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15 October 2009 @ 11:07 am
Today is not the day.  
So, there is this woman at work. She's sort of like the den mother - she organizes birthday lunches and "takes care" of everyone, but she's also sort of up in everyone's business about it, you know? She's fine with all the joking and inappropriate conversation so long as she initiates it, and she wants her opinion on things heard. But the minute you disagree with her, she gets upset - dollars to donuts, she's in the lunchroom talking about you behind your back.

My friend M (a guy who's a longtime friend, he actually got me this job) calls her "dangerous" an "EEO incident waiting to happen" and avoids her at all costs. As a woman, I'm not really worried, and I don't mind her, most of the time. i just don't deal with her much. I keep my head down at work, and don't usually express my personal opinion, anyway.

That being said, this morning a co-worker left work because his f-in-law is in hospice, and he got word time had finally come. So he left to be with his wife, obviously, and we were talking about getting him some flowers and a card, and discussion ensued about how long he might be out - this week, obviously, would he be back Monday? Etc. And this woman kept saying something about a Memorial service, and of course there would be one, so he'd probably be out Monday. And my boss said "Maybe. Not everyone has them. My Uncle didn't." And she says "I don't want one when I go." And I stupidly opened my mouth and said "Everyone should have one." And she said, rather belligerently, "Well, I don't want one." (This from the woman who argued not two minutes ago with my boss that OF COURSE co-worker and his family would be having one, as though it was the only option.) Having opened this can of worms, I said, "Well, the memorial service isn't for the dead. It's for the living left behind."

And she instantly got all pissed off and said "The service is for whoever is gone, and if they don't want one, it shouldn't happen."

I was sort of stunned at the vehemence of her response. I said "The person is dead. The only people at the service are living. It's for them to come together and share their grief and memories, to find closure so they can move on."

At which point she turned her back to me and said "I'm done talking about this."

And my boss said, almost at the same time "This isn't an appropriate conversation for the workplace."

Later, he came and apologized, and said he could tell that conversation was going nowhere good, so he thought it best to end it.

Which is good, cause I'm like, oh it's not appropriate?? Kind of like it's not appropriate when she wants to talk about some contractor she's hot and bothered about, or about co-worker A's abs, or co-worker B's love life? Or, it's perfectly okay to make fun of this other guy over here, because he wants to date her but she thinks he's gross, or talking about everyone else behind their back. When she whispers, I wonder if she's talking about ME, because I know she talks about everyone else, that's the type of person she is.

Granted, I should have let it go and not continued the discussion. But having lost my father and now my grandmother, I have some pretty strong opinions about death. Like the time back before Mark and I were even dating, and his grandfather passed away. He was really "off" that night in class, and later a friend of mine went on this tirade, about how he shouldn't allow things outside of class to affect him while he's teaching, and I lost it all over her, and went on a rant about how when she's lost someone close to her, then she can come back and talk about it. Until then, she shouldn't judge anyone else on how they deal with it.

Death is not a neatly confined instance. It has ripples that affect your entire life.

And today is really not the day, not when I already have a migraine and my tolerance is correspondingly low.
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Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
 
 
 
Dragonsinger: Grace - Erinyadragonsinger on October 15th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry the subject got out of hand. I wonder why she was so against it. Maybe she thinks no one will want to remember her. (((HUGS)))
(Anonymous) on October 17th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
From Paula:
Knowing you like I do. I am SURE this gal talks about you behind your back. You are simply too wonderful for her not to be jealous in some way. She is probably trying to think of any little negative thing she can dream up to talk about. Poor sad thing is lacking in some self esteem and looks to try to break others down so she can feel big. Not very original I know, but sadly way too many have become too lazy to be complex.

The more she talks about you, the more you should feel flattered. Anyone who spends 2.2 minutes with you knows what a treasure you are.

Yes, memorial services and funerals are for the living. It is rather selfish to think it is all about oneself when they die.