I was going to title this “Someone at work hates me” but hate is probably too strong a word. It’s more of an “active dislike”. Using the term “mean girl” is probably also an exaggeration since her actions are not preventing me from joining a clique or making my life hell in any way. The reason I’m even writing about it is because I can’t figure out why this woman dislikes me so much and it’s a source of personal amusement.
Every single time I walk into the break or lunch area, she will switch her conversation to Spanish (of course only if the other person also speaks Spanish). At first I thought I was paranoid but once I started paying attention, she did this 100% of the time, especially if she’s talking to her work BFF. I understand if they’re talking about private matters, even though I really don’t care if she had a fight with her husband or how her kid is doing in school etc.., but sometimes they’re talking about a clothing sale or a TV show and this girl will switch to Spanish! Her poor BFF usually switches to Spanish but still may throw in some English. I also noticed that other people might be in the lunch room but she doesn’t switch languages until I walk in.
When I used to greet this woman in the hallways, she would give me a stony glance at best. She couldn’t even manage to respond with a lukewarm smile! Ok, some of the higher-ups don’t always respond but she is the only person at our company who has completely ignored my greetings every single time. I have seen her smiling and joking with others but she can’t even manage a polite greeting with me.
This woman and I don’t work together on a regular basis (or really at all as far as I can remember), so unless something I did something when I first started at this company long ago and made her job difficult, I don’t see how or why she can hold such a long grudge.
I’ve never talked about her to anyone in my office so she can’t have overheard something I said. Maybe someone lied and told her I said something mean about her? Maybe I called her by the wrong name? Maybe I was talking about a political or societal issue or TV show and she vehemently disagreed and has held it against me ever since?
However, this mystery is one that I’ll never solve because frankly I don’t care and her attitude doesn’t affect me on a daily basis. I haven’t mentioned this to anyone at work and I don’t want to start investigating the cause as I’m sure it’s something petty and happened years ago.
Have you ever experienced something similar at your work? Have you had a true “mean girl” experience at work or school? Were you the mean one or the one who was ostracized?
I will confess now that I once excluded a colleague in a mean girl sort of way. This summary is a bit simplistic because our work clique was nowhere as tight or mean as it would be in a school situation and I’m not sure I can sum up everything in two paragraphs. It was just interesting for me because I had never been “in” enough to experience the mechanics of clique-dom.
At my last job, a new hire tried her best to join our little group. It was very obvious that it was a bit painful to watch or experience. She kissed up to everyone but mostly to the prettiest one in our group, who would naturally be seen as the “top dog” from an outsider perspective. I wasn’t super nice to her and excluded her from time to time, but only if I had a good reason (like wanting to have one-on-one time or having something private to say) but I could sometimes tell she was hurt by the exclusion. Anyway, eventually this woman did become good friends with one woman in the group and they splintered off into their own clique. We remained on fairly friendly terms despite my initial annoyance with her; after all we were all there to work, not gossip and form friendships.
Note: I had this post scheduled and then changed my mind, thinking this situation might be all in my mind. Then just yesterday, I passed by this woman in the hallway and she pretty much glared at me, so I’m publishing as is.