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View Full Version : SOAP OPERA: When a Friend of a Friend Has Betrayed You



jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 11:41 AM
Okay, just as people warn you when they're going to rant about something, I'm warning you that a soap opera of sorts follows:

Until about three months ago, I was working as a paralegal at a big law firm in Manhattan. A young woman whom I will call Delia, who was somewhere between being a friend, and acquaintance, and a friend of a friend, was looking for a permanent job, so I offered to refer her on to my boss, as I knew there was an opening in my department. During the course of her candidacy, I did everything I could to find out where she stood, to save Delia the anxiety I had experienced as a candidate at this place, doing nothing for her that an attorney who helped me get the job hadn't done for me. Well, Delia gets the job. Does she show any gratitude? No. Instead, about a week after starting, she marches into my office, gives me a tirade about how "inappropriate" my behavior had been in the course of her candidacy, told me I should have forwarded her resume and ended it there, etc. etc. I called her an ungrateful little s**t and threw her out of my office.

The next day, I apologized, but the incident lingered in my mind despite my best efforts to forgive her. Delia, meanwhile, made every effort to distance herself from me while we continued to work together.

In February, I got fired for insubordination after I refused to stay late due to bad planning on the attorney I was working for. This was after taking a lot of crap from him, and was more involved than my just being unwilling to stay late. Basically, he was a genuine ass who had a constant need to put me down to allay his own insecurities about being a first-year attorney. I'd also been miserable at this place for a long time, and if it hadn't been this incident, it would have been something else; I couldn't take that environment any more. Anyway, I blew up at him and got fired on a Friday.

Saturday night, I called Delia, thinking she might be sympathetic. She couldn't talk then, but called me back Sunday evening, at which point she berated me for OVER AN HOUR about how little I knew about the business world and being a professional, implied that I had no marketable skills (bullshit: I'm a Columbia grad who's a thorough researcher and an excellent writer), and did everything within her power to make me feel miserable, anxious, and guilt-ridden under the guise of "helping me". She also made a point of trying to imply that our ex-boss, who had left the firm three weeks before I got sacked, had a very low opinion of me and that I shouldn't even ask him for a reference (the firm made it clear when I left that they would only confirm dates of employment, so I needed my ex-boss, whom I'll call Larry, to give me a positive reference). Basically, she fails to act in any way that a real friend would act under these circumstances, because at times like these, even if you think things like this, you don't say them, not when somebody's as far down as I was at that moment.

Anyway, I met with Larry for lunch that week, and he not only told me not to blame myself for what happened, but offered to refer me on to people he knew at another firm, reassured me that things like this happen to almost everyone sometime or other, and clearly showed he had a much more positive opinion of me than Delia implied. Later on, when the firm protested my claim for unemployment benefits, he gave me information which would have enabled me to establish that I was wrongfully terminated, insofar as the firm tolerated similar behavior in other paralegals, and also had a written policy not to terminate on the basis of an isolated incident.

Okay, to get back to the point of all this: Delia and I have a fair number of mutual acquaintances, and it is hard for me to see any of them (particularly a couple that I am very great friends with) without running into Delia. I told one of my friends about how I felt about her, and he said, "well, you and Delia just value different things." And then it struck me: yeah, we value different things. I value my friends for their warmth, personality and character. By her actions to me, Delia has shown that she values people only to the extent that they can help her, or at least make her feel better about her own situation.

The other night, I, Delia, and various other friends were at a farewell dinner for my best friend, who has completed graduate school and is returning to Canada. Delia and I were forced to sit next to each other. She didn't look in my direction once, or react to anything I said, the whole evening, except one time when I congratulated another person in the party who was about to move out of her parent's home by saying "Great! That's such a big step!" (Delia lives at home with her parents and spends an enormous amount of energy trying to persuade herself and others that this doesn't make her miserable; no one really buys the act, but she does it anyway). Delia gives a very pointed sight and joins in another conversation at the table. As we are leaving that evening, I say good bye and tell her I'll tell our ex-boss, Larry, she said hi when I meet him for lunch next week. She expresses great surprise that I would have lunch with Larry, in a really bitchy kind of a way, and I walk away thinking, "what a bitch."

