To be irrationally and stupidly a bit jealous?

(52 Posts)
Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 26-Feb-13 11:28:41

Well I know IABU but I would just like it to be confirmed and render me a jolly good kick up the arse.

About five years ago I used to work with this young girl who came to our admin office from a bar job. She was cute and flirty but we got on fine. Then she started flirting her way round the managers and being given the good contracts. Then she managed to convince our manager that she should have the case I was working on, which I loved and knew inside out. He duly gave it to her and when I complained that it was mine I was told tough, you're only part time, you'll work on what I say you'll work on. Yet she was given whatever she asked for. I kid you not, if she wanted it, she got it. It was like being back at school with teachers pet. Then because she was full time, she got offered the assistant managers job. I applied for it but because I was part time I couldn't have it. The last straw was when I came into work one day to find that she had switched our desks around. Not just moved the furniture, but literally gone through my desk emptying all my drawers and cupboards and swapping all my stuff for hers. Because she liked where I sat. I'm afraid to say I walked out. She just didn't understand the rudeness of what she'd done and I just couldn't argue anymore.

Anyway, if you've got this far well done. I now see she's started up her own business, has ten people working for her, is director of the company and has just won some award for being ruthless new businesswoman or something.

I don't know why I'm jealous. I don't want her life. I'm a comfortably off sahm with a nice home, a lovely dh and gorgeous dc's. So why do I feel so pissed off when I read in the local paper how well she's doing? Why do I care? She hasn't got any children. She's not married. Her life is nothing like mine. Aaarrgh! I don't get it.

I agree with stickingattwo. She got the job with zero qualifications & has worked hard to get where she is now. The desk thing is bloody presumptuous, but other than that she hasn't done anything wrong.

So she flirted with male colleagues, right? How is that different from ambitious male employees going out for pints etc with their bosses & doing the whole pub networking thing? You use the tools you have & she didn't have an MBA or a rock solid cv to get her ahead, so she used what was available to her and it worked.

It can be irritating when you a) don't like the person anyway and b) don't have access to/the desire to use (or didn't think of) the approach somebody else used, but you shouldn't let it get to you, when you didn't even want her career path in the first place.

ParmaViolette Tue 26-Feb-13 17:43:55

You all sound disgusting. 'Sticking tits out' 'fluttering eyelashes' 'sucking off bosses' 'husband stealing'.

Thanks for reinforcing stereotypes for those of us who want to do well and achieve rather than having a naice house and having '<works at> Full Time Mummy <3' on out Facebook profiles.

SneakyNinja Tue 26-Feb-13 17:21:16

Oh God yanbu! It probably is a bit of jealousy but there's fuck all can be done about it. Wadda Caaaaaa!

idococktailshedoesbeer Tue 26-Feb-13 17:18:17

I know a girl who has done well in my field, despite being a complete bitch to me and every other woman at her level or below around.

I did chuckle when I saw her at a recent event where she pretended she didn't know me when she came near, not even a hello in response to mine. She turned around and I realised her dress was tucked into her tights. I let her walk across a room of crowded people with her knickers on show.

EldritchCleavage Tue 26-Feb-13 16:33:42

She sounds awful. I've also had that gnawing feeling of jealousy/insecurity/resentment about someone who lorded it, and it is amazing how persistent it is.

So I completely understand your sense of anger, injustice and annoyance. I do think more of it should be directed at your old boss who gave her your case, made her assistant manager and let her get away with the desk trick though.

There are a lot of men out there who will give preferential treatment to a woman because she flirts, and who find it amusing to pit women against each other. The thing is to look over the shoulder of the (yes, annoying) women who fall for this at the man who is letting it happen, and hold him to account.

Undertone Tue 26-Feb-13 15:42:46

I also don't think it's sexist to acknowledge that some women use their looks and know how to massage a male ego. Part of the reason that is so infuriating is that many feminists among us find that kind of behaviour deeply offensive because it plays on male objectification of women. It's precisely because of sexism that this behaviour exists and is accepted.

