Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lying in Wait

I arrived to work today, to find my desk covered with items not belonging to me.  The pile was so high, that I could not reach my monitor.  A voice behind me says very seriously, "We need to talk."

I spun around and my sister-in-law said very calmly and deliberately, "I feel like I have to walk around on eggshells because I can't deal with you.  I find myself asking everyone else to do what I'd like you to do which isn't fair to anyone."

I asked, "What have I left undone that you asked me to do?" 

She explained, "Well, that is just it, I didn't ask you to do anything.  You're not approachable.  I should be comfortable around my own employees.  I'm sorry, but it just isn't working out."  With that, she handed me my final paycheck and asked for my key. 

I was completely shocked!  For a moment, I thought I would lunge at the throat beneath that smug expression.  Just then, my brother appeared in the doorway behind her with a mortified look of embarrassment mixed with empathy.  I poked around the desk for a few personal items which I loaded up into my bag.  My brother said that I could come back any time for forgotten items later remembered.  A moment later, I found her at her station and turned in my key.  She muttered something unintelligible, a syllable or two.  And, I left.  In Colorado, you can terminate employment for any reason, or for no reason.

I wanted to bring the house down with a fit of immense proportions, but my brother would suffer most.  Besides, she really did take the lion's portion of blame by admitting that she is intimidated by me.  And, if I treated my husband as she does, I wouldn't want his sister to be a daily witness to it either.  She ought to fear what a family member might relate about her behavior. 

And then there is the possibility that when her manic episode (I am sure she suffers from bi-polar disorder) is over, and she quits--which she frequently does--I might be asked back.  Remember, she fired me once before, but recanted within 10 minutes.  And she doesn't like to do actual work.  Yes, she likes to barge in and shout orders, but primarily, when she is at work, she is watching videos and socializing and encouraging the staff to do the same.  Everyone of us has been known to admit that nothing really gets done when she is there.  Of course, most of them enjoy the fact that her presence brings on a holiday of sorts.  I think that my brother and I were the only ones ever bothered by the lack of accomplishments on those particular work days. 

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