At this point, the sight of Delia is so abhorrent to me that it takes all the strength I have to keep cool around her. I have resolved not to initiate contact with her under any circumstances again and to avoid it to the extent possible, but we are still constantly running into each other . I honestly don't know what to do when I'm with our mutual acquaintances, and she's there. I can't and won't avoid them; they are very good friends of mine who helped me through all the trauma of losing my job, and showed great concern for my welfare, as they do at all times. But I honestly don't know how to handle being in constant company with someone I despise as much as I despise her.

tartytwenty
06-29-2005, 11:52 AM
I read your post, but I'm not sure what to say. Stay away from her if possible and in group settings, let her be the asshat, and remain cool :)

Bugsey34
06-29-2005, 12:07 PM
Why did you call her when you got fired after she had been so nasty to you? I would just avoid her at all costs, explain to your friends why you're not getting along and see what they decide to do.

paiger81
06-29-2005, 12:10 PM
What the FUCK is up with people having difficulties with acquaitances they don't like, this week?

Anyway, like I've said on wordsmith's thread, I usually am just as annoying back to people I don't like or else I just flat ignore them. Furthermore, most of my friends are aware of who I do & do not like, and generally are understanding and don't mind that I am just as rude back to people I don't like.

Basically, like mid20 said, it may make me a small person for being catty back, but what the fuck do I care if an obliviout doesn't like me? I have plenty of people who do like me, so screw the idiots who can't recognize how great I am :razz:

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 12:13 PM
I think when I got fired I just didn't know what to do or who to turn to. I think at the time I hadn't quite realized that she had been avoiding me; I had just attributed her behavior to being intensely busy, as law firms are often very hectic. Only later, after this phone call, did I realize that she had been distancing herself from me the whole time.

My best friend has had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with Delia. Basically, she periodically shows up on his door and throws herself at his feet, and, being only human, he doesn't always have the willpower to resist her. I have told him the whole of the history, however, and he has pretty much ceased initiating contact with her. As he leaves for Canada next week, I imagine she will not be throwing herself at his feet again anytime soon.

I have another job now, in a position I like a lot better and am back on my feet. But I will be damned if I will ever offer any kind of assistance, professional or otherwise, to Delia again.

winneythepooh7
06-29-2005, 12:20 PM
First off, congrats on the new job. I agree that you shouldn't get involved much with helping people to get a job. This is definately a case of it biting one in one's ass. I feel your pain about having to run into her. There are several aquaintances of my boyfriend that I personally do not care for. When they are around I just ignore them. That's probably the most you can do. Don't talk to this biotch anymore. And she'll get hers. Don't worry about it ;).

tartytwenty
06-29-2005, 12:20 PM
I have another job now, in a position I like a lot better and am back on my feet. But I will be damned if I will ever offer any kind of assistance, professional or otherwise, to Delia again.

Right. I would just say you learned a life lesson from this beotchh.

Hopefully your best bud finds a decent chica in Canada.

GetMeOuttaDC
06-29-2005, 12:25 PM
She sounds like a bitch, and I wouldn't make any efforts to pretend to be nice to her in the future.

And watch your back around "friends" that hang around with someone like Delia.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 12:29 PM
Yeah...my best friend understands her vicious character now, and the other mutual acquaintances, of whom I am concerned, are the sort who never like to think ill of anybody. If you've ever read Pride and Prejudice, you might say they're the Jane Bennets of this little drama...I don't know how to describe it better.

tina1979
06-29-2005, 12:36 PM
Right. I would just say you learned a life lesson from this beotchh.

Hopefully your best bud finds a decent chica in Canada.
I agree.

Since you will continue to run into her at different functions and at best you maybe able to avoid her, I would simply call her out one day. Get her somewhere you are semi alone and ask what the hell her problem is. and explain that she will have to suck it up because you guys are friends with the same ppl and instead of ruining each others nights maybe you can strike up some kind of truce just for special occasions. Not that she actually deserves it, but you deserve to be able to go out with your friends and not worry about what smart ass comment she is gonna make this time.

midtwenty
06-29-2005, 12:58 PM
What the FUCK is up with people having difficulties with acquaitances they don't like, this week?

