November 10, 2005

Toxic

"No, listen to me."

She was my officemate. Every time she speaks, she says that. It doesn't matter who she's talking to. For a time I thought I was a poor listener. I invested much of my time into being friends with her – getting to know her, going out for lunches, whispering nonsense at work, whining about work. I was na├»ve enough to think we were friends.

One day I overheard her talking to another officemate about me. They were laughing like crazy, not realizing I was close by. They looked at me guiltily then parted ways.

She loved to gossip. With her big mouth suited for being a tattletale, she was the ideal nosy parker who spent her days calling other people "stupid", mimics their gestures and makes fun of them. Along with complaints of having so much to do and so little time to do it. At first it seemed funny to me. She has this way of dragging you into a gossip fest without you realizing it.

"I swear to God this is true."

How can you not believe if she's even invoking God’s name?

Then I realized it wasn't anything I really want to be a part of. If she can make fun of other people that way, what's to stop her from making fun of me? She doesn't owe me her allegiance.

"Ah, you’re too young to know anything," she often tells me, "you don't know what a hard life I've had."

Sometimes when you're young, you trust completely, without question. Until proven otherwise, you believe in what's good.

And so I believed in my youth...how it excluded me from knowing anything from her, how she wouldn't share things with me because I was too young, how I wouldn't understand.

She only shared with me tales of atrocious work environments, mean people, jealous co-workers. No one can beat her when it comes to the things that she had undergone, is undergoing or will undergo in the great drama of day-to-day living. Every day I saw her at work, she made me feel guilty, heavy or negative.

Any achievement I have, she would belittle and downplay by telling me about her achievement. I could never do anything without her saying she’s done it too.

Then the inevitable happened at work. I was promoted. Before her. Her true colors came out.

She wanted the promotion so badly, she could taste it. She campaigned pretty hard to get it, telling people how she's a better worker than I am. But when she'd talk to me, she was as sweet as shoofly pie. I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

She'd ask if I heard of updates about the promotion. Then she'd say it didn't matter who got promoted as long as it's one of us. As long as they kept the promotion within the office, she'd be fine. She even told me that I should be promoted since I've been working in the office for AGES. That I deserved to be promoted as I've been working so hard.

She lied.

The day the promotion was announced, I went to tell her personally. She congratulated me then walked off in a huff, leaving me in disbelief.

She stopped talking to me...not just for a couple of days but for an entire month. Then news started reaching me how she was saying I was so arrogant after getting promoted. How I was rubbing her face in her defeat. How utterly immature and selfish I was.

Sometimes it takes us awhile to realize which friendships are healthy and which aren't. Sometimes we overestimate those who are older than us in years. We think that just because they're older, they're wiser and in effect, more mature than we can ever be.

She thinks I'm immature and selfish because if truth be told, that's how she is. She tells me I'm young so I will look up to her and listen to everything she says without question. Her blind follower.

It's only now that I realize that she says "no, listen to me" not because I do not listen to her, but because she feels no one's listening, that no one really cares what she thinks, nor does she think that what she's saying is important enough for people to pay attention to. She puts down people because it was the only way for her to feel better about herself.

She wants people to listen to her. She commands their attention. Yet at the end of the day, she still doesn't feel like they do. That's why by hook or by crook, by sheer force of will or otherwise, she will tell you to listen to her.

Luckily, I finally learned that I have a choice not to.
Thursday, November 10, 2005Cecilia1 comment

1 comments:

Pie said...

hi cesz! :) thanks for visiting my blog! :) link kita ha?

wag mo na lang pagaksayahan ng panahon ang loser mong officemate. :)