The Fatslayer Chronicles

Apr 13, 2006 at 20:06 o\clock

Bitch Update, and a sad story about a woman and a sofa

Today's Weight 169.5lbs

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Wow, it’s hectic at work at the moment – working 14 hr days with little spare time to write blog entries. Thanks to everyone who commented on my last entry though – it’s reassuring to know that I’m not imagining things or being a paranoid idiot. And I really, really appreciate the kind comments and support!

 

Fortified by that encouragement, I tackled my colleague about her comments on Monday, and as I expected, she said I was being oversensitive and over-reacting. I was calm and collected, and said that even if it wasn’t her intention to be rude, I found her remarks offensive, and that she should learn to moderate her language and think before she spoke.

 

Luckily she played into my hands by being immediately hostile – she said I was up myself’’, and that by being so fat’’ I’d made myself fair game’’ for comments and speculation.

 

I said that these comments were just the sort of remarks that were offensive, and that they were in contravention of the Trust’s Code of Accepted Behaviour, as well as its equality and diversity policy.

 

[By the way, I know this makes me sound like a pompous prig, but what the hell WAS I supposed to say? This is the first staff problem I've ever had to deal with - all my other staff are lovely - and I'm a novice at this telling off business. I'm sure I handled it terribly...]

 

I asked her why she thought that denigrating overweight people was acceptable, when denigrating people on the grounds of race, sexual orientation etc wasn’t…and she replied that in her opinion there was nothing wrong with a little “good natured banter’’ about race or sexuality either, and that people like that’’ should learn to toughen up, and stop getting their knickers in a twist over something so unimportant.

 

“I believe in calling a spade a spade” she said, “and if people don’t like it, that’s their problem. I’m not doing anything wrong. You get treated like a criminal if you’re white, slim and straight these days…”

 

At this point I began to realise that in my desire to be fair and reasonable I'd given her the impression she could get away with murder. Time to toughen up a bit!

 

Obviously, she’s going to be a tough nut to crack, and this is going to be just the first of many conversations. I said that I wouldn't hesitate to invoke the Trust’s formal disciplinary policy if she didn’t modify her behaviour after being told so clearly to do so, and she said that in that case she’d probably start looking around for a better job, as it was political correctness gone mad to discipline someone just for expressing an opinion.

 

She was being so rude that I almost expected her to launch into a Nazi salute and a display of goose stepping à la Basil Fawlty at this point, but she settled for muttering a stream of expletives (loudly) under her breath instead, at which point I lost my rag and gave her a formal verbal warning there and then, which will go on her permanent file.

 

With a bit of luck she’ll cop enough of a strop to quit, and it’ll be good bloody riddance…but if she doesn’t, and she doesn’t alter her behaviour either, at least I’ve got the ball rolling re getting rid of her. The wheels of the health service move slowly, but it’ll only take a couple more formal warnings before she gets the boot – and judging by her behaviour since our conversation, it’s a matter of WHEN not IF she earns herself another black mark.

 

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Anyway, enough of this.

 

Did anyone see the story in the Daily Mirror this morning about a 20 stone woman who died of neglect after her mother failed to call a doctor when she (the daughter) wouldn’t – and eventually couldn’t – move off the sofa for 4 months?

 

This is a link to the article, which may be exaggerated since the Mirror is a tabloid, but which presumably has nuggets of truth since it’s based on what came out at the inquest.

 

That is the saddest fucking thing I’ve heard about in a LONG LONG time. That poor, unhappy, depressed woman…her state of mind must have been awful...

 

To be treated with such apparent lack of love and regard by your nearest and dearest is just plain pitiable...I'll never complain about my parents again!

Apr 8, 2006 at 17:52 o\clock

Help - Am I Being Paranoid?

Today's Weight 169.5lbs

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OK, I'm going to rant. One of the women in my office really pissed me off yesterday - in fact she's been pissing me off for while now - and it's finally time to vent!

This woman is the same age as me (40) and is really skinny (7 stones / 98lbs). She's always been skinny, and has never dieted a day in her life, though she eats crap all day long. Doughnuts, cold pizza, sweets, pasties, eclairs - it's all she ever seems to eat, and she never gains a pound.

Bitch.

Only (half) kidding. Heh heh.

Lately she's taken up running, and she now acts as if she's Paula fucking Radcliffe...but I guess that's not important re what I'm talking about today. But Bitch! again, just 'cos I feel like it!

Anyway, what's getting my goat is the fact that instead of resting on her own skinny-arse laurels, she's developed an annoying habit of constantly making snidey comments about my weight.

She says things like:

"I suppose you've given up the diet now, haven't you? I expect you don't have much willpower or you'd have done something about your size before you started blocking out the sun.."; or

"I would've thought you'd have quit by now, 'cos it must be hard when you're naturally a bit greedy"; or

"was it Kim who encouraged you to lose weight? I expect he was ashamed to be seen out with you when you were at your fattest. I can't say I blame him. But he must be really proud of you now...", or

"it must be so hard fighting against that natural impulse to just stuff your face all day, that made you so big in the first place. I really admire you!"....

All her comments are said with such apparent innocence that it's hard to pick her up on the hidden insults, and I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm just being paranoid, and she's not really having a dig at all.

Yesterday she was complaining about lethargy during her runs, and another colleague (and fellow runner) advised her to eat a banana an hour or so before running. He said that a banana is a naturally low-fat source of carbs and potassium, and then added that a small banana contained only about 100 calories. 

"Oh I wouldn't know anything about that sort of thing," she said, with a glance at me, "and I wouldn't care even if I did know. If I like a food, I'll eat it even if it has a thousand calories. If you ask me, only Billy Bunters (another glance at me) and anorexics worry about calories - they've got nothing better to think about. Look at me, I've never had a weight problem and I've never counted a calorie in my life! People should forget about counting calories and just stop eating like pigs..."

Man, I was so furious I could have killed her! I don't know if she timed her comment deliberately, because I had a meeting at my desk and therefore couldn't retaliate. By the time my visitors had left she'd gone home for the weekend, and I never got a chance to tackle her about it.

But I know that even if I do say something, she'll give me the saccharine treatment, and tell me I'm being paranoid and oversensitive.

So - am I being oversensitive?

I can't tell - I need a neutral opinion!

I don't want to confront her about her attitude on Monday if I'm just imagining things...but on the other hand, if she's meaning to be insulting, I don't want to give the impression I'm a spineless doormat.

She's my most junior staff member, and I don't want her to think she's got me on the ropes, but I'm also afraid of overreacting...

Help!! I'm seriously in need of an impartial viewpoint!