Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the Frenemy Lines

I work with a bunch of neat people....friendly, helpful and considerate most of the time....but then just as it looks all nice and peachy and too good to be true, I get hit on my head which wakes me up from my little reverie and tells me that it IS INDEED too good to be true.

 There's someone I work with whom I used to hold in high regard...someone I used to call a friend...I am never really someone who makes friends easily, but once the bond is made, it remains...I was still getting used to having these new comers on block and this one guy stood out...we shared a taste for movies, cracking puzzles, sense of humor and practical jokes. I thought I could trust him enough to be a good friend (making an exception to the rule of "Never trust them too soon") and I told him so...

 This was a year back...I had seen the minor flaws and chosen to either ignore it or make excuses in my mind..."No big deal, every one has their little vices..", I told myself every time I noticed the small things... calls missed if it wasn't about something he was interested in, the work conveniently pushed off to me on some pretext, forgetting to save me a seat for lunch in cafeteria, forgetting to even ask me if I'd care to join as long as he had some one to go for lunch with, asking for help with the nitty gritties that he didn't want to get his hands dirty with...the small every day things...! But the blow came when I realized that he had taken the idea I was working on, my pet project, and worked on the same thing and submitted it for approval...right after I had submitted my rough draft. He said he was inspired and didn't look me in the eyes...I knew I hated him and didn't look either...

The silent lamenter I am (read that as door mat), I did not react to what had happened and took the passive aggressive stand on it...Now that I look back, I realize I was too shocked to react even if I wanted to. Big B thought that it would be a great idea to have both of us work on the project which I resented...I would have happily jumped off the cliff if they would have given me that option...Any time the talk of the particular project came up, I happened to be secretive, defensive or too busy to talk about it...Every time he came up to discuss about it, I had the red neon light which read "Traitor" blinking in my head, my mind switching itself off to anything he had to say.

When the project failed to move any further, it was decided to break it into pieces and divided between us so that work would move faster. I felt relieved. Facing him, talking to him, even sitting in the same room as him became insufferable...This went on until one day, he cornered me and told me he knew that I was mad at him... I had practiced the right retort for when it happened (I was hoping it would happen since I was too much of a chicken to confront him) but couldn't remember the words when the time came...and so shrugged it off and said "It was alright"...!?!

He told me his excuse but never apologized...He said he was glad to have had the talk but didn't look sorry...I was in fool's paradise...I thought things were back to normal...it was alright...until it hit me that it wasn't enough...it'd never be enough...The next time I saw his part of the project, I realized that I didn't resent it so much but I couldn't accept it either...It was my idea, my efforts, my days of working and re working on it that was lost. Every time I hear some one talking about it, it takes an effort to not walk away...

I felt tricked and used and I knew that this meant the end of the friendship. All those little incidents I had stashed away came rushing to the forefront.   I know that things will never be the same again...my trust has been broken and I wonder if it would ever mend itself. We still work together, and we do have our occasional chats and laughs when everything look almost normal...But then I know that I have lost a friend for ever.

I don't know why I wrote this post but then having said it out loud makes me feel better. I feel a slight tinge of guilt for talking about it here...I know that if one of my friends at work read this, they'd be able to identify him easily, I know that I'm being mean but don't feel apologetic about it. I hope that with time, I would be able to forgive him completely and look at the whole episode as just another page in my life. I hope that some day I'd even be able to forget about it... But for now, the wound is still raw and it hurts. 

And so now I know what a frenemy really means and can say I've got one...!!! It's neither a nice feeling nor as easy as portrayed in those chicklits and chick flicks...but then, since I really can't do much about it, I think I'm going to just take it in my stride and emerge stronger...heck, at least, I'll have my 'patience to crap' levels improved!!!

What about you? Have you ever had a frenemy? And what did you do to help make the situation better? Enlighten me coz I'm all ears....!!!

7 comments:

  1. Hope you don't mind a new person commenting!

    I just wanted to say that I had a dream job once but the nature of the work (Intensive Care Unit) meant that every last one of us attracted to the position were strong, dominant personalities. The end result? An entire unit of frenemies. Worked great as a team under pressure, had no doubt of each other's nursing skills, but the constant vying for dominance lead to barely-concealed tensions. I tried to play mediator, and then to ignore it...and finally gave in and clambered my own way to the top of the heap. And that's when I realized the environment had brought out the worst in me and turned me into something I hated.

    So -- I quit. Not an option for everyone, I know, but in hindsight it was one of the best decisions I've made.

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  2. I'm a new person commenting also. When I read your post the first time I felt so bad for you. I tend to be that passive aggressive personality and hate confrontations too. What a jerk that guy is, I hated his guts all afternoon for you... :) But I do agree with the previous post, there are so many of those "frenemies" out there. I say use it as a lesson learned and go with your gut feelings on people, 9 times out of 10 they are right on target.

    Be cordial to this guy but don't go out of your way. Keep it professional and find new friends to eat lunch with.

    Hope this helps

    http://thefunnysideofthestreet.com

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  3. You're not being mean - I think you've been pretty restrained! I'm also terrible for quietly fizzing and it helps to write it down. Do I have a frenemy, hell yes, nice guy, struggling with a new job and making my life much more difficult than it should be - have I told him that....emm no not really! I gagree with Sandy though - sometimes how you are seen to deal with these things is important and although you might want to punch him on a daily basis the people who know what really happened should respect you for continuing to work and trying to get things done. Small comfort but sometimes the moral high ground works best :)

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  4. I just read your story and I would like to punch this guy!!
    Sometimes in a situation like this it's better not to say anything. But in my opinion he now thinks he won and he can use you anytime he wants because you won't say anything. I know it's hard to stand up sometimes and fight but you should try it so that this kind of things won't happen again.

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  5. Thanks everyone, for the comments.
    @ANichols: I understand how working in an enviroment can bring the worst in you...I used to work with Sales team... and quit when I couldn't take the aggressiveness anymore...
    @Sandy:These days, I'm just cordial with him..and I've quit going for lunch with him...wasn't too sure of having a peaceful lunch hour if I was going to share it with him...:)
    @Louba: Aiming for the moral high grounds...but sometimes, the going gets hard.
    @Starlight: I'd love to more than just punch him but then I have made sure that my superior is aware of the situation...and hopefully, it wouldn't happen again...

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  6. I had many frenemies. I wanted to cause bodily harm to all of them at that moment in time but karma will eventually kick me in the behind so I try to let it go; hence how my blog got started - to rant and rage so that I don't lose my mind. The best thing to do is live and learn and possibly laugh at it because when you reflect back on life it will just be a small paragraph of your life. I keep a high wall around me so that no one is able to get too close to me but this also hurts oneself and others.

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  7. @Asian Angel...I know that Karma will take care of him for me...or so one of my friends told me...and so, I'm trying to take it as lightly as possible...and will be able to do so some day....

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