A day in the salt mines ….

I really enjoy what I do at work and I really like the company I work for.

I am one of those people who actually gets paid for something they enjoy doing- – yay for me.

I am ever thankful that I have a job to go to, a nice desk to sit at, hot tea on demand (actually I make it, but let’s just make it sound like it is served to me), and a paycheck at the end of the month.

I am grateful for all these things.

Even on the days that I do not feel like dragging my large lard arse to work, I try to remind myself that I could be unemployed, and no doubt that would have its own set of problems, so then I get up and brush my teeth and get myself to work.

I generally work with really nice people.

I know nice is not a very descriptive word and your standard two teacher told you that you were not allowed to use it in a sentence else she was going to smack your hand with a wooden ruler.  My teacher did.

It scared the crap out of me, and as a result I seldom if ever use the word “nice” if I can find another more effective word.  And who said corporal punishment was not effective!

But the people I work with are nice.  They do their work, they just get on with it, and often go far beyond what is required to get a job done and to a client.  Though they don’t come over and hug you each day, they are generally polite and kind to one another, and really great to work with.  We all share frustrations, but realise we are all sort of in it together, and just well, get on with it.

They also have tons of industry experience and are more than willing to share their knowledge with you, if you ask.

Unfortunately every now and then one meets an individual and you realise that EQ is not dished out to all in equal measure.

I work with that individual – let’s call the individual Elaine, as it makes it easier to use a name and let’s make this person a she, for the purposes of this post or I have to use he/she and it gets awkward and cumbersome .

Everyone gets to have a crappy day.  You are totally allowed to be rude and a total cow every now and then.  It’s like a God given right in fact. But we all get to have that one day.  You are forgiven for being a rude, obnoxious, horrible cow for that one day.

But when it becomes standard issue for Elaine to be this aggressive person every day, it moves past the point of being unacceptable – one starts to have fantasies about a large hole opening up in the earth, or a freak accident that involves a train. a car and a plane.

People actually cannot approach Elaine without wanting to throw themselves through a plate glass window instead.  The problem is that Elaine’s position puts her in a role that you HAVE to deal with her.

Insert really unhappy emoticon here.

Now you are being forced to deal with someone, who actually is not a nice person.  It is as if they have just never learnt to play well with others.  Listen, I have shocking interpersonal skills, but godstruth, I look like Dale Carnegie in comparison to Elaine!

I need to deal through this person to get my work done – work for my clients.   But because you are asking Elaine, she makes it sound like she is doing you a personal favour.

Once you get past the annoyed look that you have dared speaking to her – then you get the look of total disinterest as you are explaining your problem.  Following which you then have to deal with either the total sarcastic biting reply, alternatively the look of  “how the fuck do you think that is going to happen?” – it really gets exhausting just trying to do your job some days.

It is a case of one person’s personality that has the ability to upset the delicate balance that exists in a work place, and just gets under everyone’s skin.

And for reasons that I cannot explain you can do nothing about – like nothing!  You just have got to lump it or leave it, at the end of the day.  This is what you have to work with.

People consciously avoid discussing an issue with Elaine because they are just tired of the dripping sarcasm, or the totally unprofessional reaction one gets most of the time.

I say most of the time, because some days, like one out of twelve, she suddenly becomes professional and the most helpful person on the planet.  Nothing is a problem.

I personally think it is all a ploy to just keep you on your toes … you know, keep the prey nervous.

You really never know what animal you are going to get on a particular day.

It is like four fek’n seasons in a day over here.  Today will be fine, ask the same question tomorrow, and you get your arm ripped off and slapped through the face with the wet end, while being belittled in front of your colleagues.

But no one laughs, as they know it will be their turn next.

The result is a workforce that never knows what they are waking up to.  People look at each other with their eyes opened a fraction too wide, and their jaws slacken every time this crazy person goes off the rails – which is too often to even list.

