Sunday, July 12, 2009

I've Made a Huge Mistake...

Hey kids, remember when I said Thirteen was sucking my will to live? Yeah, I wasn't lying. She's seriously making me hate my job. This is so not cool, because as much as I bitch about it, I basically love my job.

It's like working with an OCD Chihuahua. She's nervous, yappy, repetitive and annoying as hell and I need to like her, but I can't figure out how. My boss called me into her office the other day. She said, "Do you have any idea how funny it is for me to listen to you talk to her all day long and by about 3:00, you're just done. You've had it with being polite. You've had it with being helpful. You're just done."

I was a bit concerned and I honestly felt bad! I said, "Do you think she can tell?"

My boss, who is SO going to Hell, said,"Oh nooooooo, that's the HILARIOUS part! She has no idea how close you are to ripping her face off! I'm pretty sure she thinks you guys are buds!"


I have to go to a job fair with her all day on Wednesday. Now, if you remember from my earlier post, job fairs are painful, exhausting and an exercise in patience & acting. With Jackie, we could help each other out and keep the mood light, so the day didn't seem quite so heinous. Yeah, I don't really see this happening with Thirteen.

Here are some reasons that she makes me want to punch her in the head:

* She asks the same question OVER AND OVER and never refers to her notes. When I remind her that we've gone over this and it's probably in her notes, the first thing she says is, "I don't think so." After I make her look at her notes, she says, "Oh yeah, that's right." So, wouldn't logic dictate that she should look at her notes first and then ask me?

* She shakes. She's told me that she's on several different medications for anxiety, OCD and who knows what else. That's fine. People have nervous issues, I'm cool with that. I take anti-anxiety medication when I fly. (And sometimes just for fun!) But, then with all of those different drugs in you, why are you still a quivering mass of vibrating nerves? You make ME nervous. Stop it. Plus, she twirls her hair when she's nervous, so that pretty much means *constantly*. She twirls and twirls and then her eyes glaze over when you're having a conversation and I think this explains why she doesn't retain any information. She's drugged out & zoning. Hey, if I have to be sober at work, so should she!

* She set up a webcam to watch her cat. I don't think this needs further comment.

* She's OBSESSED with all things Twilight, Edward Cullen and Robert Pattinson. First she said she didn't like RPatz, but turns out that was kind of a lie. She LOOOOOOOVES him and sends me text messages to tell me that according to the Facebook quiz she took, Robert "I need a bath" Pattinson is her celebrity dream boyfriend.

* She can't seem to read body language or facial cues. She does ok with applicants, I guess, but she can't seem to tell when I'm getting annoyed or impatient. This is bad, because I'm pretty obvious about it. If she can't read me, then it concerns me that she'll not be able to read our boss's or other upper management's tone and body language & will annoy them, which let's face it, this will come back to bite me because they'll just refuse to deal with her and will come to me instead.

* The other day, we were talking about how an employee was not going to be eligible for a referral bonus because the applicant didn't list the referring employee's name anywhere on their application or new hire paperwork. Thirteen said, "Will the employee think we 'Jewed' them out of their bonus?" Wait, WHAT??? Did you just actually fucking SAY that? I didn't even respond at the time, because I was so taken aback by the comment. Is that something the kids say nowadays? I'll have to talk to her about it sometime (soon!), but I keep waiting to hear what other completely inappropriate bon mots she's going to drop.

* I'm pretty sure she's bulimic. The girl weighs all of 100 pounds, and I see the crap she eats! She's not a nibbler. She either works out for 3 hours a day or she pukes. Also, because she's so freakin' skinny, she's cold all the time. It's JULY and she wears a sweater or coat every day. It's JULY!

* She doesn't seem to grasp the subtleties of sarcasm. She thinks I'm serious when I say something that is obviously sarcastic or facetious. When she tries to be sarcastic, it comes off as caustic & mean sounding. She tries to emulate my conversational style with the management staff, but they know me. They're used to me & I know who I can be sarcastic with and, more importantly, who I can't. She doesn't & they don't know if she's kidding or not & several have already decided she's a snotty halfwit. I've tried explaining to her that she needs to know her audience and she just glazes over and says, "Oh, right, I know. She knew I was playing." Um, nuh-uh!

Ok, I'm finished. Sorry, I just had to get that out, because, you guys, I need help! I need to like her. I need to be able to work with her & I need to be able to mentor her and I don't know what to do. I'm not saying I need to be friends with her, but I have to be able to spend 8 - 10 hours a day with her and NOT dream of ways to catch her hair in the shredder. Talking to my boss about fixing it is not an option. She's tasked me with this. Ideas? Suggestions? I'll take anything you're offering except ways to kill her or get her fired. I have enough of those...


It's Snuggie, Girl! said...

Oh girl. People with zero social skills shouldn't be allowed out of their homes. I know that's mean, but seriously. People like that make me feel homicidal, I don't know how you do it. I only had to deal with my Thirteen (Ursula) for a couple of days and I was fantasizing about stabbing her in the face repeatedly. More of those anti-anxiety meds? Just start fucking with her a lot? I'd be tempted.

Figgylicious said...