^ This

CelticPixie Tue 26-Feb-13 14:44:33

I used to work with a girl like this. Before joining the company she'd worked in the cafe at ASDA, nothing wrong with that, but obviously had no experience of our line of work. She comes along and flirts for Britain with the boss, a fat, sweaty repulsive middle aged man and gets everything on a plate.

I wouldn't mind if she was good at her job but she wasn't.

Dahlen Tue 26-Feb-13 14:22:14

We're all taught that jealousy is a dreadful emotion and if you let it colour your life it is. But it's also a normal, healthy response to seeing someone succeed where you've 'failed' (whether real or imagined failure).

The desk-changing incident sounds bang out of order, but the preceding bit means nothing from only one perspective. It could be an accurate observation of a woman determined to use her natural charms to succeed, or it could be the jealous viewpoint of a woman who feels overlooked. But even if it's the latter, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong or stupid in feeling that way.

You would have to be very secure in yourself and very self-contained to not feel a little bit threatened by someone younger/more attractive/more popular/better able to put in the hours because of fewer commitments. If their career then starts passing your own, you wouldn't be human if you were unaffected. So far, so normal. Nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn't depict a meanness of spirit, or resentment of another's success. It is simply human nature to compare ourselves and often find ourselves wanting - even if we don't actually want what it is the other person has. Add in a real or perceived injustice (such as the desk incident) and it becomes magnified ten-fold. If you then realise years later that the peson hasn't suffered for their bad behaviour but has instead gone on to become even more successful, it stings like hell. Despite our tendency to manipulate the rules to our own advantage, most people have a sense of fairness and it's annoying when life doesn't follow it.

Jealousy is at the root of spite, but not all people become spiteful. Most people, like the OP, remove themselves from the a situation that makes them feel this way and they find a way to deal with it. That's a healthy, mature way of dealing with normal human emotions. Denying those feelings in the first place, isn't.

ChairmanWow Tue 26-Feb-13 14:16:25

I'm not sure everyone is saying she's thick. I'm sure she's not. In fact she seems to have known which buttons to press with her ex-boss so she's obviously pretty smart. The issue is 1) using looks and flirting to get what you want, and 2) shitting on your colleagues to get what you want.

I also don't think it's sexist to acknowledge that some women use their looks and know how to massage a male ego. Part of the reason that is so infuriating is that many feminists among us find that kind of behaviour deeply offensive because it plays on male objectification of women. It's precisely because of sexism that this behaviour exists and is accepted.

I don't think the OP was saying that this woman's life is automatically empty and lonely because she doesn't have a husband and kids, just that it's not a lifestyle she as an individual envies because she's happy with her own choices.

tomverlaine Tue 26-Feb-13 13:58:30

you do sound jealous or bitter to me tbh- theres no admission that she might be good at her job- or heaven forbid - better at her job than you. Its easier to say that someone got promoted because they flirted or because they were teachers pet than because they were better

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 26-Feb-13 13:50:03

^Would you be bitching about her like this if she was a man?

She sounds smart, hard working, like she gets on with people and your idea that she's somehow slept her way tot he top is just insulting to all women. IMHO.^

I didn't suggest she had slept her way to the top. I said she was awful to me and asked why I am still jealous of her all these years later. I'm still not really sure why but I do know the feeling of injustice has never really gone away. She might well have slept with someone but my problem was her attitude to me and the difference in our treatment. And yes I know IABU in still giving the smallest shite about it years later. I just happened to flick through the local business segment of the paper and there she was and it all came flooding back. That was it, really. Good luck to her, she must be good at her job now or she wouldn't still be doing it.

DontmindifIdo Tue 26-Feb-13 13:24:26

IME - flirting and behaving like this only gets you so far, such as getting you the contracts to work on.

In order to build your reputation and go any further, you have to be able to actually do the work and do it well. If she's got as far as setting up her own business, that means either one of two things, either she's actually really good at doing the job itself and was getting to the stage where it made sense to go out on her own, or she she got to a certain level and got caught out - she couldn't flirt her way out of a situation. Alot of people offering "boutique" services and setting up by themselves are doing so because larger companies won't have them any more. You can only bullshit so high.

