15 January 2010

"Just Walk Away" --Kelly Clarkson

[Merry Christmas from your office pals.]

I'm not the nicest person. No, really. Oh, stop, already. *push*

I admit that there is a part of me that enjoys tweaking people that take themselves oh, so seriously. I further admit, I can dish it out but I'm not always good about taking it.

I once shared a small office with a woman who was the epitome of "buttoned down."

A few examples...

She only listened to "Lite" music on the old clock radio she'd brought in for that purpose. Mind you, her desk was about two feet from my desk. While she was out of the office for lunch one day, I switched the radio to the local alternative rock station.* When she came back she wasn't happy.

I admitted I'd switched the station just while she was out and hoped that was okay, and was fine with her switching it back to her regular station. No, it wasn't okay. She told me that I wasn't to touch her radio.*** She wound up turning the radio off for good. Um, okay. I was good with that--not that she discussed her decision with me.

I came to understand over time that perhaps my office buddy had some issues. This was the same woman who wouldn't plan anything, even on the weekends, that required her to stay up past 9 PM because then she'd be "off" in her sleep patterns.

For real. And did I mention this "Lite" listening, not-up-past-9-PM chick was 26?

Sure, I could have let this woman be. It would have been the humane thing; the compassionate thing. And she was wound so tight, who knows what could have happened if someone were to push her just a teeny bit.

I may have pushed her just a teeny bit.

Nothing terrible, forheavenssake. But, hey, I had access to her stuff, even stuff I was "not to touch." But, *cough*, technically so did a lot of people on the hall, so, you know, who's to say for sure what happened exactly? It's hazy.

What we do know...

Apparently, she left her computer unattended one day and a message went out from "her" to all of her colleagues stating that she would be dancing naked in the parking lot at 2 PM in celebration of Spring and inviting them to join her in her frolicking.

Everyone knew it was a joke.

She never said a word.

We remained office mates for another year or so and then our assignments led us to different places.

Which brings us to the questions du jour: Can you/do you dish it out? If so, can you take it?

* How many hours of Debby Boone and Juice Newton should a person be subjected to? **

** Wikipedia says "four."

*** Which stung since I was up on my cootie shots and everything.


Liebchen said...

26? Really?

It really depends on my mood how well I can dish it out/take it. But I like to think that generally I'm pretty good.

Or, at least, that I've gotten better.

KCSherri said...

Oh, yes...I dish it out - but I've learned to take it, as well.

When I worked in the corporate world, in a galaxy far, far away - it was our JOB to outdo each other on getting each other's goats.

We'd leave stinky cheese in each other's desk drawers. We'd put vaseline on the telephone receiver. We'd tape down the buttons on the phone so it would continuously ring.

Lots and lots of things...which I could probably write a post about. Hey - I might do that. I'm always looking for post material. Thanks!

Pauline said...

That woman sounds a bit like me! (Though I'm 29, obviously MUCH older and therefore can get away with early nights and lite radio. ;)

As for dishing it out and taking it..I can be a bit overly sensitive sometimes but it depends on what is being said or done. People who play practical jokes and tease a bit I don't mind, people who say very malicious and hurtful things or put you down to make themselves feel better and think its funny, THAT I have a problem with.

Jamie said...

Back when I was a young buck, in my first ever office job, I shared an office with two other kids fresh out of college.

One of these two was a sort of super-alpha, fussy, OCD personality type. She did not stand for any loose ends or incorrect details. Her desk was always immaculate: every stapler, post-it-note pad, and pencil cup was perfectly aligned.

Anyway, since I'm kind of exactly the opposite (some people say "disorganized" and "not detail oriented," but I prefer the terms "visionary" and "creative"), we didn't get along very well.

Anyway, one time when she did something that really pissed me off, I retaliated. Every night after she left the office, I would move the little office gadgets on her desk -- but just a little bit. Just enough so that she would wonder, if maybe she was slipping and had left them out of place? Or was some gremlin messing with her?

Anyway, it was a good time. High-strung people are so easy to mess with.

Kate said...

Okay. If someone did that to me, I'd cry. I know. I'm a total wuss. Cowgirl keeps telling me she doesn't know why we're friends. Cause she's totally like you. I tend to think we balance each other. I've gotten more mischevous and she's gotten a little calmer.

I totally spelled mischevous wrong. Whatever.

rachaelgking said...

My coworkers are too stressed to dish, take, or anything of the like.

Hence the blog.


The Bug said...

If it's meant in a juvenile fun kind of way, I don't mind - but if it's a person mocking me for who I am it can be hurtful. I try not to hurt people that way - but I will totally pick on them like we're in the 7th grade & it's how I show I like them...

Barbara said...

This reminded me of a guy named Al whom we used to torment when I was on the other side of 26. He always took his shoes off at work. Once we glued them to the floor. We also dismantled his telephone receiver and put take over the contact so no one could hear anything he said. Contrary to your "girl", Al was a good sport about all our pranks.

The same person who thought up all the Al tricks baked brownies for her own going-away celebration. Only she laced them with something she grew in her back yard and the results were hilarious. Some people ate a lot of brownies that day. (I was NOT that girl, only an accomplice.)

My husband still plays tricks on me (like hiding my coffee or something else I'm looking for), but for the most part no one else I know thinks about pranks any longer.

I can take something that doesn't drag on for too long or really hurt anyone.

Bilbo said...

Yes, and yes. In my office, everyone expects you to dish it out, and to take it. We're weird that way.

Unknown said...

It depends on the person and the motive. I can laugh along or hold a grudge for decades.

Dmbosstone said...

