Thursday, April 05, 2012

I don't really have to...

I work because it gives me my own money in my pocket. I don't really have to work. I know that's a bizarre thing to confess but Husband gets paid very well and we don't live beyond our means. I do have a part time job, because I like people and I like interacting with people and being a housewife is isolating and lonely. A few days a week I go and work in a small shop. Purely for my own amusement and for shoes money. I don't have to go to work. I could live the 50's housewife lifestyle; I have that luxury. It just doesn't appeal.

I work in an easy job and get paid a silly amount of money for it. Australia pays casual employees very, very well. I have no idea what minimum wage is here, but it's a lovely amount of dosh for work I'm very good at and actually enjoy. It's all rather wonderful. Except for the Office Gloom Regulation Emissary (OGRE).

Isn't there always an OGRE? Isn't there always someone who thinks fun should be banned unless it's focused solely around them or started by them? Someone who frowns, storms and sighs all day just begging someone to ask "What's wrong?" Someone who's always sicker than anyone else, harder done by than anyone else or who's worked to the bone far more than anyone else is worked to the bone...and in a cushy job that's a real challenge. Someone who has the manager on speed dial where than readily express their feelings and pass on information regarding all other employees. Narcissistic, needy, controlling fun haters?

There have been movies with these people and you know who they are. Remember Roz from 9-5? She was so annoying they sent her to France. Sigourney Weaver's character in Working Girl; there's an OGRE with power no less! They don't all mope about moaning and whinging, some of them manage to bully and demean and charm all around them yet ultimately sucking the fun and life out of everyone. Office vampires.

We got one of them. We all dread sharing shifts with them. No one dares critique them either, or they throw a tantrum and threaten to quit. (I would like to see that happen myself because it's an obvious empty threat). Until then, I amuse myself by watching the new and wonderful ways they find to waste massive amounts of time creating problems for themselves and then (joyously) bemoaning the fact they have so much to do ...without getting on with doing any tasks. Their life is so much worse than anyone else's, after all.*

It's been almost a year. I'm starting to tire of it all now. It's becoming very boring. Last shift I counted how many times they sighed while walking past me (14) and how many times they muttered to themselves under their breath (7) and how many customers they actually managed to serve (2).

I have, in the past, come up with bizarre questions to ask them to see how they react. They always react; it's compulsive. This particular OGRE lacks the ability to comprehend sarcasm. One day when I was particularly annoyed with the excessive sighing and I asked "Did you used to smoke?" and they told me their history of smoking and how they struggled to quit. When they asked my what prompted me to ask I answered "I noticed you exhale a lot." They then told me about their asthma history. I know we should not supply them with avenues to talk about themselves but it had been a rather dreary day and I was bored.

I'm just competitive enough to keep going to see who quits first. But then I also know letting such ridiculous behaviour go unchecked isn't my fault or responsibility and the company gets what they deserve. I'm sure they'll do fine on two sales a day.

I have to find pastures new. Life's too short to work for fun with a dreary, dreadful OGRE who can hold a store to ransom with the threat of a tantrum.

*how annoying to speak in the plural of one. I should just call them Pat.


Rox said...

I'm a 50s housewife! LOL!! This is exactly the type of thing that freaks me out about going into the workforce, the assholes. Also, my period. What if I have the cramps? I can't just curl up with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea if they're paying me to be there, right? Ugh.

Maja said...

Would you find a different job? Like you said there's an OGRE in every workplace. I guess it's hard to ignore them when it's such a small workplace though. What do you think would happen if you told them exactly how rubbish they were?

I am finding it very weird to think I'm not going back to work for quite a while now. It's only been a couple of weeks but I feel kind of lost. There's no real time limit to get things done now, so where's my motivation?

I'm definitely going back to work after maternity leave.

Lyvvie said...

This OGRE runs straight to higher management and sings thier tales of woe. We've had a senior manager sit in and mediate a disagreement (I defriended them on facebook and they had a Royal tantrum) where they showed themselves to be a complete tit. Any kind of confrontation or even perceived confrontation (My asking at the start of the shift what tasks we needed to get started with was an attack that made them feel inept - no I'm serious, they said that, through tears)functions as a supply to her need to moan and complain to deflect from the fact they actually are inept. They never ask what they could do to be better; being better would mean they have nothing to complain about. They enjoy complaining about never getting praise, and then make such a production out of the simplest tasks no one is ever moved to praise.

I'm nearly convinced I'll leave this job; there's no future there. So perhaps I should feel the trol.. er OGRE. It only serves to make me feel better in the short term, and then other staff still have to work with them. The manager should be the one to say something - any of the managers, but they're all not going there. OGRE has learned of a thing called "Time off work for stress" and they're angling hard to achieve this - this is shown by even more exaggerated sighing. But Shhh...we aren't supposed to know that, even though we all do.

Maja I know how you feel, when preggers with Shorty I burst into tears on my last day of work and did not know what to do with myself for days. I think I even went back in to work a few times to have lunch with co-workers because I struggled to come to terms with losing that part of my life - the independence, the business, the lack of laundry or dishes to wash.

I am looking to get back into banking; I really loved working for the bank. If childcare wasn't going to cost as much as our mortgage I'd have been back as soon as I could. Now that we have perm residency, it's an option.