Thursday, October 05, 2006

Officemate From Hell

Everyone knows this person, or people like this. This unhappy, power-tripping, territorial, bitchy, downright spiteful individual who can't stand not having the upper hand.

I'm experiencing this first hand right now at my office. Remember Emily from The Devil Wears Prada? Change the gender and subtract drastically from the physical looks, think miss piggy medium rare, and turn the fashion sense dial down low, as in way, way low, as in below fashion victim, and you've got my officemate, whom we shall call, no surprise there, Emily.

Now Emily, from day one, has made it a point to make my life hell. In the first place, I was hired to take over from some of his/her tasks, because the bosses gave him/her too many responsibilities, though popular opinion suggests he/she was really underqualified and bungling it magnificently. But Emily and I have the same rank, we have the same salary, the same tax bracket. But Emily has had the advantage of being hired 3 months before I was.

On the very first day, when the boss told me to go to Emily for guidance, he/she flatly refused, saying "Ako na ang bahala. Diyan ka lang." He reduced one of the officemates to tears through his/her cold and callous treatment of her. In fact, I felt this myself on the third day, when every time i'd ask him/her a question, he/she'd go on as if i didn't say anything at all. I privately thought that maybe he/she had a hearing problem. But this was not so. He/She could hear every word a boss would whisper from across the room. So yes, this was personal. Whenever I'd say anything, he/she'd turn his/her back on me abruptly and carry on as if i was not there. It got to a point that I broke down in fury, weeping frustratedly in the ladies' toilet. When I regained my composure enough, I confronted Emily, calling him/her rude to his/her face. I said that he/she didn't have to like me. It was just a job. And it was about respect.

Then the very next day all my files(folders, mind you, one of them in a giant neon pink plastic case) went missing. A few hours later, Emily conveniently found them behind the filing cabinet and berated me. Then he/she went off to giggle with some friends.

Last week, he/she would send me up and down 4 floors (by the stairs, he/she'd say, to save electricity) to photocopy personal notes and letters. I caught him/her snooping through my computer files on my return. With a sniff, Emily took back the copies. Apparently, Thank You isn't in Emily's vocabulary.

Emily supplied me with the wrong fax number for an important client, on the fifth day. When the wrong party faxed back the letter with a note that said it was the wrong number, instead of telling me, Emily ran straight to my boss, gleefully waving the paper. I got chewed out for that, of course, but I knew this was war.

From then on, when there was a project, Emily would not pass anything on to me. At all. So i was left sitting there doing NOTHING. He/She would work maniacally. Every time i'd ask Emily what I was supposed to be doing, she/he'd just say, nothing. And then he'd go to the staff room and complain about my laziness.
Then last friday, he/she suddenly dumped 3 projects in my lap that he/she didn't tell me about until the very very last minute (including a surprise shoot at the MRT, scheduled the day after last week's almost Biblical Deluge). To Emily's horror, I managed to ace all three projects, without dropping a single one. After wards, Emily plied me with sweet (plastic) smiles and slunk off home to mope.

On sunday, Emily told me the call time for our next project was at 6:00 am. Everybody else showed up at 8. I brought a car to the shoot, not knowing what to expect. Imagine my shock when he/she scolded me for that, because apparently the office had transportation. When i offered to leave the car, Emily told me to take it. And then rode in the backseat. As if i was his/her personal chauffeur, only stopping to give directions.

Now, I've lived in QC, so I'm pretty familiar with the Cubao area. But I followed Emily's instructions because I thought he/she knew where the place was. When we were hopelessly lost, he/she grudgingly asked me if I knew the way. And when i said i did, he/she said, "Gala ka talaga ano?" (Gala- person who likes going out, but in a negative way) When we finally got there, he/she stepped down from the car and sneered that I should have ridden the company van instead. That was when i had my asthma attack.
On monday, my supposed day off, Emily called me and ordered me to go to work, dumping 5 (yes, five) half-baked projects on me. Emily had made a few letters and signed them with his/her name, and ordered me to fax them to clients. When I called them to follow up, most of them were laughing their heads off at the atrocious grammar. I had to explain everything over to them, because the business letters were really not up to par.
So i got all of them done and scheduled by 5 pm. Then at 7 as i was on my way out, Emily handed me a 6th project which was due the next morning, and ordered me not to leave until I had contacted the right parties. I left the office at 10 that night and reported into work at 7 the following morning. Thankfully, my luck held and it all fell through. As it turned out, that project had been with emily since early sunday, but he/she decided to hold it off until the very last minute to give me a problem.
One of my officemates noticed, and is very pissed off about this, that whenever i sit down at the computer, Emily comes over to inspect what I am doing, and to demand a copy for him/herself. I see this as a sign that I am a threat to Emily, and that Emily is one very very insecure person. When I was typing labels, LABELS, for chrissakes, for my files, Emily pushed me out of the computer chair, changed the fonts and printed out a separate sheet for himself/herself. Geez.
Tuesday was good though. My boss met up with us and finally separated our responsibilities, which strangely enough, makes Emily answer to me. And I can tell you. Emily is NOT happy about this. Just this morning Emily spoke to some people, hinting that I had not done everything I was supposed to. So i had 3 very nervous people calling me at 6am asking me if i had finished the project, which i had. And I'm glad that people are finally realizing that life doesn't have to be so horrible, and that we don't have to put up with Emily anymore.
Still, I can't help but feel paranoid that Emily is plotting something, a giant boatload of poop is hovering over my head and i'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm confident though that I can handle it, and that KARMA, that cosmic wonder, is a giant rubberband waiting, just waiting to snap back at him/her. I pity Emily, though. It's such a huge punishment just to be him/her. But I've got great officemates who more than make up for it, a very tasty boyfriend and a supportive bunch of friends, and the job s great. I can't wait for payday though.
Anyway, I've got work tomorrow. And Tobie keeps me grounded and sane and happy. Baby, I love you so much! Tobie and I hung out at the Mall of Asia today.I still can't believe I'm tobie's girlfriend, I'm the luckiest girl in the world. we;ve now got a litter of eight, I'll post pics of them someday (When I get my camera, hahaha). We're almost at the eight month mark, and it still feels like day one. I still get that jolt I felt the first time I laid eyes on him at Rockwell. I love you so very very much, baby.
Stay tuned for more Emily Episodes. Panda out.


tobie said...

The best revenge is to show that regardless of Emily's attempts, you are successful and professional.

Stay cool love.
I'm rooting and praying for you.

And frankly, it be great if by some stroke of luck, your main boss actually chances upon this and READS everything! Aba, dapat lang they know what you've been going through due to one pathetic person's insecurity.

badenladin said...

Just tell me if you need reinforcements. The army is always ready. And we've got new bomb experts. I'm just a text message away...