i am working on a large diarama post, which will hopefully tide the more desperate of you over the next week, while i toil away, childless, on writerly things.
HOWEVER something just happened, which absolutely made my day, or year really.
first, a little background.
years ago, f i worked at a company. for a few years it was great, the best job evah, we all loved each other, we had such fun. we played cards at lunch time, and i had laughing fits the like i'd not had since secondary school. that's how good the job was, and the people were.
then, the worm turned. the boss, younger than me and very driven and ambitious and with an inner core of long-held rage, started to treat me in an increasingly bad manner. at first, it was really snide remarks, and comments. the cold shoulder. then not giving me much work, making things slowly intolerable for me. the atmosphere was horrible.
one thing i remember her saying to me:
"if i put you on a pedestal, if you fall off, there's no getting back on."
and then stating that i was her hero, that i was on the pedestal.
this should have made me scared, but at the time, it was earliesh days, and the affection was mutual.
then people started falling off their pedestals. her business partner. a supplier. another supplier. book-keeper. one of the designers.
at the end, i was doing things like cleaning the kitchen venetian blinds, just to keep busy.
i waited while i re-organised finance to buy my ex-husband out of our property, then i quit. i stayed in a horrible situation for months. just sucking it up, biding my time until it suited me to leave.
we had a farewell lunch, around the board table at the office. nothing special, i think we all just had our regular lunches. maybe someone else had bought some biscuits from the bakery, embarrassed that nothing had been planned. i guess she was trying to hurt me, insult me, humiliate me. i kept a brave face on, smiling. i don't even think there was a card, there was certainly no gift, which was so hurtful after the 3.5 years of dedicated service to her and her company, and the people i'd seen gifts given to. i asked for a reference, she said that she didn't give references.
now, i'm sure she had her side of the story. i'm not such a fool to think that it was all her fault, that i was faultless. i'd made a few mistakes. i also engaged in some kind of inappropriate emails with another supplier, where we were sort of laughing at her expense. and i did spend a lot of time at one stage on the internet looking up eminem lyrics. but that was during the months when i had so little to do. she must have read emails, and checked the logs or something. i'd ask politely for work, she would fob me off, saying there was nothing at the moment. how could that be? i could see everyone else was frantic, i'd always had plenty to do, so she was witholding and it was obviously her strategy to push me out, to make me leave, like some fucked-up boyfriend who doesn't know how to tell you it's over.
so imagine my surprise, delight, JOY to find out today that it wasn't just me who got burned. i just ran into a supplier who was really in the inner sanctum with her (this is what she did, had inner sanctums/sanctii, with exclusive members and it was all terribly terrific for her and her acolytes, but bad for anyone else.) when i was there i thought he would be with her until the end. he told me today he has fallen off the pedestal and that he's not talking to them anymore.
i can't tell you how much this pleases me and makes me feel better.
that last day of work, i walked out with a smile on my face, keeping it cheery. then i collapsed into the car and burst into tears and cried all the way home. that night, i'd calmed down, and had a secret dinner with the other 3 employees and we debriefed a bit, and i told them how hard it had been the last few months.
i often had wondered over the last 5 years or so whether i had been in the wrong more that i was willing to admit. i was thinking about it as recently as a couple of days ago. did she think i stole some blank cds? i'd bought them when i'd done the office shopping, and it was completely above board. did she think i broke her car? i admit, a sound appeared while i was driving it, but it was second-hand and just a coincidence. i never did anything bad to her car. what else? oh, there was the time i asked the book-keeper about my end of year bonus which had always appeared on my pay slip automatically. the boss flipped out about that, and i think even gave me a warning about it. like formally. yes, i admit i had consciously been provocative asking about it, and i should have asked the boss (but was too scared to) but really, was that so insubordinate?
i can't think of anything else, and none of us would bitch about her, even when things got really bad between her and me i never talked about it with anyone at work.
there had been no closure for me, nowhere i could put these feelings, and bad memories, of regret and loss. it was like i'd lost the idea of how i saw myself. as a basically good person. and i always try and do the right thing, i pride myself on it. so "how could she do that to me? couldn't she see me for the goody i am?"
now i have my answer. she did that to me, because of who and how she is, not me, and now i have to feel sorry for her because she is so toxic to those around her, and clearly miserable. but oh, the sweet, sweet glee to hear how there are now a whole list of people she has fucked over since i left. the person who replaced me. the person who replaced the other book-keeper.
i want to sing it to the world. i want to tell everybody. i want to contact the other people who got fucked over. i want to link arms with them and sway side to side and perhaps clink steins of beer together.
seriously. i can't tell you how good this makes me feel. that it wasn't just me. it wasn't personal.
i am a good person and a good worker, and i do the right thing.
this will sustain me for the rest of my life i think. and i have closure now, in a way that i never would have had on my own, without having this quick conversation with this other person.
i feel like dancing, singing, jumping for joy.