Monday, March 3, 2008

Office Drama

I recently finished a two-month stint working in the items processing department of a bank, my first office job. I won't get into how boring and tedious it was. The only thing worth mentioning was I saw a personal check for $9 million. When I looked up her phone number and asked if she'd marry me, she said she was in her late 60s with 3 grandchildren. I was strangely okay with that.

For a while, the other employees pretty much ignored me. They'd been working together for years and didn't need some young punk entering their gossip loop. But after a few weeks I became friends with a girl there, F1 (office gossip queen), and she spilled the beans. I realized what I'd been missing by never having an office job, especially one with mostly women—the drama. I couldn't get enough of it.

F1 had immense knowledge of the office. She worked there for four years, then went off to college and came back to work part-time during her breaks. She was faster than me at every task, except using the stamp machine in the mailroom. I rubbed it in, with struts and several “In yo face!” comments.

F1 told me everything about everyone, including people who no longer worked there. My mom's People subscription had been preparing me for this for years. Nothing in life beats high quality gossip.

F2 (office joker) and F3 (office pessimist) appeared to be good friends, but it was all a show. Years ago, F3 invited F1 and F2 over for drinks, and F2 left early, leaving F3 with a bitter taste in her mouth. Never one to let go of grudges, F3 has been angry ever since.

By the end of my gig, F2 was my favorite coworker. My first impression of F2 was that she was extremely kind, but once she became comfortable with me she showed her sarcastic side. She wasn't shy about her dislike of F3—behind her back, of course. When F3 talked, F2 rolled her eyes. When F3 left the room, F2 would ask me, "Don't you hate her?" I didn’t know how to respond so I just laughed—behind F3’s back, of course.

F3 complained about everything, including her job which she constantly threatened to quit. She complained about the diet she was voluntarily on. She complained when F4 (office hottie) got a haircut—not about her hair, but that everyone wouldn't stop talking about it. I think she was jealous of F4’s attention, and possibly her good looks.

I worked in a small room outside of a larger room, where F4 was. In order for me to go anywhere I had to pass F4’s cubicle. That was way too much pressure. I had something funny to say 1-2 times a day, but I was speechless the other 10 times. I either tried to sneak around her cubicle so she didn’t see me, or pretend like I was in a hurry and had really important mail to stamp.

M1 (office sleazeball) came down from a different floor just to talk to F4, even though F4 wanted nothing to do with him. My gossiping friend, F1, thought M1 was a jerk. I think F1 was just jealous of F4, and I actually admired M1 for his persistence. F4 used to date a different guy from the office, M2 (office genius). He had a long-term gym membership, but bought a membership to a second gym just because F4 used it. M2 never told F4 of his other gym, though. F1 thought M2 was even creepier than M1, but I just say he was more persistent. I was impressed he was willing to pay two large gym fees just for F4. That's a lot of money, especially for a girl who may not deliver on the investment. F4 dumped M2 for a personal trainer. Go figure.

F1 thought that M3 (office pedophile) was having an affair with F5 (office perk). This is because F5 doesn't work directly for M3, but she was always in his office, even at his desk. According to F1, there was no reason for her to be there at all. Sometimes they even closed the door. F1 expressed her dislike of F5. "She's such a bitch," F1 told me several times. "She seemed nice to me," I responded. F1 got mad at me for disagreeing, and temporarily cut me off from the gossip. I learned my lesson. Never disagree with your office drama gossiping ally.

F1 went on a couple dates with M4 (office gum-chewer), who got married to a different woman a year after they split. F1 thought M4 still liked her, and that M4's wife was jealous. She claimed M4 got awkward when the two of them were in the same room together. I didn't see it, but I knew better than to disagree. "He's still so in love with you," I told her. I couldn't afford to lose my gossiping privileges, again.

F1 and F2 talked shit about F6 (office 'look at the baby, you gotta see the baby'), when she was on maternity leave my first month. They said she and her husband fought too much. They said she didn't know shit about parenting.

F1, F2, F3 and F6 all talked shit about M4. They said he was too bossy. For one thing he was their boss. And from what I saw he was pretty chill. M4 was cool to me from the start, unlike the Fs, so I felt the need to share my disapproval of their M4-bashing.

New lesson: never take the boss’ side. F1 thought I was a traitor and stopped feeding me gossip. In retaliation, I stamped one envelope on the wrong side. In yo face, F1!

The sweet smell of redemption.


Anonymous said...

When I drove away from my high school graduation, I thought to myself, "This is it. I'm in grown-up world now. No more of this drama bullshit!" Sigh.