Anyway, like I've said on wordsmith's thread, I usually am just as annoying back to people I don't like or else I just flat ignore them. Furthermore, most of my friends are aware of who I do & do not like, and generally are understanding and don't mind that I am just as rude back to people I don't like.

Basically, like mid20 said, it may make me a small person for being catty back, but what the fuck do I care if an obliviout doesn't like me? I have plenty of people who do like me, so screw the idiots who can't recognize how great I am :razz:

Rock on, sista! :)

paiger81
06-29-2005, 01:00 PM
Rock on, sista! :)

Haha, I swear, sometimes this board makes me feel like we(me & you) are the wierdest people, cause it seems that at times we are the only ones who dont' really give a flying fuck. Makes me wonder if we are abnormal....... :googly:

midtwenty
06-29-2005, 01:51 PM
Haha, I swear, sometimes this board makes me feel like we(me & you) are the wierdest people, cause it seems that at times we are the only ones who dont' really give a flying fuck. Makes me wonder if we are abnormal....... :googly:
Hmmm. Either abnormal or well-adjusted. Which I guess could be fairly abnormal in itself.

I just don't happen to give a damn if people like me or not, nor do I care if they're uncomfortable in my presence. Especially if their discomfort is a result of acting like a raging bitch. I learned a looooong time ago that life is too short to spend worrying over stuff like this.

spokes
06-29-2005, 02:01 PM
i find delia's behaviour quite odd. you helped her get a job and she then turns around on you. i don't get why she would turn on you so quick when you helped her. she is whack!!!

i wonder ifshe has ever heard of the old proverb "what goes around comes around" - she'll get hers one day.........

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 02:10 PM
Hmmm. Either abnormal or well-adjusted. Which I guess could be fairly abnormal in itself.

I just don't happen to give a damn if people like me or not, nor do I care if they're uncomfortable in my presence. Especially if their discomfort is a result of acting like a raging bitch. I learned a looooong time ago that life is too short to spend worrying over stuff like this.

Midtwenty,

My concern is not for Delia's comfort but for that of our mutual acquaintances. We have a particular tendency to run into each other at parties in the apartment of a couple, and it would pain me to have them embarassed if Delia and I were to get into an altercation while we were guests in their home.

Despite what Delia has done to me, I don't want to put our mutual acquaintance in the awkward position of having to "choose sides" between us. I don't believe those kinds of ultimatums belong in friendship.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 02:15 PM
i find delia's behaviour quite odd. you helped her get a job and she then turns around on you. i don't get why she would turn on you so quick when you helped her. she is whack!!!

i wonder ifshe has ever heard of the old proverb "what goes around comes around" - she'll get hers one day.........

She most assuredly will, as I know this won't be the last time she'll alienate people this way.

A mutual friend tried to justify her behavior to me by noting that she was already employed (albeit as a temp) when I helped her get this position and by saying that I violated her "sense of independence" by not letting her figure things out on her own. For a time, I bought that, and even said something like that to her when she called me up and berated me for an hour, but I've realized now that that assessment is basically horse shit. I know in my heart that nothing I did on her behalf was inappropriate. The fact that, upon being hired, she went and apologize to a co-worker of whom I had made inquiries of her tells me that she really is wanting in understanding. This co-worker helped interview her, and I asked him in a casual way what he thought of her (I was out of the office the day she was interviewed).

paiger81
06-29-2005, 02:30 PM
Midtwenty,

My concern is not for Delia's comfort but for that of our mutual acquaintances. We have a particular tendency to run into each other at parties in the apartment of a couple, and it would pain me to have them embarassed if Delia and I were to get into an altercation while we were guests in their home.

Despite what Delia has done to me, I don't want to put our mutual acquaintance in the awkward position of having to "choose sides" between us. I don't believe those kinds of ultimatums belong in friendship.

