My husband met a lovely, quiet guy at his previous workplace and the friend and his wife invited us to dinner one Saturday. I was so happy that my husband had made a friend as he is quite a shy and sweet guy too. And I looked forward to making a new friend of the wife. It started off as a lovely evening; laughing and joking and drinking wine whilst the wife cooked a divine looking dinner!! I was so excited to eat! A very well-spoken lady. Expressive, and brash but with a contagious laugh and great sense of humour. She made me feel relaxed as we seemed so similar, and watching my husband have a laugh with people other than me was so heart-warming.
While I was on my surgery rotation in medical school the chief resident sent me down to the library to get a medical test book prior to making rounds. As I got back I heard the chief of surgery ask”Where’s Sonja?” and the other medical student who knew the chief had sent me for the book said “Oh she’s probably goofing off, you know how girls are.” I dropped the book and he turned around and all 123 lbs of me went into rage mode and with one hand on his neck and the other on his chest I threw him up against the wall and pinned him and said “You knew damn well I was sent down to the library to get that book.
If you want to look good, look good by being good, not by trying to make someone else look bad.” Chief resident rescued him and chief of surgery clapped his hands in appreciation and picked up the book and then pretended nothing had happened. It went all through the hospital that the skinny girl pinned the much bigger guy and he was the laughing stock for quite a while. Extreme rage can make you very strong. One night I was looking out my bathroom window and I saw my neighbor in her bathroom, holding her hairbrush, singing and dancing in front of the mirror. I couldn’t stop looking when she started to primp and pose. I finally quit looking, scared that she might catch me watching. It was really entertaining, though.
He started accusing me being this James Smith and ignoring his calls. I tried to convince him for a few minutes but after realizing I am getting nowhere, I told him I can not spend any more time with him on the phone and hung up. Phone rang immediately and I did not answer. A couple or may be 3 days later, he was on the phone and we went through the same rigmarole, “James Smith is not here” “I don’t know who he is”. “Nobody around me knows neither”. This time he started threatening me with contacting my employer and getting me fired etc. I said, “Go ahead and do whatever you can as I have no idea who you are and you have no idea who I am”. The next day it went into me being an asshole for not paying my debt and a lot of other invectives.
At this point I recorded his phone number, his name, his company name and everything I possibly can and went to my HR department and filed a complaint and asked my desk number to be changed. They immediately contacted legal and company attorneys got involved and the phone calls stopped without having to change my desk phone number. This happened at my first workplace in the US. I did not even know you could buy small stuff like computers on credit. I thought credit was for things like home mortgages or cars.
I was mortified and felt overwhelming guilt. I was just so comfortable with them and they’d made me feel so at home, I just did this naturally with all hot meals and I’d had a couple of glasses of wine. I put the pepper down. The men at the table looked down without words. I chirped up and with a gentle smile, said ““oh I’m so sorry, I just did it automatically as I love pepper like tomato ketchup with chips/fries you know….” but before I could finish with my reasons (or excuses depending on how you see it), she said “no, it’s just plain rude.” and looked down picking up some chicken with her fork. We then had an awkward silence for what felt like forever, till her gentle husband tried to change the subject. She didn’t speak to me for the rest of the evening. I tried my best, but she was so appalled at my behaviour.