Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Office Survivor

Ugh. Yesterday afternoon, I got caught in the middle of some office politics. I stupidly repeated some office gossip, and the person who told it to me found out. She's not happy with me at all. Although, in all honesty, I was not trash-talking anyone. I was repeating the particulars of an event that had secretedly occured, which frankly, I was appalled at and am sort of glad that is now out in the open.

Sometimes, it hits me how much office life is like "Survivor." The person that I shared the gossip with is sort of my "alliance" here at work. He and I sat in the same small space for about two years, and so he knew every piece of gossip I knew and vice versa. (Except my pregnancy first trimester. Didn't have a clue. Worried that I had cancer because of my sickliness.) I don't know if anyone else has an "alliance" at work, but you end up taking it for granted after awhile. You just assume that people realize that whatever info they tell you will make it over to your alliance person eventually.

And after this whole stupid event occured, I wondered, as I often do while watching "Survivor," how much easier it would be if everyone was just locked in a room and forced to show their hands. "Larry, here's the deal. You're a swell guy, but Misty, Shawn and I are all voting you off of Mootapenquay Island tonight. Have fun!" After I heard the event had "gone down" in my department, I wanted to throw everyone in a room and say, "Larry, here's the deal. Uma is a conniving, manipulative traitor. Have fun!"

But my co-worker had sworn me to secrecy, so I really screwed up. Of course, I have been beating myself up for the whole thing. I had a rotten evening. Spending an evening stewing in your own guilty juices is not pleasant. My husband got very frustrated with me. He said, as he has said on many other occasions, "Ellen, you care too much about what other people think. Don't take everything so seriously. Blow it off."

I often find myself wishing that I were more this way. More like a guy. My friends have always said, "Ellen, you are such a man." But that's only because I am clueless about clothing, sit around watching "Groundhog's Day" in my underwear and hate fingernail polish. For the emotional stuff, I'm all girl.

I'm trying to learn the art of shutting the vault, throwing away the Schnapps and blowing things off.


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