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Tuesday, December 01st, 2009

“I believe greater forces were at work”

This is a story about how I got even with a person who really had it in for me.

Let’s call her Jane so I won’t get sued if she reads this.  Jane is in her early thirties, a bitter woman if ever there was one, and she had a tone in her voice from the first day I met her.

We work for the same insurance company, although we don’t work in the same office.  But we’re often in meetings together because of the nature of our work, and she always tries to undermine me no matter what I say or do.

Now I’m an easygoing person and not one to have confrontations, but a week ago, Jane went too far.  While I was making a presentation, she virtually yelled at me and said I didn’t know what I was talking about.

At first there was stunned silence.  Even our manager didn’t know what to say.  I looked at him and realized he wasn’t going to step in and defend me despite the fact that he has reassured me that I’m doing an excellent job.  He has told me numerous times to ignore her.  So I felt abandoned and knew I had to take matters into my own hands.

I turned my attention from him to Jane.  I gave her the most severe stare I could drum up, and we locked eyes for what seemed to be an eternity.  Neither she nor I said a word; we just stared and stared and stared.

And then – as if God himself reached down and did it – her wig fell down over half her face.  She let out a muffled scream, and for a moment everyone was stunned.  But then one person let out a giggle, then another, then the room burst into laughter.

Jane looked around in horror as she tried to adjust her wig back on her head.  Then she leaped from her seat and ran out of the room.

Now normally I don’t relish the misfortune of others.  And I certainly don’t laugh when someone is embarrassed.  But when Jane got her just desert, I believe greater forces were at work.  But most important, since Jane’s humbling experience, her “tone” has disappeared and we are no longer enemies.

Marlene Streeter
Houston, TX

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