Humiliated – Part Deux


Brooke;
Oh, you are so smart! Here I go, Revised Version;

Humiliated At Work
Dear Brooke;
I love you and I love that you have the guts to do the Stop OverEating and Stop OverDrinking courses. I’ve been working for years on my self-esteem, which was not great.
(was not great, is much, much better. Trying to do Fierce Self-Love. Stuck on ‘fierce’.)
I was hypnotizing myself into believing what criticisms I heard, although I got a tremendous amount of praise for accomplishment too.
(In the past I based how I felt on someone else’s reaction to me.)
I have always known that perfectionists are making an excuse to not turn in work, and it isn’t “high standards”, but another name for self-loathing. (I believe this one.)
I do a really great job at work. I do.
(I do).
And, like every human, sometimes I make mistakes. I have tried all my life to learn to not beat myself up, to be aware of my value, and how I don’t have to earn love and the right to respect myself.
(Lifetime curriculum, I swear)
My boss did something a few weeks ago that has been so hard for me to work around.
(that I have fixated on and made into Mt. Vesuvius).
She took a small error I made (and believe me when I say I am the FIRST to admit mistakes and feel bad about it) and went into a fit over it.
(She was upset about a mistake I made. She called a meeting to say she was upset.)
She called a special meeting to rave at me and tell me that I was just ‘forbidden’ to ever, ever, ever do that again! (It was a typo).
(She said that. She was showing that SHE had an issue beyond what was apparent.)
I was so shocked at the inappropriateness I had a hard time even believing she was serious.
(I was surprised.)
But she kept on with it, and she made something my fault that wasn’t my fault.
(She told me the mistake was very very important and it caused lots of phone calls back and forth with “Important People”)
Then she got mad again and was acting like I burned the place down.
(She repeated her point by calling me and telling me on the phone. She also repeated it by telling my direct supervisor to tell me I had made a very significant error and to ….well I don’t know what she wanted for sure.)
There was another task we do along with my mistake task, and I had done that correctly. I did not even make a mistake that time, it was just her wish to be fault-finding.
(I did that task correctly. She said it was a very important task. I tried to interrupt her to ‘explain’. She told me to stop talking.)
Then, again, she made a point of sending out a memo that we all were not to make this particular mistake, and that it was incredibly important (bolded and underlined) to not ever make this mistake!
(She repeated her message to my entire team.)
OK, OK, I get it, I heard you.
I have been gifted with some awareness with this experience – I’m not as healed as I thought I was.
(I had a flood of feelings and it was difficult for me to not be distracted.)
I have been nervous and jumpy and having trouble sleeping, and a very hard time working.
(Years ago, pre-Brooke and pre-enlightenment, I would have been dysfunctional. I was upset, but not coo-coo. Vast Improvement)
This is just proof that managers should not slam their employees and especially not needlessly. (No facts here)
I am a valued and valuable employee, and have been for 10 years.
(true)
However, she has shown how she can hound and harass me into misery.
(She pointed out an error I made. Repeated the pointing out. Called and pointed it out. Emailed to my entire team to say ‘be careful and don’t do this’)
I’ve wondered why in the world she would be so cruel, but she just thinks she is being a “stickler for quality”. This is exactly the type of thing that I thought I had learned my way out of. (Lots of angst here, eh?)
I know it is her business how she behaves, not mine.
(true)
I know she is not the one who tells me what I’m worth.
(true)
I know she is troubled, and many people steer clear of her for just these type of reasons.(Irrelevant)
I drew a boundary last week and asked her to stop speaking to me in a condescending tone. (Her emails were littered with “You may not(bolded font and underlined)… ” and “You must not (bolded and underlined) do….” I feel like a fool for getting my feelings hurt.)
(I know it is hard work keeping ahold of your attitude. I know I have gained enormously more skill at this than I used to have. It is understandable to want to be perfect, but that isn’t human. I would not ask nor expect anyone to be perfect.)
After 10 years of doing a great job, I know going to HR would be an unpleasant trip because I would feel like a whiny child.
(Step One is always ‘try to work it out with the person involved’. I had not been able to talk because she insisted I don’t. Can’t work things out without talking. Something is taking up bandwidth for her.)
That’s what I would tell someone else to do though. (Big Girl Panties time.)
The problem is that I did make a mistake!
(true)
But her response is completely over the top.
(Her response was her response. I’m making meanings out of it.)
I realize that I’m actually demanding that she be different than she is, and that she behave in the way I want her to. Of course that doesn’t work!
(My manual for her has several volumes and updates.)
It has just been disappointing to feel so crushed by unfair criticism after all the self-esteem work I’ve done.
(I have done Self-Esteem work. This happened. That’s all.)
I thought I was tougher than that.
(I have given meaning to neutral events.)
Could you comment on my Models?
C: Boss complained and chastised me several times about a mistake.
(Boss pointed out a mistake I made.)
T: This is humiliating, and she shouldn’t be allowed to do this
(She is her own person and she is in charge of what she does, not me.)
F: Hurt , embarrassed, angry
(It sounds like I believed what she said. But I don’t. But I’m acting like I do.)
A: Withdraw, be nervous about work, spend all my own time writing models and crying
(not the way I choose to show up in the world.)
R: Being miserable and not doing great work either
(Well, Duh.)
What I would like instead
C: Boss criticized me over a mistake.
(Boss pointed out a mistake)
T: I know I do a good job. I know she is overblowing this so there must be something about this that makes it especially important to her.
(My mistake was important to her in a way I don’t understand. I am responsible for my attitude as well as my performance.)
F: Slightly guilty (except nobody is perfect!)
(compassion is what I want to feel.)
A: Let her blow her pipes out, apologize once.
(apologize in a way that she believes about being more careful.)
R: Continue to be cautious at work.(continue to do the kick-ass work I already do.)
-Lila