Ya I don't know what to think about girls that can't stay up late.

Mike said...

Yes and yes. And I can take a joke better than a real surprise (like a party). A joke is over right away. A center of attention party just goes on and onnnnnn.

alex said...

this is why I set my computer screen saver to auto-lock when I leave my desk...

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Dear God, this is amazing.

I'm a bit of an office prankster. That Christmas-wrapped desk? I'd do that. Once I turned everything on a coworker's desk upside down, monitor included. And once I cleaned an entire desk out, hid ALL the contents, wiped totally clean. I also once made a string maze in my boss's office, so that when she opened the door, she could hardly get in for all the string wound everywhere. And once we filled her office with balloons...

Wow. Perhaps I'm outta control. Or AWESOME.

Props to you. I like your style. ;)

AbbotOfUnreason said...

"She never said a word."

I'm not sure what she could have said and to whom, if she was so friendless.

Oh, gosh, by saying "to whom" I've marked myself for attack, haven't I?

brad said...

If you insist on Lite fm listening in the office, you get what you give.

But that's actually doubly weird, because if I was really tightly wound, I don't think I'd turn to Lite music to relax. It would probably dig the hole a little deeper.

Mr. J said...

Back in my college days, I had a construction job over the summer. There was a guy who worked for the company who I can only assume Matt Groening based Ned Flanders on. Really opinionated about everything, from preaching to me about colleges being dens of sin and how I needed to propose to my girlfriend in order to decrease desire.

After about a year of sporadically working with him, I'd had enough. He called me out for not knowing how to do something simple (like paint) and I let him have it. I let loose on him with quotes from scripture on being judgmental and whatnot. Turns out he was okay with questioning other people's beliefs, but when the tables were turned, he couldn't take it. The boss's sons were both witness and backed me up too. I think he quit soon after I returned to college that fall.

LBluca77 said...

Nothing good even happens until way past 9 pm.

I can dish it and take it, sometimes.

Narm said...

I love dishing it out. Not so much the getting it in return. But that is mostly because I am perfect.

Bowie Mike said...

Being in the software biz, I played some real geeky practical jokes when I was in my 20s. In one incident, there was software running in a production environment that had embedded commands that said if the user is Julie, and she is doing such-and-such, and a switch had been turned on, temporarily swap the right side of her screen with the left, wait a second, and then swap it back again. When she called, I told her she must be crazy - it wasn't happening to anyone else. My boss at the time didn't mind - he said at least I was learning something. I couldn't imagine doing that sort of thing today.

Can I take it? Gosh, I hope so. I've always been on the giving end.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

@bowiemike: you know you're just asking for it, now, right?

Little Ms Blogger said...

I couldn't get passed the part that she was 26. Seriously? Lite music and 9 pm curfew? Wow....Scary.

Practical jokes in the office. I can take them and have handed them out. However, I wouldn't want anything done to me that would hurt my position or reputation within the company. I've known some people who don't understand when it's time to quit.

FoggyDew said...

My old boss and friend down in Texas and I used to go at it all the time. Even though he had an office, he liked having a desk out in the newsroom instead, making him an easy target. One of the simplest, yet most effective, tricks I ever played on him was to switch his mouse from right to left-handed. Watching the frustration build until he called our annoying tech guy was well worth the payback. What was the payback? Well, he waited until I was out of the office and then rearranged about 20 percent of my rolodex. Subtle, but oh so annoying.

Masala Chica said...

I used to dish it out. And I can definitely take it. But I have seen the tightly wound "unwind" and freak out and I am scared now. Honestly scared. So I usually just smile at that person but try to stay away from them.

Reya Mellicker said...

I feel kind of sorry for her, but if I'd had to share an office with her I would have either plunged into total codependency, trying to "cure" her, or would have become truly, horrificaly vicious. Maybe both, on alternating days.

Alice said...

dude, i SO want to work with suburban sweetheart!!

i can USUALLY take it. i hope. i definitely dish it out :-)

lacochran said...

Liebchen, Little Ms Blogger: I know, right?

Drama Queen: Happy to oblige.

Pauline: Agreed.

Jamie: Heeheehee.

Kate: You'd never invite that kind of response. You're too nice.


The Bug: Intent is important, for sure.

Barbara: But did you eat the brownies?

Bilbo: All's fair in offices, provided nothing's traceable.

ellen: I hear ya.

Dmbosstone: If I thought she was rushing to bed because she had a crazy hot partner, it'd be different.

Mike: I feel the same way.

alex: You're very wise. I'd never do that to you, of course. Unprofessional, is what it is. But not everybody has my ethics.

Suburban Sweetheart: I vote AWESOME!

AbbotofUnreason: Watch your back.

brad: Maybe it's like Muzak--lulling to the point of comatose?

Mr. J: OkelyDokely!

LBluca77: Words to live by.

Narm: Nobody would dare dish it back.

Bowie Mike: Heeheehee. It does seem to be a young person's game. You know, before you care about being fired and little things like that.

FoggyDew: Paybacks are hell. I think this is what started the Middle East crisis.

Masala Chica: An infinitely smarter strategy.

Reya Mellicker: Alternating days? Talk about your head games...

Alice: She does seem pretty dang cool. :)

Chris said...

I dish it. I take it. Bring it. It's all about rolling with it. But, as so many have noted above, if it is dished out with malice then expect the same in return. There is balance in the universe.

spleeness said...

haha!! My goal, when I first started at my job, was to find someone here in the building that I could gift-wrap their entire cubicle. One of these days I'm going to do it.

YES I can dish it & take it. Bring it on! I'm not responsible for ensuing heavy blushing though.