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Quaddie

Unwanted Gifts

45 posts in this topic

So this may not technically be about "abuse," but because of the dynamic of it, I'm guessing people can relate.

I'm not good at expressing myself "concisely" but here we go.

So at my current work situation, I had started although in a technically "low" position, the people who hired me knew I'd actually been at a higher level and that I was capable of a lot higher-level work. The people who hired me made no bones about the fact that they thought I had a brain, and crap-tons of experience, and they respected that. That was why it started out good.

They left one right after the other, a new leader came in who didn't bother to get to know me or even let me tell the story of how I came to be in that position or doing the things I was doing. (I was at that time holding my own position plus filling in for one of the people who'd hired me - whose position I'd applied to be promoted to, and who had told and encouraged me to apply for it and had definitively said that I was indeed qualified...)

Because of appearances (all sorts, including my physical AND the general "what things look like" type of appearances), the new leader had immediately pigeonholed me as a low-down nothing. Some inappropriate, inaccurate and - to be honest - personally offensive things (though not "illegal", not "HR-type" offensive) were said to me when she told me why she thought I was ridiculous to think I was qualified for the job I was going for.

(I don't think she even looked at my resume I'd submitted along with the request. If she had, then she really ignored it, to have said the things she did.)

At that time, during the original leadership and in the interim period when our team had no leader, the others in my department (there were about 3 others) considered me to be a colleague.

So the new leader did everything she could to "put me in my place." She even kept calling me by a title lower than my actual title - to higher leadership in the organization (which at first when I was upset and asked her not to do that, she argued that it was the "same thing" - it's NOT, though. Then she said she'd never do it again. Then she kept doing it. I asked her again and she promised again. Said she just "forgot." Idk. It was always to higher-up people that she did that. It was humiliating. There was no way for me to correct her. And although *I* know there's a difference between the titles....... in fact, because I'm older and more experienced, I know a lot I'm not "allowed" to know..... it's difficult to explain the difference to someone who doesn't want to hear it and is just discounting everything you say, anyway... I think I got her to stop doing that, finally. But I know she thinks I'm just petty and ridiculous to have even made a point about it.

But I've sunk so low especially in esteem that I need to preserve whatever I still rightfully have. It's important to me to not be put-down even more by being called a lower title.

Now, everyone else (except 1 person in a similar, but higher-than-me, position who is also experiencing this "side" of the leader) thinks this leader is so sweet and kind. But I've seen an entirely other side. Trust me, I know it when I see it.

ANYHOO...flash forward...

So this leader had brought a couple of new hires in from her old place. One of them has been ON me from the get-go. Really difficult to work with. She even threw something at me once (which I now regret not having reported, not that it would have made a difference...)

But because this one is so high-strung and needy she is also always making a big deal about every little stinkin thing I do as if it's a BIG deal, when it's NOT. It's condescending.

(This group once - in a team meeting - burst into a round of applause for me for a task which consisted of: downloading a few files, copying a few documents, emailing them, and putting them into folders. Oh making the labels for the folders. THIS earned me a fricken round of applause. I kid you not. It was nothing. I felt about 2 years old.)

Remember that I've been and done much more complicated and difficult things. The reasons I'm not doing that now are complicated and I don't want to justify. But NOBODY needs a round of applause for ... emailing documents and making folders for them. Seriously??? Seriously???

BUT they THINK they are "appreciating" me and "recognizing" me. What-ever. Because I'm such the low man on the totem pole and they think I "need" stupid patronizing crap to make me "happy." But I find it condescending. Seriously! (And I'm not the only one who noticed.) I find it insulting. Like Johnny being applauded for tying his shoes when he's 20 years old.

SO...

Although my job is often frantically busy and because I do have higher skills that nobody even knows what they are, they take it for granted... I'm doing things for people all over the company.

It's okay, it's just my job.

But now instead of "colleague" the others all call me the lower position of part of my title and they treat me much more less-than than they used to. It's palpable. Even if I offer knowledge or facts - they take it as if I'm questioning. (Trust me, I'm not saying it as a "question." I'm stating facts but when I say things, it's discounted or seen as not credible because it comes from me.)

There's just been a very real shift in the dynamic putting me down and down.

But this one gal (the one who has been ON me, who's difficult) ....... had some things go on, she had to travel, I understood having been through stuff myself. It was no big deal the things I did while she was gone. I didn't really do anything for her or go above and beyond or anything. Seriously I didn't. - There wasn't any of that to do.

