Monday, September 13, 2004

Blindsided

So, I stopped into my old workplace today to say hi to my former co-workers. I miss a lot of them dearly.

But I got a harsh, strong reminder of why I don't miss my old job or that workplace.

I walked in to a warm reception from a bunch of different people. Lots of hugs, exchanges of new email addresses, promises to get together for drinks. I started to get a whee bit nostalgic.

Then I bumped into Grizella.

All warm and fuzzy feelings went out the window.

I said hello, thinking I would make nice with her (as is always the best practice with this woman), when she blind-sided me. She laid into me with the ferocity of a rabid dog, accusing me of spreading some viscious rumors about her to some of our colleagues across the country. She made the accusations loudly, right in the middle of the room. Thankfully, she's often off on one tangent or another, so nobody much listens when she's going off on someone.

The rumors have to do with an alleged extra-marital affair between her and a high-ranking colleague in another part of the country.

Apparently I started the rumor before I quit in January, and she has it on "VERY GOOD AUTHORITY." Actually, she says she has three sources who confirm the story.

I'm not in the habit of trying to ruin people's careers by spreading rumours. Yes, I have been involved in a gossip-session or two in my time -- it's the sad nature of the business I used to be in, and I got just as caught up in it as the rest of them. I admit it. It's not nice, but I admit it. And, I realized a long time ago that it's best to step back from all similar situations, so I now avoid them like the plague.

And I know for a fact that this particular rumor was widely circulating around the company long before I heard anything about it. As it happens, another colleague came to ME about a year ago, asking me what he should do about his knowledge of this information. I told him he should warn her, but he chose to leave it alone.

In any case, I'm having a very hard time dealing with these accusations. She's a violent, viscious person and I fear for the revenge she may try to exact. This is not a person who you want to piss off. Exactly the opposite, actually. Keep her as happy as possible.

I will say this. If I didn't know it before, I know it now: when people are speaking badly about other people, walk away. Immediately. Don't engage in the conversation, don't speculate or joke or entertain the story. Just walk away.

Because you NEVER know when something is going to come back to bite you in the ass. Even things that you never actually said.
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