I spoke to The Problem today. I talked of my disapproval of her recent actions, involving The Salesman in the personnel issue; she stood up for herself, telling me she needed an uninvolved party to give her a different perspective. She said she needed to speak with someone who was neutral and someone she trusted, and that person happened to be The Salesman.
As much as I disapproved of what she did, I have respect for the fact that she stood up for herself. She did some more crying, but she didn't get defensive nor argumentative. She said she didn't intend to cause a bigger problem, and she'd accept any consequences, but she stood behind what she had done and gave me valid reasons why she did it. I don't think she was expecting me to see her side; she seemed surprised when I didn't become angry at her. I think, even after all we've talked about and been through together professionally, that she still does not understand my management style, still does not really get my perspective.
One of the biggest conflicts she and I have is that she cannot control her emotions around me, and she feels as though I need to make allowances for her because of her emotional problems. She told me today that she feels she can't talk to me, and that I make her cry. That my bearing and my attitude towards her intimidate her and make her lose control of her emotions. She told me earlier in the month that I am a "cold fish", and that she feels like I don't care about her or her feelings. I can't make her see the difference between removing my emotional responses from our interactions and actually not caring about her but it's as though she refuses to see the difference, as though my lack of compassion for her emotional problems make me wrong. As though it's unfair of me to hold her to company standards because she has this large, overwhelming emotional problem. And she just thinks I'm being insensitive when I explain to her that it is not my job to care about her emotional problems. I believe that is a personal issue, one I am not qualified nor capable of helping her with at this point. She has herself so deluded that she cannot even see how she makes things so hard on everyone, it seems impossible that I could even cut through the bullshit she has enshrouded herself with and help her deal with an issue she won't even acknowledge she has. She says things that suggest she feels she should be exempted from certain standards of conduct because of her problems. She's essentially asking me to cut her slack because of these problems, and give her more time. I want to shake her and scream at her. She has herself convinced I am just a cold-hearted cunt without feelings or emotions ... if only she knew how tightly I maintain control over myself, just to stop myself from beating her to death with her own hands.