Friday, July 21, 2006

Alone

Even my wife, who has seen me go through several inter-personal issues at work with cantankerous co-workers, thinks I played this one just right. Usually I blow my top and the rest of the office wilts. There goes Scott again! Not this time though. My officemate du jour rubbed my fur till it stood on end, crackling with static, but I've kept my mouth shut--mostly. One by one, his attitude has estranged him from the others, in one creeping, slowly expanding concentric circle, the wake of which has finally reached the front office.

It's just a matter of time. Strangely, I feel bad for him. He lost his father when he was a young boy. He talks too much and too loud, sort of like I used to do. Why did I do that? Because I wanted attention I wasn't getting at home. Now he's likely to get canned, and as bad as I feel about that, there's nothing I want to do to stop it. If I were a man of God, I suppose I would talk to him now, give him some clue as to what's in store. Offer some advice, advice that might hurt now, but help him for the next job, or save him in this one. The man lost his father and I can see it in everything he does.

21 comments:

Bernita said...

I'm hard-hearted enough to think that, while such tragedies may explain, they do not excuse a lack of consideration for others.

fringes said...

He'll find another gig. It's not as though you started some false rumor that got him fired or planted heroin in his desk. That guy is his own responsibility as are we all. Wish him well and maybe help him carry his plants to the car.

mr. schprock said...

Let him learn things the hard way. Maybe the lesson will stick with the little creep this time.

Of course, I mean that in the kindliest way possible.

Flood said...

I've been a creep at a former place of work. I was younger, which I suppose provides some reason for it, but when I think back on those days I am totally embarrassed.

So hopefully some peace and maturity will slam this guy in the head. Good for you for not giving in to it. Don't feel bad just because you want him to go away. You're not paid to counsel co-workers that carry extra baggage.

Scott said...

Bernita - Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel too.

Erica - True. I have to remember that I didn't create his problems.

Mr. Schprock - I know, you say that with love in your heart.

Flood - That's the thought that keeps going through my head: I don't get paid for taking care of him. It would be a full time job, and blogging already is!

Anthony J. Rapino said...

I know the type you're talking about, because for some strange reason, those types always gravitate towards me, wanting to be my friend.

I had one friend oin college that everyone hated, but he latched on to me and after a while started callingme his "best friend."

Funny thing is, I never had a problem with him.

Writing Blind said...

There are some people you just can't do anything for or about. You just have to let them put their foot in their mouths enough times and hope they get the point somewhere down the road.

jason evans said...

Sometimes I feel like giving advice is a duty to ourselves rather than the other person. The number of people who can hear advice, truly listen, and act on it is small. Very small. Telling him would probably change nothing. But then, I'm cynical regarding human behavior.

Janie said...

I'm with "fringes*. Wish him well and carry his plants to the car. You are not responsible for his actions, and I'm always learning the hard way, Scott, that any advice is seldom received with good graces.

You're a good person. That's obvious.

But Jason has a point. It might be a duty to ourselves.

Scott said...

Tony - I'm a magnet too. Maybe we're just too nice to people.

Rebecca - I'm starting to think you're right on this one. The guys talks but never listens.

Jason - I agree that you are right. 95 percent of the time this is true. It won't do me any good anyway, and he has to learn it the hard way. I'm just surprised it's taken this long.

Janie - Thanks for all that. I'll just let it go.

magnetbabe said...

It looks as if kharma is rewarding you for keeping your mouth shut. And he has no one to blame but himself. Whether or not he actually will blame himself is another story.

Flood said...

I've been thinking about this all day.

In all of this good advice, I worry about you. You are good person and the life you have lead makes you want good things to happen.

If you change your mind and decide to give this fella a heads-up, make sure you are not leaving yourself vulnerable in any way. Speak in code, if you have to, and hope that he gets what you are trying to say.

And again, if you decide to stay the course and do nothing, don't feel bad. Really.

Shesawriter said...

Tough love is a bitch, but he's gotta learn. :-(

Tee said...

I agree with Bernita - but I also think it wouldn't hurt to have a little chat over lunch one day. I don't know.

I often think about how my husband losing his father tragically at a young age has affected his personality. Then he was left to be raised by his mother - and if you read my blog you know what a whack job she is.

My husband has issues but he's done a decent job of over coming a lot of things that he figured out weren't acceptable.

I just think we all have that responsibility no matter what our circumstances or handicaps are - to have the insight to change and work on our faults.

Beth said...

I think it's so easy to see the attention-wanters in people. Piercings, black clothing, or a loud guy at the office. It's sad, really because how often do people realize what they want can only be given to them by themselves?

Toni Anderson said...

People rarely learn from being *told* something. He might blame you and resent you. You have to discover for yourself that you've been a PITA and grow up or ship out. You don't know what the front office will do. They might give him another chance.

Empathy is a wonderful thing but whenever I've intereferred in this sort of way I've had my fingers burned.

Some things are worth fighting for--but growing up isn't easy. 'Easy' doesn't turn you into a grown up who knows how to be responsible or caring of others.

Sad he lost his dad. Hope he fixes himself.

Miranda said...

I can't imagine what it's like to lose your dad. But I think it would make me clam up, not get louder.

Poor guy.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I have a friend who lost his father at a very young age. He spent most of his time trying to prove himself to his peers as a result.

Too loud, too often.

He's better now he's older, but, like you, I still see that loss in many of the things he does, even if he himself does not.

jenbeauty said...

As much as I want to show sympathy to your co-worker, losing your dad at a young age is no excuse for poor behavior at this point in his life. I don't think any of this is of your own doing Scott and the guy needs to figure this out on his own. Going to him and giving any sort of advice may be misconstrued when he does get fired. At that point he may look back and think you did have something to do with it. Sometimes you have to just watch and keep moving and be in it just for you. I just don't see this being a situation as a right thing to do. Seems it may only hurt you in the long run.

Scott said...

Thank you everybody for such supportive comments. It seems like everyone is in accord. Let the guy be. That's pretty much how I feel about it too.

Sorry I've been away for so long and haven't replied. Busy busy buys lately.

Kathleen said...

Scott - While I understand your thought that talking to him would help, I would say that at this point in his life he'll just think you're picking on him. I think he needs some serious therapy, maybe he'd listen to a therapist since he's paying them. At any rate, there is nothing you can do about it. I'll bet others before you have told him the same thing.