The master manipulator

The following story is from… many years ago.

I recently started telling some of people in my life about the things that I’ve dealt with at work through the years. These stories are stories that contributed to many dark years in my life where I struggled a lot with what was going on and the role that I played in it because I didn’t speak up. For many years I told myself that I needed to grin and bear it, and that if I worked hard enough, tolerating the shit would pay off. That, at the very least, it would look good on my resume.

I’m not much of a story teller, it’s definitely not one of my strong suits. But, having other’s know the truth does have a certain catharsis to it.


‘And then we had sex. Great sex. Damn good sex!’ She exclaimed with a smile on her face.

Not the exact topic of discussion I thought would happen when my new boss invited me out for dinner just a few days into starting my new job. But hey, sometimes you have to roll with the punches, right? Clearly she thinks that I give a damn, that I want to partake in girl talk… that I think she’s a good person. Clearly she didn’t catch my eyes roll to the back of my head. So pretend. That’ll make this end faster.

Though it had only taken me about forty minutes on my first day of work to determine that my manager at the new company I was working for was a manipulative bitch, it only took her four days to actually openly brag about being such.

She took me out for dinner, under the guise of it being a ‘working dinner’ so that she could tell me all about the professional hockey player that she had just hooked up with this past weekend.

A grown woman having sex with someone and then bragging about it to her friends? Why it happens a lot, actually.

A grown woman (38 years old) having sex with a professional hockey player (who was just 18 years old at the time) and then bragging about it to the newest employee that she oversees at the office, whom she’s only known for four days, because she thinks it will give her clout and make the new employee look at her in a more positive light, that it’ll make her new employee look up to her… well I don’t know how that happens.

To add even more of a twist to this nightmare of a working dinner, my new manager, who was at this point going into great detail about where she and this hockey player met for sex, for how long they had sex and the positions they tried that she, and I quote, ‘had never dreamed of doing’, well, my new manager was telling me this story as she twirled her engagement ring around her finger. The engagement ring that was given to her by another manager from the office.

Yes, she took me out for dinner to brag about how she cheated on her fiancee (who was our coworker) with a professional hockey player who was 20 years younger than her because she felt, in her bizarre head, that made her sound cool.

Four days on the job…

If she was trying to get to know me, or get a feel for who I was as a person, bragging to me about cheating on her fiancee, someone who also worked in our office, wasn’t a great place to start. Furthermore, the fact that she thought I was going to provide her with praise and accolades for managing to sleep with a professional hockey player truly showed me how much character this woman lacked.

And there we were, smack dab in the middle of this restaurant, my awkwardly staring at my food, thinking this dinner couldn’t end sooner. She, on the other hand couldn’t read body language or acknowledge that I hadn’t participated in the conversation for nearly ten minutes now. She just kept continuing on about how she would leave her fiancee for said hockey player if she truly felt there was a future and that it is, and always will be, one of her biggest goals in life to be a ‘trophy wife’.

Listen, I’m all for people having goals. Goals, desires, dreams… these things push us forward. They give us reason to be better. Honestly, though… if one of your biggest goals in life is to be a trophy wife, you should be aiming for a lot fucking higher. If you’re having sex with someone solely because of what their profession is, and you think that makes you cool, you should be aiming for a lot fucking more in life. And, if you think it’s alright to cheat on your fiancee when ‘someone better offers’ then you shouldn’t fucking be engaged and planning a wedding.

The cap to this glorious dinner came when her work credit card was declined and she made a joke about just how much that hotel room cost where all of her glorious sex took place. Begrudgingly, I paid for the meal and was promised that she would expense it and have me paid back by the following Friday. At this point, I was just relieved that I could leave. I was about ready to walk into the restaurant’s kitchen and fall on some knives.

This dinner was the very beginning of what turned into five years of manipulation, lies, intimidation, so very many occasions of her asking me to cover for her when she was cheating on her fiancee (who eventually became her husband), and her siphoning tens of thousands of dollars away from the charity’s bank accounts and onto her personal credit cards

She never did pay me back for that meal.

In the grand scheme of things, that dinner was a small fry. But, to this day, that night shines as a perfect example of the sheer demon I was facing at work. People, and by people I largely mean senior management, always wondered why I couldn’t just… get along with her. Why couldn’t we be friends? Two women working in a male dominated industry, in the same department, for the same company. Why couldn’t we be allies?

Well, call it a difference of character, or her lack of character. Call it my stubbornness if you want. Whatever you call it, just know that management isn’t always right. And they’re definitely not the moral authority. At least not from my perspective. Respect is earned, and if someone doesn’t earn for it, they’re definitely not going to get it from me.