Sometimes, I’m not a people person.

I really debated writing this blog today OR just sitting on my hands in an effort to behave. 

Clearly only one of those options panned out.

I’m having that “People Annoy Me” frustration spike that comes when one or more of your coworkers grind you down into a state in which going postal seems quite possible  (no need to call the authorities….we all know I’m lazy and would rather save my energy for planning other things.  Like my birthday party.  Which will be two months from yesterday).

I’ve worked in some crazy places in my life. My pal, Kathy, and I spend a year or so at IBM overseeing contract administrators. These were the creme de la creme of bad employees.

You know it’s going to be a bad day when you get a call first thing from a manager reporting that her admin has a baby under her desk.

Me, “A baby?”
Them, “Yes, a baby. In a car seat. Under her desk”
(Turns out her sitter was sick and she didn’t want to leave the baby at home alone.  Good intentions.  Poor solution skills).

Then there were the daily phone calls from another contractor explaining why she wasn’t coming to work – which never failed to include very specific descriptions about what was coming out one or more of her body cavities.  An immediate rule was established to never listen to voicemail while eating breakfast.

Yet, these folks were always positively stunned when we had to let them go.  There was simply no way to walk them through the logic of “You’ve missed 14 days of work this month…therefore we have to fire you.” or “You have a baby.  Under your desk.  You can’t stay.  Because of the baby.  Under your desk.”

I suppose I should count myself lucky that I wasn’t born with an ingrained sense of entitlement.  I suppose I should be proud that I don’t try to cheat the system or do an average job when I could do a great one.  The problem is, when you work with someone who does possess those qualities (?), it’s enough to drive you straight over the edge.

I had a mood shift this morning just as soon as I walked into our empty office and through a giant pooh colored carpet stain.  Yesterday someone dropped an entire cup of coffee on the carpet just outside the kitchen door.  The kitchen – where there are rolls and rolls of paper towels.  That could be used for cleaning up spills – such as, for example, coffee on the carpet.

When I’d arrived at work yesterday, the coffee was still pooling into the carpet.  No one cared to admit being the guilty party – I guess I can’t blame them as it would also mean admitting to be too lazy to clean up after themselves.

So clearly this was going to dry into a giant, attractive stain. I suggested to our office manager that she ping the building’s customer service to have the cleaning person stop in.  There is a cleaning person in the building all day, so no big deal.  I got a look that would indicate I was sporting at least two heads, if not four.

All day I listened to people dodging the mess, wondering who did it, etc.. And then finally at about 4.45pm…this appeared:

Now, you can see how wet it still is by the sopping into the paper towels.  Today, we have an attractive dried out brown stain thus solidifying our place in the ‘we have a nasty office’ race:
Which will be how it remains from now until eternity.  Although I did hear the office manager hint that she would probably have to get the carpets cleaned now.  Yes, because yesterday when it could have been addressed it wasn’t.  And now it’s sunk in there.  I’d actually thought about bringing my own carpet cleaner in today and hitting it.  But, quite frankly, I have my own actual work to do.
Just for fun – this is our cardboard box collection (well, what I could fit in the frame):

This lives behind my desk.  We do have a storage closet to keep them in – but this looks way better.

Back to this morning. 
And what about sent me over the edge. 

I’m sitting at my desk attempting to book airline tickets for one of my managers – on the actual phone with American Express.  When I hear my name taken in vain from the kitchen. 

Minutes later, one of the guys comes out of the kitchen (yes, the phone is still attached to my head) and says, “I just had to empty the K-Cup collector! (for those of you not in the know – the K-Cup coffee maker is the newest way to fill landfills with plastic that won’t disintegrate)”  As the phone was still attached to my head, I gave him the Two Thumbs Up! signal.  To which he responded, “Can’t you get on that?”

After he removed my foot from his ass….(oh wait, that part didn’t actually happen).  What did happen was a fiery response from myself focused on the person who should ‘get on that’ but can’t seem to make the effort.  Fortunately said person had not made her late-to-work appearance yet and I was given a high-five for pointing out the obvious.  Yay me.

The annoying thing is that I promised myself that this year, for 2011, I was not going to let myself get worked up about this stuff.  Fail.  The other annoying thing is…it’s my own fault.  Every time I have to play the stand-in office manager, I do a stellar job.  Therefore, unwillingly becoming the go-to girl.

It’s the worst kind of Catch 22. 

Clearly I am going to shift my resolution right back to our IBM-days motto.

Nod and Smile.
Nod and Smile.

And keep telling myself that as long as there are no babies under the desks, things are not that bad…

Leave a Reply