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#4124 - 04/09/03 03:25 PM betrayal
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
THIS IS A LONG POST; I HOPE YOU WILL READ IT.

I am a representative, and my clients depend on me to solicit them work, and to give them advice and counsel.

I work for a small company, 10 employees total (I am one), and while there is no real management structure other than owners (3) and employees, The level of work I have performed here over the last three years has put me close to the top of the company.

Last night, one of our better clients left the company, and blamed her departure on me. She said I had been verbally abusive, which triggered some feelings she had from childhood, living with an abuser father/stepfather.

According to her, my 'verbal abuse' happened three months ago and she had thought about leaving then, but it was the busy season and she didn't want to miss out on the work we provide to her. Now, however, she couldn't stay.

I got her work totalling almost $200,000 last year alone.

I have an explosive temper, and I have yelled at many people over the years. I am big and I am strong and when I yell I scare the everliving shit out of people. I have never yelled at her.

She has problems; she cannot make up her mind, she talks alot about her problems and expects everyone to understand what she is going through. She is demanding on time and tends to obsess.

I spent days (cumulatively) on the phone with her, talking about various things, and while she is not attuned to the needs of others (clients' supreme self-interest is typical in my business), I would have characterized her as a friend.

In December, she sought me out for advice about a career decision (which happens to lie outside my work with her). I spent about three hours talking specifically wih her about this decision, which involved a move across the country. I strongly suggested it was a bad idea.

The owner of the company, motivated (I believe) by the income she would get from this move, suggested she should do it.

She decided to do it, but never told me, until weeks later and only after I had embarassingly told an associate from another company that she wasn't going to. When that associate assured me that, yes, my client was going to move, I called her. She said, "Oh yeah, didn't (the owner of my company) tell you?" She apologized for the oversight.

I said, and I think this is how I put it, "My advice is valuable, and not given lightly. When I give my career advice to someone, it is meaningful. You donít have to follow it, but if you choose not to follow it, I feel I can choose not to spend a large amount of time giving advice again.Ē She was taken aback. I thought I was setting a boundary. In fact, as I write this, I still think I was setting a boundary.

Flash forward a month. We had a clerical error that was my responsibility and it might cost her a few thousand dollars of lost income over the next year. She called me one morning about it. I set about trying to fix it, which would probably take a full business day to get an answer on, and I told her that.

She called three times that same day, quizzing my assistant, then making a huge issue of it to my boss.

When I came in the next morning, my boss was waiting for me. It just so happened I had a huge breakthrough in therapy that morning - I felt I was free of my father's indifference, understated criticism and lack of affection. I didn't need or crave that approval anymore. I felt powerful, or at least less powerless.

Well, my boss inadvertently set about testing me, with indifference, understated criticism and lack of understanding. My defences were down, and I exploded at him. I ended up screaming at him, he threatened to fire me, I dared him to. It was awful.

Right after, SHE called in. The first thing I said to her was, "I don't know if I can do this anymore." I meant work for this company, but she though I meant work with her. I explained what I meant, but I keep thinking, maybe that is what she thinks was abusive?

In my conversation with her that morning, I spilled my guts about my failing relationship with my boss, that I feel he is a terrible manager of people, he is a micro-manager, that he hordes information and that he is small-minded. I said I felt the situation we were in was partially his fault because he enables clients to come to him with problems that do not concern him, rather than letting the proper person handle it.

I don't remember exactly how she responded. I will guess, though, that she was real worried about the little bit of money she MIGHT be losing out on. And I think she resented the suggestion that she should not call my boss. I told her it wasn't that she called him, but that she made so many calls before I had a chance to find out anything

If it matters, I was ultimately unable to correct the error. In these cases, if a client asks, we will credit them the relatively small amount they would have made. She never asked.

SInce then, due to a reorganisation (actually a kind of administrative promotion for me), I have talked to her maybe three times. We used to talk almost every day.

Okay, now my point, and I swear that I have one.

