So Hurtful - I think I need to thicken my skin

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm so unexpectedly hurt by what I'm about to describe that I had to get it out somewhere. :(

A little background...I have a co-worker who I am very close to. I consider her a good friend. We both have the same job, but I had the job role first, and I shoulder the majority of the complicated portions of our workload. Not by necessity, but because she hasn't yet felt comfortable taking on more complicated tasks.

We recently got a new manager, and the expectations, workload, and stress levels of our jobs changed tremendously. To the point neither of us have the skills or apptitude the new manager wants. We were both uncertain and miserable. We'd talked about how we both stay in our jobs because of each other, even though we are miserable, and how we are each holding the other back in that way. We talked about how we shouldn't do that, and that we should get out, and that if one of us gets out before the other, we should try to find a way to take the other with us.

Then she was diagnosed with cancer. Not just a little cancer, if there is such a thing, but Stage 3 Endometrial cancer, requiring a 41 day leave of absence, and likely 6 to 7 months of chemotherapy and radiation.

I shouldered the work burden for both of us while she was out, but while she was out, my dream job opened up in another department in our company. Jobs of my pay grade don't open up here often, and this is literally my dream job.

I agonized over the decision to apply. I feel like a terrible friend for doing it, but I applied for the job, was offered the position, and bittersweetly accepted it. I move to my new position on 12/16.

She's been passive aggressive about my move, and I don't blame her a bit. If the situation were reversed, I'd be angry at her too. Heck, I'm mad at myself for doing it, but we're talking about my health and my livelihood here. Those have to come first for me.

Any way, my co-worker came back to work temporarily today, in seemingly good spirits. Then she and two other of my close coworkers snuck off to lunch without inviting me. Normally, we'd all go to lunch together, or if someone was going with someone else, they'd invite the others and give them the option of declining. Nope. Not today. They planned their lunch behind my back and made a point of leaving their desks at different times so I wouldn't know. The only reason I found out was because we had a system failure while they were gone and I was called upon to handle it.

I'm so hurt by this, you can't even know. Logically, I know my co-worker probably needed to vent about me and/or my decisions, and the others went along with it because she's in a fragile state right now. But, that doesn't make it hurt any less.

I'm just sad about the whole situation, and want to eat cake. Lots of cake. :(
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I agree with most of the above, i'm reading because i read your 3 sentences. i am now left wondering, did your friend come around... did you reach out? Bottom line, you come across as such an empathetic person and it would definitely hurt.. but you did nothing wrong, health and opportunity do not often come in one package and you were right to go for it.. i hope you stress has lessened and that you have no lost your friend! jan emoticon
    3283 days ago
    dont eat the cake. I think they did it on purpose to hurt you. You are stronger and can do better than the cake. Workout on your frustrations!!!!
    3396 days ago
    Sorry to just randomly weigh in on your page, but it sounds like your friend and you just need some time. She is going through something so tough right now (endometrial cancer plus chemo and radiation are agonizing) that she probably doesn't have the emotional bandwidth to be happy for you. After all that emotional turmoil, she must be hurting and maybe feels abandoned. It's not your fault, but I can certainly see why she'd be upset.

    I think if you can see it from her perspective and give it some time, and realize she's not trying to hurt you but she's just hurt herself, you guys can talk about it eventually. It might be worth it to reach out to her, tell her friendship means a lot to you and that if she wants to talk to you, you're there for her. I hope it all works out for both of you, you sound like you two care about each other a lot.
    3421 days ago
  • THEBEE59
    For the sake of your friendship, I hope she sees how selfish she is being, sooner than later! Otherwise, there's no reason for you to feel guilty or sorry. Congratulations for your new job position, embrace it and try not to let this get you down. Instead of eating cake or anything unhealthy, work out your frustration through exercise.

    And who knows, her fears from cancer may be fueling her reaction to your job growth-not saying that would be okay though. I would attempt a sit down (just you and her) and let her know your feelings are hurt by her actions but then ask her to just tell you how she's feeling. Might as well get it all out in the open.

    3421 days ago
    Stacie - I am so sorry - I understand how we put our faith in people and they can let us down! BUT on the flip side, this job is one you have worked hard to get, and you DESERVE. If it was only her 1st day back, give her a few to realize that you have not changed - just becuz your job did,and talk to her. If she was really a friend, she will understand. She may be hurt because she knew you were covering for her, and now the next person may not, and with her being ill - it is probably scary for her - but it is still not your burden to carry!!

    You may become better friends when you are not working side by side as well! Keep your chin up - and stay away from the CAKE .. you have worked to hard to give up .. You got this girl .. you have lots of friends who want what is best for you.. just read the comments on this blog! Sit back and realize .. you deserve that job - or it would not have been offered to you! Hugs -Teri
    3421 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear about the work situation. I'm glad you were able to find a job you really wanted, were able to move out of a department where the boss wasn't working well with you, and I believe your work friend will see that eventually. Good luck in your new position! :)
    3421 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8532529
    Wow, I will be praying for were in a no win situation, and I'm sorry your friend cannot see that right now. Taking care of yourself is so important, and obviously not doing that has gotten us into the situation we now are in. Don't apologize for doing what is right for you, for taking care of you. Hold your head high, and know that you did the right thing. She will come around! Hugs...Robin
    3421 days ago
  • ERIN4771
    i really don't think you should apologize for wanting to be in a better position in your company. it sounds like this "friend" really needs to grow up a bit, and while i am sympathetic regarding the cancer she went thru, it seems to me she really just wanted you to stay as stagnant as she is....that's not a good friend in my book, buy hey, i'm old and stuck in my ways emoticon
    i say go forth, conquer your new job, enjoy your life, and if she wants to reach out and mend fences, that's up to her, not you, and if she doesn't, well, that's her loss as far as i'm concerned....good luck!
    3421 days ago
  • BETTA13
    Hang in there. Your friend will come around. Just give her some time.

