#1 GRUDGE OF THE WEEK

Every week, I’ll be sharing a new grudge that’s not in my book — sometimes mine, sometimes someone else’s (with their permission, obviously!) There are plenty of new grudges born every minute – send yours to [email protected] if you would like to share it and have it analysed!

A STITCH-UP AT WORK

Sent in by Anonymous

In my second year of teaching, a formal complaint was brought by another member of staff against a young, male PE teacher who happened to be a tutor in the boarding house where I was the deputy housemaster. We weren’t friends, but I knew him a bit because he’d come to help out on a couple of house trips I’d run. He was laddish, but a good teacher. Before I knew a complaint had been made, I was called in to see a lady on the school management team. She was a nice lady, about 60, with a reputation for being sort of sweet but ineffectual, and I knew her and her husband socially – we’d been round to dinner and stuff. Anyway, she called me in and asked me if she could chat to me about this young male teacher, and she started asking me about what he was like, about how I’d seen him behave, and that sort of stuff. I just chatted honestly and told her what I thought.

Then, the next day, I got a formal email from her, with everything I had said typed up as a formal statement. Her email said, in effect: please can you confirm that the statement below is an accurate reflection of everything you said in our meeting? I confirmed that it was. What I didn’t know, though, was that the reason she had contacted me was that the young male member of staff had named me as his official character witness / supporting member of staff in his disciplinary hearing. I’ve never forgiven her for tricking me into thinking we were ‘just chatting’ and then using everything I’d said as part of a formal process which she really should have informed me about.

SOPHIE SAYS:

This is very sneaky behaviour on the part of the woman in question. This is a Manipulation Grudge, which is a very common type, you might be reassured to learn! As well as the clear manipulation involved, there is a strong element of outright insult and the quite open revelation of a lack of respect. She knew her manipulation would be absolutely obvious to you at a certain point, and she didn’t think enough of you to care that you would soon find out you’d been tricked. Her brazenness, for me, makes this Blatant Disrespect Grudge as well as a Manipulation Grudge. All in all, highly grudgeworthy!

Discover Sophie’s Grudge Type classification system in HOW TO HOLD A GRUDGE – available from all good book retailers now!

OTHER GRUDGE GOODIES

About devastating historical events and atrocities, we often say, ‘Never forget’. Why? Is it that we want to extend the suffering for as long as possible? No, of course not — it’s because we know that history (the horrible bits of it especially) contains useful lessons and warnings that we would be fools to ignore.

Yet about upsetting personal incidents, we often hear people say, ‘Don’t hold a grudge. Move on, for your own sake.’ Every time we say this, we are effectively asking someone to forget the important warnings and lessons from their own life history.