Years ago I had lived in a small town for about a year. My youngest was in 2nd grade. I had made a number of friends, mostly the moms whose kids were in the same grade as mine. I was in need of a job and a friend, whom I will call Velma, helped me get a position at the place she worked. I was so grateful!
Velma had a child in school with mine. The kids were really good friends and Velma and I had become good friends too. She was always nice and friendly to everyone. She seemed to be very down-to-earth.
On my first day at work, Velma, who had been on her job for several years, took me around and introduced me to many of her co-workers. Velma did something that day that I didn’t realize she had done until several years later. As she was introducing each person to me, she would say something about each one.
For example, when she introduced me to some ladies on break, she told me they were lazy and sat on their butts all the time. We continued around through several more introductions, with a comment to go with each one. I don’t remember all the people or all of the comments, but I do remember one very important one.
Velma introduced me to Jean (fictional name) and commented “She’s a real bitch and she’ll stab you in the back in a heartbeat.” I remember thanking Velma for giving me the heads up on everything.
I only stayed at the job about a year. But I took with me one very important lesson: “the guilty dog barks first.”
You see, Velma had a lot of pull at her job because of her length of employment. She used this to her advantage by telling lies about people to get them in trouble. This kept her in the good graces of the superiors. Velma lied about me several times to those superiors and I ended up quitting when I was confronted with one of Velma’s lies.
I couldn’t prove what Velma had done, and for the kid’s sake, I continued to associate with her, but did so without trust. I noticed over time that she had very low self-esteem. She would say something ugly about almost everyone. If she noticed a slim young female in high heels who was totally gorgeous, she would comment about the ugliness of her hair or the color of her outfit.
I use to tan and with my complexion and use of the correct products, I tanned brown, not orange. But without fail, Velma commented to a friend of mine “she looks ridiculous, her tan is orange.” I felt bad for her. To have such low self-esteem that she had to bring others down to the level she felt she was on.
Another thing I took away from this job was a life-long friend. I met Jean in 1998 and she quickly became a true friend. We’ve had our ups and downs, as no relationship is perfect, but those ups and downs have turned our friendship into one that is unbreakable.
I moved away from that small town in 2009 and I don’t get to see Jean so much anymore. But we keep in touch on FaceBook, we talk on the phone and text often. Thinking about her now, I do believe its time to get together again.