Our Inalienable right to be miserable:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

I have worked at my company for five years. I used to love my job. But recently, this same job has begun to drive me crazy and it’s ruining my life. It all started with a new hire. She is a miserable person and she takes it out on everyone. I was raised to be courteous and friendly in all matters; I believe that love will conquer all. I have gone out of my way to be nice to this woman even though everyone else just avoids her like the plague. For the last few months she has singled me out for attack and sabotaged my work. I fear getting fired. I can no longer sleep at night .This has even affected my marriage. I don’t get it, how can she be so evil? Why has she singled me out when all I have done is try to be nice and help her?

Love Conquers

Dear Love,

You are a love bully. You need this woman to be happy so that she fits your view of reality. You are denying her right to be miserable. She is like a dog with its tail down and teeth bared and you are invading her space. She has no other recourse but bite you. The more you try to force her to be happy the more of a threat you are to her. Take the lead from your peers and be completely neutral when you are around her. Her stuff has nothing to do with you and there is no good reason to make it about you. You were taught love conquers all but this is simply not true. Her stuff is inside her head. Her focus isn’t on you or anything in the here and now. Therefore anything you do in the here and now will be pissing into the wind. Your insistence on smiling at her when she frowns at you can be taken as a challenge. You certainly should continue to smile… just not at her or in her space. Again, neutrality is the best option.

If you feel you must “do something” for others then learn to become a Reiki master and heal others from afar. There is a form of Reiki (an energy channeling you do for others) wherein the healer need not break physical boundaries and positive energy can be channeled without anyone knowing it. In this way you could share your good intent without making anything worse.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

The Granny Doctor says: This woman is an employee at a company. I thought it was pretty much understood in ANY business that a good employee doesn’t drag their negative personal bullshit into the job with them. This woman may have a right to be miserable, but she certainly doesn’t have the right to act like a dog. I call that sort of thing Bad Employee Behavior.

Love doesn’t mention who the higher ranking employee is- this would go a long way in figuring out the real picture here. If she is Love’s Boss, it’s one thing; if she’s just a fellow employee, it’s another. I don’t really see this guy as a Love Bully. He just seems to be acting like the good boy his mommy raised him to be. But he sure is an idiot if he’s just sitting there now cringing in fear at the thought of losing his job. This is not how an adult conducts himself in business. An adult deals with the problem. Poor Love. I hope this is a lesson for you. Love doesn’t conquer all. However, love with some truth and strength thrown in can bring about change and something has to change at your job. But you have to rectify this situation in a businesslike manner, not like some googly eyed Sunday School kid. Talk with some of the other employees. If you can get support, your voice will be stronger. Go to whoever is the Big Cheese and tell them what’s going on in a level manner. If Miserable is your boss, this might be difficult, but that is no reason to fall back and cringe. See this problem through. If the Big Cheese tells you to suck it up because Miserable is the bitch he wants her to be, or if he fires you, I gotta ask- is this a bad thing? Your office has become toxic. Get out while you still can! There’s always the chance that Big Cheese might decide to talk to Miserable and a solution can be found so that people will be able to breathe easier in the office. It would be nice if everyone could stop hiding from Miserable. It’s not good for company morale.

My hope is that poor Miserable gets some therapy before she drowns in her own poison. And my advice to Love is: you need your brain and some guts too.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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3 Responses to Our Inalienable right to be miserable:

  1. comment:

    B.C. – Someone I know who more or less was in this same situation did in fact take Granny’s advice and with the other secretaries approached their boss. The miserable one is soon to be let go.

    The granny commented: I learned similar neutrality techniques in my dojo to neutralize negative energy. But when an employee is that much of a bitch, it might be better to remove her, as if she were a rabid dog that was brought into the pack!

  2. Dear Dr. Cliche,
    When reading Love’s story, I thought of a friend who is in a similar situation to Love’s. Unfortunately for my friend, her “Miserable” is also the “Big Cheese” at her agency. Because my friend is a strong woman, she decided not to “fall back and cringe,” as Granny states, and she filed a complaint with the “Bigger Cheese” at her agency. Unfortunately, the Bigger Cheese supported Miserable and my friend was “let go.” Now, my friend is unemployed and is struggling to survive financially. Part of her is proud that she did not put up with Miserable’s foul behavior, but another part of her regrets her decision to complain because now she is struggling to find another job in this tough economy.

    Given that we are in an unstable economy and jobs are scarce, I wonder if Granny’s advice to “Get out while you still can” is truly an option for most of us. On behalf of those of us for whom quitting is not an option, I ask Dr. Cliche and Granny how they would recommend that Love cope with a “Miserable” boss?

  3. Dear CG,

    Yes or what if you have a miserable dad?
    Sometime you can’t change your situation or at least not immediately. The way to survive or deal is through cultural anthropology. Observe, take notes, and say nothing. Look busy and agreeable as you don’t want to frighten off the monkeys (miserable) but understand you are not a monkey. You are there to learn, be challenged and not there to take anything personally. Just as in the wild you cannot show fear and must maintain a clear and consistent boundary. Unless there is a physical or legal violation. When your boss goes in for the kill of those weaker peers you cannot interfere as you are there to observe only. Even If it’s your dad, getting in the middle of his over disciplining of your siblings is probably less useful to them as role modeling another path and way out. Neutrality towards a crazy situation, especially if you have no control over it, will bide your time until you can get out.
    This advice does not apply for morally reprehensible situations like the marching of all the Jews out of your neighborhood as was done in WW2. Life still has to be worth living.

    Granny has to throw in her two cents- swallowing constant anger, fear and apprehension are so damaging to an individual’s health that if the atmosphere at a work place has become THAT toxic, fear of unemployment should take a second seat to fear of DEATH. Unemployment is a difficult but feasibly rectifiable condition, even in today’s economy. Damaged health is not. No one should tolerate the intolerable because they fear the unknown. I concur with Dr. Brilliant- life should still be worth living.

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