Thursday, February 21, 2013

Testosterone Refuge and The Wash Out

I really dislike being yelled at.  Which I feel is normal for most people (you don't enjoy being yelled at.. do you??).  But I'm getting used to it.
I am actually getting good at it! I remember to stop letting the insults and feelings get sucked into my lungs where they hammer against my chest and make my heart hurt.  Instead, I focus on the yeller's forehead becoming dewy with sweat, the way their nostrils flare, and generally how ridiculous they look or sound. 

I am becoming pro at this whole "being yelled at" because of a co-worker in my department that thrives on this stuff.  She is one of those "loud and proud" big girls that thinks being in her 30s in a department that is mostly younger than her puts her in charge.  Even though she has been passed up for promotions twice and I have authority over her.
That infuriates her and fuels her desire to yell at me, as a way of grasping at the power she doesn't have.  In a way, I sympathize with her, and how limited she must feel her options are.

But my sympathy quickly evaporates when I come into the office in a buoyant mood on a Thursday morning and am greeted by her shouting and literally pointing her finger at me--jabbing it into the air as if she can push the molecules into my face.
And she does it in front of the entire department to get attention and use it to her advantage; she loves intimidation and her wicked little plan is working.  At this point, I am the only one in my department (including my boss) that will stand up to her.

And yet, it is exhausting.
It interferes with my work and my mood, even when I try to put up a wall.

After her shrieking at me the second I took off my coat, I went downstairs to "get a coffee."
In all truth, downstairs is what I consider my TR.  Testosterone Refuge.

There are 2 guys in my entire department, which currently has 15 people.
And one of the guys thrives so much on the gossip, and helps propagate it, that I count him as a woman, and therefore part of the problem.
We have an excess of estrogen.  And also too many Alpha Dogs (well Alpha Bitches... to use the tecnhical and also accurate term) in my department.  There isn't just the personal gossip and snarky attitudes going on that any women in the workplace have; there is hard-core slander that threatens all of our jobs, and professional sniping.  It even negatively impacts the work we do and therefore gives our department (which is entirely new) a bad reputation.  There are whispers about all of us being dumped overboard so the company can completely rebuild our department.  That is how bad it is.

I work on the Second Floor.  It is teeming with women.
But the first floor, where my husband works, it is mostly men (especially in the Information Tech department that he works in).  And I can breathe the free air down there!
I've always been more comfortable with guys, and considering we hang out with a lot of them on the weekends, it is always refreshing to my spirit to sneak down the back stairwell.
I grab a cup of coffee from my buddy who grinds and brews his own, since the stuff the company provides is absolute crap.  He formed an official Coffee Clutch.  It is serious business.

Then I make the rounds and chat with a few people, and pretty soon my faith is restored and I am ready to march back up to my desk and let the sniping bitches and their attitudes roll off my back like so much water.
Then the head of the Help Desk grabs my eye, as I am ready to hop back upstairs.
We talk about some issues that have been going on, which have been complicated by the bullshit in my department.
He tells me, "wait for the wash out."  I don't know what he is talking about, and as he elaborates, I get it: all of the drama and bullshit can't last.  There will always be new drama and bullshit, but in the end, it all washes out.  Each day is a new day and there will always be a wash out, though it takes time.  Soon all of this animosity and pettiness will be like a wash--a dried out riverbed with only the memory of water.  Which is why I have included photos of washes in this post.
 I know I am not describing this as clearly as I understand it in my mind, but I am going to make that my new term: "Wait for the Wash Out."  It is like "the light at the end of the tunnel" or the "silver lining"... but fresher!

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