----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Crazy People With Whom I Have Worked

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Crazy People With Whom I Have Worked

I have been fortunate in my career to not have worked with a great many crazy people. Of course, that may be due in large part to the fact that I frequently work as a freelancer, so my exposure to office politics and odd personalities is limited.

Okay, there was that editor at the community newspaper who invariably rewrote my copy to make it grammatically incorrect, forcing me to correct it before bluelines (luckily, I was also the copy editor). And then there was the publisher who was so paranoid that his employees (all three of us) were cheating him that he hired someone off-site to remotely monitor our computer usage. If we happened upon a Web site that was verboten for some reason, this mysterious off-site employee would shut down our computers. No warning. No sign. Just a blank black screen. Yes, Big Brother was watching. And do you know what one of the forbidden sites was? MediaBistro. That's right. A publisher of trade magazines forbade his reporters to visit a site about journalism. I learned this the hard way, of course.

But right now, I work with the most difficult person I have ever encountered in the workplace. She claims to work 12-hour days, but she falls asleep at his desk all the time. We usually work in different offices, but when we work in the same office, I'll glance over and see that she is fast asleep, snoring. Then she'll jerk her head up and type a few sentences, and then her head will slooowly fall back down. At first, I was worried that she had sleep apnea or some other health condition. Now I'm just annoyed that everyone, including her supervisors, knows that she sleeps at her desk, and she gets away with it, plus she gets to pull the martyr act about what long hours she works. Maybe she could leave earlier and even take a lunch break if she didn't sleep so much!

Speaking of lunch, she wants me to check in with her whenever I take a lunch break. Not for any particular reason. She's not my supervisor or anything. She just wants to know when I am out of the office. Another co-worker and I frequently go to lunch together, and this woman will deliberately call our desks during lunch. If we don't answer, she'll call our cell phones to find out where we are. No reason. Just because she thinks that if she doesn't take a lunch break, we shouldn't either.

Most gallingly, I recently tried to address some inefficiencies with her. We both proofread the same material, except she is supposed to look at it first. Well, sometimes we get the material well in advance, but she won't look at it until just before the deadline, and then she expects me to turn it around in a record amount of time. And she frequently gives it to me at noon or so, just in time for lunch! When I asked her why she couldn't spread the proofreading out a bit so that I was not constantly seeing things at the last minute, she went to our supervisor and told him that I had plenty of time on my hands, so I should start doing more of the proofreading. So what could I say? I told my supervisor I'd be glad to help out, and he thanked me for being such a "team player," but now I am doing all of my job and some of hers.

I'm just venting, I guess. But I do need advice. How do you deal with difficult personalities in the workplace? Or is the fact that my supervisor does not care about her sleeping on the job and her inability to get her work done in a timely manner mean that I should be looking for a new job?


  • At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is time to move on. You are wasting your considerable writing talents. But there is the financial angle to consider. How about part time and working out of the house. Can this job be done from home. In this digital age, face time at the office is just that. And it decreases the productivity of workers considering the difficult personalities with which one has to put up. For your own peace of mind, just ignore the bitch.

  • At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Esq. said…

    Quit and throw a raging cocktail party. You know what they say about quitting on a Friday? Awesome party on Saturday night. Guess that's why I'm doing a quick 36 hour hop to the O-Sizzle.

  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger Kelly Love said…

    I just wrote a book about women in the workplace and these are my favorite questions. BEFORE YOU QUIT (or while you're looking for another job), you can have some fun. a) if your boss (and hers) is so dense that he/she does not care that he/she has an employee who sleeps on the job, then what could you possibly do to get yourself fired? and b) torment her - never tell her that you're leaving for lunch, don't answer your cell phone, get a bullhorn or play loud music to wake her up. At least stir things up a bit before you walk away!

    The other option is to ignore her, but then you're going to have to deal with a consistently growing workload as her "work" (sleep) hours get longer.


Post a Comment

<< Home