She comes back, she gives me a thank-you card and a $100 gift card. This was, idk, about a month ago.

WHICH on the SURFACE seems really "nice." I say it's not necessary but thank-you.

It bothers me though. I'm not doing anything "special." It's like "thanks for putting up with me." You know? You can relate - right?

Oh - sorry this rambles, but there are a million relevant offshoots. This person - who is also a pet/friend of the new leader, btw, one of her personal bring-alongs.... this difficult person also had thrown me under a bus and did something against me (which I didn't deserve!!! they took a situation out of proper context, twisted it and did something which *I* find to be horrible and disgusting and undeserving to me!! eff them).... It's an extremely complicated situation I can't explain and too upsetting anyway. And NOW it's hugely consequential because it's fvking my career yet again and preventing me from..... I can't explain. It's just indescribably upsetting and it was utterly uncalled-for and wrong to have done to me, and I had no recourse and I'm nothing so nothing I say or do has any credibility, anyway.

So they f'd with my life and really, really hurt me in real ways.

So another person - one of the originals - one of the ones who used to consider me a "colleague"... She recently traveled on business for a few days. I barely needed to do anything on her behalf while she was gone. Seriously, I answered a few emails, forwarded a few emails, that's all. And by "a few," I MEAN "a few."

So SHE comes back and gives me a thank-you card and a $50 gift card. I say again, not necessary but thank-you.

Thing is this.

I don't want the fricken gift cards.

They feel like put-downs.

They make me feel like a prostitute.

The things they're "thanking" me for are no big deal. Really, they're not.

The gift card don't make me feel "appreciated." They make me feel put-down.

When I was a "colleague," they'd never have done that crap.

Now because I'm just everyone's servant, they feel it's "right." To make me feel "appreciated."

I don't want gift cards. I want to be respected. To not be treated as if everything that comes out of my mouth is ridiculous or automatically suspect or discounted. To not be treated as if *I* am ridiculous to think I'm not nothing. To be acknowledged as a person. A person with a "turnips-ton of experience" (as the previous leader who'd encouraged me to apply for his position had said)... whose every word isn't just automatically stupid or questionable or ridiculous, who is not ridiculous for thinking she might have been anything, or might be anything.....who's just plain not ridiculous. Omg.... I can't even explain. The negation, discounting. STEREOTYPING. Pigeonholing me. Even while I'm shouting that their stereotyping isn't true they ignore me (although the very fact of my shouting disproves it... SH!T....anyway....)

I don't want that. I wanted to have been acknowledged with respect when I'm able to do a variety of things INSTEAD OF having been set up for not being magical and been subjected to a nonexistent issue that has fcked my life! To not be continually "put-in-my-place." To be reminded constantly that I'm nothing.

This feels like just another way of "putting me in my place."

Please, if all you see is "they're just being nice" then I'm not getting my point across successfully. That's not all it is - to me. I mean, it might be "just being nice" if my career had never been anything or if I was someone who was so...idk, selfish? stupid? immature? that I needed a fricken gift card to make me feel "good" about putting labels on a folder or sending an email.

It's over-the-top. It's excessive. And I've never worked in a position where this has happened. It's just fricken doing my job and it's not even that big a deal. It's not like I worked hard on a big project and deserve it. I didn't. It's not.

So the gift cards feel like patronizing, condescending put-downs. I don't want them. I feel sick from them. They make me feel like a prostitute.

(And again - please don't try to tell me I'm "wrong" to feel this way or that I'm "looking at it wrong" or that "they're just being nice and trying to show their appreciation." That's not what it is. My feelings are valid. My perspective isn't invalid just because it's mine. It's not like I'm entitled or

I want to give them back. They make me feel sick. But I can't. Because it wouldn't be gracious or appropriate. But they make me feel sick.

I don't want gift cards, money, I'm not a whore, I don't work for tips, these things are no big deal and it's just my job and it's not like I did some sort of huge project (which I've done in other places). I don't deserve these. I don't want them. I DON'T feel "appreciated" - no no, not when being disrespected in other ways all the time and put-in-my-place and seriously and uncalled-for fvcked with in ways that fvcked with my life and my reputation and my career. No no no.

And idk, maybe they both feel guilty because they were both involved in that setup thing (which I know at least one of them probably thinks was wrong to have done)... But I don't care if they feel guilty. I don't. It's my life that got f'd and at this point in my life, the repercussions of which they have no clue how devastating that was to me!!!!!!!!! F THEM

I want to give back the gift cards and I can't. I don't want to accept them. It's the act of not-wanting-to-accept-them-from them. (In other words,it would not make me feel better to give them away to someone else.)