Ultimatums have nothing to do with it. I understand that my friends like a person that I don't. On the flip side of the same coin, my friends also understand that I do not like a person, and don't expect me to pretend otherwise. They are not embarrassed by what I say or do, if they were, they would not be my friends. It's one of the things that my friends love about me, I am who I am and I expect people to accept me for it.

midtwenty
06-29-2005, 02:38 PM
Midtwenty,

My concern is not for Delia's comfort but for that of our mutual acquaintances. We have a particular tendency to run into each other at parties in the apartment of a couple, and it would pain me to have them embarassed if Delia and I were to get into an altercation while we were guests in their home.

Despite what Delia has done to me, I don't want to put our mutual acquaintance in the awkward position of having to "choose sides" between us. I don't believe those kinds of ultimatums belong in friendship.

What Paige said.

If you're so worried about getting into it with her when you're at a gathering of mutual friends, then go with the intention of having absolutely nothing to do with her. You have nothing to say to her, correct? Then DON'T. Forget her existence entirely. Just because you run into her from time to time doesn't mean you have to acknowledge her presence. As far as I can see, the two of you have absolutely NOTHING to talk to each other about any longer. So DON'T.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 02:39 PM
Ultimatums have nothing to do with it. I understand that my friends like a person that I don't. On the flip side of the same coin, my friends also understand that I do not like a person, and don't expect me to pretend otherwise. They are not embarrassed by what I say or do, if they were, they would not be my friends. It's one of the things that my friends love about me, I am who I am and I expect people to accept me for it.

Yeah, I know...I guess it's just my sense of how you're supposed to behave when you're a guest in someone else's home, or at a party/get-together thrown by someone else.

paiger81
06-29-2005, 02:46 PM
Yeah, I know...I guess it's just my sense of how you're supposed to behave when you're a guest in someone else's home, or at a party/get-together thrown by someone else.


I get that, and I can tell you I have never been deemed inappropriate for my behavior at other people's homes. But I'm also from Texas, and generally, you can call a spade a spade & that is not seen as a breach of etiquette.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 02:55 PM
What Paige said.

If you're so worried about getting into it with her when you're at a gathering of mutual friends, then go with the intention of having absolutely nothing to do with her. You have nothing to say to her, correct? Then DON'T. Forget her existence entirely. Just because you run into her from time to time doesn't mean you have to acknowledge her presence. As far as I can see, the two of you have absolutely NOTHING to talk to each other about any longer. So DON'T.

Yeah, that works most of the time, but the other major occasion when we run into each other are at brunches with a very limited group of people. It's easy to just ignore her in a party of say, 30 people. It's much harder when it's six people at a restaurant table.

and1grad
06-29-2005, 03:04 PM
I say just play nice. You're already the better person, prove it. This lady is small, expose her as such. Thats what I would do...I would make sure she looks like the selfish bitch she is in front of your friends. Also, if you've maintained any friends at the old place, make sure they're aware of her affinity for knives and backs.

tina1979
06-29-2005, 03:17 PM
I say just play nice. You're already the better person, prove it. This lady is small, expose her as such. Thats what I would do...I would make sure she looks like the selfish bitch she is in front of your friends. Also, if you've maintained any friends at the old place, make sure they're aware of her affinity for knives and backs.
I second that

midtwenty
06-29-2005, 03:21 PM
Yeah, that works most of the time, but the other major occasion when we run into each other are at brunches with a very limited group of people. It's easy to just ignore her in a party of say, 30 people. It's much harder when it's six people at a restaurant table.

I don't see how. You either ingore someone or you don't. The number of other people in the party shouldn't even factor into the equation, as far as I can see. But maybe that's just me and my overdeveloped ability to ignore.

tina1979
06-29-2005, 03:23 PM
I don't see how. You either ingore someone or you don't. The number of other people in the party shouldn't even factor into the equation, as far as I can see. But maybe that's just me and my overdeveloped ability to ignore.
he probably finds it easier to ignore her in large groups because if he makes it a point to ignore her in small ones it could be considered rude by his friends or even create tension at the table.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 03:24 PM
he probably finds it easier to ignore her in large groups because if he makes it a point to ignore her in small ones it could be considered rude by his friends or even create tension at the table.

