Today got me real good. I was triggered. I was angry. I vented.
I still had a positive day, but this morning I had one of those moments where I was disappointed in the world we live in and wondering what happened along the way where people stopped being ‘kind‘.
Fridays are one of my working days. There is still minimal people in the office and we have a new receptionist who has just started with us. She is lovely and I went over to assist since we had a new casual turn up who claimed she was there to pick up a laptop as she would be working remotely. Unfortunately we didn’t have any notification and there were no emails to our team. She wasn’t told she would be sitting through an induction either, so we needed to investigate.
That was not the actual issue.
My issue was when one of our fellow colleagues inserted herself into the situation. She was horrible. When you start at a new company you are probably already feeling slightly nervous or anxious. You don’t know quite what to expect and in times such as these it’s definitely not the norm. This poor woman was verbally attacked.
Firstly she was lectured about us (‘the company’ as a collective) not releasing laptops to new staff who hadn’t been inducted.
Secondly her new boss was dragged through the mud about how she wasn’t following protocol and should have contacted HR prior to hiring her (…and if I’m honest I tuned out for the remainder of her rant on this particular topic because I was in shock.)
Thirdly she was schooled about HR and how our company works.
She is a casual. All I thought was “she” A. Probably doesn’t care. B. Is simply doing what she has been told. And C. Doesn’t know why you are still talking?!
She basically sent her away and I had to stop the woman from leaving and ask her if she could please just sit down and wait and promised her I would get to the bottom of it. There was no way I was sending her home without contacting everyone I could to find out what needed to be done. I’m not that kind of person. Even if it’s not my job I will try and help, and personally I don’t consider it a bad quality to have.
I spoke to her new manager and organised her induction and got everything sorted. That was fine.
What got me so fired up was the woman I work with getting on her high horse and acting all high and mighty. It was so disrespectful, so abrupt, so rude and honestly embarrassing. I don’t care who she is, what her title is or how much she gets paid. No one deserves to be spoken to like that.
I apologised profusely to the new staff member for her behavior and I’m almost positive she would have overheard. I shouldn’t be judgmental but as a woman who is in her 50’s and has a family and children and works a corporate job I honestly expected some social etiquette.
You see, I notice there’s a pattern. When they see someone as being ‘beneath’ them, they feel as though they can treat that person disrespectfully. It’s not how I operate. They aren’t my morals and I’m done with sitting back and watching people be so unkind.
She phoned the casual’s manager (whom she had been slagging off earlier). I overheard all her lies about how she never intended letting the new girl leave and how she “was going to call her” etc. etc.
Maybe I should have let it be. I didn’t. I was so livid and disgusted with her, I wrote the manager an email detailing exactly what had happened and asked if she could also please apologise to her new staff member when she spoke to her.
My colleague thankfully packed up her laptop and left the office not long after. Oh YES, that was after she dramatically exaggerated by trying to remind me of the last time someone walked out with a laptop without having been inducted. Oh and “apparently” we had no details of them either (no address/phone number etc. – we hire hard core criminals you see *insert eye roll*). I corrected her (which clearly she didn’t appreciate) about how yes, I did remember but we did have their details because the agencies always have these people’s details (or HR) and the laptop had been assigned to them. They simply didn’t have an induction prior to leaving the premises. I also made a comment about how I would never let someone leave without calling the agency or their contact at our company and wasting their time.
Let me be real here and although I might emphasize these words as I type them I spoke to her calmly and politely. I wasn’t rude to her. I didn’t try and belittle her in any way. I simply stated my piece and left it be. Her personality type doesn’t take ownership for their actions. In her eyes she did nothing wrong.
We are not a department store. We don’t have laptops lying around that random people come and collect. No one wakes up, drives to our company thinking oh I think I’ll work for [insert company name here] and walks in, collects belongings and leaves. Perhaps that happens elsewhere. No hunny, not here.
My boss was enlightened about the situation and I apologised to the agency because people like her and their attitudes and overall demeanor are the reason we don’t get sent “quality” people or are the reason we can’t retain temporary staff. Would you want to work in a workplace that housed these kinds of personalities? I think not.
My children fight a lot. They adore each other but they fight. I make them apologise and give each other a cuddle to break the ice and then we have a little debrief. Yes, they are 2 and 4 years old but they are old enough to understand.
I usually ask 2 questions:
1. Do you think that was kind?
2. Do you think [insert wrong doing here e.g. pushing your brother/sister] made [insert child’s name] heart happy or sad?
Can I tell you that every time I ask those questions my mini humans know what’s right and wrong. I can see in their faces that they feel remorseful when they realise how their actions caused the other to feel.
In that moment today I wanted to shake her, because kindness isn’t rocket science. And then I stopped and pitied her because if she doesn’t understand kindness at her age what hope does she have in this lifetime.
Maybe I take things too personally. Maybe her actions won’t affect this stranger, but to someone else it could have.
When I see someone’s ego/mean girl come out it’s not a pretty site. Maybe she felt proud of herself for showing up this poor woman. To the rest of us it just showed us the ugly side of her we know all too well.
My intention of writing this is not to shame her. Yes, I’m fuelled by anger at how she handled this situation but my hope is that everyone takes a step back and evaluates how they handle a situation. Watch your tone, your body language and how you articulate things because it’s so easy to be kind.
Don’t let your emotions take over your attitude and cause you to bring someone else down. Put that ego aside and Just. Be. KIND.