You ever get that feeling you can’t get away from work? Like you spend more time with your co-workers than your family.
Monday:I decided I was going to have a positive attitude and give the junior employees a fair chance. Maybe they were just a little uncomfortable with having a new supervisor. Apparently, both of their old supervisors managed nearly 20 direct reports in a tiny office full of desks. It makes me feel bad because here I am with only 2 direct reports and finding it difficult. I opened up my computer and started in on what I missed over the weekend when suddenly my soul was snatched straight out of my chest with my heart pleading for help. The culprit, a quick poke in my side with a shrieking “BOOO!” almost sent me out of my seat. The tall one thought it would be funny to make her entrance into the week by sneaking in and scaring me to the point where I nearly flipped over my entire desk. This absurd form of bonding is not sustainable. I tried to play it off. Apparently, this is acceptable behavior here judging by the lack of response from my supervisor. The short one showed up late and was moody most of the day, but overall the day was fine.
17 minutes. 17 minutes is how long it took before someone at the office started crying today. Honestly, I’ve never worked in a place with such a swinging pendulum of emotions. At one moment the junior employees are working and collaborating together and the next in an argument that ends in crying. I think the tall one is in some sort of hockey league or something because she has mysteriously lost her front tooth overnight. This must be the “Frozen” place she keeps mentioning. It was one of those awkward moments where I didn’t know if I should bring it up, or pretend I didn’t notice a difference, but she came running up, full speed while shoving her tongue through her new mouth window as if I would be impressed. Girl go to the dentist already. My supervisor bought me lunch today. #winning
My supervisor had to leave today to check in on another office. I felt this may be a good chance for me to bond with the junior employees since it was just going to be the three of us. False hope. A major crisis ensued. When the junior employees arrived at work, they called for my supervisor and when I told them she wasn’t here they lost their minds. No exaggeration. I’m pretty sure the small one blew a blood vessel in her forehead from her incessive reaction. There was a strange sense of retaliation in the air throughout the rest of the morning and shortly after lunch, the short one struck back. I had a video conference call with some key stakeholders of the company and advised the junior reports, I needed them to figure out their problems on their own during my call and not disturb me. The short one is clearly out to get me. I overheard her talking to her friends on her lunch break. There is a pretty lenient policy here with inviting visitors to the office, however nowhere in the employee handbook does it state visitors must keep their clothes on but clearly, it’s implied. One by one she brought her disrobed friends into my office and sat them on my desk. Existential dread set in as I tried to move my camera so my fellow meeting goers would not see the dumpster fire of inappropriateness that was happening merely inches away from my computer. Why did all of them have impeccable hair? Not important. The short one kept yelling “Princess Party” like that would make any of this better. Bonus points for her use of alliteration. Maybe she does have a marketing bone in her body after all? None of my training has prepared me for this. I managed to get off my video call and I escorted the short one’s friends back to her office and just pretended like nothing happened. I’ll talk to my supervisor tomorrow about the situation.
My supervisor was back in the office today and the junior employees are pretending like nothing out of the ordinary happened yesterday. Against my better judgement, I decided to keep my mouth shut about yesterday’s antics in hopes this will galvanize our working relationship. Both junior employees were in a good mood today. The tall one seems to still be struggling with personal space as she stands awkwardly close to me, talking non-stop for 4 minutes without even taking a breath. Usually our meetings consist of me bringing up an issue to discuss, her acknowledging the issue and then quickly bouncing around random subconscious questions and topics that are not work-related. I think it’s some form of misdirection and manipulation. She’s very good at it. It’s very distracting to go down this rabbit hole with her. Today it went something like this:
This vocal sparring is exhausting.
Yeehaw! The short one showed up to work today wearing a pink cowboy hat and a dress that didn’t match at all but who am I to judge her style. I didn’t get the memo on casual Friday. The overall day was a good day. I learned three things today.
- The short one is a pathological liar (I’ll get to that in a second).
- The tall one sends way too many memos.
- My supervisor loves Fridays
Back to point 1: The short one told me it was her birthday today, coincidentally when I told her she had to take her break. Every day it’s a different excuse as to why she shouldn’t have to take a break. Who doesn’t want to take a break?!
I jokingly said “Happy Birthday” knowing that it wasn’t really her birthday. She then demanded the whole office sing her happy birthday. The tall one and supervisor chimed right in further enabling this teller of lies. Then at lunchtime, the short one decorated the breakroom table with all our office birthday supplies and demanded we all wear party hats. I do admire her commitment and tenacity for not letting it go but clearly, she is too far down the path of untruths to turn back now. We sang her happy birthday. Who cares anymore? If you can’t beat them, join them.
Point 2: The tall one has been submitting memos to me at least twice an hour. She puts an amazing amount of effort into them. Changing the color of the fonts, using sketches, etc. She even cuts them in to engaging shapes – 100% unnecessary but again if it makes her productive, why not?
Point 3: My supervisor was in a great mood all day and her bubbly disposition was contagious. She invited me again to dinner. I am starting to wonder what the policy on fraternization is here.
Things are looking up. The strange unruliness is actually starting to feel normal and in some strange way, making me better at my job. The chaos is beginning to feel charming. I’m starting to actually enjoy the company of the junior employees.
This may not be so bad after all.