Makes me feel like a prostitute. I know I'm selling my brain and body but to get a paycheck is one thing, to be personally "paid" for doing no big deal just feels patronizing and condescending and makes me feel sick.

I guess I don't know how to explain.

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Turn this around and use the gift cards to support something that makes you feel good.............animal shelter needs cat/dog food?? buy some and donate............local soup kitchen or food pantry needs donations? go buy several cases of canned veggies or soup or pasta and donate............

By taking this unwanted gift and gifting others you may be able to get rid of the "bad taste" in your mouth about the condescending way you feel treated......and it hopefully will lift your spirits to be able to say "thanks" for the unwanted gift because you turned it into something YOU WANTED to do!

Just a thought...........I'm not really creative, lol

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I know i can use the cards toward things I want or that will further my other interests, but that doesn't make me feel better, it's still the source is like "dirty money, " and giving them away would not help either.

The issue is the giving of them and it makes me feel like crap, and i don't want to accept them.

And there will probably be next times.

The giving and being forced to accept is the put-down.

I don't want to be given them, be thought of as,so lowly or stupid that this is considered "the right thing to do", it's insulting to me.

Just trying to preserve a tiny bit of dignity in my everyday life.

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Quaddie, the gift cards definitely reek of overcompensating, don't they?

It would bother me too.

Your feelings are valid because they are real and you are experiencing them. For what it's worth, I believe these people at work are invalidating you.

The gift card thing really gets to me. The reason why? It ties right into the condescending way your coworkers applauded for you for sending emails and creating folders :barf: . Strong undertones of mocking, pacifying, and condescending. Abusive undertones. Ugh, it reminds me of my own narcissistic mom who clapped and "YAYed" for me and called me by my childhood nicknames as an adult when I hiked up to the top of a steep mountain peek for the first time. I have medical issues. It's dangerous for me to hike a mountain at high altitude where oxygen is thinner. As in, I run into heart problems. She knew this, but she never believed me--thought I was making it all up as an excuse to not exercise (and I showed her my blood work numbers and everything). Bragged in my face all the time how she hiked every other day and was so fit, and what was I doing for exercise? The clapping at the end absolutely mortified me and made me feel like a five year-old. And she did it to mock and patronize me like a little child.

Not okay. Not okay at all.

Then the gift cards. One of them from a difficult coworker who has caused all sorts of havoc. It's fishy, isn't it? I'm trying to think of words to describe why. It all seems to go along with the unnecessary and condescending clapping and this inability to see you for who you really are, and the work skills/experience you have. I don't know, Quaddie, it feels very calculated. Maybe not all of it is, but because of what you've already dealt with with these people, and their history of disrespecting you, it definitely would make me wary. I think we learn that with abusers, that even when they do "nice" things for us (like gift cards, etc.), there's always a reason. They don't act on unconditional love and respect. And if that's what it looks like, it usually is a coverup for an apology/peace offering/underhanded mocking session of some kind. I think you are right to feel weird about this. It is weird.

Another example with my narc mom. She's big on gift certificates. I've gone No Contact with her in the last few months and she still sends birthday cash and gift certificates. She also sends texts (which I just need to block) with hearts and smileys and words that she thinks I want to hear. I've been part of her narc supply my whole life, her validator, her soundboard, the container into which she throws her poison gossip about others and confesses her mistakes. I was the one who was always supposed to tell her she could do no wrong. And now that I've backed away, she is inundating me with blanket apologies ("I don't know what I've done, but whatever it was, I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong to you in the history of ever" :barf: ) and gift certificates. Then she tiptoes around me as if I'm a monster needing to be fed gift certificates and blanket apologies through metal bars. "Here you go, WB, you just chew on that gift certificate for awhile, until you're ready to be a nice little WB. I'll sit here patiently waiting for you to stop telling me the truth about myself and setting boundaries with me, you mean spiteful person, you. See how nice I am? Feeding you money and fake sugary words?."

So in essence, she believes that if she sends me gift certificates and blanket apologies she doesn't really mean, that's all the "payment" I need. That somehow is supposed to erase YEARS of absolute mindfvck--a tiny little plastic card of wonder. Is she really sorry? Um, no. She's just appeasing. And ya know? It's an insult to intelligence/dignity when someone actually believes a gift card or a vague apology will be enough.

