or Cow-Orkers or Co-Irkers?
- Jun 2004 Archive
I have a coworker who is clumsy, awkward, racist, unattractive
and a little stinky. She wears loads of horrendous perfume which she calls her
"signature scent." She only shops at a local Ma-and-Pop gas station
because she says she "can't stand buying gas from towel-heads." And
the most annoying things she does she attributes to her nationality - 100%
Italian. If she mispronounces words (which she does often) - Why, you may ask?
"Because I'm Italian!" If she knocks things over left and right
because she's clumsy as heck, it's because she's "Italian"! Is she
loud, obnoxious, rude? Well, it's because she's Italian! Can she not do simple
math? Well, she IS Italian, afterall!
The best part is, I'm 100% Italian too! And I'm "higher
up on the ladder" than she is, I don't break things all over the
office, I don't wear loads of perfume, I don't use racial slurs - I guess
this "Italian syndrome" that makes people rude, stinky, clumsy and
annoying only strikes certain UNLUCKY Italians! Please, people, don't insult the
rest of us by using your ancestors as an excuse if you're just an oaf by nature!!
I work in a nice office for a well-known environmental
consultant firm. There are approximately 50 people here, and just about
everyone is very nice. There is however, one woman who is really, really
awful to work with. She is no one's boss, no one's supervisor, no one's
anything except pain in the neck. However, she wants to be thought of as a
person who is in control, a person of importance, and at every turn does her
best to make it look like she is. Let me list of some of her "finer
1. Says she always arrives early (though this can't be
proven) and brings that point into general conversations numerous times each
day..."Well when I got here at 6 this morning..."
2. She went around her boss, who unfortunately is in
another office or would see what a piece of work she is, and fanagled a laptop,
generally reserved for higher ups. She is so afraid of missing something
that she hovers over the thing even on her every-other-Friday off. If you
send her an email about something, she fires back an instant reply, just to make
sure you know that she's "working" on her day off. Then on
Monday, says things like, "Well when I was working from home on my day
off..." You get the picture?
3. Upon arriving, goes through peoples desks who are not
at work yet, and if she feels anyone has too many pencils, post-its, or
whatever, moves them back into the supply cabinet. This is at her own
4. She's the person who posts all the signs in the
kitchen announcing "NO MAID SERVICE!!! DO YOUR OWN DISHES!!!"
and all those other annoying signs that everyone who works in an office puts up
5. And IF you, god forbid, do NOT wash your own dishes,
she takes them. Yep, she removes all unwashed dishes at the end of the day
and puts them in a file cabinet in her office. We now have about 3
coffee and maybe 2 forks. Rather embarrassing when clients show up.
And all her files are stacked all over the place because there is no room in the
6. After an office lunch meeting or one of our potlucks,
she commandeers all the leftover plastic utensils, paper plates, cups and
napkins and puts them, you guess it, in her file cabinet.
"These are not for use by people in the office." Yeah, duh!
That's exactly what they're for!
7. Gossips and back stabs at every opportunity...about
everyone. She bad-mouths my friend to me, and then bad-mouths me to my
friend. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one.
8. Walked up to a female co-worker one day, plucked at
her sleeve, and loudly said, "What's with all these ugly sweaters that
everyone is wearing?!?"
9. Wanted to start up a Weight Watchers group in the
office, which takes, I believe, at least 12 people who are willing to join.
Made a point to ask me in front of people if I wanted to join, of course
blatantly implying that I'm fat. I said no and that there were not enough
overweight people in the entire office to start up a chapter. She went to
the phone extension list and counted the "fat people."
10. I had to travel to our corporate office for a week
last year, and she said to another co-worker, "Well I sure hope she buys
some new clothes." This from a woman who buys hers at thrift
shops (by her own admission.)
11. Another co-worker tinted her hair a bit darker than
she had been wearing it. "Well that sure makes you look really
harsh," was the unsolicited critique.
12. She never does anything wrong. She is the perfect worker
and it is always everyone else’s fault if something goes wrong. She even went
so far as to say that the Vice President of this very large corporation does not
know what he is doing.
13. She has no college degree but camplains every year to be
promoted to "senior level."
