Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a verbal war and no matter how hard you wished for the ground to miraculously open up and swallow you whole, it just wouldn’t? I have.
And, I really think about it, I did totally nothing to deserve bearing witness to such awkward moments. But maybe there was a reason – and that would be because the Goddess knew I would not be able to resist the urge to write it down. And so here I am, fulfilling what I was born to do (and no, it’s not manlait ng tao).
The first time I played the part of witness was when Louie, bless his sharp mind, quick wit and impeccable sense of timing (yes, that’s supposed to drip with sarcasm), called a meeting one afternoon to discuss account updates. Most, if not all of us, were in horrible moods then – Abbie because he was asked to come in at 8:30 am for a meeting that apparently didn’t happen; Jenn, because she was on the warpath about the XYZ account; and me, because I came in at 8:30 am for a meeting after informing my boss that I was supposed to be picked up from Robinson’s Galleria, only to be informed that I should meet up with the boss at Trinoma at 9:15 am instead. Art, if I remembered correctly, was also a little pissy, but I couldn’t really remember why. Anyway.
So Louie gets to this point and asks, “What’s the update about XYZ?”
Jenn, being already on the warpath, took that as a go-signal to start spewing all the rage she had been carefully nursing the past couple of days. Poor Art – I knew he was caught totally off-guard and, true to form, he remained quiet throughout Jenn’s tirade. Art, like me sometimes, chooses to shut off all emotion when confronted with a very uncomfortable situation. That’s how he copes, I guess, and I can’t fault him for that because I know it’s incredibly effective. Art and I, we compartmentalize – the only difference, I think, is that my ability to compartmentalize only goes so far while his seems to be endless. In that situation with Jenn, was he wrong? Yes, he was. But that wasn’t the point.
You see, that afternoon, Art, Abet, Louie and I were scheduled to leave the office for our respective appointments. Starting a meeting that had the potential to explode like the atomic bomb was not the best idea my boss had ever come up with. Having the possibly-atomic-bomb-like meeting in the middle of the production area of the office was even worse. And that was EXACTLY what happened. That meeting blew up like an atomic bomb and Abet and I were helplessly caught in it. It got so awkward that I was texting Brian, telling him how much I wanted to laugh – and I would have, if only it wasn’t so inappropriate. So from that day on, Jenn erased Art’s existence from her life and I have that particular memory seared in my brain.
And like once wasn’t enough, it had to happen again, this time, with Jenn and I acting as witnesses to a relatively interesting exchange between Anthony and Damaris. Okay, backpedalling a little here, just so you get a clearer picture. The team – our team – recently went to Hongkong (hence the very, very true albeit very, very short entry about it). In that little country not so far away, groups broke apart and new ones – at least ours – were formed. Jenn, because she truly is the friendliest of them all, tried her best to connect to the two other girls in the team – Bhie and Damaris. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out too well, thanks to the wonderful breakfast comments we heard.
First, there was the thing about our boys not being gentlemanly enough. I guess because certain people expected their bags to be carried and this didn’t happen, it was translated to them not being chivalrous. Was chivalry truly dead in our group? Of course not – at least not with the boys I hung out with – but that’s besides the point. I openly admit that I appreciate having my things carried for me as much as the next person, but should boys not carry it for me, why should I get totally offended by that? In the first place, it was MY CHOICE to bring the bag that I brought – so I should be accountable for lugging it around. The logic of that particular expectation completely escapes me.
Second, who, in the Goddess’s name gave Bhie the authority to “test” who was ready to be the next coordinator? Dudes and Dudettes, it was a vacation – a vacay with an ulterior motive, true – but a vacation nonetheless. My idea of a vacation is doing the things I want to do, buying the things I want to buy and hanging out with the people I love hanging out with. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the “structured” approach to our trip – it certainly made sure that most of our hours were accounted for – but after day 2, it became a little too much. By Day 3 – and this probably had more to do with the fact that Jenn and I were supposed to have planned this segment – I was all but ready to get a gun, put it against my head and pull the trigger. Like I’m SO SORRY that I wasn’t as organized as them. Yes, again, dripping with sarcasm.
But, going back to my original point, groups were broken and formed in that little country not so far away. Their group lost Anthony but gained Art… and we gained Anthony. It was nice to find a new friend in a place where I didn’t really expect to find one.
Now, we’re back in Manila and the team obviously hadn’t forgotten how we had formed our little cliques. Anthony totally loves his teammates – now whether the feeling is mutual or not is something I will eventually find out. Incidentally – and just because I have to say this – the absurdity of that last statement almost made me laugh out loud. Okay, back to the story.
Yesterday – so recent, right? – I decided to migrate to the other area because of two things. One, when I got back from FEU, no one was in our area. Second, Anthony was in his. What I failed to notice was that Damaris was there, but since she was a non-entity to me and didn’t really matter that much, I didn’t really mind. So Damaris and I exchanged our his and hellos and I sat down next to Anthony will every intention of bugging him. Then Jenn showed up, demanding why I was where I was. Soon, Jenn and I had relocated to the other area, with laptops and all. Now Damaris was supposed to be obsing Therese’s run of Strategic Marking, if I’m not mistaken – and in her haste to finish all she had to finish (I’m assuming that was her reason. I could be wrong, you know.), she started telling Anthony to do most of the stuff that she was accountable for.
It was the statement “Binebenta nga kita eh” that triggered my chismosa-ness and REALLY made me pay attention. When I heard Anthony reply with “E di wag mo ko ibenta”, I was seriously contemplating to pull him down to his seat. Good thing he enough sense to walk away and tune the rest of her comments out.
I don’t like Damaris… She acts all weak and kawawa, but what she really is is passive-aggressive. She’s the type who will push people around if they don’t complain, and the minute they do, she’ll burst into tears and play the victim. I hate that. I think there are two kinds of people in this world – those who victimize other people and those who allow themselves to be victimized. There’s always a choice. I don’t think she’ll ever have the nerve to really go head to head with anyone – she’s weak that way.
Jenn and I were telepathically communicating, but I think our lines got crossed and she couldn’t get what I was trying to say, which was “go online”. Later on, I found out she was shouting “Must go online” in her head – and yet I was online and she wasn’t. Again, totally coincidental that I was there, but that didn’t make it any less awkward. At least Anthony had the decency to feel ashamed of having witnesses to that little spat. Today, she didn’t say two words to me, I think. Again, I actually don’t mind if people don’t like me – it isn’t exactly my goal to win the Ms. Congeniality award in the office. What I do hope for, however, is more transparency. All I want is to have friends who are REAL and the rest are just people that I have to work well with.
So let’s hope for that.
For now, I have to go because I am seriously burning with fever and will have to attend an SMB session tomorrow. So here’s to having more interesting days in the office that I can write about.
@ JCB: Happy ka na? Nakapag-blog na ulit ako =)
@ ACD: Remind me of that theory I thought of tomorrow.