Yeah, that's about the size of it. It's also just hard to stay out of a conversation everyone is involved in just because she's in it, too.

paiger81
06-29-2005, 03:24 PM
But maybe that's just me and my overdeveloped ability to ignore.

I see it more as an artform. You know you've reached master level when you are so good at it, the person doesn't even realize that they have been ignored :razz:

midtwenty
06-29-2005, 03:25 PM
he probably finds it easier to ignore her in large groups because if he makes it a point to ignore her in small ones it could be considered rude by his friends or even create tension at the table.
I know what he meant. I still wouldn't have a problem with it, size of group or no. If these people are as good of friends as he's put forward, they should understand why he's ignoring her. I'm just saying that I personally don't find a whit of difference between ignoring someone in a party of 5 or in a party of 50.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 03:26 PM
JR,

6 ppl = 4 others he can talk to besides that bitch
30 ppl = 28 others he can talk to besides that bitch

Is that what you meant?

No...it's that with six people, the conversation tends to involve all six people, whereas with 28, you can wander from conversation to conversation and just avoid whichever one she happens to be in at any given moment. So with the six, if she directly asks you a question, it's hard to avoid answering without being rude, or not to take offense she says something offensive.

paiger81
06-29-2005, 03:27 PM
Yeah, that's about the size of it. It's also just hard to stay out of a conversation everyone is involved in just because she's in it, too.

Now this is where you volley with her. If she says something that doesn't make sense, ask for more in depth explanation. She can make an ass of herself.

tina1979
06-29-2005, 03:28 PM
I know what he meant. I still wouldn't have a problem with it, size of group or no. If these people are as good of friends as he's put forward, they should understand why he's ignoring her. I'm just saying that I personally don't find a whit of difference between ignoring someone in a party of 5 or in a party of 50.
I guess I have a problem with it simply because of past experience. If someone is there that I can easily ignore in a large group is in a small group with me I tend to be extremely sarcastic with that person. I get my digs in. I feel good when I say it because I feel like "served you right" but then I feel a bit petty for having done it. :torn:

midtwenty
06-29-2005, 03:34 PM
I guess I have a problem with it simply because of past experience. If someone is there that I can easily ignore in a large group is in a small group with me I tend to be extremely sarcastic with that person. I get my digs in. I feel good when I say it because I feel like "served you right" but then I feel a bit petty for having done it. :torn:
:( Yeah, it does take some conscious effort to pull off, I admit. Sometimes you just want to call someone an asshat and feel good about it.

tina1979
06-29-2005, 03:37 PM
Sometimes you just want to call someone an asshat and feel good about it.
Yep! There are a few I would definately love to call out. I have discovered I like to make the asshats feel uncomfortable though. Some of them (depending on what was done to earn my wrath) I will walk up to and say something like "I'm sorry. Are you not speaking to me for some reason?" Something stupid like that. Makes them shift in thier seat. :evil:

paiger81
06-29-2005, 03:38 PM
Yep! There are a few I would definately love to call out. I have discovered I like to make the asshats feel uncomfortable though. Some of them (depending on what was done to earn my wrath) I will walk up to and say something like "I'm sorry. Are you not speaking to me for some reason?" Something stupid like that. Makes them shift in thier seat. :evil:

heehee, I've done that too. Haha, Good job.

tina1979
06-29-2005, 03:43 PM
heehee, I've done that too. Haha, Good job.
*taking bow* this from someone who avoids confrontation at almost all costs. I'm proud of myself. :)

and1grad
06-29-2005, 04:19 PM
"I'm sorry. Are you not speaking to me for some reason?" Something stupid like that. Makes them shift in thier seat. :evil:
THAT is funny. I like that proactive approach. For me, ignoring people is easy...making em look like a jack ass...thats the real fun.

jrwilheim
06-29-2005, 04:32 PM
I think she is using you to get to your best friend. Sexual tension. It's deeper than it sounds.

No, because she knew him before she knew me.