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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Monday, February 05, 2007
Is It A Girl Thing?
My heart is hurting for my friend. She is in a very difficult situation. Before I tell you about the situation, let me tell you a bit about her.

Our families went to the same church when our children were younger. I didn't know her well then - just enough to say hi to. We both left that church at around the same time. Our children were all grown and not living at home any more. We went to different churches, and I didn't see her for quite a while.

Then several years ago, she and her husband built a house just down the streeet and around the corner from us. In those days I used to walk alone. I loved that little bit of time to myself. One day she called saying she had seen me walking and wondered if she could walk with me. My first thought was a selfish one (no big surprise there), "I don't want to have to share the one time I have alone with someone else." However, I may be selfish, but I can't bear to hurt anyone else's feelings so I said, "Sure".

It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. She is a sweet, Godly woman. We have much in common and there were no awkward silences on our walk. We just chatted the whole time. I soon realized I could tell her anything that was on my heart, and the confidence was safe with her. Her encouragement and wisdom blessed me time and time again. She was the first person I knew who lived out the command to pray without ceasing. She often would tell me about her conversations with the Lord. It would go something like this, " I just said now Lord you've got to help me with this....." I began to follow her example, and it changed my prayer life.

We walked together for a few years and then family finances made it necessary for her to go back to work. She had worked all her life and was thoroughly enjoying being at home, but she did it without complaint. She got a job in the office of the Christian School just up the street from both our houses. Walking alone wasn't nearly the joy it used to be.

My husband walks with me now, and I enjoy his company (but there is considerably less chatting). On saturdays my friend and her husband walk with us. A few weeks ago she shared something that had been going on at work (the guys walk way ahead of us - and make wise remarks about walking faster and talking less). She's been there several years now, and all the women that worked there when she first started have left for one reason or another. There are several younger women working there now. My friend isn't ancient, but she is much older than these women. I don't know if it is intentional, but they have just systematically shut her out.

For example, a few weeks ago they all decided to join Weight Watchers. My friend didn't know anything about it until she saw them all hudddled together talking about it and "weighing in". They were very pointedly leaving her out. That's pretty much how it has been for her.

Her computer skills aren't what she would like them to be, but she is a quick learner. However, when she asks them for help they give her a curt explanation and walk away. She has asked them to please write it down so she won't have to bother them, but they don't seem to want to do that. She is such a hard worker. She's the first one there in the morning and the last to leave. When something needs to be done after work, she's the one who stays. I feel so badly for her.

She shared this with me with great reluctance. She never talks about anyone. She just asked me to pray. She feels that she isn't competant to do the job any more. And more than anything it hurts her to feel as though she is unliked. Her husband retired a year or so ago, and I think she may quit. She doesn't earn a huge salary, but it allows them to do some traveling and buy the extras they sometimes need. She really doesn't want to work more than a couple more years, but it just doesn't seem right that she should be made to feel she has to quit.

While we were talking about it I couldn't help but think that sometimes we girls just don't seem to grow up It felt as though we were back in high school with the popular girls excluding the one that didn't quite measure up to their standards. Is it just a girl thing? I know boys can leave other boys out, but I'm not sure they're quite as cruel as we girls can sometimes be. We seem to go our of our way to form little cliques. We are liable to take perverse pleasure in someone else's mistakes and talk endlessly about them. I try hard not to act that way now that I'm "grown up", but I have to admit I wonder if we don't carry over a lot of that behavior into our adult lives.

I haven't worked very much in my lifetime. However, when we were first married I worked in a large office. My first supervisor was a woman who just drove everyone crazy. She was constantly breathing down our necks to get the work done. She was nit-picky and mean. Then I changed positions within the office and my supervisor was a man. What a difference!! His attitude was - here's your work - do it. It just seems like guys are a lot more straightforward about most things. It's pretty much "what you see is what you get".

I suppose I'm making a huge generalization here, and you are welcome to correct me if you think I'm wrong. I guess I'm just feeling angry on behalf of my friend. I remember all too well the times it has happened to me, and it hurts.

So that's what I've been thinking about today and praying about. I pray those women will realize what they are doing. I hope it's just that they aren't aware of how it is hurting her and not that they just don't care.

  posted at 3:18 PM

At 6:03 PM, Blogger PEA said...