She may well have proved herself, she may well have grown up a little and realised you don't get very far if you treat people like dirt. She might well be very embarrassed at the unprofessional way she behaved if she met you again.

atthewelles Tue 26-Feb-13 13:20:48

She doesn't sound very pleasant but the comment up thread that seemed to imply that people without a DH or DC have empty lives and no one to keep them company except the cat was pretty nasty.

However, YANBU OP. She doesn't sound like she got her success through hard work and talent but through sneaky connivance and walking all over other people. Its annoying but ultimately nothing to be jealous of. Who really wants to be like that?

ubik Tue 26-Feb-13 13:14:59

Ach this is part of growing old

Several of my trainees are wildly successful and yes they were all single minded and not afraid to --fuck people over--rattle some cages.

It's just life, you make your choices and you live with them. there's no point worrying what she's up to. you concentrate on making your life the best it can be.

And you have no idea what she lives with. One girl i trained is very successful but my God she worked hard to get there, shitty job at the bottom of the industry on minimum wage and now working at the top of her game, at a flagship company, and has 2 kids etc. But her mother died when she was young. I'm not jealous.

stickingattwo Tue 26-Feb-13 13:11:03

And OP I bet, I hope, this woman is losing absolutely no sleep over wondering what you think about her life.

stickingattwo Tue 26-Feb-13 13:10:15

Well said StillSeekingSpike.

StillSeekingSpike Tue 26-Feb-13 13:07:59

'I am not jealous of what she's got because she hasn't got what I've got, ie. a family. We are different in that sense'

Perhaps she deosn't want a family? Perhaps she wouldn't be jealous of you either?

The Patriarchy seems pretty secure while women are still attacking women like this.

akaemmafrost Tue 26-Feb-13 13:03:48

Yes wewereherefirst it should work like that but sadly The Patriarchy ensures that it doesn't, for women anyway.

Zaphiro Tue 26-Feb-13 13:02:46

If anyone behaved unreasonably to the OP, it was her old boss, who chose to give the young woman good contracts. Presumably this is because he felt she was capable. Or are men too stupid to overlook someone 'wiggling their tits' now?

akaemmafrost Tue 26-Feb-13 13:01:47

Yep she sounds like a total twat but then successful people often are. She's basically known what she's wanted and gone all out to get it and has. There may well be no comeuppance for her because has she actually done anything that wrong? You say yourself your life is totally different from hers. That's the life you wanted and that's the life she wanted and you both did what you needed to to get it. I'd be pissed off too but I do understand why she's like that.

stickingattwo Tue 26-Feb-13 13:01:40

YABU - it sounds like jealously. She's ambitious, people like her, she gets ahead by networking - and working full time which gave her more opportunities than you. Now she has her own company and has won an award? She sounds successful, and not like some flirty airhead.

Would you be bitching about her like this if she was a man?

She sounds smart, hard working, like she gets on with people and your idea that she's somehow slept her way tot he top is just insulting to all women. IMHO.

Bogeyface Tue 26-Feb-13 12:57:13

In fact, further to that, I would say that anyone who does flirt their way up the ladder must be very intelligent in order to play the right people in the right way.

She makes a mockery of women who work hard. You shouldn't wiggle your tits and flutter your eyelashes to progress your career, you should have to work hard.

OP YANBU.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 26-Feb-13 12:56:33

I mentioned that she has no husband (although I think her partner works for her) or children to show that there is no real comparison between her life and mine. I am not jealous of what she's got because she hasn't got what I've got, ie. a family. We are different in that sense.

Zaphiro Tue 26-Feb-13 12:56:22

I can't believe people's attitudes to this! A ambitious young woman does well in her career and it's fair to say she's 'sucked off the bosses,' 'dreadful,' 'badly behaved' etc. The OP doesn't even state that she's bad at her job, or had any kind of affair! The desk moving sounds unreasonable but nothing else.

FWIW I know far more ambitious men who have schmoozed bosses (golf days, drinks and strip clubs, lunches, working early or late) and got promotions.

OP I think it's human nature to be a bit jealous of someone's success when you're just as capable but made different choices. I'm sure she feels the same about SAHMs sometimes.

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