November 30, 2004


Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize you're a fool?

My co-worker and I had an argument last week, the details of which are tedious and irrelevent. I decided I would suck it up and try to clear the air on Monday, so I walked into the office with a gift in hand and apologized for the misunderstanding. She refused my apology and gift.

I keep thinking about that ending scene in Clerks, where Randal berates Dante for sticking with the status quo simply because it's easier than rocking the boat. I too hate rocking the boat. I keep my mouth shut all the time at work, despite the fact that my co-worker pisses me off a lot, because it's easier than dealing with discord. I have considered quitting my job and looking for something more fitting someone with six years of higher education, but I never wanted to rock the boat. I didn't want to disrupt the office, I didn't want my boss to have to find someone to replace me, and I didn't want my co-worker to dislike me for moving on and leaving her to train someone new.

In short, I have been living for everyone's happiness but my own. I'm an utter fool.

I'm reading Atlas Shrugged for god's sake, and I didn't see what a pushover I've become. I turned down a job I really wanted because I didn't want to upset the status quo at work. I'm so disgusted with myself today that I don't even know what to do.

I learned a valuable lesson this week: Sarah comes first. I've spent the past year trying to make life easier for my co-worker, and this week she proved that she would rather win an argument than save our friendship. No longer will I do what's good for the office and for my employer; I will do what's good for Sarah.

There will be big changes in the near future...stay tuned.

Posted by Sarah at November 30, 2004 08:39 PM

Congrats on becoming an egoist!

Memorable Quotes from The Fountainhead:

Ellsworth Toohey: We're alone. Why don't you tell me what you think of me.

Howard Roark: But I don't think of you.

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at November 30, 2004 10:28 PM

Who is John Galt?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Give 'em hell, Sarah!

Posted by: Chadd at November 30, 2004 11:07 PM

Some co-workers just enjoy the turmoil. Figure that she retains control by being mad and jerking you around. So go back to cheerfully ignoring her and take that other job.

Posted by: Julie at November 30, 2004 11:53 PM

Good for you!

Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 1, 2004 12:18 AM

In the late l800s a young missionary in India named Amy Carmichael hopped on a horse and rode it hard, in an "unladylike" manner, much to the consternation of an older, more puritannical lady. She subsequently dressed Miss Carmichael down in public. Amy related later that just as she was about to reply in kind, a "voice" within her suggested she "see in this a chance to die" to herself.

I have read at least two biographies of Miss Carmichael, and try to emulate her; but I find myself regularly failing to take advantage of those daily "chances to die" to self. Sarah, I fully understand what you experience; I know it is much easier to... well... you know.

Hang in there, gal. BTW, reading your blog, I'm guessing you and Russell hail from MO; I would be honored if, once you two return stateside, you would allow me to buy you two a steak dinner, either in Springfield somewhere (my home locale) or Mike Shannon's in STL (been there once; need an excuse to go back--loved it!).

Grace and peace,

Jim Shawley

Posted by: Jim Shawley at December 1, 2004 01:39 AM

I swear -- by my life and my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at December 1, 2004 02:47 AM

Before Ayn Rand there was Shakespeare.....
to paraphrase, be true to yourself.
And good luck at it.

Posted by: Ruth H at December 1, 2004 03:02 AM

You go girl!!!!
I hope you read my comment on your Thankful post, I really meant it.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at December 1, 2004 03:38 AM

Good for you Sarah. Gotta look out for #1. I can't believe how immature she is for not accepting your heartfelt apology. The best revenge is to live well. Get a new job and stick up for Sarah!

Posted by: Kathleen A at December 1, 2004 03:52 AM


The fact that you took responsibility for something even though it wasn't your fault shows your true character. In turn, denying your gift and your apology shows HER true character. She's not worth the heartache, even though I know it will take a while before you can stop thinking about it. In the meantime, if you need her tires slashed, let me know - I'm your girl!


Posted by: Erin at December 1, 2004 04:44 AM

Go, Sarah, go! Do what you *know* to be right. No regrets. Seek happiness.


Posted by: david at December 1, 2004 06:23 AM

My personal favorite............

"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing." ~ Margaret Thatcher

Posted by: Vonn at December 1, 2004 09:55 AM

Given that I just did the exact same thing, and am becoming more convinced by the day that I made the right choice, I know you're making the right choice. Enjoy every minute of your life, because it's the only one you get (religious beliefs aside, but I really hope that I don't have to work 9 to 5 in the Elysian Fields...).

I hope you know that there's a steak dinner for you in London as well (or in Milan if I happen to be there at the time). Can't let myself be outdone by Jim up there!

Posted by: Dominic at December 1, 2004 11:24 AM

Bah, I bet you anything that Sarah still doesn't come first. You have too much love in your life to become an egocentric person.

I think the lesson you learned is that idiots come last, and that you're too old (not that you're old) to be bothered to suffer idiots and their idiocy (I just love that word).

Congratulations not on the lesson, since you probably already "knew" the lesson, but rather congratulations on the buddha, the realization of the lesson that you sorta knew before, but now truly know.


Posted by: Kalroy at December 1, 2004 02:58 PM

Oh Sarah --- you know this is all part of the learning process. Some never learn others do learn by their experiences. There's a balance to be made between looking out for No. 1 and thinking of others. No one is an island and as much as I loved Ayn Rand I too got past the libertarian philosophy she espouses. You'll find your way that fits you in dealing with difficult people and allows you be true to yourself without being a doormat to drama egotists.

Posted by: Toni at December 1, 2004 03:43 PM

Unless your employer is a complete idiot, the "what is good for the office and for my employer" will also be good for Sarah, assuming that you have reasonable political skills.

Most experienced managers have the ability to figure out who really cares and who really doesn't.

Posted by: david foster at December 1, 2004 05:06 PM

I've got a good Ayn Rand quote for you! It suits a lot of your Iraq posts.

"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles."

Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1966

As to your co-worker, a quote from Calvin and Hobbes - talk about a turnaround!

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by lightning bolts."

Such is life. I have a bottle of wine calling your name Friday night, interested?

Posted by: Oda Mae at December 1, 2004 05:40 PM

"Good judgement is the result of experience, which is the result of bad judgement".
Egon Brunswik, German psychologist, 1938

And being "for yourself" is NOT egocentric. Being for yourself is the essential basis of being able to give to the other freely, which is the basic requirement for love.

Posted by: Patrick B at December 1, 2004 05:51 PM

Congratulations, Sarah!
Taking your stand has moved you one step closer to classical liberalism (today's conservatism) and one step further away from the neo-liberalism palmed off on us by the Left.
Enjoy your new-found freedom and strength!

Posted by: lars at December 1, 2004 09:57 PM

You're not a fool, you're a good person and a grown-up. I'm glad you're standing up for yourself. Your co-worker is an idiot and not worth your time and certainly not worth being upset with. Good on ya.

Posted by: oldcontroller at December 2, 2004 04:15 AM

Sometimes your enemies do you the favor of refusing to cooperate when you shouldn't. (Think Arafat)

Posted by: David Boxenhorn at December 2, 2004 11:16 AM