Wikipedia – Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain mollusks as a defense mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant such as a parasite inside the shell, or an attack from outside, injuring the mantle tissue. This occurs under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk, and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, being irritated by the intruder, forms a pearl sac of external mantle tissue cells and secretes the calcium carbonate to cover the irritant. Consider me that mollusk. I am irritated.

I can’t let it go. I wish I could, but it festers inside me like a bad smell just waiting for a chance to escape.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there is a sense of fear among the rest of the team. They don’t feel you are working as part of the team and therefore are afraid of approaching you.”


After an otherwise near perfect review. I nodded my head, told her of my disappointment in the comment and explained that I did not agree.

But then I went home and thought about it. Went to the play and thought about it. Went to work the next day and thought about it. It keeps digging in my brain making me more and more frustrated at my “team” and their childish and selfish behavior. I am working as part of the team, what I am not doing is engaging in idle gossip and negative behavior. I am no longer placating when someone looks to me for sympathy regarding a poor decision they were advised against making. I am setting up web conferences, compiling audit data from across all areas of Human Resources, helping to file documents that have been piling up since May 2013, discussing potential candidate sharing with another recruiter, working with managers and directors to share recruitment responsibilities in otherwise segregated departments in order to expedite hiring, and a whole host of other things that impact our WORK and the DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES of my position and YOURS. Nowhere in my job description does it state I have to stroke your ego or agree with how you handle our customers. I am not required to be your friend.

If you approach me and ask me to do something for you IE “Amanda, can you help me figure out why this new hire isn’t showing in our database?” I will help you. I will use my experience and system access to research the issue. However, if you roll your eyes, breathe out heavily and ask me to fix something someone else screwed up IE “*sigh* XXXXX strikes again. I can’t figure this out, dummy didn’t do something right.” I will still help, but I will stop you from continuing your tirade and ask what it is I can do for you. I don’t have time for your negativity, your constant bickering, your total lack of professionalism to our colleagues behind their backs. It affected too many pieces of my personal life and I refuse to let my job have that power over me anymore.

Which is obviously a pointless statement since one negative comment apparently is overpowering me.

“This is the sense from everyone on the entire team.”

Well then maybe this isn’t the team for me. Perhaps I should take my work ethic, professionalism and loyalty to another team that isn’t quite so juvenile. What would I do if I were let go today? If I didn’t have the safety and security of this position, what would I do? Where is my pearl? Acting? McDonalds? Aquatics manager at the YMCA? Professional Nanny? Return to school, and if so, for what? Pursue another career? I don’t think I’d stay in HR, but I don’t have a clue what else I would be good at that would still pay well enough to make ends meet. Maybe they’re looking for help at the zoo. I’d rather face the lions head on than realize I’ve been working with them only after they’ve silently torn me to bits.

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