No big deal, right? But see we don't work at a nail salon, or a restaurant or any other semi-casual setting in which name calling occurs on a regular basis, like it's no big deal. We work for a privately owned investment company run by a small number of general partners, that in another life worked as lawyers, business men, or IT geniuses. There is a total workforce of about 70 people in all. There is an upstairs floor and a downstairs floor, with a working elevator. There are several meeting rooms with black leather chairs straight out of any 90's era movie about Wall Street. There is a tasteful lobby entrance with glass doors and a marble countertop.
I work downstairs, nestled in the back corner of a cubicle farm. I have business cards, my own direct number, a company email address, and even a gold plastic nameplate. I talk to investors, financial advisors, and financial institutions from New York to Hawaii, from 9am to 6pm, 5 days a week. If I had called someone a b*tch, it was a HUGE deal.
Almost like breaking an expensive china plate after your grandmother just told you how prized and prestigious and absolutely one-of-a-kind this plate was. You gently reach out to make earthly contact with this gleaming, pristine artifact held securely in place against the wall, way up high where no clumsy child or rowdy toddler could ever hope to reach it. Then your fat, stupid finger pokes it just a little too hard and the thing falls to the floor where it shatters in a million pieces.
Its not just about the damage that was done, as you did or said something utterly regrettable. Its that the picture of you as a honest person with integrity is obliterated as well. It's doesn't matter who I was talking about, if I was regretful or not. It was the fact that I was using such language in any context, out loud. Me, the person paid to be the voice of the company, dealing with investments and loans. For the most part of my day, I spoke in a respectful and comprehensive manner to sweet investors in their 60's and 70's.
But that girl was a b*tch.
I couldn't attribute my lack of conduct to stress, a full workload, or any type of personal issues. Work was slow! I had just returned from vacation visiting my sister and the first ever grandbaby. My little nephew, only 6 weeks old! The weekend went great! I went to a craft beer musical festival on Saturday with friends and hung out by myself on Sunday. At my own house where I watched paranormal ghost hunting shows all day, stopping only to pick up some Thai food takeout and a Tecate tallboy at a gas station mini-mart. I had even briefly flirted with the cashier, joking about the fact that I was well over 21 when he carded me. I had my act together. I was feeling like a fly, fresh, female, out and about or kicking back at my place. My own freaking house. A shiny glided plate gleaming up high on the wall.
So what the hell was I doing Monday? What the hell was I thinking? I didn't think she would hear me. She called me on my extension, on the speaker, so I didn't have to pick up the receiver. AND I thought she had already hung up on her end.
So maybe my illusion that a perfect weekend would bring a good work week was false. I had definitely knocked myself back a peg or two at work. Women hating on women? Unbelievable. I should have handled that better. The walls have ears. Ultimately it blew over.
I work with all women and have never had an issue before in my six years. So why now?
It may have been because we don't work face to face, this particular co-worker and me. She is the voice in my ear everyday, telling me, "you have another call". This only gets annoying when you finish a particularly difficult call. Any time I take responsibility and pledge my first born to fix an Investor's account that has gone FUBAR. "Yes, ma'am, my apologies. I will get started on this right away. I realize this has caused many hassles. I will fix this ASAP!" Then when I hang up, she sends me another call right away. When I ask her to take a message, she says, "I'm busy, I can't." This is okay the first time but time after time after time? Yeah, no. I ain't having this.
Monday was just too fresh. Too fresh after my fly, freewheeling weekend. Like "ugh, this again?" Not uhh but UGH. With a hard, sticky G in the there. The "ugh" that hangs in the back of your throat. Not an apathetic "uhh" with it's multitude of uses, ambiguous in every way. But two steps up. An "UGH". Two syllables, woman! Ugh! That b*tch! The b*tch that did me in.
Later my ninjas.