. So, no, I don’t like that about working there, and, yes, it irritates me.

I’m also starting to see that FTG and I likely have some characteristics in common that probably result in why I have issues with her. For starters, I don’t think either of us are truly “team players.” I think we just like to take charge to get work done and be ace employees, and people who aren’t as good as we are eventually get on our nerves. I suspect we both would be perfectly happy at jobs where we were just left the fuck alone, as long as we were perfectly able to do those jobs. But I think we handle these things differently.

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