Sorry, I went off there, lol, but what I meant in context of your situation was that if these gift cards are being used as a way of erasing past behavior, or in any way "paying" you to stay in a subdued and disrespected place, then it's tactical and abusive. Not okay at all.

And Quaddie, I'm sorry that these people don't see your value as an experienced employee. It's almost like they are baiting you not to see it. "Paying" you to subdue your own skills.

I see so much dysfunction in this system, and I see how you are being invalidated. I see it and hear it and want to validate . . .

It's not okay. :(

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Thank you. Yes, the difficult one is extremely high maintenance....she"needs" me a ton, she is extremely anxious and stressed and yet **so** condescending Ave even has been insulting...i finally did tell the leader about all that (AFTER the difficult one threw me unfairly under a bus) and the leader talked to her and she apologized and supposedly now we are"all good. " (barf)

But yeah, overcompensating is a good way to put it.

At my previous employer, a colleague in the same position as these "givers" told me she knew she was really demanding and so she gave a lot of gifts and $ to her underling......so maybe that's what some ppl feel they are *supposed to* do. But that's not the way i operate and also it IS just over the top to do that especially when it's no big deal.

Alternatively, always "paranoid" that they are building up to get rid of me (it happens so often, so is not really "paranoia"). ..which would also be supported by that other crap they pulled against me... maybe they are giving me things that i'll NEED later if they fire me. So (because this does happen) I'm even afraid to use them.

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Quaddie

I would go to each of them and hand them the gift card back and tell them that you don't feel right about taking them because you use to be a ( insert your highest job). Tell them how what you did was simple and you wouldn't feel right about it. Say I had some problems in my life and that's why I am in this position, but I am still just as capable and knowledgeable as I was. And if they insist, say no I'm not going to take money for something that simple. Realize how capable and equal you are and show that to them. Then I would just say thanks anyway and walk away. Show them who you are. You are a strong intelligent person and an equal with them. Don't accept their gift cards or put downs. Quaddie you are a great person.

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Abuse is rife in workplaces, and unfortunately you have a very bad case to deal with.

Make sure people know that you are qualified. I have a similar problem with being overqualified for my job and always being pushed into the lowest form of the job I am doing, even (in a different job some years ago) deciding unilaterally that I now have an even lower job than the one I was hired for WITHOUT TELLING ME THAT THEY MADE THAT DECISION, but treating me in accordance with that lower job.

The circumstances why I am overqualified but in a lower job includes the abuse and my husband being totally unsupportive of my getting the local qualification I needed. This was years ago and it is now too late to do so (it would take several years and I can't be bothered, to be honest as I would be competing with people 20 years younger and I don't need the stress). But all the same I make sure people know that I have the qualifications and they do treat me differently when they know. Also dressing like management, not like the office junior, helps me. Even if people at your work don't want to hear, they cannot UNhear what you tell them, however much they try to make you believe they've "forgotten". By the way, I agree with Hoping - I would give the cards back. Keep your dignity.

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In my old workplace we had a structured system for rewards where people nominated colleagues. Why not suggest something like that when you give back the gift vouchers? There could be a recognised level of achievement or work done to win the gift voucher. This would make it fair and defined and motivating. Let upper management decide who gets what for what behaviour.

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Does this parallel the abusive marriage? We get treated badly and we keep trying to explain how their behavior makes us feel bad thinking that they will change. We think they don't understand. We explain more. We think they don't believe, we try harder. This process can go on for years. They fool us for a time to think that they have changed when they give us gifts or act nicely. Then they show us that jerk side again. Finally we realize they don't care. They only want to use us and they will do anything to get their way. We realize that we can't change them. We realize that they will never treat us with respect. The only way to get any validation is to have it come from outside the marriage. The only way to change our lives is to leave.

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My work situation is way too complicated and lengthy for me to explain here.

Also the reasons I'm in this position I can't explain. To them, they wouldn't care. They DON'T care. All it would do is make me look like I'm dissatisfied with my job. That would get me fired almost immediately.

They already think I have an "attitude" (although the new leader has only "clearly" implied it and also implied some other things, too)...... based on my appearance. Because I'm not acting like anything wrong so they have to be basing it on.....misinterpreting my face (and this is NOT an RBF thing, k, it's something much more offensive than that) or something along the lines of "what things look like" without knowing the actual facts.

The whole thing is f'd up. It's so f'd up and they're all very immature. I can't even explain. I can't.