My heart goes out to your friend because she is indeed in a difficult position...wanting to belong but not being accepted by the others. I think you're right in saying that women tend to act more like school girls where these kinds of situations are involved. Men just don't let these kind of things bother them...we women get more emotional about it. It's a good thing your friend has you to confide in...we all need someone like you:-) Hugs xoxo

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

It is definitely a "girl thing." I had the most wonderful older gentleman, and I do mean gentleman, boss for 10 years. He retired at age 72, and I miss him so, 4 years later. I could do no wrong in his eyes. He just gave me a task and left me to do it. When he retired, I was on the search committee for the new director. We hired a woman who is one year younger than I. I was to be her assistant, as I was the former director's. We never clicked. She is a micro-manager and it drove me crazy. I could not please her. That was when I decided to go part-time and keep the part of the job I loved, leaving the job as her assistant to someone else. And I couldn't be happier to be out from under her thumb. She's great at what she does, but very hard to work for, in my opinion.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

I am sorry that your friend is going through this. I have worked in many different places and have to say it depends on the atmosphere of the type of people. There is usually a leader and the rest are followers and that is all. Maybe the Lord is telling her it is time to move on, that he has better plans? Who knows, that is between her and God. But the way the other women are treating her is unacceptable and it would hurt my heart also. I am thankful she has someone like you in her life.


At 3:58 AM, Blogger Lee-ann said...

Your friend has a real friend in you my dear and that is a blessing in itself.

I think it is a "girly thing" and there are times when only another girl can be a true shoulder to lean on and a heart to share with.

You are a lovely lady and I enjoyed very much reading your posts.

blessings to anothers girl friend! :o)


At 9:28 AM, Blogger Pamela said...

Linda, how wonderful that your friend called you that day and the two of you began walking together. You are blessed to have such a sweet friend as she is in you too! Nice that you can share and confide in one another.

It is sad that those younger women are so shallow. It is so rude to exclude someone like they are doing to your friend.

"A bird and a feather flock together". Sad that one of these women doesn't have the courage to rise above this pathetic behavior. I would just encourage her to bust in there with her chin held high, keeping her spirit up and make them realize that she has it going on and she is not going to be brought down to their level.

My heart goes out to her, and I will pray for her It is comforting to know that she has a wonderful sweet friend in you! You are such a blessing to me! :)

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Kristen said...

I definitely believe it is a girl thing. The "high school" in some girls never seems to go away. I even feel that way a little sometimes in the whole blogging thing. Girls are catty sometimes and competitive and cliquish. I am so sorry your friend is going through this. That is just not OK.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Susie said...

How sweet you are and what a good friend.
It must be difficult to need the job and have to work under such uncomfortable conditions. I worked in an all guy business and can honestly say those type of things were not an issue.
Too bad some women are just so unkind to each other..

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Kev and I have posted #2 of our series. What a journey this is going to be!

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

what a sad situation your friend has to deal with at work; people can be so mean. I'll keep her and the situation, in my prayers.

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Susie said...

This email reminds me so much of a situation that my mother-in-law went through a couple of years ago. She and my father-in-law had to close their family owned business and she had to return to the workforce. She did medical billing in an office of women much younger and much more fluent in computer skills. She would call me and share how hard it was on her to not fit in and to be excluded. One day I think God just told her that she was there to show His light to these girls. That is exactly what she did. Along the way she ended up making several good friends over the 2yrs. she worked there and I know she made a positive impression. Maybe your friend could look at this as a beautiful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of younger women. Also tell her to give it time. It took my MIL several months to get to this realization. I'll pray for your friend, too. What a blessing that she can share with you!

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

What a great friend you are to lift her up in prayer, and offer support but most of all for listening to her.... I will pray for her also.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Gail said...

I agree with Susie, that this difficult time could be a test for her to let her light shine, maybe they do not know Jesus. She however does and she has a GREAT friend in you. I will help pray.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I love this opportunity to write again. I haven't for years and it has been a joy. Learning about my son's journey has been eye-opening, but healing for us. He is learning about my feelings as well - things he had no idea about.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Cyndi said...

Oh, your poor friend. I agree. Girls don't "grow up." I read a book with my daughter recently called "Mean Girls" (by Hayley Dimarco) and as I read it I realized that women are this way, too! At the bookstore the other day I saw that she has written another book called, "Mean Girls All Grown Up" which apparently tackles this subject as it applies to adults.

I am so glad you are there for your friend. :)

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Christina said...

First of all it's great that you let your friend join you on your daily walks and you now have this awesome friendship.

This is so sad to hear about your friends work situation. I don't understand things like this, but I have seen it before. Did your friend think to ask them. It seems that being the place of work is a Christian environment these girls might want to think of the way they are behaving. I pray this situation can somehow be resolved. It is never a nice feeling to see someone left out or to be the one left out. Tell your friend I will pray for her and hopefully soon things will work out.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I would suggest that rather than quit, which is a reaction to the situation, she ask to sit down with the three women, and hopefully the supervisor over all of them, and ask if there is something she's doing or not doing that is causing them to treat her this way. She might be surprised at what she hears, and the situation could be resolved. If she just quits, she'll leave with regrets.


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