"C'mon, Sylvie!"

I’m not going to say two people made me feel bad today. Because they didn’t. I let two people make me feel bad today. Technically, one person made me feel bad right before I went to bed last night, but that might as well count as today because I had to sleep on it.

Since I don’t want to get into too much of the specifics within a public forum, I will just let on that I work with a writer who continues, and I mean continues, to not deliver. I send her notes after notes; revise this, revise that; read the writer’s guides, etc.  Yesterday, at the end of my work day, as I was reviewing her work, just when I thought oh my god, did she submit something that can go straight to the editor? Is it possible? Just when I thought that, no, another snafu. Another something or other that she could’ve been tuned into on her own. If she’d double-checked her work, she would’ve caught this.  So I wrote her asking for the fix.

I check my work email a lot. I do it because I’m part of an office culture that (kind of) expects you to. I also do it because I can admit to having somewhat of an obsessive-compulsive personality. I’m in bed last night, and obviously the last thing I want to be thinking about is work. But before I can check Facebook, before I can skim my Google Reader, before I can check my Gmail, I am checking my work email. Because what if, right? What if my boss is e-mailing me to tell me that I’m fired? What if my boss is e-mailing me to tell me that I’m now in charge of the company? I need to check my work e-mail. So I check it, and herewith is an email from the writer I’ve written and it begins: “C’mon, Sylvie!”

I will say no more. This “C’mon, Sylvie!’ has hit home. It doesn’t matter what I’ve said, what she’s said, or what will be said. Someone has called me out on being “out of line.” If I was anyone else, perhaps I wouldn’t give a shit. I’d take it in stride and state my case. But I feel defeated now. I feel an automatic loss. I have offended someone. I have made someone mad. Someone is having a bad night now because of me. I can’t handle it.

I can’t handle it, but I will learn to handle it. Oh, I will learn to handle it. But for now, I am unaccustomed to this. I’m pretty sure I am right, but as soon as I am challenged, I retreat. Why?

The second person who I let make me feel bad today was this guy at the gym that, to be honest, I have always watched from afar, as I run my miles and lip sync my play lists. I notice him because he wears his socks up to his knees. Not shins, knees. He is noticeable, to say the least. With the gym empty on an early Saturday morning, I took it upon myself to lift weights directly in front of the mirror, directly in front of all of the other available weights. I wasn’t thinking. I wanted to be close to my face. I like my weight-lifting face, what can I say. The guy with the socks comes by and grabs a couple of weights. He starts to lift them behind me. When he is done, he has come back to where I am and put his weights in place.

“Don’t move, don’t worry about me,” he says under his breath.

I stop lifting to move.

“No, no really, don’t move. Don’t worry about me,” he says again.

And then he walks. And I feel like I’ve done the worst thing one can possibly do in the world. I blocked the weights. I got in his way. I was selfish and rude. 

In the end, I have upset someone. And I can’t wrap my head around that.

Because I don’t upset people.

People upset me.