I think I’d rather be burned alive while someone plucked out my eyelashes and sliced my Achilles tendons than relive my teenage years.  The crazy hormones, the awkwardness of changing bodies, the shaky self-esteem, the wardrobe anxiety, and of course, the catty, gossipy, backstabbing girls who were sweet as sugar to your face (or at least to my face because I was an athlete and they knew I could beat them up) and then mean and hateful the second your back was turned.  No, I would never want to relive those years.
Yet suddenly, it feels like I am reliving my teenage years, at least when it comes to those catty, gossipy, backstabbing girls.  Although now they’re not girls, but grown women who have teenagers of their own.  Yes, I may be a kindergarten teacher, but thanks to a handful of my co-workers, I feel like I’m once again walking down the long hallways of high school wondering if someone is going to throw gum in my hair.

Last year my assistant and I had some personality differences.  That’s a really nice way of saying that she thought she was going to be offered my job, and when she wasn’t and had to maintain her status as assistant, she did everything in her power to prove to our superiors that I wasn’t capable of handling my position.  By March of last year, there was so much tension between us that 2 of our bosses had to mediate a sit-down for us to hash things out.  By April, another assistant in the school signed a contract to take over the position as my assistant. (And I have to stop here to tell you that she is AWESOME.  She makes my job so much easier and so much more fun!  This school year is night and day from last year.)

Throughout last year, despite the stress this woman caused me and the tears I shed at home, I kept my mouth shut at work.  I vented to Mr. Roller Coaster, to my mom, and to my close friends, but never to anyone at work.  And until a few days ago, I assumed that this woman had done the same.  Sadly I was wrong.

My new Awesome Assistant recently told me that last year, Bad Assistant was spreading such hateful stories about me that another teacher questioned whether it was wise for her to take the job with me because I was “evil.”  I was shocked.  This coming from a woman I actually thought I had a good relationship with.  Two other names were thrown into the mix as staff members who took Bad Assistant’s side.  Thinking back on it now, that explains a lot.  Those women have always been cold to me.  Now it all makes sense.

So what’s the problem Roller Coaster?, you might ask.  You have a new awesome assistant and Bad Assistant is out of the picture.  Well, yes, I do love my assistant.  But Bad Assistant is not out of the picture.  She accepted a job that most would consider a demotion, and I have to interact with her on a daily basis.  And the other women who are in Bad Assistant’s fan club are regular fixtures in my professional life. 

My problem is that I’m back in high school.  Girls are trash talking me behind my back, and I have to play nice with them.  I’m a non-confrontational kind of gal, but I’m also a firm hater of insincerity.  And I’m having a very difficult time looking these women in the eye on a daily basis and pretending that I don’t know what they’ve been saying about me. 

What would you do?  Would you let it go, consider it their loss, and move on with your life?  Or would you confront them and get things out in the open? 

12 Comments on I Know You Are But What Am I?!

  1. Oh no! How could anyone think you're evil?! I'm so sorry you're going through that. I personally would let it go, I'm also non-confrontational, but I would make a point not to treat those women (other than bad assistant) differently. Hopefully one day they will see they were wrong about you. And, if they don't then they are idiots, and why in the world would you want to impress idiots anyways? Lots of hugs!

  2. I have a 13 yr old step daughter and I am constantly thanking the lord that I do not have to relive these years too. Yes, sometimes cattiness and high school like behavior makes it feel like it to a degree, but so many things that could be worse. I try to let most behavior "roll off" of me.

  3. What I've learned is to just ignore it…if you give them nothing to talk about, you're not giving them the ammo that they want 😉

  4. I hate confronting people! I would just be nice and not seek out interaction.

    One thing I have learned about gossip is how easy it is to get sucked into it. I can remember one situation where I got sucked in and felt horrible later on when I got to know the person. I was embarassed by my actions and it made me feel awkward to be around the person. Maybe it's the same thing for your coworkers??