And nothing in her behaviour denotes that she realises how totally freaking crazy she is acting and the look of horror on the faces of work colleagues.  Because she is so far down the road of nut-job that she thinks her reactions and behaviour are appropriate.

She speaks to some staff members in a tone that I would not even use to speak to my dog.

I figure, you know, I really do have a nice desk.

I really do work for a nice company, and the people I work with are really nice.  I just cannot stand that Elaine gets to walk around like a mini-Stalin reminding everyone that she is  some how superior – and if you forget it, well no worries, because her haughty tone will remind you of the fact.

So the ying and yang of it is that I accept I work at a great place, but that I have been sent someone to test my ability to restrain myself each and every day – some days I fail.

Like today …. crazy mental bitch!!!  (Can I say that on my blog?)

Leave a comment


  1. Hilary

     /  August 11, 2010

    I’ve got one of those schizophrenic freaks in my office too. When I started this job and got the first taste of ‘it’ I thought it was me. However, after doing some research, I discovered that everyone has had an encounter with this person. What I do now is to just be as aloof and straight to the point as possible. Even though this person has a ‘happy day’ every so often. Luckily I dont have to see her everyday.

  2. Tania

     /  August 10, 2010

    typical school playground bully …there are always underlying issues with a person like that …its really horrid to have to interact with someone like that but sometimes they have issues that they can only express by being a playground bully …think Elaine needs someone to pull her aside at work and to treat her “nice” and perhaps get to the root of the problem and she may surprise you all …i speak from working experience with persons like Elaine.

    • reluctantmom

       /  August 10, 2010

      Unfortunately Elaine does have a history and really I think this is just a DNA problem. The issue has been escalated upwards, but I can’t see Elaine changing – but one can hope.

  3. HUN…… you have 3 children, have had 3 pregancies and given birth 3 times and people still try and mess with you????????….. why worry about this bitch! She is so small in comparison to what you have achieved!

    That is how I feel at work…. I used to fear certain people at work, that was until I had my son hehee nothing and no one is scarier than that experience! I now want a shirt that says “I Gave birth don’t FEK with me”!

    Sorry the darker side of me coming out but I totally get what you are sayin 1 bitch on a power trip and it ruins the entire environment ohhh if it is a guy…that 1 ego maniac …….!
    Loved this post!

    • reluctantmom

       /  August 10, 2010

      I know but she gets under my skin …. but I am taking a deep breath today …. deep breath in…. deep breath out …..

  4. reluctantmom

     /  August 8, 2010

    Sometimes it is good to have this blog just to vent.

  5. Ah just say what you want – I would have called her exactly the same.

  6. rene punt

     /  August 7, 2010

    yes you can say whatever you want – its YOUR blog!

  7. I think every company have a person who is a “bitch” or a “boksie” and it is terrible working with them especially when their moods swing so much from happy to being a (@@@@@) that it makes you drunk.

  8. reluctantmom

     /  August 6, 2010

    Today was a doozie though – but you know when you can see it coming – because each day this person just gets a little crazier, but you ignore it, and ignore it, and then well today someone raised an issue, and then well things went totally pear shaped – like cr-a-zy-bitch!

    The problem is my natural mechanism is to think it is me, but then I realise actually it is not me, it is this crazy person!

  9. Nisey

     /  August 6, 2010

    Fortunately i’m the only beeyatch (read person) in my home office so i don’t have that in my face all day. Having said that i spend an unfortunate amount of time dealing with ‘public servants’ and they all seem to come from the school of Elaine… one day i swear i’m going to stand up and scream from the rooftops i pay your bloody salary! but that would probably just mean i end up at the bottom of the pile so i’ll join you in grinning and bearing it!

  10. reluctantmom

     /  August 6, 2010

    I started using the name Linda – but I thought that is Kennith’s mom’s name, so best pick another. i will go look for any lost Lindas and remove them. Thanks.

  11. Was that a typo when Lind’a name slipped in there instead of Elaine’s or am I missing something more subtle?


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