Saturday, October 28, 2006

Workplace Battleground

I talked in this post about a new account I was given when a team member left the company suddenly. In addition to the heartache of losing a dear friend as a colleague, this account is notoriously challenging. I have spent the last 10 days trying to transition my former accounts (five years of accumulated experience) and learn my way around the new one, as well as deliver on projects that were already in progress. No rest for the weary or anybody else, especially me.

There is a gentleman on the account (aka the Dude) that serves as a liason between me and my company and his company, his company also being a division of my company. The Dude and I have already had some difficult exchanges, because he walked into this new relationship beating his fists on his chest, apparently trying to scare me into submission and unrealistic timelines.

I am small, I am a woman, and I am very sensitive, but I will not be pushed around, largely because of those first three character traits. In fact, the worst thing you can probably do is try to push me around because I will either ignore you or push back just as hard. It’s a no-win situation for the pusher. I really wanted to sit this guy down and say “look, you can either work with me or against me and the former is going to be in your best interest.” But instead, we had this conversation:

The Dude (with feigned humor): “Oh, ask me if I care.”
Me (with veiled hostility): “I didn’t.”

Sigh. So that is how it is going to be.

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