I feel betrayed, stabbed in the back by this woman, for whom I have done a lot, given a lot, and with whom, in a moment of emotion, I shared personal information.

She never approached me with a concern about my verbal abuse, I cannot even directly identify it. Now I may pay a heavy price professionally for something I had no opportunity to address or correct.

Worst of all, my boss wants me to try to go back to her and try to 'straighten it out.' I believe the words he used were, "How much shit do we have to eat?"

It is almost certain that she will not come back; she waited this long with the issue, she is most certainly entrenched in her feelings.

This feels fruitless and demeaning and I feel like I want to throw up.

I know I made a mistake professionally (the clerical error) and personally (in opening up). I feel I am being punished for having emotions, and given no slack professionally.

Help!

Comments are most welcome

Peace, not least of all to me
James

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#4125 - 04/09/03 06:12 PM Re: betrayal
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Cement:

I have read your posts and I personally feel that you did nothing wrong at all. We cannot govern nor anticipate the behaviours of others. It is unfortunate that it happened to you when you had a breakthrough but do not let this bump( and that is all it is) make you lose confidence in yourself or your recovery. It was circustance and nothing more. You did your best and that is it. You made a clerical mistake and I ask you. WHO HASN'T. If we were perfect what a world.

Do not beat yourself over the head with this. As the song goes pick yourself up dust yourself off and keep going (the last is mine). We, your brothers, are here for you and you can lean all you like.

But remember brother, at least as far as I am concerned, it was not your fault.

So let it go and move on. As far as it being a career limiting move I dont think so. You are imminently qualified and dont you forget it OK.
Your brother Mike

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#4126 - 04/09/03 11:28 PM Re: betrayal
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
James,
Do you really feel that you were betrayed by your client and boss or do you feel like you didn't meet your expectations. It always seems like most survivors strive for perfection just a little too much, myself included. It's like we're never comfortable in our own skin. As a result we have to strive to be the best in hopes that one day we'll be perfect and comfortable with ourselves. At least I see this very much in myself. You did your best, man. We all make mistakes. So I have to echo Mike's words in that try not to beat yourself up.
Take care,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#4127 - 04/10/03 01:59 PM Re: betrayal
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
There is a little more -

Her lawyers have contacted us to sever the contracted relationship. The clerical mistake I made is enough to void one part of the contract.

My boss is fine with this, and even seems to be getting a better emotional grip on the situation (that is, not backhandedly blaming me).

The problem is, I cannot get over feeling betrayed. I am angry with her. I made her a lot of money last year, spent hours, no, days on the phone with her, stood up for her with people trying to take advantage of her, talked about her issues. This is so unfair of her.

Or maybe I just made the situation turn out this way. She was taking advantage of me, she was using me to nurture her, and when I finally called her on it, she accused me of being abusive.

Hmmm....

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#4128 - 04/10/03 07:27 PM Re: betrayal
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
James
the things people do to make a buck or climb the greasy pole never cease to amaze me.
I work for a very big company and the ass kissing and back biting that goes on provides us with hours of entertainment, but of course the reality is there's a winner and a loser. Or is that a manipulator and a quick learner ?

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#4129 - 04/10/03 07:41 PM Re: betrayal
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
James; Like I said you cannot predict or govern peoples behavior and the world is full of ass holes and she strikes me as being one. Even if she does have personal issues. She used them inappropriately.

Forget it brother and dont let it hang over you like a cloud. Move on. You are doing great and dont forget it.

And your boss appears to have come around. so Dont sweat it or second guess her.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#4130 - 04/10/03 10:06 PM Re: betrayal
Jess Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 107
Loc: California
James,

The woman was, simply and plainly, a jerk! You've got better things to do than worry about what she thinks is important.

There are only four kinds of people in this world. Those who like you for the wrong reasons. Those who like you for the right reasons. Those who hate you for the wrong reasons, and those who hate you for the right reasons. Remember, it is only the last group of people that you really have to worry about. The rest don't matter.

Let your life be filled with peace now, James. You deserve it, my brother. \:\)

Sincerely, Jess.


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