Have you ever had to work with someone you didn't like? Or better yet, someone who didn't like you? I have. If you know me personally, you will know that I am quite the character. I am very outgoing, I love to laugh and I love teamwork. I am expressive and I love to have fun. I also like to get the job done right, the first time.
So let's hop in our Delorean and take a quick trip back to roughly 2008 when I still worked for THE BANK. I'm not going to mention which bank I worked at, but if you really want to know I'm sure you can figure it out.
I was a Customer Service Rep (CSR) for 4 years and for the last portion of my time at this bank, I was stationed next to the most rude, unfriendly woman I have ever had the displeasure of working with. I don't like to think poorly of people as a rule. I like to think (and find) the good in everyone but this woman had it out for me and at every opportunity she would put me down, say something rude, laugh at me and if I needed help with something she would make it next to impossible for me. I had never dealt with anyone like this in my life. So when I say that this job, though I really didn't like it, was one of the biggest and most important learning experiences of my life let me give you the full story.
I was a fairly popular CSR with the customers. I often had a line of people who would wait just for me. I prided myself in being happy and friendly with everyone. It's what I would have wanted if I was a customer going to make a deposit/withdrawal.
One day I was taken aside by the Manager and Assistant Manager and I was told that I was "too Caucasian" (yes this is an actual quote) and way too happy and bouncy and bubbly. The Assistant Manager did an impression of me and I felt utterly humiliated. I sat there and said nothing. I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit and then I wanted to cry. I went back to my station and there was a bit of a line so I had to help the next client, but I could feel the tears getting hot in my eyes so after the client I put up the little sign and walked to my Manager's office. I went in and proceeded to give him a piece of my mind. I told him their comments about me being "too Caucasian" were completely unacceptable and about how I was being treated by this other employee and something about how dare their reprimand me when she excludes me and bullies me on a regular basis.
Needless to say I was apologized to emphatically and promised that it would be dealt with and that they understood that culturally there are differences and all that good stuff.
That was the day I learned what it meant to stand up for myself. This was going to be the last time I ever allowed someone to treat me in such a way. Never again.
So what do you do if you have to deal with someone who you don't get along with? Well I can tell you want you don't do. You don't mock them, exclude them, laugh about them, mimic them, humiliate them and you certainly don't discriminate. Human Resources is there for a reason and if you are having a serious issue you need to stand up for yourself and deal with it before it escalates. Try to look at things objectively and realize that people are going to have good days and bad days and that not everyone is going to get along 100% of the time and that's fine.
I used this experience as an example because if there was ever a "core memory" than defined me as a human being, this was definitely one of them. It was the day I learned my value and that my happiness mattered to me.
If you are finding yourself in a tough spot right now, I want to empower you to look at the situation and ask yourself what you could or should do to improve it. Bullying is a serious issue and should under NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER be tolerated.
That was an intense post I know, but I have a few more light and fun ones coming up so I look forward to seeing you in the next one!
Hi! My name is Courtney and I am currently working as a character designer in the animation industry!
Artwork and Content is © Courtney Pearson 2016