She is my coworker, one who sits in the cubicle two doors away from me. We have 10 people seated in our office suite. She is one of them.
I have to say, she has the distinction of being very sweet to talk to but being most disliked in our small office place. The cubicles being small are not sound proofed, so one can almost hear a complete conversation taking place in the next cubicle, without straining one’s ears too much. Over the years we have grown to closing our years to frivolous talk in other cubicles, unless of course, they are carried out in voices too loud to be downed by strong ignoring.
Sometimes we visit co workers and share a cup of coffee with them or a part of our lives. These are times when we perceive, our friend as listening in. And how do we know this ? The computer keys, which until then, had been beating a steady rhythm, stop abruptly as though they are listening to sounds other than their own. The consensus among us is that she stops typing so she can listen. This is irritating, so much so, that we have taken to whispering to one another when we meet or even to communicate in sign language. Being very innovative, prolonged silences prompt a personal visit from the said co-worker, who we think saunters along casually until she can join in the conversation, which she missed sitting at her seat.
When we leave from our seats for a certain period of time, it is a commonly followed practice to shut the door, so any visitors know you are out and will not be in for some time. When she leaves, ( the rumour is that she leaves to visit her daughter’s school, not far away from our university) and then walks back in, without letting our supervisor know, she leaves the door wide open and refuses to shut the door, even on repeated requests by the supervisor. Shutting the door would leave her at the mercy of her supervisor, who might even ask her to put in a few hours of leave for the hours she was off from her desk. Today our supervisor wised up and asked her to shut her door if she was leaving her desk for sometime( which she was). Supervisor later reported that she responded by slamming the door shut when she had to leave. It seems shutting the door makes her vulnerable.
She talks very sweet and is very interested in knowing what goes on in our lives. Again office gossip is that she lets very little out of what is going on in her life but manages to elicit details from the lives of others. The information gathered is used against those co workers at appropriate times. One of my coworkers runs a swimming class from home for children who are differently abled. According to our university rules, one cannot hold two occupations at the same time but yet she does. Our sweet colleague found out ( through social media) of my swimming coach coworkers, after work job and reported her to our supervisor.
Now war is on between her and our supervisor. Our supervisor has suddenly wised up to the fact that she hadn’t been appropriately firm with “sweet coworker” and that is why a nature which could have been nipped in the bud has now grown to huge proportions.
There is a lot to say for that old adage, a stitch in time saves nine.
Have you ever worked with difficult, weird co workers ?