Office drama. I used to get worried that it might happen to me, but now I kind of enjoy it. I guess that’s what happens when your days becomes a cliche of “mundane office life.” There are coworkers and clients I hate for petty reasons, but I relish in this feeling of overblown hatred, because wow, finally something interesting is happening to me.
For ex, I enjoy ranting about my coworker who I will name… Essau. If you know where that’s from you can probably guess his real name. Excuse me while I take a moment to feel clever.
Anyways, Essau does this thing where he enters my cubicle unannounced, sneaks up right behind me, and watches what I’m doing, before trying to start a conversation about it. Once he saw me on Facebook, so he asked, “Whatcha checking out on Facebook?” Another time he caught me doodling, so he tried to peek over my shoulder and ask, “Whatcha drawing?”
I like to liken myself to a cat a lot, and like a cat, I get alarmed pretty easily. So him sneaking up on me throws me off already, but then him creeping on what I’m doing feels invasive too. The time he caught me doodling, I quickly stashed my doodles away into my folder. Most people would get the hint but he thought it would be a great idea to try to open my folder to look at my drawing. I put my hand on top of the folder to close it shut and told him, “No,” like he was a dog who had to be trained. But even after that, sometime during our pointless conversation, he tried to open the notebook again anyway. Does this kid not know anything about boundaries or privacy? Or the word NO?
One day, he grossed me out by reaching around my shoulders to try to type on my own computer to show me a song he liked. I was horrified. Not only did he invade my space, disrupt my work day, talk to me about stuff that I REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT, he also gave me a semi-hug and touched me. EW.
I remember leaning away in disgust. If I was a real cat, I would’ve scratched the shit out of that motherfucker. I told some of my friends about it, and the immediate response was a resounding, “OMG REPORT HIM TO HR!!!”
I laughed it off, the idea of reporting to HR like they’re like some kind of pretend police at the office sounded cute. But I realize this probably was a valid option. If any coworker is making you uncomfortable, you have a right to say something about it. And my discomfort was definitely real. But I feel like Essau would have to do something more extreme to actually make me upset. Right now, I just think he’s an annoying, but harmless little pest.
That and I kind of enjoy the fact that I get to hate on him. Ranting to people about someone you hate is fun. I think petty anger (and real anger) gives you a sense of power when you speak. You feel and sound righteous, and it’s even better when you gain sympathizers as you rant. You get to narrate the story of what happened in a way that’s flattering for you as a protagonist, and your enemy as the antagonist. I think ranting is a fun form of storytelling, but we should always keep in mind that it’s not the whole truth. Deep down, I know Essau isn’t aware that he bothers me. If anything, he’s probably trying to be my friend. If he got to narrate the story, he’d probably say I’m being distant or something. (But that’s ‘cuz I don’t want to be friends foo’, take a hint!)
Anyways, I wanted to give more examples of petty office hatred, but Essau took up a lot of this post. And I’m also tired of talking now. So. Bye.