There are many things you can say about me, but one thing you’ll never say is “Boy, can she hold a grudge.”
I’ve never been able to hold a grudge, not even when I am really, really mad. Not even when I’m never going to speak to them again, not ever mad. Seriously.
I once worked for a manager who was infuriating. He was pretty belittling, always second-guessing me in front of senior managers, and when I was right, he would make it sound like I was the one who was doubtful of the issue/question/answer. I worked in a position where I had constant client contact on the phone, and as it could get noisy outside my office, I frequently had the door MOSTLY closed. He called me into his office and said that some of the staff had complained that I was “unapproachable” and “anti-social” because I had the door mostly closed (when in fact, I didn’t actually ever even SEE the staff in question because they were researchers who rarely left their offices.)
Needless to say, I was livid. I couldn’t believe that anyone would take issue with a partly closed-door let alone complain to my supervisor about it. We were a pretty laid back office as it was – mostly casual and I had known most of the management team for a long time, socialized with the group on a regular basis, ate lunch in the break room and stretched my legs by taking laps of the office to say hi to the people who now worked on the far side (we were in a new building) so I was amazed that he would level that kind of comment at me.
I left work in a rage. I went to my favorite cardio kickboxing class and visualized his face as the target. Even THAT didn’t make me feel better. When I went to bed, still seeing red, I VOWED that I would keep the door open, irritate the hell out of the researchers in the hallway with the constant chatter with clients, and I WOULD LET MY DISPLEASURE BE KNOWN. I would not be all buddy buddy. I would not suck up (the way he thought I should). I would be a BITCH.
It lasted about fifteen minutes.
Ok, maybe five.
I walked in, coolly said good morning, went into my office (where the phone was already ringing), and set to work.
He popped in to ask a question, chatty as ever. (He wanted to be the boss and have me kowtow, but he REALLY wanted to be well liked.) I was polite. I was chill.
And then I felt my defenses tumbling, and had a normal, Seinfeld-ish conversation about nothing.
And then I got mad at myself for crumbling.
Actually, the only person I can really stay mad at — is myself.
What about you — are you the type to hold a grudge, or you more a “forgive and forget” personality?
This post was inspired by the novel The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan, about two estranged sisters who are forced to work together in order to uncover the hidden inheritance by their mother. Join From Left to Write on December 2nd as we discuss The Mill River Redemption and enter to win a copy of the novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.