Monday, December 8, 2008

Forcast: Amphibian rain

I have learned that fraternizing with co-workers means playing with fire. I don't know how it is in other places of employment, but in my particular setting, there is pettiness and loads of tit for tat mentality. Bonding friendships can be hazardous to one's career and peace of mind.
Due to my supervisory position, I am particularly susceptible to having my words and actions contorted. I am not a manager, but associates are still considered subordinates. I have to watch my back. Admittedly, I have slipped and shared more about my personal life than I ought to. Doing so leaves me open and vulnerable. Color me human, I suppose.
I haven't gone out drinking or partying with co-workers for the very reasons mentioned above. Proof of such ignorance sits in my personnel file. Dropping the f-bomb frequently when angered and sharing details of sexual liaisons while off the clock; yet with a subordinate proved to be both foolish and detrimental to my mental well-being. For that, I am far more cautious.
This brings to question the work holiday party. To go; or not to go. That is the question. I do not consume alcohol on such occasions. Firstly, I think it's stupid to drink and drive. Secondly, I know my alcohol tolerance is low and I'm a cheap drunk. I might say something rude when I would typically hold my tongue. There is NO ONE with whom I work that I'm sexually attracted to. So, the fear of hitting on a co-worker is null.
Last year our store didn't even bother with a holiday gathering. No one could agree on a location and time. I had no interest. I was a hater.
For the previous year, I didn't give in to peer pressure to attend. After several attempts to convince me how much fun it would be, I had this to say: "I spend more time with you people than I care to. By the time the party comes around I will have worked 10 days straight. I like my sanity and my son far more than I like any of you."
Needless to say, that comment was taken as rude and spiteful and hateful. I tend to vomit things like that when I'm pressured. I want it to sting so it makes an impact. I think I over did it and it was cause for much speculation and hurt feelings. I said it to one person, but by the end of the dinner everybody knew. It was also reported that some people took liberty of adding to my original response. Those who know me fairly well understood what I meant, but it undoubtedly made me less than favorable. To add fuel to the fire, rumors were shared that I had been bedding my married lab manager. Oh what wicked webs we weave and all that jazz.
So, in my attempts to be a better human being, I have made conscious efforts to be friendlier to my co-workers and managers. Cutting myself off from the hypothetical psycho has given me freedom to be less emotionally and mentally taxed regarding work. I take people at face value and realize we're all human. Everybody is feeling the crunch of the state of our nation. Everybody has bad days ... even the girl with rose colored glasses.
On Wednesday evening last week I received a call from work. I always answer reluctantly. One of the retail associates was calling to see if I was interested in attending this year's holiday party on December 21 "It's free." I considered it momentarily, but used the excuse that my family's Christmas celebration is that weekend. To which, she replied, "all weekend? you can't come Sunday evening? Please, Marissa?" This was coming from one of the most endearing of young women in our store. I still declined without hesitation.
The following day, Thursday, I was greeted by my general manager's disappointment in my lack of attendance. She went on to explain that someone who insists on anonymity will be footing the bill for our meal. I was shocked and touched. She seemed genuinely disappointed that I wouldn't be attending. The little friendly voice in the back of my mind blurted out, "OK, go ahead and change it. I'll come. I even have a White Elephant gift to contribute."
Excitedly, she switched my name from the "not attending" side to the "attending the party" side of the list. As fellow employees read the list and noticed the change they expressed surprise. Me. Marissa. The girl who proclaimed she was an equal opportunity hater. I'm going to a holiday party with co-workers. I will break bread with those who are often the bane of my existence.
Word to the wise: You might want to watch for a downpour of frogs and swarms of locusts.


  1. Sometimes work parties seem like more work than fun, that's for sure. But it seems it's all part of playing the game-- at least since your manager got involved. So grin and bear it is my advice, and like you said skip the alcohol.

  2. *McWowZah*

    Hhmmmmmmm .... where to start ... where to start ..........

    Okay - I'll use this one:

    Welp, MissRiss, you have to take the good with the bad ... the warped with the straight ... the Pinky with The Brain. There's no getting around it.

    You mightn't be able to control the party, but you can control the YOU at the party.

    Go fun-lovingly, with spirit in your heart and on your face and be there in all your happiness - even if'n you have to fake it.

    It. Will. Be. Fun.

    (Or, least it'll be something to talk about later. Look at it that way.)

    Some of the most entertaining functions I've been to were the ones I looked for excuses to get out of. Go figger.

    You'll do fine. I know you will.

    .................. Ruprecht

  3. This is the other part of your brain telling you that you're about to enter a world of hurt. People suck, and co-workers barely register as human. I'd liken them more to social diseases that you don't want anything to do with any more than you have to.

    No matter what you do, they will try to screw you, so why bother giving them any more ammo than needed?

  4. Well, let's hope it's a damn good meal! ;)

    Hello from a fellow Wisconsinite in the snow!

  5. Ack, what the heck, I thought you were in Wisconsin, LOL. "Kankakee" sounds like a Wisconsin name. Hello anyway, and I hope you make it through the storm OK! Been snowing like crazy since mid-afternoon here.

  6. Hi~ya,

    Back home in CH~IL. Whatta difference from Tampa. BRRRRRRRR!

    Go to their Christmas party. Make it your own. Eat ~ SoftDrink ~ Be Rissy! You don't gots to stoop.

    Cheap Trick Concert for the Kids tomorrow. I can't wait!

  7. I enjoy your blog. Did we ever have a Christmas Party w/ the Old LC crew... oh yeah we did hideous...Reading your blog reminds me of some people who i'm sure you still remember but we will let remain nameless...that acted in the ways you mention ....

    Cheers to you and yours.

  8. Shasnanananananana I do remember she who shall remain nameless. I'm certain there's one everywhere.
    OY! Regardless of their number, it is still difficult to ignore them and hope they just go away.


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