A co worker

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 ?


15 thoughts on “A co worker

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your co-worker. She seems very insecure and unethical based on your description.
    Your wisdom about her serves you well, but is a sad commentary about working in an office with such a person. Everyone suffers. It is difficult to like your work in such a setting.
    You are smart to keep your distance. Glad you are taking care of yourself in this situation.

    This year I had a similar experience. After years of putting up with this type of conduct and worse, some co workers yet again violated the code of conduct we are supposed to live by. Because I was the chair of an ethics committee, I followed procedure and was advised to request an investigation. Because of that action, they retaliated, spreading lies about me. Thankfully I have training in another field and am now working there. My complaint and the hearings that followed have caused me so much anxiety and insomnia that I am now under my physicians care. This was a devastating experience. Victims are victimized twice in my opinion because they are blamed when they come forward with proof of such events. It is easier than confronting the dysfunction and bad behavior.


  2. OMG. This is such a sad experience but I am glad you have another position now and possibly one in which your skills are appreciated.
    I wrote this post specifically to bring our such issues and more that are faced by regular office employees on a day by day basis.
    I have gone through almost similar positions in my previous job, which was in a hospital. It was a job more to my training and liking but as a Coordinator of the Institutional Review Board, which reviews research proposals on humans for ethical issues, there was often pressure from different directions, to let their proposals go and not to scrutinize them so much. It came to such a pass that during one of our IRB meetings, an agenda item was included without my knowledge and one of the complainants against whose proposal I raised ethical concerns was called in person to the meeting where he gave me a talking to. Then a couple of members on the board followed suit and there was one accusation after another against me. God was with me, so I could give them a fitting reply but ever since then ,they were after my skin, making life miserable for me. My terrible weight gain, sleeplessness, sleep apnea, snoring and so on are consequences of that traumatic time, until one day, I decided I had enough and quit. I was without a job for a year and half until I got a job in a university here. The pay is comparable and the perks are the wonderful team I am working with except for this one coworker. I am grateful.
    Now this girl as you said is very immature. This is a time when jobs are very few. She seems to be doing all sneaky things that constantly make her disliked and she has been warned many times but to no avail. She on the other hand has gone to HR and complained about all of us including our supervisor who is a gem of a person and the only one who could put up with her .
    One bad apple can spoil the entire basket, if the entire basket of apples is just waiting to get rotten.
    Thanks for sharing your story.


  3. Dear Susie,
    Thank you such kind words and thank you so much for sharing your sad experience. I’m so appreciative. I admire your courage and can imagine how difficult the former situation was for you. Recovering takes awhile, doesn’t it? I think when we have been discomforted we try to find comfort in anything we can.

    I am glad your 21 day program to be sugar free is working for you. I read on your blog that you are working hard on changing habits that don’t serve you. Sending you positive energy and support on your journey!!!


    1. I hated to put all that on blogosphere but it is important to bring such issues out in the open too, without bringing negativity or bitchiness into them. For some reason, this woman, who is only 33 thinks life has given her only lemons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to think they were there to show me to forgive and forget and love my neighbour as myself, which I find is the most difficult commandment of all because there is so much to hate and sometimes I feel, so little to love in the world. ( I hate myself for saying that).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s always one, isn’t there? This past year was pretty good at work until our assistant manager quit. I like the new girl, but she isn’t “one of us” yet, if you know what I mean.


  5. Susie, it seems all I ever ran into were difficult people…and then I wonder is it really me who is difficult. Not sure…I just know I usually left jobs because it came to a point where I knew I could not go on working with the person.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Right now, I am not working…part time would not be worth it. I can save more money staying home full time and being careful to find the best prices, save money, cook and buy groceries with a plan. When I worked it seemed I bought things for convenience so anything I made never seemed to go anywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I stayed at home for a year and half because of that job with the “bad” employees and I was ok staying at home and looking after the hearth. Finances did not bother us too much at that time as my money was mainly to provide luxuries and for a time we could do without them. You do save a lot of money and you are happy yourself being there at home and for everybody else.


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