I'm the most mature and.....forgive me if it sounds arrogant, but "wisest" and most experienced one there. But I'm low man on the totem pole and combined with my unchangeable appearance, it's required of me that I not act or think or be like I'm "as good as" them. I can't explain. But this is real. IF I act like I think I'm something, people retaliate, it threatens them, they get angry and work harder to "put me in my place." This is a dynamic that has repeated for many decades. I'm not "just perceiving" it. It's real. (And I've validated it from external people as well.)

The way I dress is just fine. I've always dressed like management. Even when management doesn't/didn't. It doesn't help. Nothing helps.

I'm too old to care anymore - to become "engaged" and "eager to prove" and blahblahblah - it's not my JOB to disprove stereotypes and crap that other people decide is true about you no matter what the evidence or truth is....... and Universe, I get it that I'm not "supposed to" succeed at this crap, ok I get it universe..... I get it....but I just want a modicum of dignity and respect.

I got forced into an even lower form of role(s) by the new leader. Who keeps making assumptions about what I was and what I've done. She didn't allow me to explain for the longest time - just made assumptions - that I'd never been (a lower and entirely different type of position) what she was assuming I'd been. (I kept trying.) Then finally when I did get through, she blamed me for not having told her. Duh! I'd tried. And when she first came on, I had to force her to do a 1-on-1 with me when she did them with everyone else. Then I thought it was just going to have been a "getting to know you" but instead she barraged me with basically interview questions (I'm sorry, but they were inane questions, clearly showing she didn't even know what to ask about the field - questions that were like introductory level in the field and I was blindsided by the sudden "interview" and caught off-guard and didn't understand her accent and so *I* had looked like a fool)..... because I had applied for the higher-level job that one of my previous bosses had left, the one who knew I was qualified and had craploads of experience. She had my resume. My real resume. She chose to believe it was nothing. Either she didn't read it or she just couldn't conceive it had worth. I've had issues with people not even believing I've done the things I've done. I can't help the way I look.

This by no means is a horribly abusive or anywhere near the worst abuse I've experienced in workplaces. But it happens in every single one of them. I've tried everything. There is no getting around it. Trust me. And now it's to the point in life where it just doesn't fcking matter anymore because all anyone can see is a little piece of worthless crap. And I don't want to deal with the sh!t anymore. I can't bear it. I can't do it. Not the crap they throw onto me, not the crap of the dynamics, not the crap of trying to "please" your "superiors" with crappy objectives (omg AND because of past horrible workplace trauma where I was terrorized AND the fact I'm not a "goal-driven" person in the first place...... I have ptsd and I can't even think about "fckbjectives" or ANY of that crap, or metrics, or having to prove I'm worthwhile by some sort of numbers or whatever, I can't even DEAL with thinking about that makes me dissolve, cry and want to throw myself off a cliff..... )

In short I can't cannot can't cannot cannot CANNOT deal with anything really related to workplace crap or any of its dynamics or demands or the environment or the way they think is the right way to be or the jargon or the ANYTHING anymore. I can't.

But this isn't about that.

It's just about the fvkcing cards.

I can't give them back. That would just cement these already-formed predispositions they have of me that I'm some horribly weird ridiculous and "negative" person. And it would give them fodder to use against me and they would fire me and I need income to survive. It's not as easy as "just get another job." If it were that easy - and if there were some magic job that was right and didn't fvking torture me - then I'd get it. But it doesn't work that way for me. It's extraordinarily complicated and I can't explain. I don't want to have to justify or defend that I'm just trying to muddle through the best I can, but that this is a constant in my life and has been, no matter what I do or try or be or am. It's about stereotypes and other people's agendas and assumptions or desires, and I cannot change other people. And there are issues with the type of work I do and well I honestly cannot explain but I want to be entrusted that I know truths and know what I'm doing so it's not that I'm being stupid about this. It's not that I'm paranoid or stupid or don't see what's going on or have skewed perspectives or any of that. It's just an extraordinarily complicated and unusual scenario from which for me I just haven't devised the magical solution to get permanently "out of" yet and can't survive without and yet, I can't survive within, either.

And to reject the gift cards would be rude. These were personal ones they bought for me personally. It's not "from the company." IF I am "negative" or anything about it, it would be considered insulting. Rejecting a gift is an insult. It would make matters worse. So I'm effing stuck.

As long as I stay "little" and don't challenge their fvcking stereotypes of me too much then I am safe-er. Not safe, but safe-er. It makes me feel like such a whore. I know it's just for survival. In fact I don't want certain things anymore in terms of "career." I just want a modicum of dignity and respect while I make a living, but even that seems too much to ask.

