Tag Archives: office death

catching other people’s madness

woe spiral

I’m starting to think that being myself is not worth it; at least, in an office environment where so many people seem to find interacting with others incredibly stressful. I refer to an instance which occurred only this week between myself and another colleague in the same department. As this person is a job-share, they have less time than most to accomplish all tasks within the time-scale provided; should anything put a spanner in the works, they will feel under pressure for the rest of the day because it intrudes on other agenda. Then again, if you are ranked “Assistant Manager”, it’s a given that you’ll be under pressure for most of the day, and as a job-sharing Assistant Manager, the pressure is even worse, right?

Not that I give a shit. It’s not my fault you were promoted 20 years ago and no longer have the balls to act the part. And it’s not like you’re doing the statistics, either. Since I created a spreadsheet to help management assess our department’s performance in a way that is fair, why not leave me to look after the statistics while the team leaders are gone? And this is on top of new targets brought into effect during my annual leave: an increased number of assessments and a quality percentage based on assessments amended. Not very stressful, I suppose, compared to handling office politics from other colleagues in management, but still, it’s something I’ve been left with, rather than you, and I think that’s actually saying something.

So why talk down to me when you have to do your job? Assistant Managers from a different department wish to appeal some assessments I did the previous day and this somehow surprises you? I would love to review such appeals myself, you know I would, but this isn’t really possible when I personally did those assessments. And what’s that? My renewed former nemesis is the one who raised these concerns, and because this intrudes on your day, you want to give out to me over the most trivial things? You know we can’t write any opinions on our assessments and yet you so readily take the side of my renewed former nemesis because you personally don’t like the fact I’m doing my job?


I’m starting to wonder if I’m going mad or just catching other people’s madness. It feels awfully like the latter. Taking into account that this job-sharing bitch has worked for donkeys in the same company, had their pension demolished by the economic downturn, and also taking into account other factors I couldn’t possibly guess at, I can see why they would fix their glare on me and let loose. After all, I have a reputation, it seems, for being “The Harsh One”, which some team members feel is creating more work for our department and even more discord. In my defence, all I can say is that my experience as an agent can make it seem like I’m being very harsh; it’s always the way when you’ve done something yourself and know how it should be done, especially when you’re the only one who has some fucking practical experience. And to top it off, I’m critical by nature. If this trait needs to be tempered by experience in the role, then so be it, but representing my recently appealed assessments as if I’m a green girl is really something else, and I said as much to the job-share when they offered two key remarks: “I cannot change you” and “Does it have to be black and white? Can’t there be some grey in between?”

Hold up, what? Where does changing my personality come into reviewing appealed assessments? You can certainly change my perspective, but saying things like that about me as a person is beside the point. And how can there be grey between the black and white when our procedures are slowly crushing all leniency out of us? Have you forgotten what company you work for and how it came to be in the state it is currently in? No one here is trying to make trouble for somebody else. We’re just trying to do our jobs in a toxic framework and that isn’t our fault any more than it is theirs, so what the fuck? Are you annoyed because you actually have to work? You’re closer to retirement than I am, so be grateful! I still have years and years to put with up bullshit like this. Or is it because you think I have a heart of stone just because I don’t fully sympathise with a customer in the middle of divorce? Talking down to me like I don’t fucking know what a divorce is! You’re still fucking married and didn’t put your own kids through hell and you dare to explain to me, who grew up through such a thing, what a fucking divorce is…

You need to fucking retire.


the anal colleague



Today has just opened my eyes to that one colleague I thought I could stand if only one tried hard enough. In other words, I have given up trying to like the Anal Colleague who works in my department. Now, I’m sure he’s not the only anal colleague around here, and no doubt I’ve been perceived as pretty anal myself when it comes to certain things, but what puts this particular colleague in the limelight is the email exchange we had this morning.

It went something a little like this (revamped for story-telling purposes):

ANAL: Just wondering why you replaced my name with yours for A-Team. I’m assigned to A-Team. Who said you could tamper with A-Team?

ME: Basically ran out of work and used my own initiative. You were in a meeting so I didn’t get to ask you.

ANAL: You should ask me before assessing members of A-Team.

ME: No worries! Thought I was alone in giving a shit about doing nothing all afternoon.

ANAL: Just ask me first or double up your own assessments. Besides, I’ve already done the work but haven’t save them in the folder, so you’re just doubling statistics.

ME: We haven’t duplicated any assessments on A-Team. Chill out!

ANAL: You should still ask me.

* * *

And then you think it’s all over. Well, frankly, it bloody well wasn’t, thanks to Anal informing our manager (via email, sly wanker!) in time for the weekly meeting, where we’re suddenly requested to ask the manager first for any additional work if we’re running low on assessments.

Admittedly, I should have sent a courtesy email stating my intentions to Anal about those assessments for A-Team (I simply forgot after Anal went for a meeting straight after lunch); though in fairness, assessing A-Team more than once does not in any way substantially affect our individual targets as assessors or the statistics of A-Team overall. It just means that A-Team’s manager receives a clearer picture of what their team is up to, while Anal, I suppose, might interpret my sudden interest in their workload as an underhanded effort to make them look like a douche bag.

Le sigh. I can’t be arsed with Anal.

fuck's sake

fuck’s sake

somebody hates me


Okay, okay, perhaps I’m not that paranoid, but there’s a cold breeze blowing somewhere here in the office and it ain’t from that window, I’m telling you now! Having spent the afternoon feeling bored and running out of ways to convince other people I’m busy (ha!), I decided to browse the shared folders for my own department and came across some emails relating to myself. A manager disputing assessments, no big deal, part and parcel, happens all the time, but when the same bloody person is sending emails about you, asking if they need to sit down and “chat” with your manager because they believe you’re somehow out to get them, then that’s a different kettle of fish, am I right?

