I work for a wonderful firm and I really do love my job. I’m the receptionist here and I get to meet our clients and consultants and I think I have a pretty good relationship with most of the folks who work here.
There is one person who’s a little annoying. There’s always one. There’s a law on the books that requires at least one annoying person per workgroup.
Why must some people create a big to-do over the most mundane events? Are some folks so in need of attention that they are determined to make every effort to draw others into their lives?
I have a coworker who craves attention. She’ll join a group having a great conversation, look around and then sigh. She won’t say a word, she’ll just roll her eyes and sigh. (this is our cue to ask, “what’s wrong”).
It is usually a very dramatic and eloquent sigh and we’ve learned that this particular sigh means “poor me”. She’ll look around to see if anyone in the group is paying attention (we’ve learned to avoid eye contact) and if not, then another sigh will be forthcoming. Sometimes a small groan is added for effect.
If there is no response to any of these cues, she’ll start to huff, and occasionally puff a little. These huffs and puffs are often accompanied with head shaking and quiet mumbling. “Can’t believe…mumble…this job….killing me…mumble.”
By this time someone in the group will take pity and ask, “What’s wrong?”
She’ll shake her head as though it’s just too much to bear and impossible to discuss. ::insert additional sigh here::
The person will repeat the question, “What’s wrong?”
“I had to reschedule the conference call for this afternoon. (sigh) I had everything arranged and the client is stuck in a meeting and can’t join until after 2pm.” Another sigh.
Someone is usually willing to take one for the team and will respond with appropriate soothing words. “Oh, poor you blah blah blah blah…”
I used to be that willing person, but it’s no longer in me to sympathize with this chick. Rescheduling a conference call will take 2 seconds. Sending an email is not that difficult. Re-booking a conference room is easy-peasy.
I have certain medical issues as do many other employees here. We deal with them as best we can and go on with our lives.
Not this particular coworker. Her stomach aches are more painful than labor pains. Her common cold is worse than pneumonia. Her appointments with each of her physicians must be discussed with everyone… and she must receive sympathy for all of her many many troubles.
She needs new tires (as everyone in the office has been made aware) because her tires are totally bald (her car is less than 2 years old without much mileage, but no one argues). If it rains, or snows she is unable to come to work. It is the fault of the firm, because if she had gotten a raise she would have been able to afford new tires. The rest of us who are suffering the same wage freeze are better able to cope I suppose because our small lives are not quite as important.
She, as a regular employee, doesn’t have a reserved parking space, but will check the schedule and use someone’s space if they’re out of town or in meetings. She has actually been annoyed when informed that the space owner wants to use their own parking space, and makes a big production out of getting up to move her car.
Instead of a brief conversation to order new supplies, she must have a meeting with the supplier and schedule a conference room so that we’ll all be aware that she is very important. She’ll send an email to everyone to let us know that she won’t be available between 10:00 and 10:15 because she’ll be in a meeting. She’ll remind me that she’s expecting a guest for her meeting and ask me to show him to the conference room scheduled.
She works much harder than the rest of us, and must leave early every Friday. Every single Friday she has something very important to do that must take her away from the office.
Some weeks she has meetings with important people. Other weeks she has to drive important people to the airport. (C’mon, driving to the Atlanta airport on a Friday afternoon is ridiculous, especially since the train is 3x as fast as Atlanta traffic).
Her doctor doesn’t hold regular office hours it seems – well at least as far as she’s concerned. Every single appointment is on a Friday afternoon and she must leave because her new affliction is so severe.
Once she needed to leave early because she had to shop for food. She was having important people over for a big dinner that night, and she was told at the last minute of course, and she had to shop. For the special food for the important people.
When asked about her dinner the following Monday morning, she forgot that she cooked the special dinner for the important people and told me all about the exclusive and expensive restaurant that she and her boyfriend took her important people to on Friday night.
Oh yeah, today is Friday. Guess who has to leave early.