I worked with a woman I will call E, this woman was a pain in the…
She was in the office at 8am each day – we worked flex time, so could take back ‘extra’ time, most people arrived between 8.30 and 9am. She was ALWAYS the first in…
When we arrived she would start her dramatic, “Ohh i wish I could come in ‘so late’ but I am FAR too busy.”
The at the end of the day she would be the last to leave, usually (she claimed) staying until 7pm to get ALL her work done.
At lunch she watched everyone come and go, and as her office was the top of the corridor she saw everyone leave and enter (we had to pass her office). Again she would start the, “Ohh I wish I had time for lunch.”
This woman did not take her holidays, and then did the, “I am far too busy, I wish I could take my holidays.”
But E was often even worse than this. I arrived before her a couple of times because of projects needing to be out in the morning… (She did NOT know I was there). I found that she spent the time from 8am to people arriving: making breakfast in the kitchen, eating breakfast in the kitchen, making and drinking coffee, nosing around other peoples offices! And then chatting with everyone as they arrived.
So yeah, she arrived at 8, but started work about 10. The rest of her day was spent wandering from office to office, chatting (especially with one woman).
The one time she was off, her boss asked my boss if I could help him with something. In E’s office I found a list… initials of everyone in the office, and lots of times and notes. She was making notes of when people arrived and left, and even how many trips to the bathroom they took!
At this point I found that her boss was 100% computer illiterate… And he was stunned when I provided him with some stuff he asked for. Turned out she was regularly telling him, “Oh no, computers can’t do that.” These things were basic things: tables, spreadsheets, flow charts, powerpoint stuff. When he found computers can do this, as I had, she told him that HER computer couldn’t do that and then she was really nasty to me when no one was around to witness it. Her boss believed her and had IT provide her with a brand new PC so she told everyone I was not doing MY job and she was having to learn new stuff so she could pick up my slack!
Then this woman NEVER called in sick, she came IN… Spreading her germs, then when others went down with whatever she had first, she would point out, “Well I managed to come to work.” Sure she came in, but spent her day going from office to office spreading her germs and letting people know how sick she was but was “just too busy” to take time. I honestly believe had this woman actually been working rather than chatting, she would be finishing work at the same time as us but she loved to be the martyr.
She managed to cap all of this however when I ended up off work with a condition which was undiagnosed at the time, but one of the many symptoms was severe depression. In the end I was off work for 3months. When I got back in, I found she had rearranged my office! (Losing items in the process) she also printed off my entire internet history and thought I would be in trouble…. I had a LOT of history, but nothing bad. Silly woman was unaware that part of my job (PR) was searching the internet looking for mentions of our company and printing them, be they good or bad.
She had given my boss this “list” with what my boss called a “very smug expression” and said, “Have you seen how your PA spends her day?’ My boss looked at the list and said, “Judging by this… HER JOB!”
After my time off for depression she was always making snide comments:
Oh, I am so busy I am going mental.
If I keep working like this I’m going to have a mental breakdown.
If I don’t take a break now, I’m going to end up in the loony bin (UK slang for a mental hospital).
In the end of my time there my boss retired, and her boss was to take the department into his, she would then become my direct equal colleague, but she kept insisting she would be my manager…
I tried speaking to HR, but her best work friend was in HR and told her!! Needless to say I quit.
I just had no idea how I could deal with this woman, although I often looked at the shredder and imagined 0628-13