If there's a next time, I'd like to say, "That's very kind, but I really can't accept." HOWEVER, again, that would be considered rude, an insult. To reject a gift.

(if I still have a job - every day, every week, I am scared, worried, terrified...... maybe today they're going to fire me.... and it's not "paranoia." It's happened toooooooooo many times, and I am too well aware of the signs and the dynamics that lead up to it... I'm very experienced and cognizant of all that)

There is NO "standing up" or "asserting myself" in any of this. Trust me. It doesn't work, it is always taken badly. They cannot get past what they believe. I cannot force people to see what they don't want to see. And trying makes me become painted with a "bad attitude" or "dissatisfied" or whatever label that will get me fired.

And who knows, maybe I am worthless, I don't know, whatever, I just want them all to leave me alone.

Remember this is just the latest in a long, long, long line of similar situations over, and over, and over and over and over and over and over and over again... HOW many whacks does the mole need before it's okay to stay down. I don't even want to be what everyone things I should be. I am disgusted by so many of the workplace topics and ugh...... I would have long, long counter-arguments about SO much of what is said and accepted about workplace dynamics and "success" and allllll kinds of crap about what you're supposed to be, or do, or how to navigate it. But ultimately, it is all b.s. It just is.

I can't explain, but I feel very differently about so much than everyone around me, everything I see and read. I'm aware of the commonly espoused "wisdom" but I have reason and experience and knowledge that's beyond it...... but I'm not supposed to know it, or reveal it. I'm not allowed to know anything about the realities of it all...which is something very different from what is being promulgated. (I know that sounds weird when I'm not being specific.) Let's just say I have a very different perspective from a very different dimension, I guess you'd call it, or "level" of thought about it all...... But I can't do anything about it because I still have to survive. So I have to pretend that there's value, or engagement, or...... gack, I can't even explain. I am basically pretending I'm an entirely different ...ummm...species just to survive. (Not trying to be arrogant here, it's just my feelings and perspectives are so different from what is "accepted" that I'm truly not permitted to even show I think them. It honestly - and in actuality - threatens my survival to do so. Yes, no, that is not "paranoia" either, it has that impact. Fvck, yes it does. Because it's alllllll about "what people think of you." And since I already come from a level of being thought a ridiculous foolish silly little thing who's not anything, my perspectives are seen as "ummmmm okay"<-- (sarcastic negative reaction) and presumed to be negative and therefore *I* am "negative" which is a kiss of death and boom then my life is devastated. So yeah, no.

I'm so fcking sick of it all. I can't do it anymore. Not anywhere. I wouldn't even be able to convince anyone else to hire me anyway. (\And the META of it - I can't deal with having to "convince someone" that I am worthy..... and I'm not because I don't even want to do this, that or the other..... for anyone anymore..... I'm toooooo broken and uncaring and used and used up and old and f'd up anymore about it all. This is not "oh I have low self-esteem and I just need to feel better about myself." It's not that at all. There's a whole immense topic I can't even discuss about all that.

...But I really do not want this thread to go there... it's too frustrating and upsetting to try to explain and I don't want to discuss it.

It's about the gift cards.

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Quaddie

I think I may understand, and you are not worthless. I hear what you are saying and your pain and I wish there was some way you didn't have to work there. I can understand not wanting to give the cards back in fear of being fired, but I don't think it would be rude if they are doing this to intimidate you. I guess the problem is that it is hard to know for sure their motives or for others to see them even if they are wrong.

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Their motives might be to just give me a gift card as a way to show "appreciation," but it's still a patronizing, condescending act, because I am not doing anything really that big a deal.

I think they think it's the "right thing to do," but it puts me into a very lowly, servile sort of dynamic - and it's over-the-top out of proportion in comparison to the actual things I've done.

I am thinking that if there is a next time, I won't accept. I'll be nice but will not accept.

It feels like "hoovers," or like being paid for sex. It feels wrong.

(And I've been in other situations - not here - where I have worked hard and extensively on big projects and have received things in appreciation. Then they are deserved. So it's not that I am opposed to receiving things. Also there have been times when I haven't been rewarded despite my hard efforts and my other teammates were and that sucked the big wazoo, so yeah that breeds resentment. But here I am the low man on the totem pole but I'm not doing anything big or huge that deserves any big deal being made. So yeah, it's like Johnny getting applause for tying his shoes and climbing the ladder on the playground - but Johnny is 22 years old. I keep repeating that because it's the best analogy I can make, lol.)

