22 June 2008

I Need A Vacation (or I Don't Get Paid Enough To Deal With This Crap)

It seems I have been away from the blogging world for so very long, even though I have posted. Part of the problem is that work has been SO tense lately, I'm completely drained and have no energy for anything I need to do, like start my soon-to-arrive niece's baby quilt or deadhead the roses or clean the kitchen or finding a place to live this fall or navigating the complicated world of student loans etc.  Of course all this tension has to do with my favorite coworker, Dwight. First, a little background.  You can guess Dwight's mood by how loudly he stomps back and forth from his office to the map room or the water cooler. The more stressed, irritated, or mad he gets, the louder the stomping. Additionally, Dwight always thinks he works harder than anyone else in the office, despite his 3-5, 20-30 minute trips to Safeway a day, his weekly haircuts, his 35 minute lunches, and his penchant for watching sports tournaments on his computer. None of which he clocks out for.  Ever.  So on his time card it looks as though he puts in 10-12 hour days, even though anyone who pays attention knows he only works about 5 of those. Finally, he is the reason myriad employees have quit over the years, especially the receptionist/typists as they seem to be his favorite target.  Our current receptionist/typist ChattyCathy is at the top of his poop list at all times and there is absolutely no love lost between them.  Oh, and Dwight is a bully unless someone stands up to him.  (See this post about his interaction with my father).

Now we can embark on this week.  Monday, ChattyCathy went home at 9 am because she still wasn't over whatever stomach bug she had over the weekend. Which we were all fine with, as we didn't want to get it.  Dwight was stompy. When I got back from lunch I heard all about his temper tantrum regarding a file cabinet not being shuffled, despite a drawer being overstuffed. He shouted about how people (read: ChattyCathy) were so lazy they couldn't take 5 minutes out of their day to shuffle a few files and now he had to take time out of his day to do it.  Everyone ignored him and he got stompier.  The kicker - he spent most of that day doing nothing but watching the U.S. Open on his computer.

Tuesday he was even stompier and gave a huge aggrieved sigh any time anyone asked him to do something.  It was so bad that one of the other examiners (MrCynic) said that Dwight's nickname should be 'Stampy' like the elephant Bart Simpson adopted.  MrCynic got so frustrated with Dwight that afternoon that he forwarded this picture to us:


Wednesday morning he was a little less stompy, but it turned out to be the calm before the storm.  See, it has been fairly slow for the real estate market of late and our orders are probably less than half of what they were last year.  So most of us are able to get all our work done during the day AND have a little time to socialize.  So after I got back from lunch, I was talking to NewGirl and TheBarista for about 20 minutes, in between phone calls, as ChattyCathy was at lunch.  Dwight got stompier and stompier  as he walked past NewGirl and TheBarrsta's office where I was leaning against the door and chatting.  Mostly I think because he as a very apparent obsession with TheBarista (to the point that if there is any after hours thing that TheBarista has to attend at which Dwight will also be present, TheBarista's husband insists he be there.) and I was blocking his access to her and partly because we weren't "working" even though the whole conversation started because I went into their office to ask a work-related question.  But note: Dwight never said anything.  The conversation ended when the phone rang and I went to answer it.  Shortly thereafter ChattyCathy returned from lunch and Dwight STOMPED over to her desk and started yelling at her about an order that needed to be open, but that hadn't been.  The order hadn't been open because there was a bug in the program what wouldn't let her print.  She contacted our office computer guru, but since he is the boss's son, he never gets in until after 2pm. Since the program is a shared program on the server, she didn't think anyone else would be able to print anything else.  This answer threw Dwight into even more of a rage.  To the point that I felt it absolutely imperative to start defending ChattyCathy (I would have anyway, because Dwight is such a pain).  He was so out of control the thought that he might hit her crossed my mind.  Seriously. Finally he STOMPED away, but not before scaring ChattyCathy so badly she started sobbing.  I was so mad I was shaking as was NewGirl.  TheBarista called our boss and told him to tell Dwight to go home, as he was out of line. Our computer guru arrived in the midst of this and told Dwight the program did have a bug, but that didn't really change anything.  Needless to say, we all went home exhausted and totally distracted.