14. She goes to lunch almost everyday with the “fake
crowd” a group of 4 guys or so who pat each other on the back and tell each
other how good they are and kiss each other’s butts. God, I can’t even
imagine the conversations they have at lunch…barf!
15. She kisses up to the “fake crowd” just so that when
review time comes around, she can get these guys to tell her boss how wonderful
she is. These are the only people who think this of her. The rest of the office
knows the “real her”.
16. She claims she is a Christian and says she goes to church
every Sunday but is one of those people who will run you over with her car and
then flip you off and laugh.
17. You can’t tell her anything that you don’t want the
whole office to know about.
18. She makes it a point to let everyone know that she goes to
aerobics everyday and is so healthy she is never sick but she always has to have
the closest parking spot to the building, takes the elevator instead of the
stairs and eats out everyday. No wonder she hasn’t lost any weight.
19. She has said she sits up late at night thinking of ways to
get back at the people she thinks have wronged her.
20. She has asked the receptionist to lie and say that she is
at a doctor’s appointment when her boss calls instead of telling her she is
off that day.
21. She has lost many important files in her office but for
some reason it is never her, she claims some other employee has come into her
office, gone through her files, and put them somewhere else.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. With her
the glass is always half empty. She is a big downer and will steal your
good energy if you let her. Everyone is waiting for the "what goes
around" part to happen. I think her boss gave her a pretty strong
hint about hitting the door, but of course it didn't work...last year she got a
whopping 1% raise...a real slap in the face for someone as "crucial"
to the company as she is. HAHA. I guess she is just unhappy, but
does it ever help to try and make everyone else as miserable as she is?
I'd just started working my dream job on the Disney College
Program, and gotten placed in my favorite park- THE park, if you know what I
mean. After a brief period of rough adapting, I ended up being placed to
work in a stockroom on Main Street. I would open packages of clothes and
hang them up, all day, every day. They had to be hung the same way, in
perfect order. This is something I'm really good at and really enjoy doing
(I honestly wish I was doing it right now!)
Now, I have Asperger's Syndrome, but it's a real difficulty
for me. I'd been having a lot of trouble with the other people at work
simply because I didn't know how to talk to them. One day while I was
working, I had a bit of a meltdown because I was so confused. There wasn't
enough stations for people to work at and I kept getting pushed around by people
who claimed they were there first and had to go take care of something else, and
then somebody saying I was blocking something else, and finally I just snapped.
My managers were very understanding that the situation was too
much for me, and since I was so good at hanging, they put me in an extremely
neglected stockroom and asked me to fix it up. I was put in complete
charge of that stockroom, hanging up everything and more or less being able to
give instructions to anybody else sent up there (hardly anybody ever was.)
This stockroom was much smaller than downstairs, more like an
attic with wooden floors and painted walls. The stockroom right below it
was all concrete. The two stockrooms went to the same store, so we often
had to communicate about that. There was an open elevator in the corner.
I don't know what it's real name was, but it was just a flat floor in a
grated-off hole, and it worked on hydraulics. Since it was so open, the
sound carried from downstairs just like it would if you were in the same room.
The first day I was working upstairs, the same day as my
meltdown, I could hear three people talking downstairs. At first, I didn't
listen- their conversation wasn't my business- but then I suddenly heard my
name. Then I heard that they were talking about me.
"Did you see what [she] did this morning?"
"They said she's got something wrong with her."
"Is she a part-time employee?"
"I think she's here on the college program."
"She goes to school like that?"
"Um, that's what they said."
"Is she on medication?"
"I don't know."
"She should be on medication if she's like that."
I was in tears- it's really hurtful when you find out exactly
what people think of you, I've always said. So I went downstairs (the
stairs are across the hall) and into the stockroom and said to them, "I
just thought you might like to know, I'm working upstairs and I can hear
everything you're saying through the elevator." They didn't say
anything, so I went back upstairs and back to work.
