I'm a big believer in my immediate surroundings having either an adverse or positive effect on me. I'm a total product of my environment, both at home and at work. I mean, who doesn't feel better when the house is all clean and tidy and smelling great? There have been nights I've gotten up off the couch, not exactly an easy task, and straightened up, just because I was actually stressing out sitting there thinking about what a mess everything is. Messes are not relaxing.
Which is why I've talked so much about Crazy Office Mate - I have a mess sitting next to me every day at work. No - she's not literally messy; in fact she's very much the opposite of that. She's neat as a pin. The "mess" I speak of, is her brain. A couple of co-workers and I once looked up the symptoms of various mental illnesses and she fit very well into several of the categories. Not one, several. But whatever - if she's a Crazy who can function and be a productive member of society, bully for her. I care not. What I *do* care about is how her behavior affects me, my work and my daily level of stress.
For awhile, things got better. For one thing, I stopped working on Fridays, so that's one less day a week I have to see her. Also, she seemed to pull the stick out of her ass enough so that she was actually pleasant to me for awhile. I'm not sure if she switched up her meds, stopped taking them, starting taking them, whatever, but I didn't let myself become too excited over it because I had the feeling it was only temporary. Of course my feeling was right.
If you look up passive/aggressive in the dictionary, there is a picture of her bug-eyed and half-smiling holding a sharp knife behind her back. She is never rude enough to the point of anyone calling her out on it; she is Just Rude Enough. To get her point across that she doesn't like you. She doesn't like me. She doesn't like anybody. She has this neat trick she does where whenever she's on the phone with a client: she speaks so quietly, the person can never understand what she's saying. She also conducts most of her calls on speaker phone, so I get to hear the person on the other end of the phone saying, "What? Excuse me? Is there something wrong with your phone?" She also NEVER says good-bye to whoever she's on the phone with. THEY say good-bye and she says, "Thanks," real sarcastically and hangs up. Sometimes they're still in the middle of saying something, but nope - doesn't matter: CLICK. Can she get in trouble for treating people this way? Well, not really, because technically what is she doing wrong? Speaking too softly? Saying THANKS? Why, whatever do you mean, being rude - aren't those things being POLITE?
It. Is. Infuriating.
This morning a few of us planned to do a tidying up in the middle area we all share. We all met out there at 10:00, which was the start time everyone agreed on. Well, almost everyone. Crazy couldn't join us to help, because conveniently she had some "pressing" work matters she needed to attend to right then. Let me tell you something. Her job duties and mine are EXACTLY the same. And let me tell you something else. It is almost never "pressing." But, whatev - typical for her. Everyone actually prefers NOT having her there with us; the atmosphere almost visably lightens up when she's not present.
What PISSED ME THE FUCK OFF however, was she made sure that even though she was not able to help us, she performed her work standing in the two most narrow spaces of our office so that whenever me or someone else had to pass through, we had to say "Excuse me," to get by her. See above with the passive/aggressiveness. She has a lot more space than I do, yet chooses to have a rolling filing cabinet next to her desk, causing people to have to almost turn sideways in order to pass by her to get to me.
It's so stupid.
It would be even more comical if it wasn't me living with this.
However, there could be exciting news on the horizon. Another staff member left our department recently, leaving an empty office. It's a small office, nothing fancy. It doesn't have a window like my current office has. It has kind of horrible lighting and drab, schoolish-cinderblock walls. It could also become mine very soon. And then it will be the most beautiful room I've ever had the pleasure of stepping into.
Please keep your fingers crossed for me; say a prayer, hold a seance; do whatever you think is best. Are there much bigger problems in the world than the one I've just described? You betcha. Should I be thankful I even *have* a job in these dire economic times? Of course. Does that stop me from wanting this so badly I can actually taste the excitement? No it does not. Hey, I can't be well-adjusted and happy ALL the time - I'd run out of things to talk about.