Jealousy in the TW Workplace?

Subject: Jealousy in the TW Workplace?
From: false <diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 08:07:38 -0800 (PST)

What is it about this field that seems to bring out the worst in people? Or so it seems. Maybe it is all fields. Come to think of it it may be just everywhere.
 
How many of you have had the experience of someone ust "coming after you" and you have not done a thing to them? This has happened to me and to 3 other TWs I have known. And people in the education field. You start the job and someone you don't even know, have not even had any interaction with except to be introduced to, suddenly you notice that they are, for lack of a better way to say it , "picking on you." You search your mind trying to think of what you could have donebad to this person and come up with nothing. But they go on an all out attack - to try to discredit you every chance they get. And/or they are rude to you - and you notice it is directed at you. It's like they are obsessed with you or something.
 
This has heppend to me twice and to other TWs I have known. It is really weird and you know the funny thing - it reminds me of in elementary school - that mean kid who just pipes up and starts picking on you.
 
The last time it happened, it was a this woman who just went on an all out attack. She stops me IN THE LADIES ROOM and wryly asks me about the email my boss had sent describing my background. "Do you REALLY have that background? I thought you didn't have that many years doing x" etc. Asking in an ostensibly nice way but I knew what she was driving at. I can't even take a ^&#% without this woman bothering me. I shoould point out - she had been doing tech writing a while  but her position there was JUNIOR tech writer and I was the supervisor of a department closely aligned - I did tech writing but for a different division. She had the same attitude toward the senior tech writer - also much younger than she.
 
Then we go out to lunch (two departments). EVERY TIME I opened my mouth - especially to make some point about TW, she pipes up and says "No that is not true." "I don't believ you" and looks at me with this nasty look.  Really flatly, nastily. Even the other people at the table noticed it - they were taken aback because we are all enjoying ourselves and laughing with a light feeling, then i say something to contribute and she turns to me and attacks - like basically trying to call me an idiot. (And I know I was rig\ht BTW)
 
The most recent one was - I was talking to a secretary at my cubicle who was having trouble with something in Word - that master subdocument feature. I know from this list and from tons of research I have read that years ago that feature was buggy/user un-friendly- so I say this to the secretaryThis TW- comes RUNNING over across the walkway from her cubicle - she was not even a part of the conversation. "Well *I* got it to work." in a challenging way. I mean literally listening to my conversation and completely butting in, trying to once again "take me down a peg." I put my head down in my hand, laughed, and shook my head. I frankly had not used the feature myself, and it was not ME who could not get it to work. Also, the thing worked, it was just user unfriendly - in the past. No one is saying "it doesn't work." And thirdly of course we tech writers can do things other people can't - we do this every day. That is why my conversation was directed at the
secretary - actually no it was a marketing person. they dont' use more complex features like we do nor do they use things every day that we do.  But she of course thought it was an opportunity for her to take me down and peg like she had found something that she could do that she thought I couldn't. What she didn't know is that I had gotten that not from my personal experience, but from research on "frame versus word" - tons of documents - that I had to collect years ago to make an argumet for Frame. I never personally tried it.  Moreover, of course it WORKED. Microsoft is not I going to put something out that doesn't work. So what does her getting it to work prove? It was still known for beign buggy years ago - . And finally one person's experience proves nothing against a trend.
 
It was so obvious that this woman was obsessed with me - with taking me down a peg - it was just unreal. Butting in from all the way across the walkway running into my cubicle. What is it that makes a person act this way? She did the same thing to the senior tech writer. Just like she would take exception to everything I said and "hit me on the head with a hammer" he noticed her doig the same thign to him. He even tried an experiement. He said he said two opposite things to her on different days, to see if she would just take the opposing side - just to be contrary. Sure enough each time she took the opposing side - contradicting herself! He said to her one day 'You knwo this company policy is really good. I think it's a great idea. ' She states 'NO IT'S NOT - BLAH BLAH BLAH." Then, totally on purpose, about a week later, he coems to her and says "You know come to think of it, this company policy really sucks. It's really bad." Up she jumps to say "NOT
IT'S NOT - IT'S REALLY GOOD." He cracked up laughing. She just had to be contrary - and please note -= the way she would say it was this haugty, arrogant, rude way of saying it - really flat - like you could tell she was really making a concerted effort to effectively call you an idiot. lol
 
Years ago a person came after a friend of mine like that in the field of education. She had done nothing to him that any of us could see - she is super nice and most everyone liked her. The trouble came when she was promoted to be his boss .He went after her like you would not believe. The company (it was a private school) backed her totally - and eventually allowed her to fire him, thank God. One day in a  meeting she was telling the teachers that she needed to speak to some of them about their paperwork s it was not being done propoerly and she was tired of saying it. He jumped up and screamed at her in the middle of the meeting "Youre threatening me!!" moving his head from side to side etc. like a street person - like "getting bad with her" type thing.  Several teachers went to the Director telling him what had happened, not believing anyone would speak to their boss that way - or anyone that way for that matter. She had not done a thing to this
man. She would address him and he would ignore her - not answer. He was just nasty - all the time. He would fail to show up for her meetings - but then if the meeting was the Director's he would come. The Senior Director stated he felt that this man being Mexican and older had to do with it - liek he had a hard time reporting to a woman - and she was gringa too and was about the same age as his daughter. Truly none of us could see what she had done to him at all.  And he started this just after she got promoted - before that he had no problem with her.
 
This happened to me another time years before - I was very young - in my early 20's. I started a job and a woman I dont' even know came after me. She was saying things behind my back - insulting me, making faces at me. I didn't even know her. It was a secretary. I could not have done anything to her as I had almost never even talked to her. Then they made her OUR secretary. She started refusing to do my work - putting others' work ahead of mine. I told the boss and she got into trouble - she was caught red-handed. She starts crying and runs out of the room stating that she was a "victim of circumstance." (???) One day i went into the conference room to use the phone, to call my Dr. about some test results. The office was a bullpen - no privacy at all. Everyone used the conference room phoen to make short calls when necessary. My coworker told me she ran into my boss's office and said "She's using the conference room phone." He said my boss had said
"So what? Everyone uses it. She probably just needed to make a call. There is no privacy here and I know sometimes people have to make a private call" My corworker the one who told me of this, said he used it himself all the time - if he needed to make a call. She never said anything about him or anyone else. I swear I did nothing to this person - again we had had almost no interaction - how could I have?
 
I believe - this is my theory -  they are 20 years your senior and 3 ranks your junior, they are jealous and so , like that kid in grade school, they start picking on you - throwing stones, because it makes them feel better. I am also a minority (Latina)  - and very successful - with an Ivy education. I think this is part of it. This lady - the secretary - I was told she had done the same thing to another person when they first started and this person was black.
 
Has anyone had this experience?
 
Note - the overwhelming majority of work eperiences have been good. I have been told I "can get along with anyone" many times- that I have a "pleasant personality" etc. There were just 2-3 incidents. This does not characterize my overall work experience. But when it has happened it has been very upsetting. I swear it is like I see children do - just jump up and, day by day, regularly, pick on someone, throw stones at them, with like an obsession - like they are out to get you. Kind of like a bully for lack of a better word.
 
I dont' know - this type of person seems to proliferate in tech writing and maybe in education. Or maybe it just seems that way.
 
M



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