Lament of the Introverted
Having now observed GM's behavior for the better part of three weeks I have now come to some conclusions that will help me in the future when I am a 'real' person with a 'real' job. For whatever reason, after the first day on the job GM, like any good bully, has decided to take my quiet nature for weakness and has acted accordingly. In other words, all of these outbursts and downright obnoxious behavior is because she feels as though she can get away with it. And so far she has. I think for the most part after being out of the 'real' world for so long I had the naive belief that in a professional workplace the manager of an art gallery should act like a manager; not a spoiled, obnoxious five-year-old with the impulse control of a goldfish.
While putting up the new exhibit on Saturday I worked with GM the Director and about six other volunteers/students and now that I am forewarned about her I decided to watch her accordingly. Not one outburst, not one snark, she acted politely with everyone else and for the most part ignored me. These incidents of her shrieking at me and being overly sharp and blunt have all taken place when it was just the two of us. The question is now what is to be done about it? Like all introverted people I only realize what should be done or said after the bully has humiliated me. That on Thursday when she screeched at me for something so incredibly stupid as handwriting numbers instead of printing them I should have said (at the very least) 'there isn't any need to shout'. But as it were I was so stunned, so floored that an adult would act like this that I didn't say anything and probably made the situation worse.
Worse enough to where I actually dreamed about being in a courtroom and sueing her, right after I defamed her character in a most satisfying way.
So now I have an afterburn effect; after the shock of being humiliated has worn off I'm pissed off. Who the hell does she think she is to treat me like this? Why am I so slow and stupid at snapping back at people who deserve it? I feel like an idiot and I've got resentment building up towards her. I thought I stopped repressing emotions; I don't want to go agro on her and beat her with a garbage can or something. Or, more likely, release all my pent up anger in one fatal outburst causing a huge scene with GM and more than likely getting me fired (from volunteering, ha ha) ending with me looking like an over emotional idiot who overreacts to things. So now I plan to go about this logically and coolly (I hope; I do admit I have had trouble with strong emotions in the past. Like when I get mad, I get really mad. My brother once observing I had 'murder eyes' when he pressed my buttons once too many)
This girl is an idiot. She has no experience in the world, she gossips, she's late, she makes as many mistakes as I do but notice I don't bite her head off for it. She isn't worth much of my emotion but I do have to work with her occaisionally. The trick is to walk the line of being assertive without making a scene. Be forceful enough for her to get the point that I'm not going let her walk all over me anymore without getting into a shouting match. I have to dredge up all of my memories and skill of my customer service days where bitchy tourists were par for the course and I developed a lovely detached, polite attitude that got me through the day. I have to remember how I did that (I'm thinking that a lot of it was that after I got through dealing with these idiots I would never see them again, so that helped in remaining calm). This is slightly different; she's the manager for whom I work for so there is no escaping her BUT I don't want her walking all over me anymore. There is seriously absolutely NO reason for her to behave like that towards me. It's unacceptable, unprofessional and I'm tired of dealing with it.
So, self, this week we are working on assertiveness; when she brings out the attitude you need snap back or at least speak up. and not beat her over the head with a garbage can.