    Your cake scenario had me laughing....I'm sure that cake was hiding from your ravenous energy!
    Give yourself a big bear hug, you've endured enough!
    3422 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10464769
    So sorry! emoticon

    I don't think you did anything wrong. If my good friend had a chance to move to her dream job I would be happy for her.

    Unfortunately gossip happens so much. I used to think kids were bad about it but now I think adults are worse.

    Please don't eat any junk food. Keep sparking and reading. We are all your friends and want you to succeed.

    Take care,
    3422 days ago
    You did what is best for you. Don't let them get to you. You come first and they will just have to get over it.

    emoticon emoticon
    3422 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1331346
    COGRADULATIONS first off on your New positio.. YOUR Dream Job.... Good for you!!!! health and well being comes first!
    Secondly...they will either get over their pettiness or they wont either way You did the right thing for you! Hugs! hugs! HUgs!

    3422 days ago
    Step away from the cake! If you can get her alone, I'd explain it to her. That's really all you can do. I don't blame you at all for taking the other job. If the other one was that stressful and this was your dream job you had to take it. She would have done the same whether she can admit it or not.
    3422 days ago
    Wow - completely sucky. You have every right to feel hurt, and you have ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO FEEL GUILTY or question your decision!!! Understanding the motivation for her bad behavior doesn't excuse it. I have the following quote on my office wall:

    "The great challenge of our world is to live a life of contentment, regardless of what other people do, say, think or believe." Dr Jodi Prinzivalli

    You can't control what she is saying, thinking or believing. Don't let her steal your peace! Congrats on your new job =)
    3422 days ago
  • BROOKIE389
    She is being unreasonable you deserve to be happy for yourself. You cannot control gossip, but you CAN control the way you react to it. I am a big advocate for open communication. Talk to her one on one. Tell her that you feel like you were excluded from lunch and ask her to be honest about how she feels. Congrats on the new position and surround yourself with positive people. emoticon emoticon
    3422 days ago
    My boss actually does things to purposely exclude me from the salesteam and I understand how very painful it can be to know you were left out of something but ultimately we have to do what is best for ourselves. What kind of person would behave so childishly and selfishly after you help her so enormously during such a difficult time in her life. Clearly, she learned nothing from such a serious illness. Normal thought would be "wow I just survived something enormously serious and I am going to live the best life I can". Not go back to a job and be a catty witch. Sorry but that is what she is doing and that is not a person who is truly your friend. It hurts to see the truth sometimes but I hope you realize you did not do anything wrong but taking a new position. Period.
    3422 days ago
    Bottom line: You did what was best for yourself. You took your dream job, not just some silly whimsical "oh I'll try this for a while" kind of thing. You took care of yourself in a fundamental way, and how others feel about it -- even if they have cancer -- cannot alter whether it is right for you. Your concern is losing this friend... but if your friendship is limited only to work things, or if it is so fragile that your changing jobs shatters it, well... it is what it is.

    I hope I'm not sounding horrible toward your friend, but I find that this line of thinking helps me remember that making decisions for myself has to come first. Once I feel good about my decisions I can interact easily with the people I'm worried I've upset. It sounds like if she weren't sick she might have been able to cheer you on about the move, but that takes a magnanimity she just can't muster right now. Could you ask her to lunch (or coffee or something) on your own to reopen that channel of communication? Would it be worth it?
    3422 days ago
    Sending lots of hugs your way. It is so hard in the work place when we grow close to friends and misunderstandings happen. I'm glad you found a place to get it out. Say no to cake, but maybe yes to a piece or two of dark chocolate?
    3422 days ago
    Thanks ladies. Fortunately for my hips, there is no cake nearby, so I'm consoling myself with a banana and some celery and laughing cow.
    3422 days ago
    That really stinks! But, you really don't want to eat cake. I'm sorry your friend feels that way. I'm sure she's hurt, but she has to understand that you have to do what's best for you. Especially if these jobs don't open up very often. I'm sure once she gets over the hurt, it'll all smooth out. *HUGS*
    3422 days ago
    Duuuude, cake isn't the answer emoticon emoticon

    However, sounds like a case of jealousy. Don't apologize for applying for and accepting your dream job there! You didn't hurt your friend on the way up. You weren't mean about it. Perhaps invite her out for lunch one of these days to see how she's doing? Offer the proverbial olive branch? Give her a 'welcome back' card or an 'I missed you' card?

    I would be the one feeling just like you are now. It's tough.

    3422 days ago
    Ah gosh. I'm sorry emoticon that totally sucks. I can understand how you feel.
    Cake won't help, it'll just make you feel worse afterward. Hang in there chickadee!
    3422 days ago
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