What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Stepping Out Of The Triangle, But Into The Fire!

I am incredibly disillusioned at what I thought were two very close coworker/friends' behavior. This is long and I apologize but you'll need some details.

Our circle was comprised of three of us:

- A male RN who started only a week after me. Married mid 30's to a social worker who is currently the manager of a store and works the nightshift so they rarely see each other from what he says. Kids: yours, mine and ours situation.

- A female social worker who started several months after the two of us. Married mid 30's, kids. Constantly talks about how hubs doesn't care about her or her feelings blah, blah. We all have equal positions in the workplace but promotions are forthcoming as the department is growing like crazy.

- Me a social worker 50 y/o single, grown kids, date occasionally yada yada.

Yes, there is an age discrepancy, but I have friends (wait.. what the hell am I saying???) of varied ages so this is not unusual at all.

They sit side-by-side in a cubicle with no wall separating them BUT in a very public space that is on the way to the only printer so anyone can see what everyone does. I sit in a totally different area down the hall.

Things were fun, constant and reliable among us. We went to lunch together (others would very often join), IM'ed throughout the day, texted sometimes... you know the drill. They would each confide in me on occasion. He confided that he has a crush on the other girl but would never act on it. She confided about a current eating disorder and that years ago she caught hubs doing someone else in their very own home (I woulda just killed the both of their skanky asses and been done with that whole deal, but that's me). I have never broken those confidences to anyone or either one of them. They were told in confidence for god's sake!

I gradually started feeling uncomfortable because I felt that I was being used as an audience for them to act out their playfulness and other subtle PDAs. They started not inviting me to lunch, breaks, etc and saying things to each other, yet in front of me like "..and you KNOW what I mean (wink)!" I began noticing them sitting in secluded places by themselves; sitting face to face outside in the gardens (18 story glass building.. HELLOOOOOOO???)

Eventually other coworkers began asking me why we weren't hanging out much anymore and if something was going on with them. I responded that I was just trying to stay afloat of my work and have been busy. They also mentioned that they see them IM'ing each other all day (even when one of them is NOT at work), taking breaks and walks alone with each other, tickling, giggling, whispering, etc.

Now, I don't know if anything is going on with them and I don't care. What I cared about is that others were starting to gossip about my friends. Well like a dummy, I thought a friend should give these other two a heads up and let them know that others were talking.

In the meantime... lord, can it get more complicated than this??? YES! Before all of this mess happened, the female was CONSTANTLY asking me or mouthing to me across a conference room... "Are you OK??" Others would even turn around to see if something was going on. Or ask me in front of others, "What's wrong? You have really dark circles under your eyes are you ok? Have you been crying?". Uh NOOOO I have a freakin medical condition and for the love of god, I am aging THANK YOU for pointing that out to everyone who is standing within earshot!

MY BOSS has even expressed her concern because she (the other girl) is my friend and feels that something is wrong so surely I might need to talk. HOLY CRAP!

So... feeling like she has now reached Level-One stalker status, I asked her to please stop asking me if I'm ok. Thanked her for her concern, but if I need to talk, I'll let her know.

Now they have completely turned on me by stating that I am trying to get them fired! I cannot see how, first of all, this would get them fired. Talked to, yeah, but not fired. Anyway, secondly... I cant see how me GOING DIRECTLY to them could in anyway be perceived as trying to get them fired. I could see if I had gone to management OR participated in the gossip but that is NOT what I did. I am so confused at their reaction. This happened two weeks ago and here I am posting on this website trying to figure it out two freakin weeks later on a Sunday afternoon when I could be doing other things.

So tomorrow morning in an attempt to step out of this 6th Grade drama triangle, I'll go to work and watch while these two are nuveaux super-duper-peachy friendly to other coworkers to quickly gather their 'team' (all of this said with the utmost sarcasm and mockery. Ugh!). He has told others that I am trying to get them fired, and she has told some folks to not come over and sit at my desk because I am too busy to socialize. I have no idea what else anyone is being told or even freakin WHY this has become such an issue. I thought it should be dealt with quickly and quietly. Me, who at 50 years old, is clearly a total IDIOT and have no understanding of how the world works!

Now I wonder about fairness from the female who audits my charts (yet she's an equal so I don't get that). She used to give me a heads up if there was a problem so I could fix any problems. Haven't heard anything THIS month!

And he, who is being groomed for management of our department (and thinks I'm trying to get him fired... GREAT!).

Someone PLEASE soothe me AND give me some honest feedback even if its not pleasant. I want to hear it and you can't possibly hurt me any more than these two have!

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