The Bitter Woman - A Co-worker
I try to avoid any conversation with this person, other than hello because she is so negative, sneering, and basically unhappy. She is permitted to listen to talk radio during her shift and has been observed shouting at the radio.
She is also first to get into a political debate with anyone, and you can't win with her. It was the day before our holiday potluck at work, and people were happy - swapping recipes and ideas about what to bring.
Also, a little snowman had been "kidnapped" by one department asking for ransom of candy bars. I jokingly said that it would go better for her if she gave up the snowman earlier than later.
Her response was that "she doesn't have time to worry about that since there were starving people in the world." The moment got the better of me, and I said that people had been starving in the world for 5,000 years. She reels back and says that people are homeless too, and I remark that there have been homeless people in the world for 5,000 years. (My point was that she wasn't the first and won't be the last to have concern or compassion for those less fortunate).
My own experience has been working with battered women, offenders coming out of jail, volunteering at the county mental health facility, lecturing various groups about pulling oneself up out of poverty and chaos.
As far as I know, she does not volunteer any time, nor raise or donate funds to charity. She just wants to make noise, and it's always negative. I'm sure that I will hear something back on this at some point, and it will most likely be that I am a racist.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Catherine, and thanks for telling your story here. Since our focus on this site is preventing conflict and helping people get along, I have some suggestions for you.
The situation you describe can sometimes escalate into a potentially violent situation, with someone being ostracized and excluded because they're different.
You're obviously a good person, who cares about others. See if you can find anything good in this co-worker, and be the bigger person by trying to become her friend. You'll find more suggestions here.
You have something to offer here. You can make it better.
My very best to you,
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