But who is this manager, anyway? Have I ever seen his face or spoken to him on the phone? It’s kind of creepy knowing that someone you can’t remember has assumed you’re at war over stupid performance assessments. But Jesus, who is he? Is he handsome at all? He better be handsome! I can’t have a hater if they aren’t good-looking, you know…


enjoy the silence

the joys of quality assessment

the joys of quality assessment

Believe me, it used to be different. I used to enjoy finding mistakes and having a giggle. There were days where all I did was scoff at calls gone epically wrong, not to mention asking why certain people still had their jobs. But soon, the novelty had to wear off. I got tired of the numerous mistakes and the fact that hardly anyone was meeting required standards. Instead of smirking like a dick, I was shredding my soul into a million pieces, bashing my head against imaginary walls. I wanted someone to pass, to show me that I worked with a brilliant team!

And then the floor was given a target.

After more than three months, management were forced to acknowledge that performance was important in other ways than money. They began to fret over calls and anxiously appealed (in person!) the ones which had failed for the simplest things – and all to avoid the Boss demanding why their teams were utterly rubbish. And because of this juicy development, I can imagine no greater moment than seeing my former team leader’s face as she reads a detailed report on the performance of her team (she never did value that side of the job!) Ah… what a face!

So what did I eat?

  • 07:15 – tuna mayo on toast
  • 11:00 – Alpro blackberry yoghurt
  • 13:00 – sweet & sour vegetables with rice leftovers & an apple
  • 14:30 – Peanut “9Bar”
  • 16:00 – small portion of dried mango
  • 19:00 – fish finger sandwiches with pickled gerkins & garlics

Plus: 6 x decaff tea; 1 x normal tea; 3 x cup of water


allergies & brief holidays


oh my eyes

There must have been extra mould in the air-con as today was simply awful. My eyes were dry, my nose was runny – I just felt like being in bed with a mug of Lemsip! Since the doctor advised me to take anti-histamines and spray my eyes with Optrex, these symptoms have more or less disappeared, to the point where I only go through half a packet of tissues and can hold a conversation without sneezing my face off. But today… I don’t know what happened today. It’s like being back at Square One. If this treatment isn’t working then what else am I going to do, apart from finding a job where the office doesn’t have air-con and actually opens the windows?

I think feeling bad has influenced my eating… 

  • 07:15 – chocolate chip muesli with semi-skimmed milk;
  • 11:00 – small portion of dried mango & a few Maltesers;
  • 13:00 – homemade tuna mayo sandwich with pickled gerkins;
  • 14:15 – fudge flapjack (this lasted me until 16:30, I’m that slow!);
  • 19:00 – sweet & sour vegetables with rice;
  • 20:00 – some bison grass chocolate.

Plus: 10 x decaff tea (approx.); 1 x normal tea; 3 x cup of water

yes, chocolate with BISON GRASS

yes, chocolate with BISON GRASS

I actually brought that chocolate from Poland, forgot to mention that. A friend who used to work the Night Shift returned to Poland last year, so many Facebook messages later, I finally booked a flight to the city of Poznań and stayed a couple of nights to sample the West. Now, before you think that was evil, leaving my boyfriend alone on Valentine’s Day (of all days!), let me describe how evil it would have been not to visit a friend I haven’t seen in months and also spend it alone while my boyfriend is working…

Pretty evil.

So we spent the first night settling into each other’s company again, and I must say that it felt really good to talk about our thoughts, our lives, our feelings, our dreams, without holding back or fearing what the other might think. We ate at a local restaurant in Old Market Square, slowly working our way through ambitious piles of boiled and baked dumplings, supping non-alcoholic beers (the place had lost its license), then lolling around in a dimly lit bar with sofas, musical instruments, and tram tracks on the floor from when the bar was once a public railway – the perfect setting for my first Mad Dog!

old market square

old market square 1


old market square 2

polish soup

żurek (traditional polish soup)

Of course we did more cultured things, such as viewing Polish artwork in the local museum, attending my friend’s cousin’s singing recital, and gaping at the cathedral where the first kings of Poland had been laid to rest. As I didn’t stay in Poland too long, it’s a little premature to give an impression of what that country is like, but you can certainly see how different it is from cities without Communist influence. The architecture’s blank and grim, it’s difficult to tell what every building is for, and the busiest streets are packed to the rafters with banks because they’re the only ones who can pay the high rent. Nevertheless, methinks I’ll be going again to see this interesting country – probably when the weather clears up in the summer and lets me see the sky which should rightly shine on Poland!


like a bot


Well, guys, it’s official: you are now looking at someone with a permanent contract. Signed the dotted line after lunch, along with a health questionnaire, and ate the following things to celebrate my acceptance:

  • 07:15 – chocolate chip muesli with semi-skimmed milk;
  • 10:15 – bottle of Tropicana tropical juice;
  • 13:00 – ham & egg salad with coleslaw; fresh apple slices with red grapes;
  • 14:15 – Alpro raspberry yoghurt;
  • 15:15 – small portion of dried mango;
  • 19:00 – chicken nuggets with chips; 3 x chocolate chip cookies;

Plus: 3 x decaff tea; 1 x normal tea; 1 x cup of water

It’s creepy, isn’t it, watching what you eat every day, but I kind of like knowing what I already knew – that I’m pretty awesome at eating more or less the same things, at the same times every day (except weekends). And I’m not one of those people who believe in counting calories or depriving myself of chocolate just to lose some kg. I have 150 steps to climb first thing in the morning.

Chocolate is essential!

Chocolate is essential!


to be

they’ll never get rid of me now!