I am definitely cranky these days due to various issues, but one of my co-workers is treading close to getting a smackdown along the lines of the one above, when the boys from Office Space pounded the crap out of the company fax machine to the awesome rap song Die Motherfuckers!

Yvonne works with me and about six other people in a fairly open office space. We all have our own little cubicles, but the dividers are only chest-height, so you simply have to stand up if you want to talk to people face to face. This also means everyone hears everything — there is no privacy. 

And Yvonne is outrageously nosy. If I am sitting on the phone having a conversation with my banker, for example, she will start quizzing me about it when I hang up the phone. She even asked me how much money I had in my savings account the other day! I responded: “Well, Yvonne, that’s a bit of a personal question” when what I wanted to say is: “Are you fucking kidding me, lady? Mind your own fucking business, will you?” She will also quiz me about what’s going on with my kids if they call to discuss various issues. The worst thing? Yvonne is a duplicitous little gossip, so anything she finds out about you, she spreads around the office on her daily waddle-and-gossip sessions with the other losers working here. Needless to say, I’m a source of much gossip given my second marriage has collapsed and I have been spotted for the past year weeping in back alleys, washrooms, shrieking into my cellphone, etc.

And there are also little, petty things that make Yvonne particularly loathsome. She’s an aggressive Hello-er, for example, with a loud sing-songy voice containing a subtle hint of menace. She starts two hours later than me and when she comes in, she sings “Hello Trixie!” and then proceeds to go down the other five names. Why she just can’t say: “Hi, everyone,” none of us understand. What’s worse, if you don’t say hello back immediately — let’s say you are distracted by something at the time or engrossed in your work — she will sing the “HELLO TRIXIE!!!!” loudly and aggressively until you say hello back. This makes me want to leap over my cubicle wall, put Yvonne in a headlock and smash her head into the nearest filing cabinet until the sing and the song disappear.

And to make matters even worse, even after you have the big morning hello-fest, she will still say hello to you every time you walk past her that day. If I get up to go the bathroom and she catches my eye, she’ll say “Hello!” again! If I walk past her in the hall on the way to another floor, again with another goddamned “Hello!!!”

This has made me want to erupt in a scathing rant that would go along these lines: “Yvonne! We said hello at 11 o’clock this morning. And when I get up to leave at 5 p.m., we will say good-bye. One hello per day, and one good-bye, you got it??!??!?? And if I AM CLEARLY DEALING WITH A WORK MATTER when you come in and say hello every morning and don’t answer you immediately, just live with it, OK, Yvonne?!??!!”

It’s not like I don’t talk to the woman. I include her in some of the chatty small talk that typically goes on in any office setting every day. And I don’t snap at her the way I want to when she imposes herself into one-on-one conversations I might be having with other people within her earshot. Believe it or not, of the six of us in our space, I am actually the most tolerant of her. But one day soon, someone’s really going to blow at Yvonne. And it might be me.

 Please, tell us your own annoying co-worker stories. We long to know we are not alone as we sit seething and huddling in our cubicle, stressfully awaiting Yvonne’s arrival.

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