Thursday I got to work and only TheBarista was there.  She was upset because she had accidentally left the window in her office open and someone had removed the screen and broken in.  The alarm went off and the cops came and the boss had to be called in at 1:30 in the morning. (Note: Dwight was at the boss's house drinking scotch and having a grand old time with the boss and his visiting Australian friends.  Nice.) So she was worried that she was due for a lecture from TheOwner.  Now the boss and TheOwner are brothers.  TheOwner put up the original investment and has his law office next door.  He has a habit of being absent for weeks on end then returning and finding something not to his liking and then going on a tear to remake the office in his vision.  Which doesn't really work because he disappears again shortly thereafter.  So he caught wind of what went on and conducted multiple inteviews, the result of which ChattyCathy was told she could choose to move to his office or stay where she was, but realize that she couldn't hold a grudge or force her coworkers to choose sides. Dwight was apparently read the riot act for two hours and then sent home early by TheOwner.

Friday, Dwight was somewhat subdued and seemed unable to cope with anything. ChattyCathy had to ask him a question for the first time, but that conversation seemed to go okay and Dwight even caught himself when he started to go into lecture mode.  Which is a miniscule amount of progress. If only I thought it would last.  Sadly, I think that the boss and TheOwner are totally enablers of this behavior because they never actually fire Dwight for things like this. They think he is too valuable to lose and so Dwight gets away with crap that no corporation in America would tolerate.  Just from a liability standpoint.  And with ChattyCathy, NewGirl, TheBarista, and I all planning on leaving by the end of the year, I think they are going to have a huge wake-up call.  Especially when everyone of us lists Dwight as a reason we thought about leaving in the first place.

Hopefully next week will be better and I'll have time to write the posts still percolating in my head.

13 comments:

aquamarine said...

I am completely shocked by the temper tantrums thrown by that grown MAN??? Maybe someone should bring in a wall length mirror and position just behind Chatty Cathy so he can see just how puerile he looks while berating the "help".

I sure hope that things will become at least tolerable in the next few weeks. So sorry honey! This is aweful!

i i eee said...

Speechless... how does someone get away with all of that....

I say find a way to leave an opened can of tuna under the front seat of his car. It would be especially delightful in this hot summer weather.

I sincerely hope none of the ladies, who end up leaving, will chicken out and fail to leave serious complaint about Dwight. If only there were a sort of anonymous way of reporting his behavior, labeling it as harassment. Sure, not sexual, but in an abusive context.

Forgive my language, but what a bastard.

Scully said...

No need to apologize for language i i eee. I had a few choice words for him myself, although for some reason I tend to use British epithets. I think he should be fired but he has amassed an amazing amount of knowledge about the field in which he works and I think the boss and TheOwner think the business would go under without him. I don't think they are right, but then I have no say in the manner. I am also pretty sure TheOwner (being a lawyer) knows this is a situation loaded with liability, which is why he was quick to react. TheOwner also told me, in the course of me giving my 'statement' that the office is the only structure Dwight has. Which is true, but that doesn't mean we other employees should pay the price. I have probably mentioned it before, but I'm pretty sure Dwight is a functional alcoholic.

Katie said...

I love that as I read this, I totally picture an episode of The Office, just with different actors and actresses. I'm sorry for all the drama, but at least it's entertaining in retrospect.

Heather said...

What a jerk. I actually think the mirror idea is great. I guess he must be really suffering, but I agree.. why should you guys pay the consequences? That sounds way intense and I'm sorry you had to go through that.. ALL of you. And I can't believe someone broke in after ONE night.. COME ON.

well.. good luck. It's too bad you really don't have a "jim" there that can torture him.

I guess everyone is just going to have to start tuning him out. It's HIS problem.

Treat Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Treat Queen said...

Oh wow.
That is just crazy. Sounds like he needs professional help

Mime said...

Someone needs to stand up to him. Is it bad that the whole time I was reading the blog I was wondering what the bug in the program was and how to fix it. Yes, sadly enough I am a computer geek.

katharine said...

wishing you an awesome new job :)

Nemesis said...

Holy cow. You DO need a vacation.

cherbear said...

YOU have the right to not have to work in such an environment. I think the lawyer forgot that part. That is a type of harrassment and it doesn't matter how much knowledge he has, he is replaceable.

esperanza said...

Drama! Maybe he is on his period. JK. ;)

cherbear said...

You know, I saw an Intervention where the alchoholic being profiled took lots of breaks during her workday, went to the liquor store and got a couple of tiny vodkas and drank them in her car while she thought no one was looking. I wonder what's going on at Safeway during his break times??