Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keep Your Friends Close - And Your Enemies Closer

Posted by Anonymous.

I first met Lorna when we were both in labour in the hospital. She had her daughter two hours before I had my son, and that really set the tone for our friendship.

Being friends with Lorna was like going back to high school and having the most popular, pretty girl suddenly decide she wants you as a friend. You can't really understand why, you're not part of the popular set, but you're too flattered to really think it through and wonder if being friends with her is a good idea.

As the years passed we would get together every now and then, but it's not something I really enjoyed - Lorna was always so perfect in every way, and she loved to let me know it. She could be alternately interesting and wonderful, then turn patronizing and mean. Slowly our friendship dwindled until we stopped seeing one another altogether.

Then she phoned me out of the blue - she was interviewing for my old job and wanted the real scoop on my boss. I told her to steer clear and she did. A couple years later I was looking for a job close to home, so I phoned her and asked whether her place was hiring. She informed me that it wasn't at that time, and that I would not be paid well with my experience anyway. Then a few months later she called me and said there was an opening, and I should drop off my resume. I did so and was hired very quickly.

It was strange working with Lorna - again, she alternated between being my best buddy and trying to embarass me. I made more money than her because I had post-secondary education, which she did not. She let me know on more than one occassion that this urked her, even though she could easily have chosen to attain her designation as well. I remember failing an exam once and her asking me if I was ashamed. This was the type of person she was. She also had her little group of people she liked and if you didn't belong to this group, beware. She had a charm that made everyone want to be her friend, but there was a price to pay. She once told me "keep your friends close and your enemies closer".

She worked very closely with one of the bosses - it became very apparent after a while that they were having an affair (they were both married). Finally, they decided to leave the company and open their own place. After a few months they asked me to join them - I was wary but thought it could be a good move for me career wise. So I made the move. On my first day there I knew I was doomed - the boss (her now boyfriend) told me that he was not "kicking Lorna out of her office" (apparently there was only one office - I had no idea he would need to ask her to vacate it, this was just the terms of our agreement) nor did he have any work for me (yet this was the day we both agreed I would start). I was very upset and he could see it, so he quickly found some work and asked Lorna to move.

At one point on my first day I asked Lorna if there was a spare calendar I could have - she abruptly told me she was not my secretary and that I would have to find one myself but that the firm would not pay for it.

I struggled along for 5 months telling myself it would get better, and then my father-in-law had a heart attack. He was dying and I needed to be at the hospital. I phoned my boss and he was completely supportive and told me to take the next week off. I also had an exam to write which I had been studying months for - my husband urged me to write the exam even with all the upset that was going on. They day of the exam (3 days after my father-in-law passed away), Lorna phones me at home to ask why I wasn't at work and that piles of work were building up and that the boss was not happy about it. I immediately told Lorna I wanted to talk to the boss, and she said he was out of the office and would call me back. He called back 2 hours later and said that he completely supported that Lorna called me and what she said. I was speechless! When I asked him about the fact he and I agreed that it would be ok for me to be off for a while to help with the funeral arrangements and write the exam, he just kept repeating that he supported Lorna.

I knew my time was done there, and I came into the office and told him so. I finished there a week later and the boss at my old firm, which is upstairs in the same building, immediately offered me my old job back. I took it - that was 4 years ago and I couldn't be happier that I did. But here's the problem - whenever I see Lorna on the street, she pretends I don't exist. She came upstairs to our firm to drop off a piece of mail and I said hello and she gave me the most evil look. Later I received an email from her stating that "she knew who I really was and to not pretend otherwise".

Keep in mind I left there four years ago. The anger and bitterness that pours off this woman is unbelievable. I know she must be desperately unhappy to act this way. Recently I was crossing the street with my business partner and she was coming towards us - she looked up and said "hello Pat" to him and didn't acknowledge me at all.

This makes it quite uncomfortable every time I see her, which is often because we work in the same building. There is no way I want to be friends with her, but to just live in harmony would be welcome. Should I continue to say hello when I see her (which is what I have been doing, in spite of the fact she completely ignores me). I have no intention of talking to her about this, it just wouldn't work. She dislikes me to my very core because I chose to leave. I guess I'm the exception to her "keep your enemies closer" rule....it's a weird experience as an adult having someone act this way towards you.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is very high school - I would keep doing what you're doing - it makes you the better person. Her actions just scream "jealousy" so it is her problem, not yours. She is not a friend, and really never was...

Anonymous said...

I think you should do what makes you most comfortable in your own skin. Your continuing to be civil to her is very upstanding, but if it doesn't work for you, I'd cut it out. I work with someone who is similarly toxic and plays mindgames. A couple of months ago I quit trying with her-- no more good morning, have a good weekend, etc. You know what? I feel so much more genuine not acknowleging her and I couldn't give a whit what she thinks any more. (Okay, it took me a couple of weeks to get over it, but it worked!)

Jill said...

