We’ve all got them. There’s at least one person at your job that you’d rather not deal with. I mean, this is the last person you’d want to get stuck on the elevator with alone. Or in the bathroom. Or in the company kitchen while you’re standing there waiting the 10,000 minutes for your Lean Cuisine fettucini with sparse chicken to defrost and get hot already so you can just stir it and go.
The worst is when neither of you likes each other, regardless of reason, if there’s even a reason.
Some people we just don’t like very well or just don’t want to mingle with or perhaps something about them just gives us the willies. Whatever it is you’d just rather not come face to face with him or her. Or–God help you–them.
God help you more if it’s your boss or CEO.
I once worked at a trade association where we got a new (male) CEO from New Jersey who was rumored to be tied to the m.a.fia. Seriously. Gosh, there were whispers and gasps for weeks leading up to his arrival. The executive assistants who sat in the fishbowl where his office would be located nearly shat their skirts fearing this guy’s presence. Though I worked down the hall and around the corner I bit my fingernails off and spit them across my cubicle. The word on the cubicle street was that he was the type of person who would fire people without blinking his eyelids across his evil eyeballs.
Yep. We were skeered.
Finally he arrives. And though while not as scary as we thought he’d be, he was indeed a scowler and a tight-lipped guy who didn’t exactly smile easily. (I once came back to the office after a midday dental appointment involving novocaine and of all people to run into I ran into Mr. New Jersey Bugsy Hitman and for once in LIFE he shoots a tiny smile my way and because of my numbed face I couldn’t feel if I was smiling back or slobbing or snarling at him. So since I couldn’t really control the lower half of my face I did this weird thing with my eyes where they blinked rapidly and what could have been a groan escaped from my uncontrolled slobbery mouth. (Or was it slobbing? I dunno; I couldn’t feel anything.)
I sat in my cubicle for hours fretting over it while wiping escaped saliva from my chin. Whenever my phone rang I feared it was his executive assistant calling to inform me that my pink slip could be picked up in the lobby on my way out.
Funny thing is this…Within months I got a promotion, although small, but I knew it had everything to do with Mr. Bugsyman Jersey “I’ll Break Your Knees; Try Me” A-Hole’s approval of a department video I had co-starred in. When the video was shown in a large conference room he actually threw back his head laughing at my contribution. He laughed. Not only laughed but
Turns out he wasn’t so scary after all. Turns out it was all in my head. From this story I encourage you to decode the person in your office you try to avoid. Maybe they’re not that bad after all. Besides, it beats the stress of always trying to avoid them or cringing whenever they’re around. Work is stressful enough already.
This has been a public service announcement by The Cubicle Rebel.