It must be me. It can’t be the rest of the world, so it must be me.
It’s my suspicious mind, my perverted nature. I see things which aren’t always there, think I see things even if no one else does. It’s sort of creepy.
Let me give you an example.
Two of the CSRs at work – let’s call them V and T – have been sort of close friends the entire time I’ve been with the company. They shared a pod – which is a grouping of three desks in a single, large cubicle – and would sort of hang out together. They ended up staying in the same pod when our team shuffled seating around back in 2011. We reshuffled again in early 2012 and they were finally separated because we decided to group them by account support, and so they started IM’ing each other. (The third person in that pod became our quality coordinator and buyer/planner, so she got her own desk.) T and V go out a couple of times a week to the roach coach for tacos (which are really, really good, btw), go to lunch together, they go on breaks together (T used to smoke and V would go out with her, even though he doesn’t smoke).
But things seemed to… well, escalate, I guess. At least, I think so.
For example, sometime last fall, right after we moved here, V brought in his young son (he’s about two). And T followed them around like a fawning sweetheart, adoring and acting as if she and the little boy were long time friends and she was a member of the family. But the little boy didn’t treat her any differently than the rest of us.
But her behavior that day was symptomatic of the way she’d been behaving prior. She sits directly over a cubicle wall from me, and I can hear her sometimes laugh for no apparent reason. It’s because all day long they IM each other back and forth. (They’re separated by a full cubicle now.) They still do breakfast tacos and breaks (even though T says she doesn’t smoke anymore), and now, there’s a new wrinkle.
They’ve started arriving at the same time.
This is interesting because T’s start time is 7:30AM, and V’s is 8AM. And V has always been an "on-the-dot" guy. Because they’re hourly employees, more or less, they have to track their time, and any overtime has to be approved. (Especially now!) T, on the other hand, was almost always 10-15 minutes late because of dropping off her kids at school. Of late – say, the last few months – she’s been arriving a little earlier. She has a reason for it, and it involves the kids and school and whatnot, but the curious thing is, V is coming in at the same time.
Now, I have my own thoughts on this. It makes me think they’re having an affair. They just…act like people having an affair. They’re a little too chummy, a little too often are together, and now, their supervisor is templed to ask them if they’re car pooling (oh, is THAT what it’s called these days?). This tells me it’s not just something I see because I’m a suspicious POS. It’s something a lot of people see.
Are they friends? Sure. Are they having an affair? I think so, but what do I know? and why should I care? I shouldn’t, and it’s none of my business, but I have to tell you, the behavior is what triggers the thought and the thoughts lead to rumors. I don’t think they care, frankly. And if they ARE seeing each other intimately, calling them on their behavior isn’t going to change anything. They’re consenting adults; they’ll do what they want when they want.
Why would I bring this up? Why would I talk about this here on my blog?
Well, a long time ago, in another life, I had an affair during my first marriage. And it went on a long, long time. In fact, people confronted us (me and the woman I was sleeping with) about our behavior and how suspicious it was. How bad it looked. Eventually, even a doting wife becomes suspicious. I didn’t care about that though. I challenged any and all comers to face me and tell me what they thought. I blasted them with profanity and burning anger – how DARE you question me?! That sort of thing. True enough, though, the protestations were confessions on my part. I was just too stupid to realize it. And true enough, I was moving in different circles then. Circles where being confronted about something like that is supposed to cause a change in behavior.
But it didn’t, and if it didn’t based on what I was (supposed to be) then, it’s certainly not going to have any impact on people who don’t give two hoots about accountability. (That’s the word bandied about back then – "accountability". It was supposed to give authority over certain matters to people who…well, who frankly don’t deserve that authority.) And since they’re not doing anything to affect how they perform their jobs, no one can – or probably SHOULD – say anything to them. This is still, even though it’s seeping out at work, a personal matter.
For me, though, it rams home how I must’ve looked back then. How things must’ve looked to outsiders. My poor, hapless ex-wife, trying to tell people, "Oh, they’re just really good friends, that’s all." How humiliating for her. And now, I see it from outside, and it’s so much clearer than it was from the inside. So much clearer.
As I get older it’s more and more important to me to be upright and beyond question in my ethics, my behavior. How important it is for me to appear as I claim to walk. Can’t just talk it, gotta walk it, too. There’s a lot of room for error in there, a lot of room for making mistakes. I have to eliminate them everywhere possible.
I’d like people to know I love my spouse, and honor her. That means not having any sort of close, intimate relationship with anyone of the opposite sex, especially in real life, which might exclude her. I’ve been there, done that, and saw the results. I am NOT interested in doing the same again.
So I see with new eyes now, and this is only ONE of a couple of individuals which seem to have some sort of personal intimacy going on behind the scenes, which is leaking out onto the stage itself.
I wish, though, it hadn’t taken me so long to learn this lesson. Now I can see it and realize how smarmy it is to act this way.
Ah well. The only one I can control is me. So I will.