Responding to my critics

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bully

I was surprised last week to get a really pointed and harsh comment to my blog post on Millennials. Though the post was a little strongly worded, I didn’t think it was that bad and even a friend who is a Millennial agreed. The person directly attacked me using examples from our previous employer so I knew it was a former coworker. And I had a suspicion about one or two people it could be. I will include the comment in its entirety later in this blog post.

Imagine my surprise when I did some investigation and found that it was a former coworker who I had stopped communicating with over one year ago. And the reason that I distanced myself from this individual is because at the time I found him to be volatile, irrational and incredibly negative. I had since forgotten about him because we didn’t interact at all though overlapping at work for 6 months. So now to realize that he has essentially been cyberstalking me and leaving abusive comments on my blog was totally eye-opening.

Here is the comment that this individual left for me:

You are the biggest hypocrite.

Examples:

1) Laziness – You say you saw an old coworker coming in at 10am and leaving at 4pm while slumped in a lovesac. I do remember you frequently leaving early to lie down at home because you were ‘sleepy’ and worked from home because you ‘weren’t feeling well’.

2) You say everyone fucks up and isn’t a go-getter from the start. However, the whole section is about how everyone does this anyway. What’s the point in calling it out if everyone does it, including yourself?

3) You talk shit about millennial clothing attire but then say you also do it, but to a lesser extent. Wouldn’t those millennial feel the same way when they look at OLD people like yourself? Who are you to judge what is appropriate vs. not appropriate, since you are so far removed from this current generation?

4) You mention the ‘partiers’ group that come to work hungover but then lament that it’s okay because you have come to work stoned yourself. Your reasoning is that they think they are bragging about it while you were secretly high. I doubt anyone wants their coworkers to necessarily know they are still drunk at work. I hope your current employer doesn’t find out that you used to come to work stoned. Isn’t shouting it out through the internet over a blog worse than a close group of people you trust? You big idiot.

5) Unearned confidence – What’s wrong with being confident? Just because you were so unconfident doesn’t make your way any better. I’m not saying they’re right but who are you th judge publicly? Do less confident people change the world? If so, I’m waiting for your next move.

Then you condescendingly act like how you’re living is basically the right way. Last time I checked (and reading through your blog) you seem to be pretty unhappy. Next time, why not focus on your own happiness and decisions rather than always criticizing others about theirs?

It is pretty harsh and I was surprised that a person who I made efforts not to engage with has been actively seeking me out and feels the freedom to make such nasty comments.

The irony as well is that this individual is wrong in every single thing he says– which indicates to me some kind of disconnection with reality. Calling me lazy when I went home sick from work is laughable considering this individual was one of the partiers who would frequently come in to work hungover at 10 am and leave by 2 pm. We all watched it. We all know the truth. How this person’s reality so very much deviates from actual events is really troubling.

And as for the reference about me coming to work stoned. This happened once when I was in my 20s, on a Monday, after eating a marijuana chocolate the day before. It wasn’t a good experience and I have never done it since then. My point in bringing this up is that I understand that you want to have fun when you’re young, as a way of emphathizing that I’m not some kind of a social prohibitionist who has never made the same mistakes myself. This individual again was one of the partiers at my last company who would repeatedly (though he’s now in his 30s) come to work hungover week after the week. It’s not the same and I think he’s trying to defend himself from an indefensible standpoint. The most laughable comment is this one: I hope your current employer doesn’t find out that you used to come to work stoned. I hope this individual’s current employer doesn’t find out that he is using company time and company equipment to cyberstalk and cyberharrass a former colleague. Whereas mine is anonymous anecdote, his is recorded in datalogs. In other words: it’s FACT. In fact, it’s recorded in multiple datalogs, indicating not just a single lapse of judgment but in fact a repeated effort to cyberbully me.

But really the most ridiculous part of his rant, in my opinion is this:  Last time I checked (and reading through your blog) you seem to be pretty unhappy. Next time, why not focus on your own happiness and decisions rather than always criticizing others about theirs? 

Because correct me if I’m wrong, but it would seem that a person who actively seeks out the blog of a colleague and reads it, without encouragement, and proceeds to write hateful rants on that person’s digital property is really the person who seems unhappy. Talking about these actions with some of our shared work acquaintances, we agree that this person continues to exhibit anger issues, clearly has not moved on and targets me with vile that I have not earned and is otherwise somehow psychological troubled in ways that we could not have expected.

I went through a lot of emotions since making this discovery. I was shocked, then was I was scared, I got mad and now I’m back in disbelief. But now I’ve had time to digest it, to talk it over with people and to formulate my response and how I plan to tackle this in my life.

I did not like this person when I knew him and my response was to distance myself as a way to keep myself happy and safe. This person has stepped beyond this barrier that I have requested and now I’m on the offense. So whereas I had always been mum and polite about my feelings on this individual, he has now given me the power and the evidence to be honest. So I have been very open to all of our shared contacts about the types of things he has been doing to me. I have shared the evidence with our acquaintances (many of whom voiced a natural dislike for him anyway– this news actually wasn’t so surprising). So in a moment of anger, he has effectively ruined his reputation with a large handful of people who now know the truth about the vileness of his character. I hope it was worth it to him.

I have also shared this information with his girlfriend (assuming they are still together), asking her to please tell him to stop with this aggressive behavior. I liked her and considered her a really great person but when she made the choice to get together with him, I distanced myself because I didn’t want to be the one that said anything that would intercede in their relationship. I still don’t want to be but at the same time, I think it’s fair to tell her what kind of a douchebag loser she is with. As someone pointed out, if knowing this she still chooses to stay together with him, then she is just as bad and they deserve each other.

For those that know me in my life, you’ll know that I also have been receiving harrassing phonecalls accusing me of something that I haven’t done. When I shared with some friends that I’d uncovered the person behind the hateful comments on my blog, most immediately mentioned that he might also be behind these harrassing phone calls. At first I didn’t think it was true and I still go back and forth. This would be totally beyond what I would expect of the hateful commenter. But at this point, I feel like maybe you just don’t know people and what they are capable of. I have forwarded the hateful comments to friends and family and instructed them that if anything ever happens to me, this individual is likely behind it. I also have an open police report on the harrassing phone calls and plan to contact the police tomorrow to give them the harrassing comments that I have received from my former coworker, including the datalogs that incontrovertibly connect him with the harrassing comments. At this point, I don’t know what is true and false, who to believe, what people are capable of. But I also know that it’s out of my hands and I just want this on record because I feel like I’ve done all that I can do to keep myself and my family safe. I’m simply unwilling to give this person any more benefit of the doubt.

So this has been a trying week and my head is still turning about the multiple realizations. I don’t know if the individual is reading this post, but if he is, I want to encourage him to get professional help. Stalking and harrassment are not appropriate ways to deal with this rage and I am concerned for his safety and that of those he interacts with and will interact with in the future. This anger, left unchecked, can only get worse. Please seek out the help that you need.

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