she looks like a cuddly grandmother, warm slippers cake and tea, she moves slowly and speaks with a slight accent. at first i slipped under her spell, it worked on me like a charm. she was very sweet.
as time progressed i noticed a streak of passive aggressive behaviour. it was subtle, but it worked very effectively and when she thought her tactics were failing she brought out the heavy artillery, tears. yes her ultimate control was to cry and get sympathy. she manipulated everything and everyone.
the younger ones felt frustrated, every idea or suggestion they had was shot down by her resistance to change and need to control.
gradually i began to see the truth, it's hidden under the everyday routines and responsibilities but very occasionally it surfaces and is witnessed. she can't help it.
to begin with i start gentle. she presents as some sort of spiritual being. in my experience they are the most difficult, deep in denial about their own personality defects, it's that ego trap. it's a fixed fortress, difficult to penetrate which is why psychedelics are so useful, however slipping a massive dose of mescaline in her tea is not really practicable. i read her cards, she has requested this from me. it's an accurate reading, she starts crying when i mention her children, one supportive and the other not. she blubbers a bit, and then i speak to her in subtle ways about the need to sometimes just let things go, let other people have a win. resistance is low and she acknowledges something in my words but a flicker of resistance passes over her face.
later she denies everything, asserting the dominant persona, the one that needs to control.
one of the younger staff approach me, they are concerned about an issue and i offer my support. when it comes down to it we are opposed by the old lady, she makes a big song and dance. manipulates people and makes it impossible for us to bring about a change.
once again i challenge her, suggesting that she need not feel so competitive and assist younger team members to have a win now and then so that they feel valued and part of the team. she gives me a look. it's neither bad or good, it's a look of complete victory.
later when i leave every single member of the team comes to thank me, they all say i managed a difficult situation very well and they enjoyed working with me, except one.
she wants my position so she tells my boss i have a bad back and cannot work there as manual handling is required. she figured i would never find out who it was that spoke with my boss, a man i actually respect. she was rejected for the position and this is her revenge.
i'm angry, somewhat dismayed that this is the type of person i have to work with but my strategy has to be to let it go. it's going to be very hard but i have to. however truth has a habit of rising to the surface.