Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Martyr

I don't have much time to write this post. It's 4:30, and I'll be leaving work today on time, at 5, so I've only got half an hour to dash this off and then finish up a few things.

I didn't take a lunch today, see, because I had a long training session that went through lunch. So I'm giving myself twenty minutes here at the end of the day to create this entry. It ain't an hour, but there's plenty of days that I go to the gym on my lunch and end up taking an hour and a half, so this short late lunch break balances those days.

I keep track of this stuff in my own head, and make sure that I am not cheating my company . . . at least not too often. :) I make sure my duties are completed when they're supposed to be, I make sure that I average a 40 hour week, I make sure that I get home on time unless something vital keeps me here. I'm lucky to have a boss who trusts me to make these decisions for myself.

So why does my coworker - let's call her Suzanne - why does Suzanne think that it's important for her to track my schedule and comment upon it?

I've no doubt Suzanne feels cheated, when she sees me working my normal schedule. She herself works through every lunch. She also comes in most weekends. She's been known to be here until 1:00 am some evenings. She's very busy and important, you see. Much busier than me. I'm not totally sure why that is, because I once had her job and I was able to do it in my 40 hours a week, but Suzanne prefers to work at a different pace, I suppose.

Speaking of pace - Suzanne loves to run up and down the hall, waving a piece of paper and looking important. Suzanne loves to stop in each office on her way and explain how crazy busy she is, and how she hasn't had time to even use the restroom all day. And Suzanne loves to frown at all of the rest of us on the floor who aren't as dedicated to this company as she is. She will often come to me with a list of accusations against her coworkers - it would seem Suzanne spends most of her work day tallying up the times that people arrive and leave, and how many smoke breaks they take, and whether they make a personal phone call, and various important issues like that. Suzanne also likes to frequently come into my office and complain that she doesn't make enough money for all of the hours she works, how she deserves a bonus, how she deserves to be paid her vacation time because she doesn't get to use her vacation because our company would crumble into dust if she took a week off.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I let all of my direct reports go home early. My boss went home early, and encouraged us to do the same. So I packed up my office and headed out at 2pm. I was the last person to leave . . . except for Suzanne. Suzanne watched me go with a huge storm cloud over her head and said "Must be nice for some." Why yes, Suzanne, it sure is. I like leaving at 2pm the day before a holiday. The 68 other people at our company all also like it. You do not, and that's cool. You can hang out til 10pm if you'd like, performing work that you actually could do when you got back next Monday. It's up to you.

Suzanne was having such a hissy, that (against my recommendation, I must say) another staff person was added to help remove some of her workload. Suzanne taught this staff person how to use the copier. And nothing else. And this staff person sits at her desk and picks her nails, and often comes to me for work to do because she's bored, while Suzanne continues to rail on and on about how she is forced to do everything at this company and never gets any personal time and she should be promoted and given a raise because look at how many hours she works while the rest of us go home on time, GASP.

Suzanne. Drives. Me. Batshit.

I am thinking of having a bonfire built in her office so she can go ahead and throw herself on it, and then maybe we can all get on with the business of doing our work in peace.


MSO Rin said...

Oh for the holy love of Liquid Paper DryLine Grip. I despise The Martyr, too. Because in the world that actually matters (you know, theatre and other arts), nobody is a martyr and yet everyone is and we all love it equally and nobody ever has to talk about it.

In cubicle world, though, there is NOTHING more detestable than not being able to pitch in a little extra without announcing one's pain, anguish, and slavish devotion.

I'm The Martyr sometimes ... everyone is at least once a year ... but your little Joan sounds In. Sufferable. Ick.

Laura said...

Ah, Glove, i truly, truly feel your pain. But at least your martyr is a co-worker. mine is my boss...

super jane said...

the new gal that prompted this wonder? yeah, she's like that. she never leaves at 4:30p like the rest of the campus. no, no. she stays late and then tells us about how she worked until 8:00p or whatever. and she has a family too which makes me sad for them. because goodness knows, her 5 yr old and 8 yr old need her a bit more than we do. seriously.

34 Years said...

Yes! The Martyr! Mine was named Sandy. Nice as pie...more insecure than bitchy, which made her a martyr you wish you could perform a personality-make-over on, but she was unhelpable. Eventually we just learned to work around it.

Wicked M said...

This drives me batty. I abhor hearing about people who are working so much harder than everyone else and we just do not understand how hard it is to be them. The world will end without their presence and why can they not just throw themselves on the sword already???

I also detest people who send e-mail in the middle of the night just so others know that they were "working" at that hour. Makes me want to reply: "You? Suck."