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Quaddie

I see what you are saying.

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I see as well what you're saying Quaddie . I get it completely .

Nothing about it is right .

I did also wonder - could it be being done so that in the eyes of 'others' they are being seen as being nothing but kindness itself to you ?

A sort of smokescreen to gullible people who don't think things through ?

Not sure if I've described what I meant very well .

Whatever,it's just wrong to me .

I am soooo sorry you have this complete unnecessary horridness going on .

The cruelness of our fellow women ( only some thank god ) never ceases to astound me ,and I think especially at work .

Hold your head high .

I send strength,understanding and courage ,to you Quaddie .

None of this is your doing .

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I think I mean what you're saying. It could be, from the difficult one.

I think from the other one it's guilt. I think she didn't want to be dragged into the crap they did against me (she looked sick beforehand) but they forced her. On the other hand, she also has her "things" toward me that aren't appropriate. She sort of knows she has no filter. She is also the one who had laughed at me (in a sort of spit-take) when I said I'd used to think about becoming a life coach - she said because of "how I am," and trailed off saying something like, "You know, they're supposed to be sort of ...cheerleaders." As if I'm negative. They all seem to think I'm negative. Judgy fcks. Let me tell you there is NOBODY more encouraging or attempting to empower people to following their dreams and who they really are than I am. It's a huge life lesson I've learned and it's basically my religion that I proselytize. To think me the opposite, disgusts me.

blech

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She sort of knows she has no filter. She is also the one who had laughed at me (in a sort of spit-take) when I said I'd used to think about becoming a life coach - she said because of "how I am," and trailed off saying something like, "You know, they're supposed to be sort of ...cheerleaders." As if I'm negative. They all seem to think I'm negative.

Ugh. Grrrr. No, no, no. :angry-smiley-005:

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I want to call them on this. I want to have the presence of mind in the moment (or even force the moment) to ask, "WHY do you say that?" and push and push until they admit the reason. And then give them what-for.

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Just when I thought it was safe....

The difficult one hands me a card this morning with a wad of cash in it. Says it's because we made our goal for the quarter.

I don't care about the goal and I am just so uncomfortable with being handed money like tipping me to do my job, that2 not the nature of my work.

I find it degrading and humiliating.

(I don't care if they get bonuses or I don't. If it's a bonus it should come through the company)

I would rather be treated with respect abd acknowledged as a "real" person. I feel that being given money personally is degrading and is at serious counter-purposes to my efforts to be seen as someone not so "small" that someone would just be like, "here ya go kid, thanks" while tossing over a coin.

It feels demeaning and i feel like a prostitute. And it feels like a put-down in so many ways. I can't explain well. That's just not how I have ever ever ever ever operated nor how my work is. It demeans me, it really does.

Yet it would be an "insult" to reject the"gift." And lately I'm a bit short & could use the $, plus there is a possibility of layoffs.

So fvk, between a rock & hard place, and it makes me sick.

I want so badly still to not accept it.

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It all feels icky to me, and is yet more proof that it seems to be strategic. :(

There are appropriate ways to recognize someone for their hard-earned work, such as raises, bonuses, promotions, etc. But this . . . I can't put it to words. It's demeaning, and I can't find the right explanation as to why only that it is. It's like throwing pennies at a famous musician performing on stage--the value of it is so small in comparison to the work, it is demeaning.

I'm so sorry, it's not okay. I understand the dynamic, too, that not accepting it would make things even worse.

Just validating that the work you are doing is valuable, the wad of cash and gift cards are not a reflection of your value as an employee and a person.

:hug008:

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Yes exactly. It's like saying "I'm better than you" somehow. I can't explain why. Throwing pennies.

I would way rather have real recognition.

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So I was up almost all night. Late yesterday there was an incident with a bunch of various piled-on ridicule by 3 people all in about 2 minute's time - capped by the difficult one (the one who gave me the cash) insulting and criticizing me because I asked "why?" in response to her wanting to know something personal about me. (She went off on me, calling me rude and saying that it was inappropriate and rude of me to answer a question with a question - wtf?!? It was personal and none of her business, the question she asked me, so idk, my response was to ask "Why?" to see if there was some legit reason for the question (but there wasn't!)

