Saturday, July 23, 2005


7:32 a.m. I read a blog post yesterday by Susan McBride, one of the very talented Book Tarts you can find if you go to their blog called, The Lipstick Chronicles.

Susan's latest post was on the competetiveness in the writing world. Here is an exerpt:

"For so many, it is a game…a battle of one-upmanship. It’s establishing a pecking order, hanging with the right clique at the conventions, and being the BMOC.
Basically, it’s like junior high, all over again. There are a lot of Peter Pans out there; plenty of people who never grow up and who never stop competing. It’s all about winning, accumulating, and besting."

I finish reading and consider this. Throughout my life I have been confronted with those competetive types. I worked with one while I was a forensic investigator. This woman, we'll call her Brunhilda, was ten years older than me. She was smart, funny, ambitious. I really admired her. Which was why I found it so baffling that she hated me.

Okay, maybe not so baffling. See, the problem with me is that I am maybe a 2 on the ambition scale. You could even call me lazy if I wasn't such a hard worker. So you can imagine how infuriating it was for Brunhilda when a couple of months after I started working at the medical examiner's office I, through no apparent skill or talent of my own, cracked two unidentified cases and received a measure of media attention and praise from the Powers That Be. From that point, Brunhilda began to see me as a threat. And in her mind, any threat needed to be dispatched with impunity. (Finally....I get to use the phrase "dispatched with impunity"... I've waited SO long!)

Brunhilda is one of those people that plays life like a chess game. It is not a ladder you climb. It is not a journey you take. It is a competition. And you can't play unless there is an opponent.

Brunhilda was really quite skilled at her chess game, I'll give her that. She plotted and wreaked havok in ways that I would never have imagined. For example, my boss pulled me into his office one afternoon and said, "Polly, it has come to my attention that you and I have been having an affair." I stared at him for a moment, nonplussed. When I found my voice I said, "Well...I hope I was good."


Eleanor said...

Thank you Polly, and I say this in the nicest possible way, for giving me yet another must-read blog!!! I read her whole post, and will go back and look around later! :-)

k said...

lol poll... i think u just described me concisely in a paragraph. I jus guess we cant see anyone acheiving more than us.. its my one and only driving force.. without competition, yech!geez no wonder im such a slob these days.. i hang around bumz :)

Kaf said...

Polly, I'm sure you were spectacular... aren't you always?

Thanks for the *snork*!

Marie said...

Yes, I snorked at that last line, too. Thanks for the laugh, Polly.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I hate people like that, Polly. I am very competitive in certain ways but even though I'm more of a loner than a team player I hate dealing with people like Brunhilda. It saps all of your energy having to deal with their machinations. (How's that for a fun word?)