Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Character Flaw

“I hate my job,” I heard her mutter and my lips curved with pure pleasure. I wiped the expression from my face before she entered my office, updating me on a project that had her all aflutter.

You’re worse than I am, I told her silently, cocking my head as I evaluated her. Equally melodramatic and with a strong evil streak, she had the detriment of having an ill-defined role and time enough to self-destruct.

Conversely, I have many responsibilities and a penchant for control. I’m honestly either too busy or too tired (or, well, too hurt from falling down while trying to walk around) to work myself into a proper fit. My last one, I decided, continuing to ignore her in favor of my thoughts, was when she hurt and offended me. I meant to work at getting her fired, I recalled and nearly shook my head. I need to start writing stuff down or these important projects fail to see sufficient progress.

“She was looking for you the other day,” BestWorkBuddy said earlier and I rolled my eyes as she nodded. “I told her you were out and she got very…” she paused while looking for the right word.

“Shrill?” I offered. “Angry? Annoying as hell?” BWB nodded her agreement at my final answer and we returned to the notes we were reviewing after I patted her knee with satisfied affection.

When WWE (worst work enemy) left, having failed to elicit a response from me apart from an impatient stare, I grinned again before returning to my documentation. She deserves to be miserable, I decided. And until I can get some traction on making something bad happen to her, I’m glad she’s being unhappy on her own.

“Hello, dear,” I offered in greeting, having hobbled to a nearby office to drop off some paperwork. “You look good,” I decided after the older woman turned around to acknowledge me. “A bit more rested. How are you?” I asked the last question absently, mind already skipping ahead to the next task at hand while calculating how long it had been since I’d had Advil.

“Oh, no,” I stilled and reached to enfold her in a hug when she said she had to travel home. “I’m so sorry,” I whispered into her shoulder while I rubbed her back.

“We knew it was coming,” she sniffled and I blinked back tears as I nodded, for she'd told me as much weeks ago. People I loved have died after long illnesses though. It made the loss no less shocking or painful. I stood there, holding most of my weight on my right leg, wondering what to say or do and feeling positively awful.

“I’m so sorry,” I said again and she nodded. “Please let me know if there’s anything at all I can do,” I requested softly, wishing I could feel less useless, knowing she was hurting and lost as to how to ease that pain.

I hobbled slowly back to my office, lowering myself carefully into my chair and staring blankly at the screen of my computer. I picked at the cuticle on my thumb and worried the left side of my lower lip between my teeth as I fretted. I was near a revelation along the lines of not wishing misery on others when so much of it was unavoidable. But then WWE pranced by, trying to get the attention of a visiting executive and taking credit for work not her own.

I still hope she gets fired.


rpg said...

Remind me not to get on your bad side.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what got me fired from my first job, K. Why are you writing about this publicly?

Anonymous said...


This is soooo much better than dog walking and house cleaning and how pretty your car is and how rewarding your job is and all that other happy horseshit you've been writing about!

Get that bitch fired!!

Locks said...

this is harsh. it seems to me like this person might be ruled by insecurities, not unlike me or many others. it also sounds like her behavior might be annoying, but at the same time perhaps not worth dwelling or focusing on, even for a nanosecond.

of course, i am guilty of dwelling on this and that counterproductively, and I can be harsh too so stones and glass houses or pots and kettles etc. etc. and i'll hold my judgement.

ps. i like happy horseshit.

Abbey said...

To presume you're always happy go lucky is ridiculous, so I wonder a little about other commentors. I have had the same thoughts in my own workplace - though mine are often worse. :)

Anyway, I was amused overall by the post and hope you made a list.

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