Competition Between Women At Work and Life

Everything cleared with the background check, so it seems like I’m just waiting to hear about when training begins on the new job. Still haven’t quit the old one, just in case something goes wrong and the new job falls through.

So, my current employer started a new employee this past week. It’s a guy to replace the lazy afternoon tech who quit. It took weeks for them to find someone decent. At this point, he is being trained even worse than I was. I was trained for, like, a day and a half and then immediately thrown right into the fire. This guy basically comes to work and sits and does nothing. No one is really training him. At this rate, I don’t know if he will actually get trained at all. It’s worse to not train him than it would have been to not train me because he is eventually going to work all by himself since he will be working the shift that goes into the night as opposed to my working with people in the day. The new guy was kind of trained part of the first day he came, and then the rest of the days the guy whom my employer makes train everyone has barely interacted with him.

One day last week, the trainer actually didn’t show up–he called in “sick.” I didn’t really think about it, but this was going to affect me. I had no idea how much so. The one thing I should have realized, though, was that this would mean I’d be asked to stay late that day. I ended up staying at work 10 hours that day. Extra money for me, sure, but money vs getting out of a hellhole–I want out of the hellhole. I already lament working a 40-hour week…don’t really want to work more than that.

What I didn’t see coming, though, is that my supervisor would essentially ask me to train the new employee that day.

Um…been working at this place for, like, 6 months…or just a tad longer. Don’t really know the job well myself. My bitch co-worker, the female tech geek (FTG), has been there, like, 8 & 1/2 years. But my supervisor came straight to me with this. I was just kind of thinking to myself, “Um…why would you ask me?!” I had an idea why, though, which was later confirmed. But my supervisor was asking me to train him that day and was complimentary towards my performance, saying this is why she was asking me. She did all of this in front of FTG.

Now a while back, I had started forming a theory about the type of person FTG is. I know in one post I had written that she seemed like one of those kids you had a class with in school who was known for being a nerd and always having the right answer when the teacher called on them, and that’s the only reason you noticed them (I had part of this confirmed not long ago, the part about being a good student…). She’s just very reliable and pretty much always does her job well. But I have also almost always felt like she’s competitive (because of how she never helps anyone, steals work from me, races to answer the phone at times, leaves bitchy and/or tattle tail-ish notes in work tickets and doesn’t communicate with people regarding important work-related information), and I started putting two and two together to get the sense that she uses doing her job well to feel better about herself and to feel better than other people at work…which is why she reacts very badly if she feels there is any insinuation she didn’t do something correctly or if she’s given constructive criticism from our supervisor.

I’m kind of realizing that one of the reasons she’d need to feel better than other people at work is because she’s not really accepted at work, which I’d honestly say is her fault. But…people who lack adequate or typical social skills sometimes don’t seem to realize they’re a big part of the problem, and I really don’t think she does realize that. People like her tend to think people are just mean to them, don’t speak to them or alienate them for no reason, and they use being even more alienating than they already are as a coping/defense mechanism. It’s kind of funny how that works. Anyway.

Didn’t mean to turn this into a psychology session, but I’m bringing all this up because I think that I just had a good chunk of this theory confirmed with my supervisor coming to me and not her to train the new co-worker, offering me praise and not her, etc.

Here’s why:

I didn’t want to be bothered with the new kid because, honestly, I am lacking on the social side of life myself (I just flatout dislike people)–I just hide it better than FTG does. Plus, I have started keeping myself occupied at work by listening to sports talk shows and blogging over at my college football blog during the day. My supervisor told me I could say no, but I didn’t think that’d look good. So I was stuck with the new kid. Being as such forced me to talk and interact with people at work more than I like to–you know, pretend to be friendly and all that. It wasn’t that bad, though–it’s just not something I like to do. I like to be left alone. I could hear FTG at the back of the room talking to herself all day. No clue what she was saying, and I don’t sit near her so I can’t see her reactions or anything. There were four of us in the room, and three of us were actually speaking TO other people all day–each other.

