i have a conflict to resolve, concerning my supervisor at work. she has a daughter who has had a long and sever substance abuse problem that has caused much grief in this woman’s life. she brings this to work with her, and im sure she brings it everywhere else too. she may not be able to escape it.

the problem is, when she brings to my attention a mistake i have made, she brings it with such venom. its a general belief at work that she is venting. she used to come back later and apologize, albeit in private after a public scolding. lately she just acts as if there is nothing wrong, and tries to be all sweet.

i think she is embarrassed. i think she is getting a little crazy. i think this is eating her up.

im not one to get caught up in problems at work that dont directly effect me, or that arent my concern. i may have opinions about how things are done, but if no one asks me, i dont get into it. i dont believe in carrying baggage that doesnt belong to me.

lately, however,its been about me, and its been intense. i even began to wonder if my job was in jeopardy. i had a headache for a week and a half because of the stress i have felt over it.

i told the beau whats been going on, and how ive been feeling. he described to me the elements of warfare, as he learned them.

if someone attacks you in a scattered manner, who perhaps isnt really an enemy, but merely a adversary at the time – such as i have on my hands currently – its like fire out of control.

if i respond in like as more fire, everything may wind up ashes. it is said fight fire with fire, because when a fire is raging through the woods, burning a swath clear in the path of the advancing fire robs it of its fuel, and it dies out when it reaches that point. but these kinds of fires have gotten out of control themselves.

if i respond with wind i may only fan the flames, and stir the fire up even more.

if i respond with earth, i can cover the flames, and smother them.

if i respond with water (i guess the logical choice here) i can put out the flames, and soak the ground to keep it from restarting.

my dilemma is this: these are somewhat abstract concepts. i dont know how he visualizes their applications in this instance. i mean, what exactly would be responding with water? or earth? couldnt wind blow the fire another direction? what if it isnt fire she is coming at me with? what if its scattered bullets, like buckshot? or arrows? would this be the element of metal? is water effective against metal? do i need a rush of water like a bursting dam? or is that what in fact she is being?

im not asking anyone for answers here. im just trying to work this out. i think this boss of mine is scolding her daughter every time she scolds one of us. do i simply say ‘yes ma’am’?

several at work have suggested this same type of response. but has no one considered that i have responded to her like this in every case, as best as i understand it, and yet she rages every time she encounters a mistake.

ideally the answer is to make no mistakes. ever. but i may have made some previous to this resolve. the coworker who trained me does the day sheets twice a week, and every time she finds a mistake she has to announce it. if its one i made, she will pull me away from what i am doing so she can in detail explain what i did wrong. i may be making an appointment, doing a batch of charges, checking in a new patient, or taking information on the phone. she will usually wait till i am done with the direct contact with the other person, but then she has to have my attention so she can feel she did soething about it. this causes me to lose my concentration on what i am currently doing, and in this fast paced environment it wont be two minutes before i have to do something else anyway. and if the boss comes up to scold me for something i did or didnt do, and it was last week or two weeks ago or two months ago, she will act as if i just did it.

these arent women you can just just explain your side to. they never see their own mistakes.

sigh.

how am i going to stop this cycle? i so need a vacation.

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