I like the betrayal theme and would like to add my story to the potpourri stew.
My mother and I never had much money growing up. My mom was somewhat unstable mentally and could hold a job for several months but then the crazies would start to creep in. It didn't take me long to understand the pattern. At first it would be a few complaints about the job, which always seemed normal, and steadily progress into irrational paranoia.
It sure sounds like Sally is a gossip. You should stay away from those types.
It certainly appears that Jim may have taken credit for your idea. You should nicely confront him.
Sure Bob doesn't NEED that vacation time just as your deadline is looming.
I'm sure no one MEANT to steal your lunch from the fridge.
You are NOT about to be fired because they all hate you.
And so on until eventually she'd either quit under the paranoid delusion that she was about to be fired, or she would act so erratically and freak people out at work that she was let go. It always seemed that she was let go with regret, that she made real friends at her numerous jobs, but she never kept in touch with them after she left or was asked to leave a place of employment. Once she left a job, it was DEAD to her.
The only thing that truly kept us stabilized during all the madness was our uber friendly landlord. I think he saw what was happening and that we often struggled. In all the fifteen yearshe had had never raised the rent more than $5/month a year. In downtown Toronto for a small but still 2 bedroom apartment that was practically unheard of. He was a sweet man.
One day I came home from school and my mom was sitting in the middle of her bedroom with clothes in piles everywhere and she was crying. I thought she was having a breakdown, but managed to get out of her that our nice landlord had died, and the same day she learns this, some men in suits come and inform us that we have two weeks to get out and find a new place, that they were taking it over to rent it out higher.
Two weeks! Two weeks to pack up almost my entire life's worth of stuff, find a new place and move. What about school, work, where were we going to live?
I took my ice skates, which I hadn't worn in years but were still hanging on the back of my closet door, and stalked outside. I took the skates and whipped them around my head and hit the FOR RENT sign over and over. I bashed that stupid sign into the ground, denting the metal with the tips of my skates. The blades ripped holes through the flimsy metal and I threw the skates as far as I could and ran back upstairs to our apartment. The only home I'd ever really known for the past fifteen years.
Fifteen years of living with an increasingly unstable mother!
Fifteen years of jobs and cycles and no money!
Fifteen years of family isolation and hiding my mother's troubles from the world!
Fifteen years of having no father!!!
I beat fifteen years of frustration into that sign.
The next day a new sign had replaced the old one and my mother had called movers to pack up our things.