Fire her ass!

Or put all he shit in jell-o. Slow psychological torture until she breaks. Take your cues from Jim.'t take any advice from me.

MelBivDevoe said...

Maybe if you tell her you're a "Jacob" girl, she'll leave you alone?

Either that, or she'll drive you completely batty with Twilight references. So, you know, proceed with caution.

Anna von Beaverplatz said...

Oh, dear. This is all Jackie's fault for leaving, you know.

*sigh* Well, moping about that's not gonna help. Has this girl ever actually had a real, grown-up job before? Is that the problem? Has she always had the type of job where someone always held her hand through everything? If that's the case, you may have to just flat-out tell her that you (maybe phrased "we") need her to be able to do her job without constant supervision. You may have to bluntly (though not unkindly, because that way lies misery, as I'm sure you know too well, HR Goddess) tell her that she has GOT to check her notes before coming to you with questions.

From the sound of it, she's just never had a job where she actually had to think for herself and/or she's nervous about screwing something up.

of course, I'm sure you've thought of all this already. I wish I could be actually helpful; I'm the sort of person who always gets along with everyone, though, even the notoriously difficult ones. Then again, I've never had to supervise someone like that, so I don't really know how I'd handle it. I'd like to believe I'd take my own advice, but I'm the sort of person who's liable to just do the work myself, because it's easier than trying to explain it 27 times. Not good in a boss or boss-adjacent position.

As far as the Twilight obsesh, show her this and tell her you're a Buffy.

Anna von Beaverplatz said...

Damn! I thought i did the link thing right, but it doesn't appear to work. Boo! Here's the URL for the author's site instead:

cindy said...

Is she still on probation? I'm thinking: Ditch the bitch.

Too harsh?

Lainey said...

You guys kill me! Thank you for making me laugh! I do want to fire her, don't get me wrong, but that's not an option. And I'll be honest, I won't cry if she quits, but I don't really see that happening.

I talked to one of my friends tonight & she reminded me of how hard it is to be 22 with no experience and huge shoes to fill & feeling like no matter how hard you work, you still have no idea what's going on. I'm going to *try* to be a mentor to her & help her to become the employee we need.

We'll see how long this new attitude of mine lasts before I push her down the stairs...

Girl With Curious Hair said...

So you hired Kelly?

I can't offer anything too helpful, but I don't think that you need to like her. That's a lot of pressure on you. Maybe seeing her as a project with limited scope would make it a little easier (sorry, this is a project manager speaking).

Now excuse me as I imagine you training a chihuahua to be an HR rep.

Big Daddy said...

Advice . . . hmmm . . . patience? Sarcasm is tough. I use it a lot and use it well, but I also know who “gets” me and who doesn’t and adjust accordingly. As for her constant questioning, if she is a note taker, tell her that you will not answer a question ever unless she has already consulted her notes. And don’t answer. If you say anything it should be a one word answer like, “notes” to hint at what she should be doing.

Lainey said...

Girl - OMG, YES! It's like she's Kelly mixed with Angela, but the worst parts of each. Ugh.

Big Daddy - Why, hello there! Thanks for coming by & thanks for the advice. She and I will be having lunch together on Wednesday before the job fair and I think it'll be a good time for a "Come to Jesus" talk. During which, I will tell her about my new policy of not answering questions unless she's checked her notes first. That seems fair, right?

Lainey said...

Oh and AvB - you hit the nail on the head - she's never really had a *real* job before & she's so afraid of screwing up. I think she needs to feel that she owns it; mistakes and successes. I'll also mention this to her during lunch on Wednesday.

You guys really are awesome! Thanks for coming back and reading my bullshit. I'd give you all a dolla if I could!

Anonymous said...

If she can't grasp the looking at her notes thing from just being told, consider a demerit system after a few days. Just designing it should help your mental state, lol, and having it in the back of your mind will come across in your reminders, even before you have to start using it.

She's probably just skinny from all the shivering and quaking. Try to shake your whole body for one minute and see how much energy you burn! Like all those tiny animals that run around all the time, and have to eat twice their weight in food every day just to keep their freaky little hearts beating.

Can you refer her to some kind of specialist for quivering annoying girls? A chihuahua doctor, maybe?

Good luck, and my congratulations for not pushing her down any stairs already.

Lainey said...

Lilybeee - HI! I snorted when I read your suggestion of "try to shake your whole body for one minute"! You're totally right though, I hadn't thought about how many calories that probably burns, but it's probably a ton. Now I'm going to picture her as a Meerkat when she gets jumpy! The job fair should just about cause her heart to EXPLODE!

onthevirg said...

I have a simple solution:
Step 1 - While you're at lunch, kindly explain to her all the things that you mentioned are driving you crazy re: the job she's supposed to be doing on her own. Answer her questions and take her feedback and look for ways that you can help her achieve the goals she needs to reach to do her job well.

Step 2 - Push her in front of a bus.

Step 3 - Stomp on remains.

Step 4 - Hire someone who isn't retarded.

Lainey said...

Virg - Step 3 is kind of gross, but if I'm not wearing sandals, I'm totally willing to try it.