I wish the world was populated by less self-absorbed jackasses. I think living through a traumatic experience that I didn’t actually believe I’d get through in one piece has boosted my empathy, and also my patience…a little.
My supervisor allowed me to work from home a couple days a week in the months following Jason’s death, and especially around the holiday season which I found incredibly difficult. Most of my coworkers were very supportive and even covered my office window with wrapping paper since my office resembles more of a display case in a pet store than a real office. There are no such things as blinds or privacy where I work so I welcomed the ability to cry and scowl in private behind festive paper designed to look like a wrapped present on those days I had to be in the office.
Of course there is one self-absorbed coworker who lacks any type of empathy or emotional intelligence. In fact I think this person is the antithesis of all potentially good character qualities someone could posses. She lacks all of them. Every single one. Today she was whining about her situation and I mentioned that perhaps the solution would be to work from home a day or two a week. Her snotty and sarcastic response was “No, only you are allowed to work from home.” I quickly replied in a hostile tone that the reason I had been permitted to work from home for a few months is because I was going through a rough patch due to my husband dying suddenly and having a hard time coping with it, especially during the holidays when everyone around me is shooting reindeer and glitter out their backsides.
We’ve recently been asked to use a new communication and feedback tool called SBI which stands for Situation-Behavior-Impact. Here’s an example of how this technique might work:
Me: Yesterday when you came into my office and made the rude comment about me being the only person allowed to work from home (keep in mind this was only the end of last year for a few months) I felt very offended. What you said was completely insensitive given my situation and the reason surrounding my permission to work from home temporarily. The impact this self-absorbed behavior had on me was very negative because I don’t think for one second you would like to trade places with me, even if it meant you could work from home. Trust me, working in my pajamas is a crappy consolation prize considering I’ll never see my husband again. The fact that you felt that was unfair shows you lack character and empathy towards others and I believe you are a self-centered bitch.
Asshole Coworker: Doesn’t say anything but stomps off in anger straight to our supervisor’s office so she can tell her how her feelings are hurt and I am a mean person for standing up for myself.
Supervisor: Renee, come into my office. And then I get in trouble for calling someone out who completely deserves to be told what I think of her behavior and lack of compassion.
Can anyone see how this SBI technique is a complete failure when dealing with someone who has the emotional “me, me, me” capacity of a two-year old? Yeah, it will go over like a ton of fruit cake, which by the way she is not getting one from me this year even though I always get her one during my dreaded trips to Costco. If I get her a fruit cake then it will be lodged in a very uncomfortable orifice on her person which may require medical attention. I’m really irritated and needed to vent.
The point is that most everyone understands but there’s always that one dick who hasn’t yet received the memo about life not being fair. Get over it.
End Rant. Thanks for listening