I had a bad day at work today. Actually, if it weren’t for one incident, it would have been a good day – I finished up some projects and took on a new task and rocked it. The kind of day that you go home from thinking, I am awesome. But something happened today that ruined it for me.
See, I got an email from someone that was obviously sent to me inadvertently. A person I like and thought liked me apparently clicked Reply when she meant to click Forward and I was treated to a disparaging email about myself. I’m not naïve – I know people talk behind each other’s backs. But knowing that and having it grab you by the lapels and slap you are two different things.
The fact that this was someone I really like and respect made it harder. If it had come from someone I didn’t like, I would have reacted with a “pfft” and said fuck it. But coming from this person, it felt like being punched in the gut. When I first read it, I actually thought it was a joke, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I was seeing. But then I realized what had happened and I actually got physically ill. My heart was pounding so hard, I could hear it. I immediately felt nauseous and got a headache. I felt dizzy. It sucked.
I wanted to reply and say fuck you. Or call her a bitch. Or share with her the disparaging remarks that others have said about her, perhaps even the person she intended the email for. But instead, I just replied and told her that I think she meant the email for someone else.
The tone of the email was sarcastic and it was obvious form the wording that this was obviously not the first time she had spoken about me this way. That was probably the most hurtful part – wondering how long she was saying these things about me and I was thinking that she was a friend. She did apologize, but it felt more like she was saying she was sorry that I read it and not sorry that she said it. And there was what I interpreted to be a big “BUT. . .” type statement after it. It felt a little like, “sorry you got this, BUT if you didn’t suck so much, I wouldn’t have said it.”
There was a mention of the topic of the email “being an issue in the past”, but given that no one ever felt the need to tell me about it, I can’t really suck up the responsibility just to clear her conscience No one enjoys criticism, but I’d certainly rather be told if I am doing something wrong, or if you have different expectations that I am not fulfilling than to be gossiped about by people I trust(ed) and respect(ed).
I’ll get over it – there’s far worse things in life. But I doubt I’ll ever feel the same about this person (or who I suspect was her intended recipient). I’ll work with them and be polite and move on. But for now, all I can say is “Wow. That hurt.”