Why I’m No Longer Choosing Sides When Two White Woman Argue
She was a white woman and she hired me for my dream job so I thought I owed her absolute loyalty. I was wrong. Siding with her almost cost me my career.
I’ll never forget the day I met her. Her name was Karin. We were sitting in her large office — a clear sign of her status in the company, as she asked me a set of role-play-like questions to see if I was the right fit for the role. The job was a dream come true, it was closely aligned with my life’s purpose of wanting to help others. I prayed she would choose me, the other manager had already told me that I was his favorite candidate. People on the team liked me, she was the only one left to convince.
She told me that I didn’t fit the usual profile of people she hired but she was willing to give me a chance since she felt I had potential. The next day I got the good news. She had issued her stamp of approval and I got the job, I was so grateful to her. I thought she was perfect, I screamed that out from the rooftops.
A few weeks later, I noticed that she wasn’t as perfect as I had thought. She was passive-aggressive, petty, and vindictive. She didn’t get along with one of her other direct reports, another white lady named Juliette, and retaliated against her. They despised each other. I found Juliette affable and connected with her. I didn’t think that would be a problem, but my boss didn’t like the fact that we had hit it off. I thought that she would get over it.
One year, Karin asked me if I wanted to take on a wider role. It involved working on a broader number of countries in the international region. These included the likes of Indonesia, Brazil, and Turkmenistan. I was elated. We discussed my new responsibilities for weeks and finally agreed on the new title and tasks associated with the job. I developed a job description that she and HR vetted and she issued a company-wide announcement. Minutes after it went out to the organization, Juliette called me furious.
“How dare you take away a part of my job?” she bellowed. She was furious.
“What do you mean,” I responded almost naively.