One of the women came up an hour later with a manager, in
tears, because she felt so bad about how she was talking to me. She said
she didn't understand me, and she wanted to understand me, and she didn't want
to have all her facts wrong or anything. I was taken by surprise, but I
told her it was all right and she felt better. We were actually really
good friends until I left the program. The other guy, I never saw him
again because he was only there on modified duty, and he went back to his old
job. I think there was a third girl, but I'd never seen her before or
For a few years I worked at a very busy mortuary. We did
services for all ages, but for the most part, our "clients" were
older. It was rare to have a child or infant funeral there. During
my time at the mortuary, I became pregnant. Early on, I had some scares that I
may lose my baby, so I was thrilled as I advanced in my pregnancy. During my
sixth month, we got in a series of stillborn infants and miscarriages. It was
very strange and sad, since we had never has so many at one time before This
is when the comments started.
We were called in to handle the services for an infant who
passed in utero at 6 months gestation. The arranger handling it looked over at
me and said, "Wow, the same age as little Junior
there. Scared yet?" I just laughed and shook my head, trying not to
show how startled I was. But he continued, "Don't worry, when it happens,
the company will give you a discount on his funeral!" Ok, to say that
to any pregnant woman is bad, but saying that to a pregnant woman preparing an
infant for burial is cause for pre-mortem trocarization! (Whoo
wee! BIG word! Everyone go look it up!) A
few weeks later, another bonehead walked by and said, "What, haven't you
lost that baby yet? It's the 'in' thing to do now, don't you know!"
Needless to say. I didn't return after my maternity leave.
Last month my workplace offered us the opportunity sporting
event tickets at a month in advance. As an added bonus we could not
only leave work early to go but could also bring along a guest. The seats
were awesome and our company got a discount ( we only had to pay
$50/person.) Because this was less than half of what I would pay without
the discount, I got tickets for my husband and myself. Anyway to make a
long story short, the day of the event I got a call from my husband saying he
was at the ER with my 5 year daughter who had apparently fractured her arm
during gymnastics. Knowing that we wouldn't make the game, I sent out an email
to my co-workers saying I had to leave for the day and would leave my two
tickets taped on my office door if anyone was interested-free of charge. I
assumed the tickets would not go to waste because a day before a lot of people
were offering to buy extra tickets for their significant others.
When I returned to work the following
Monday, several people asked why I had given my tickets to complete
strangers. Puzzled, I explained that I had just left my tickets at work
and it was first come first serve. As I was walking to my office, one of
my co-workers ( a fairly new guy) thanked me for the tickets. I
asked who he had brought along. He laughed and said he had sold them
for $100 in the parking lot to two guys. Now I knew what everyone meant by
"strangers" having my tickets. When I responded that he
knew a bunch of our co-workers were looking for extra tickets, he said
"they should have got 'em before I did."
While on summer vacation from college, my sister was
working as a
waitress in a small, family-owned restaurant within a
She got along well with everyone there with one exception,
young waitress, who was two-faced, I'll call her Jean.
Jean was all
sweetness and light when the owners were around, but rude and
when they weren't. In addition, she would treat my
sister in a very
shabby manner-- not doing prep work, refusing to help my
anything (it's a small restaurant, and everyone was used to
hand), and just being altogether nasty.
So, my now-DH (then boyfriend) and I are home one afternoon
sister returns from the lunch shift at work. She is
crying. I asked
her what had happened, it seems Jean had told the
some imagined wrong that my sister had done (Jean was a
too), and the cook called her into the kitchen, where he and
proceeded to bawl her out, screaming, in full earshot of all
customers (again, very small restaurant, they were the only
employees there at the time). My sister is a very
patrons at the restaurant loved her. I could see no reason
meanness that Jean and the cook would gang up on her.
So, my DH asked my sister for the restaurant number, walked
street and got on the pay phone so that the call couldn't
come back to
our house. DH asked for the owner, and fortunately, the
there. First my DH told her that he had eaten at the
day (a lie) and had a wonderful waitress (my sister).
"Yes, the owner
replied, "she is great, we love her here." He
then said that he was
calling because he was disturbed by something that happened,
proceeded to tell her about my sister being berated, loudly
length, by the other waitress and the cook in full earshot of
customers. It had, he said, disturbed his family and
children, and he thought the owner should know so that it
And after that phone call, it never happened again.
Jean never got
any nicer, but she was at least no longer downright nasty.
cook apologized and was fine from that point on (he really
bad guy). Also, it was around this time that I
decided that I wanted
to marry the man who has since become my DH, as he cared
the sister of the girl he was dating to take care of
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