  5. Oh my! That's terrible!
    Sometimes people need someone to talk about… I guess bad assistant made it you.
    I wouldn't confront them, because they would STILL talk about you.. and now there could be truth (in their eyes) to the rumors… Maybe just go out of your way to be sweet as pie?

    At my previous job, I had a manager that tore me down to everyone.. even our REAL boss. I worked at an Estee Lauder counter, and she was only a counter manager. She hired in her neighbor as a consultant, and had apparently told her how awful I was… and I knew she didn't like me from the beginning… but a few months past, and I heard that she had made comments to other girls that she was told false things about me and that I was really a nice girl, etc.
    That didn't change what the higher Estee Lauder people thought of me, (unless neighbor told them when she quit — she wrote them a letter.), but I found solace in the fact that neighbor could see that I wasn't a bad person, but that our counter manager was just a hateful person… (They even stopped talking.. which was really sad.)
    (and I never said one ill thing about my counter manager.. to anyone that really mattered… just one friend at work that SAW the evil… and my husband and family.)

    As my comment is as long as a blog post I will end it here.. Saying: Good luck with your situation! 🙂

  6. When you think about the greater purpose your being there has and the challenge you have of inspiring tomorrow's leaders, the rest seems rather insignificant. I'm with Adrie, ignore it; eventually it will go away.

  7. I am so so glad I am not a teenager anymore, especially with the amount of bullying today. I am sorry you have to go through such pettiness with people who are supposed to be adults. Part of me wants to say go confront them! But the other part of me knows it does not do any good and I probably would ignore it.

    If it gets worse and you feel the need to talk to her one on one, I say do it. No one deserves to be treated that way, period.

  8. I think I deleted my original comment 🙁

    I am sorry you have to deal with such pettiness from people who are supposed to be adults. It is ridiculous! Teenage years were bad enough, I am so glad to be done with them. And I am expecially glad not to be living them now with the incessant bullying that seems to have exploded everywhere.

    Part of me says to confront her! Give her what for! But I know I honestly probably would just ignore it and let it go. If she continues to be like this then maybe talk to her one on one, otherwise it just is not worth it. Kill them with kindness, it is the best thing to do.

  9. Oh yikes! I'm so sorry that you are going through this! I am such a non-confrontational person so I'm not sure what I would actually do. I'm a teacher too and I know how hard it is to work in an environment that is typically full of women. My best advice (which may not be very helpful actually) is to continue to be sweet and nice. Don't get sucked into the gossip and be the bigger person. Others will soon notice that you took the high road and didn't let these "high school girls" drag you down with them. I know that probably doesn't help much and I really hope that it gets better for you soon!

  10. I'm sorry you are going through this! It's terrible when you feel uncomfortable at work due to the actions of others. In my personal life, I'm all about confronting the issue and getting things out in the open… but work is a little different. I usually will bite my tongue and just focus on being excellent at my job. I agree with the previous poster about "killing with kindness". This other girl is obviously not taking the high road, and people will start seeing her for who she really is. If you believe in karma, you have to know that she's going to get hers in the end.

    Hang in there!

  11. CONFRONT! I've been dealing with this nonstop since moving to this base. I graduated from college before moving here, and now I feel like I'm back in high school, too. It's sad. Recently, I heard some stupid rumors about myself. Most of them came about because of drama I saw happening around me and let go because I didn't want to get involved. Who would think girls would use that to their advantage and put words in my mouth and start rumors? I wish I had confronted the issue from the start, but late is better than never I guess because I feel much better now that I've confronted those affected with the truth. Even though they've already decided the rumors are true and my confrontation won't change that, at least now they have to deal with the knowledge that I'm denying it and wonder if they're being jerks for no reason for the rest of their lives. Or not…whatever. I'd still rather have said my peace than not!

  12. I'm with Valerie on this one. There doesn't have to be a negative confrontation – however you can approach the old assistant's fan base and say "I've been told that you believe xyz about me, I would like to share with you my side." Or something like that. You can, along with killing with kindness, invite them to a outside setting where they may see the real you and realize how wrong they are. Good Luck!

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