This will probably be long. Heck, I don't think I've seen anything in "personal growth" that isn't. I have a conflict with a co-worker. I firmly believe that conflict is rarely ever one sided. Both parties always carry some blame. A mature person attempts to look at the situation and objectively see how they contributed and what they could have done differently. The thing is that no matter how I look at this situation I just cannot see how I am in any way to blame.
So here goes:
There is a coworker that I was friendly with. She had a vastly different parenting philosophy and doesn't always agree with my parenting decisions. But that's really okay with me. I value discussions with people who have different opinions than mine. It helps me see things from a different perspective. So my son had been sick most of the fall with ongoing stomach issues and we were seeing doctors to try and figure it out. In the meantime the school hadn't been as understanding as I would have liked. I'd gotten a call from the school counselor about how stressed out my son was by how behind he was in school from lots of missed days. I was venting to this co-worker about how the school wasn't willing to be helpful prior to this. This coworker started going on and on about how she thought my son's health problems were not the causing him stress, but that stress was causing the health problems. I explained that I didn't feel this was the case and that we had just gotten a medical diagnosis for the issue (severe GERD). She then suggested we see a family counselor. I told her that we were in the process of looking for a therapist for him to talk to. She explained that she meant a family counselor because I obviously wasn't listening to him, he was stressed out, I was making him ill, and we needed to see a family counselor so that I could learn to listen to my son. Now keep in mind that she has never met my child. Those who have met my whole family have been impressed with how in tune I am with my kids. She kept going on about how I needed to attend family counseling and see that I was the cause of my son's stomach issues. I eventually told her that I didn't choose to discuss the issue with her further. She retorted that I shouldn't ever speak to her again about my personal life if I didn't want her advice. I disengaged from the conversation and didn't speak to her for a couple of weeks. I was to angry to be civil so I just avoided her. This was back in November or so.
Between then and now she got a new job in a different department (a lateral move so she is still at the same level as myself). Oddly enough one that puts her in pretty regular contact with me. She was actually easy enough to avoid when she worked for my same boss because we had vastly different responsibilities. However, I've since calmed down and am quite civil to her though not friendly. Earlier this week we had a bit of a blow out about something work related (not personal and not related to our previous disagreement). I reported to my boss what had happened, because her mistake negatively impacted my project and I had been quite upset at her and didn't want him to hear that I had said or done something with an entirely different spin on it than what happened. Basically she yelled at me because I didn't just say "yes Ma'am" when she informed me of a change of plans, but told her that work flow changes of that nature needed discussed with my supervisor not me. She raged and stormed off making it necessary for me to call my boss and have him call her back so that she could get me something I needed to start my project for the day. This all in the middle of a training session that we had paid in excess of 5k for the trainer to come on-site to perform thereby not just wasting my time, but also the trainers. I then later asked her to leave the training session as her presence was not required, she was simply visiting with another coworker in the back of the room, and her being there was distracting me from the task I was attempting to learn.
My boss got, uncharacteristically, upset at me for the disagreement.
Friday he told me why. The reason she gave for changing jobs and leaving her position with him was that she didn't want to work with me. So, he made it clear to me that I need to get along with her.
Knowing that I'll try.
However, I just really fail to see where I did anything wrong in any of this. Admittedly, this is all from my perspective. But, she never even attempted to discuss any of this with me so I certainly don't have her perspective to give the situation any clarity. I do think she was rather unfortunately impulsive in the decision to change jobs. The job has responsibilities I know she dislikes doing. It also brings her in more contact with me not less, so obviously this decision was not real well thought out. I cannot imaging leaving a position because I wasn't getting along with someone without any effort to resolve the differences enough to at least work with them.
Can anyone give me some different perspective on this?
Edited by JollyGG - 2/11/12 at 7:54pm