I’m happy to report that work is now more or less back to normal. Not because of anything my boss did, mind you. She actually tried with all of her heart to make the atmosphere as tense and awkward as possible. As in giving me and Brian the silent treatment, refusing to acknowledge us if we passed in the hallway (unless it was to cast a contemptuous glance our way), and often sending us away if we had a question because she was “too busy” and then five minutes later having a half hour conversation with Katie about tanning…. I know, tres juvenile of her. But that’s just who she is. For the first time in my life I literally dreaded the thought of going to work every morning and having to deal with her bs. So, on Thursday I decided to be the bigger person. Me. Not my 40+ year old manager. Me.
First thing in the morning I went into her office, noted that it had been very tense, and apologized if she had thought I was “challenging” her or trying to stir up trouble the week before. Even though I don’t think I have anything to apologize for (not my fault she’s incapable of having a serious discussion with an employee about their concerns and instead takes everything personally and then lashes out and holds a grudge….) but I’m not stupid. I have to work with this woman for who knows how many more months (until I leave next spring in all likelihood) and I need her to write me a positive recommendation letter in October. The simpler solution would have been to find another job, but as previously noted I have a 2 week trip already booked in November and am planning on moving next spring/early summer, so the cost of leaving is just not worth it. Better to make the best of it. And though I do think that she absolutely should have been the one to initiate the conversation, I’ve accepted that that’s not her managerial style. She’s one who needs her ego stroked constantly and is insecure enough that she can’t handle even indirect criticism. She did grudgingly admit that “a lot of things have gone on that she hasn’t liked, but she is trying to change her attitude.” She looked like she’d rather be sucking a lemon than saying those words, so I take a little comfort in the fact that our other manager apparently has stood up for us in meetings with their boss and it seems like he’s told her to chill out.
My timing couldn’t have been better because later that day she was going around and figuring out the schedule (she can’t really justify overtime anymore) and told me I could have my regular days off this weekend rather than working half a day each day as had been previously agreed. The people who had yet to make amends are, needless to say, not as lucky as I. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and make the boss happy in order to survive with your sanity intact, as distasteful as it may be.