When I show up to work, I have learned to deal with the silence. I cope with the fact that my co-workers don't really like me. I don't need them to tell me that they don't like me. It's obvious through their actions. When I open my mouth to speak, they talk right over me. Even worse, they walk away. I'm invisible.
They don't even know me. Most of them have never bothered to ask me a single question about myself. Not so much as a "How are you?" They either took the word of others or didn't care enough to concern themselves with me. Not one of them knows my story or why I've been "sick" so much.
It used to bother me a lot. I would cry myself to sleep wondering what I did to deserve their disapproval. All my life, it seems people take one look at me and decide I'm not worth it. I have spent countless hours sobbing over the phone to my best friend who lives two hundred miles away while sitting alone in my apartment with only my cat to comfort me.
Eventually, though, I stopped caring. When you ignore someone long enough, they become hardened and lose their interest in trying to gain your favor. I no longer care if my co-workers like me or not. That's the nice thing about my work, I don't require their friendship to do my job and do it well.
So to my dear co-workers from my past, present, and future employers, I have no interest in trying to win you over if you can't even bother to show me basic manners or at the very least be civil.
But know this: no matter how much you beat me down by giving me nasty looks or straight up ignoring me, I will continue to do work hard. I will do everything I can to make the day enjoyable and for myself and for those I serve. And you - my not-so-friendly co-workers - are part of who I serve.
You see, I was raised to treat everyone kindly. I don't believe in "an eye for an eye." I believe in mercy. You can treat me however you want, I will still choose to show you compassion and love.
You see? I don't need your acceptance to do my job OR be a decent human being. Don't fool yourself, I'm still not going to cancel my plans to take your shift at the last minute. I'm not that desperate. And I don't want to be your friend. I'm not that stupid.
Consider this my way of saying thank you for teaching me a valuable lesson and I forgive your rudeness. After all, knowing that I can't make everyone happy is important to creating my own happiness.