And she used to do that kind of thing a lot, complain about me under her breath, for no reason - which very negatively impacts my job and the environment and is used against me (she is favored) - even if I'm not actually doing anything wrong. Anyway I had finally gotten through to the boss who talked to her about it (they're friends) and then apologies etc etc blah blah and things were "better"....... But now, especially after what happened yesterday - and another incident which had happened last week...... which even though *I* did nothing wrong, they can easily twist it to be *me* being "too sensitive" or a bictch or whatever (even though I wasn't!!! I was the victim in all this.....but you know.....)

Anyway, I now have a fantasy where I give her the cash back in a card, and the card says something like this: "Although I appreciate the thought, I am extremely uncomfortable accepting these kinds of (offerings). I have never been in a position where this was done, and it does not feel right to me. I would much rather be able to feel respected as a person and safe from being criticized, insulted, ridiculed, or shouted or squealed at as if I'm saying something horribly wrong or ridiculous when I'm not. This would mean much more to me, and would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your understanding."

(grrr, in the middle of the night I had it worded perfectly, but...you know.... This wasn't it. But still, the fantasy is something like that.)

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:angry-smiley-005::angry-smiley-005::angry-smiley-005::angry-smiley-005: <------- That is what I'm feeling towards this coworker.

Why would someone get mad at you for asking why? To a personal question that is none of her business anyway?

I strongly sense she is looking for any opportunity here to attack you, if she goes off on you for that. I'd definitely call it abusive, especially because she's invading your privacy and getting mad at you when you don't give her personal information. Totally 100% inappropriate. If she wants drama, she needs to go find a junior high. Not a workplace.

She reminds me of the high school girl in every movie about teenagers--the one who thinks she's better/prettier/wittier/more popular than everyone else and has a posse of followers that tag along with her. And her main goal is to put others in their place who might be potential competition for her.

Then her "gifts" of wads of cash and gift certificates also prove that she's trying to show you what she feels you deserve. It's demeaning, and in no way makes up for or excuses her behavior. It only supports the fact that she is being abusive, IMO.

You have every right to feel unsettled about this. I would to. This is not the way adults treat other adults. This is not the way a workplace operates. :(

I love your fantasy response and nodded all the way through. YES. I know sending it might not be an option, but YES to all of it.

(((Quaddie)))

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Thank you .. i just feel so sick and upset and helpess

There are many similarities wth this group and jr high ....or even elementary school.

It's insane and I have no good recourse, am pretty much helpess because anything i would try would likely come back around to reflect badly on *me*

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She was shouting that she learned in etiquette school that it was rude to answer a question with a question.

I've never heard of such a thing, but even if there were cases that's true, it was not relevant to this situation. Just because she asks a question and she's "above me", it's not a command.

In general, she has a very strict ....I don't know how to explain.....it's very imperious, and I am wrong to do or say anything outside of what I'm supposed to magically know is acceptable to her antiquated view as if I am a servant or child.

(And she is much younger than me, although she probably thinks she is older.... which I suspect she was trying to google me and that's why she wanted the personal info.)

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I have only read the top post and have to say sorry you work for another batch of idots. My feelings on the gift cards is that it is a very high amount. You earn the same money they do. One hundred dollars is something you do for a landmark anniversary. If you really love working with someone or they have respect the can't be ignored. You have the right to say the amounts are too high. Treat me to a coffee card as a thank you but a hundred dollars is a full gift. Most people do not even give their families that much money.

For one if they are being aggressive behind your back. They can say, I treat her nice look I gave her a hundred dollar gift card. You can put all the gift cards in a box. Do not spend them. If they act like jerks. Take the gift card out and hand it back to them. Take them and turn them into a cool office art. Love those graphics. You know what they are gifts. The definition of a gift is that you give without expectation. They will not give you a large amount next time if they see you think nothing of them. People will make comments but you can help them figure it out.

I had one girl today come up to me saying she felt her boss is controlling and wanting me to pair up with her. I gave her a conversation where she knew I am happy and I can sort my own problems with conversations. Not sure what she was proposing but I am in the same department area and have no plans to try and tell my bosses how to do their jobs. I really hate what people do because for one is they unhanded cowards do make a huge mess. She kind of had no business coming over to my area too!

The question with a question rule started ten years ago. Why it is a great way to show someone how stupid they are being the question usually never solves anything. To be fair I found having a conversation with a hard head higher up usually yield the same result no action. Let pray some of these people meet a rock and a hard place. Get fired and you finally get your chance. My ex is very manipulative and he is over people.I know he hated one of his bosses so bad he had a target made out of her picture for target practice. Then he bragged to his coworkers he was going to let his frustrations out this weekend. He got away with his garbage it just is not a fair world. People get ahead by mocking others.

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