At some point, FTG goes to lunch. Almost immediately afterwards, the field tech comes up to me and is like, “So, what is her problem today? Did you two get into it or something?” He actually does sit right in front of her, so he could probably hear her better. At first, I was like, “I don’t know.” And then I told him what our supervisor did and what she said to me about my work performance, and he was like, “Oh, that’s probably it.” And we talked a little about her, and at some point I was like, “She seems like she’s competitive,” and he nodded vigorously. The new kid also said that when our supervisor called him into her office to let him know he’d be working with me, she basically told him not to seek help from FTG because she’s not going to give it to him.

I was just like…”Why are people warning you about her, but no one warned me when I first got here?” Because this was one of his first days there, and pretty much all of us told him essentially everything he needed to know about FTG. I basically had to learn about her myself. One of the guys who works for my employer but doesn’t work in network support with us said he thinks it was an experiment to see how things would go between us since I was the first female that had worked in network support in a long time. I have definitely noticed she doesn’t seem to have any issues with the guys who have worked with us, and I haven’t seen any sign of her having a problem with one of the guys getting promoted when he was hired years after her.

I have started wondering, though, if it’s really just about being female or if it’s race or both. She seems like a redneck (which means something different when black people say it than when white people do–something along the lines of an ignorant or narrowminded white person, at best, and a racist, at worst…and no, I don’t think of racism as ignorance). I mean, this is someone who is in her 30s, has a kid and still makes fun of the accents people from other countries have. That’s something you do when you’re a kid or a teenager who doesn’t fully know any better. If someone is doing that as an adult, you’re damn right it makes me wonder how they, in turn, feel about black people, too, especially in the South. Regardless, it’s not the kind of thing I want to hear, i.e. her sitting there mimicking an Indian’s accent and laughing when all she has to do is say, “[Whatever his name is] is calling for you.”

Where I’m from, a lot of white people have a problem when they can tell a black person is intelligent, isn’t poor or both. That was something I experienced even before I hit high school and then several times thereafter. And most of my actual conversations with FTG have consisted of her asking me about my educational background. I attended better schools than she did and went to graduate school when she hasn’t. And as I’ve kind of suggested with the “nerd who has all the answers in school” description, she seems like the kind of person who prides herself on being the smartest, knowing everything and doing everything right in order to boost her self-esteem. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with my white male co-worker knowing more than she does. Don’t know if it’s the “white” part or the “male” part that makes it okay, though.

I don’t think I’ve ever really had a competition/jealousy issue with a white female. I have never understood women being competitive with each other or jealous of each other, except maybe in something that’s competitive by nature such as sports. Well, that’s not entirely accurate–once when I was in elementary school. But it has been a really, really long time. I used to feel like being around white women was safe, for that reason. I just used to think white women didn’t see black women as competition or anything to be jealous of–and somewhat vice versa–however racist that might sound, so it would cause less problems in my interactions with them. And I do think this used to be true to some extent. I just think there used to be more of a recognition and acceptance of the fact that black women tend to differ quite a bit from white women and vice versa, which makes it harder to compare the two and see competition in the other and such, whereas now there’s more denial of that in the name of political correctness and colorblindness. When I was growing up where I was growing up, white girls had petty issues with other white girls and black girls had petty issues with other black girls, and that pretty much never happened interracially (at least not between white girls and black girls). So, this situation at work is weird to me, but it’s also funny because she’s so ridiculous, caring about schitt that doesn’t mean schitt instead of focusing on herself.

Either way, it’s really going to kill her when she finds out I managed to get another job, because she was whining that same day about how hard it is to get a job. I know she wants another job, so I know that situation and her reaction will be hysterical. I used to get pissed about how she acts, but now I just laugh. I mean, imagine someone on a basketball court knocking himself out scoring points, hot doggin’, rebounding, shooting layups, going for three pointers and thinking he’s in a serious game with someone who is just standing on the sidelines checking his iPhone or hitting on cheerleaders.

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One thought on “Competition Between Women At Work and Life

  1. People who are competitive in that way are desperately insecure. Your co-worker is deeply threatened by you because you’re bright. Avoid and ignore. It’s her problem!

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