I wouldn't waste any more time or energy on her. If she wants to be petty, so be it. You can't do anything to change it or her. It's pathetic, really, that a grown woman would act that way, and if you look at it from that perspective and try not to take it personally, I think you'll be better off. I don't think you need to worry about being nice to her or having a civil relationship, even if you do work in the same building. I would just look at her as a non-entity in your life. Because I'm sure she gets some kind of perverted pleasure out of thinking you're upset by the way she's treating you. Ignore her and hopefully she'll go away!

witchypoo said...

I actually take a perverse pleasure in making sure to say hi to someone who does not acknowledge me. I'm pretty chirpy about it, too.

Anonymous said...

Please give yourself a break and pretend Lorna doesn't exist.
It's sad that she is obviously so miserable in her own life that trying to make you as miserable makes her happy and satisfied.
She's acting like a 5 year old child.
You've done nothing wrong.
Ame in TN

Gattina said...

If she is happy or not that's not your problem. I think you have done enough. Continue to say hello if you like, but ask her before why she never answers !

RuthWells said...

My dear friend Sheila has a wonderful phrase -- "Be sure that your are complete in your own integrity." You did nothing wrong in this situation, and your integrity is intact. Say hello to her if you would feel weird not to, but leave it at that.

selzach said...

I had a Lorna in my life, too. We met in college and were great friends until we became housemates. After several bizarre arguments and some other weird stuff she began alternating between being pissy with me and completely ignoring me.

If I bumped into her at school, she would pointedly ignore me while acknowledging anyone else in our presence. I loved greeting her with a chipper "Hi, J!" Her face would contort into such a sour puss just before she'd turn away. Other than that I ignored her.

There's no reasoning with someone like that. You did all you could to be civil. I'd do whatever feels most comfortable to you.

Anonymous said...

She doesn't sound like she is worth fretting over. If she ever showed any sort of repentance, I would say that reconciliation would be a good idea. I cannot STAND the thought of someone not liking me, so this could be the pot calling the kettle black! But honestly, why let her get to you?! She is the one with the problem, just don't pay any attention.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have a saying in our house: You can't fight Crazy. You can't. You can try, but you'll never win. It's best to let Crazy exist in Crazy's own little world and pray that one day, karma exacts some swift and terrible justice and Crazy finally gets what's coming to them.

Hayley said...

I have an aunt who is just like Lorna. My poor mother had to grow up with her.

Like some of the PPs said, I'd just pretend she doesn't exist. It's fun to keep saying hi to her and yes it makes you the bigger person, but every time you do, her reaction is going to continue to upset you. For your sake (because you don't give a rat's ass about hers), just act like she's not there.

Unless she's forced to converse with you about business matters, if that's possible... then you politely respond as if she were a stranger. You can't let it get in the way of your job.

Good luck! I'd be your friend if I knew you and I'd make fun of her for your entertainment!

Tabitha said...

I'd say it's not worth it. If she is going to persist in being completely immature, your saying hello will just further instigate her rudeness. It wouldn't be at all inappropriate for you to walk right past her without saying a word. I wouldn't stoop as low as she does and make any nasty faces or anything, and if there IS a situation where she acknowledges you, say hi back, and at least be civil. But to keep on trying to be friendly will only fuel her ridiculous reactions.

motherbumper said...

She's not worth wasting your time over, not one moment more. If she can't even act professional, it isn't worth spending any more energy worry about it. Stay professional, be the mature person, and hold your head high.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine why you even care...I certainly would not! Just ignore her, she is not worth even the time you took to write this letter.

Lottifish said...

I think you're doing the right thing. Just keep saying "hi," nothing more. She's the one that looks like a food when she doesn't respond, not you.

Anonymous said...

Keep living well-- it is the best revenge. I know revenge is not what you are actually trying to get, but the happier you are, the more professionally cordial you are, it only elevates you in everyone else's eyes. I suspect that the fact that your old boss hired you back so quickly means that you are held in good esteem, and she might not be as "charming" or as "liked" as it seems. Surely with her way of treating people, others have felt as uneasy about her as you have. Keep doing what you are doing and try not to give her a second thought.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone - this is the OP. Thanks to all for taking the time to read my post - all of your comments have really meant a lot and I plan on doing what all advise - no longer wasting any time on this. I just plan on ignoring her whenever I see her.

Lottifish - I had to laugh at your comment typo - Lorna does look like a food - she looks like a sour lemon!

adriana said...

Ignore the bitch and move on. What a jerk! Nothing you can do about this one - just do what everyone suggested and don't waste time on her. Your life is in a good place, so she can screw off!

twelvekindsofcrazy said...

Wow, I just got rid of a Lorna--this was so well put--"again, she alternated between being my best buddy and trying to embarass me."
It's such a mind fuck. And it's so hurtful.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. But believe me, my gal Karma is REAL, and she is very, very bitchy.

Anonymous said...

That witch is obviously very insecure in her own skin as well as extremly jealous of you. Obviously, she was upset when she was moved from her office by her boss/boyfriend. I would just ignore her from now on, it simply isn't worth your energy. Don't allow her to make you feel bad, you did nothing wrong and even went out of your way to be nice/civil to her. It's time to move on.