01 January, 2009

You Can Run But You Can't Hide II

The investigation into the complaint I made against Michelle has concluded. Her response to the complaint consisted of a denial of the allegations I made in the previous post on this. The statement fom Colin, the only other person present, apparently doesn't confirm the allegation. In Michelle's case, it's downright dishonest, and to be fair to Colin, he might not have been able to hear her clearly, so quietly was she speaking, and his memory was probably drink-affected. So that's that, although I have been offered mediation, something I'm sort of half considering.

But only half considering. Mediation implies that there is middle ground here. I don't believe there is. Michelle deliberately set out to attack me and I'm not interested in having that watered down. I certainly don't feel like compromising or adopting a let's-agree-to-disagree-stance on the matter.

Let's back up a bit. Bring you into the picture. It was a fairly warm night at the end of year function and the Federation Square locale lent itself to making everyone feel pretty relaxed and comfortable. I'd managed to MC the awards part of the evening on behalf of the social committee without drowning in flop sweat and even got a few laughs out of the crowd. Everyone was pretty pleased with how things had gone. And I'd enjoyed it too.

What I'd feared might be something of an ordeal had actually gone over pretty well, so I could relax. And I think you all understand the state ol' Lad prefers to be in to do that. I smoked a couple of little spliffs in quick succession and felt great. Self-contained and comfortable, I stayed outside for most of the night and engaged with a passing parade of colleagues as they took in the fresh air and smokers and non-smokers alike botted cigarettes.

The actual incident has already been described in detail so I won't go over it again. As I extricated myself and headed off to meet up with some of the cricket dads at a pub near home, I thought briefly how fucking weird the whole encounter had been. I returned to it at different times over the weekend and it had me a bit worried. Was my workplace a bitch colony? Had a whole squadron of nasty types been bitching about me to Michelle during her family leave or was it something she'd come up with all on her own?

I thought Colin might bring the subject up on Monday but he didn't so I asked to speak to him on Tuesday. We went into one of the interview rooms and I had to jog his memory. I thought it was pretty clear on the night that Michelle was giving me the shits. He'd at least seemed to pick up on it while she was going through her character assessment of me, even if he might not have heard her exact words. I probably said way too much to him as he is a particular friend of Michelle's husband Jeremy, a lovely bloke who works there too.

I told him:
1) I'd had experience with outright bitchery at a previous school and it had driven me out of there;
2) I was worried that Michelle might be representative of an unhealthy workplace culture;
3) That I might now appear to be wearing a bullseye for nasty treatment, from either Michelle or like-minded others;
4) That I now had prior knowledge of Michelle's nature, something that I would not be able to forget easily if Michelle applied for a higher position and I was on the selection panel;
5) That people who' had formal complaints against them upheld tend to spend whole afternoons crying in the toilets;
6) And that Michelle was fortunate I had been unaccompanied that night. TLOML might well have torn the tacky tattoo off her chest and shoved it down her trailer-trash throat.

Colin said he understood how shitted off I was and that he would, if I lodged a complaint, make a statement that would support my version of events. So much for that.

I needed to consider this carefully. So I asked the union rep if she had a minute for a quick chat.