There is this girl I know at work, let’s call her Miss Abu. No no no, this post is not about work, but a post about, well, the general state of petty idiosyncrasies.
Anyway, so this Miss Abu, she’s someone at the office that I interact with – I use the word interact here because I don’t really socialize with her apart from the occassional work lunch or dinner before we leave the office. In the instances where we have to work together, our relationship is cordial.
Then a couple of weeks ago, during one evening when I was leaving the office pretty late, another colleague, let’s call her Miss Cindy, asked me why Miss Abu hates me and refuses to socialise with me. I laughed out loud. Frankly, I was just…. amused. Why? I asked Miss Cindy. Miss Cindy said she doesn’t know why, but apparently Miss Abu has been going around b*tching about me and said I screwed her up.
So I took a couple of minutes to think. I had only one project with Miss Abu, and even then it wasn’t even a project. I asked her to verify certain facts in a couple of documents that I was reviewing since it falls under her jurisdiction. Since I didn’t want to waste time, I also downloaded similar materials from our HQ, and asked her, are these the correct ones? She said no, and that she would give me the right ones. So I waited, and when she did, I revised said documents using the stuff she gave me. End of story.
That was all that happened. Really. I am not even trying to downplay this. It was such a mundane, day-to-day task that it didn’t even register a blip in my radar. The project was over. No drama, no tears, no aggravation.
For some reason, she took offense to me downloading documents from HQ. She said to Miss Cindy, I as the corporate person SHOULD KNOW the right documents to use. Apparently, this was the central theme of her b*tching session. Puzzled, I asked Miss Cindy, “Isn’t that what I was doing; making double sure that I have the right materials?”. Miss Cindy said, “That’s why I am asking you what really happened between the two of you coz Miss Abu is really upset and refuses to even go out and eat with us if you are in the group,”
I just shook my head, smiled, picked up my handbag and walked out of the office. Miss Cindy came after me and asked, “Doesn’t this bother you?”. No, I said. I don’t care. I don’t even notice that she was giving me the cold shoulder and that we’re not talking. It is THAT insignificant to my life. What a pity to waste all that energy and emotions on me when I’m not even aware that she’s doing it.
Today I bumped into Miss Cindy again. She said, “So, it’s still not bothering you? Miss Abu is still bearing this grudge against you, you know? Just today she sent a dinner invite to everyone and purposely left your name out.”
I had to laugh.
“Langsung tak kecil hati (you don’t get upset at all)? Or, deep down you’re upset but you just brush it off?” Miss Cindy asked (and yes I find her inquisition amusing too).
I told her, no. Miss Abu is not the person that I want to be when I grow up. That kind of behaviour? It’s not what I want to emulate. So I have no reason to be upset. And I honestly feel this is such a petty issue that it doesn’t deserve any additional thought.
But Miss Abu says bad things about you, Miss Cindy insisted. You should set the record straight.
That’s okay, I told Miss Cindy.
Here’s the thing. I don’t care, and I mean that in the best possible positive way. They are just words. Opinions of a person who believed that she was slighted. If she feels that way and instead of talking to me about it decides to stew and wallow in her upset-ness, let her. That’s punishment enough, don’t you think? I don’t have to confront her or anything. Reputation is what people make of you; and I refuse to behave the way Miss Abu is behaving. Not my style, in fact, it’s never going to be my style.
I have a lot of drama in my life. Ask any friends of mine – the kind of drama I got myself into is the stuff of legends. LEGENDS! I do vent. And I do get angry. Spectacularly angry, in fact. And I do b*tch.
But things like these.. they don’t bug me. It doesn’t bug me that my sisters take my stuff all the time without asking. It doesn’t bug me that I buy food and keep them in the bottom drawer at the office and people come and eat them without me knowing it. It doesn’t bug me that people don’t say thank you, or open doors, or offer to carry my bags as I am struggling in the rain trying to open my umbrellas.
It doesn’t bug me when people borrow my things and then lose or break them. Heck, it doesn’t bug me when I lose or break them myself. It doesn’t bug me that some women think I am hitting on their husbands/boyfriends/sons (in fact I find that oddly flattering). It doesn’t bug me when the food comes late, or if the waiters mess up my order, or if someone erases my ‘save’ data so that I have to play the game all over again.
You get the picture.
So, to Miss Abu, on the off-chance that she would google my name and find this (being that she’s obsessed with me at the moment it is exactly the kind of thing that I’d expect her to do), my advice to her would be just one word.