I have worked in various aspects of the financial services industry for nearly 30 years, from customer service and mutual fund accounting to, lately, mortgage banking. My law degree has come in handy, not because anyone has asked me to draft pleadings or research a law, but because one learns analysis in law school and this has applications beyond a courtroom.
Surprise, surprise, my undergraduate degree as a middle-school teacher is also coming in handy.
I started a new job at the end of May which I like very much, particularly since we’ve gotten a handle on what we’re doing, the pay is good, the bosses are kind, appreciative and knowledgeable. For the most part, my co-workers are professional adults who understand and practice appropriate workplace behavior.
For the most part.
It seems, in the giant square dance that is the constant shifting of desks, working groups and frontline supervision, that my group was absorbed into one that included a pair of young females who were great friends with the previous supervisor and spent their workdays socializing (when not bitching about increased productivity goals coming soon). Due to the ongoing disruption and distraction they created, last week, their desks were moved apart with much pouting, whining and sullen behavior.
Has quiet been restored? Not really. This has not even slowed them down, really. The sidekick will look around furtively for anyone with authority, run over to her ex-desk and the ongoing live version of the Gossip Girls will be in session.
We also have ongoing texting during meetings and training (with the giggles and whispers). And the following scenario:
Music coming off through headphones (cheap ones) from 3 BIG desks over that I could hear it pretty clearly.
I sent the following email subject line:
Turn down the music, please. I can hear it down here.
I GOT the following response:
I would be happy to do so, however if you ask me to turn down rather than telling me to turn down it would work a lil more effectively and would be taken a lil more appropriately. (this is a copy and paste of the message, by the way)
That’s right, Folks, we got us a Queen Bee here. An over-aged teenaged one at that. Attitude straight out of the 7th grade ruling clique on someone who should know better.
This broad (No. I’m a broad and I’m not going to include her in with Bette Davis, Elaine Stritch and me)…This spoiled brat seems to be channeling Snooki in appearance and work ethic, as in not having one. For instance, last week, we had a couple of new hires join the team and she was asked to let one sit with her and “shadow” as she worked. She refused in front of the guy, saying she “had numbers to hit.” Full disclosure: I tried to refuse myself because I didn’t feel confident enough in what I was doing. I got overruled and it turned out okay. SHE got a verbal smackdown (no names but everyone knew who the boss meant) in a team meeting in the afternoon and this led to hours of sulking.
When I got the job, I was told it was a professional dress and work environment. Professional dress: no tight clothing (well, there’s Salmonella, who wears her clothing 2 sizes too small and can barely move. It’s amusing. Her career path is the Lewinsky Method), no spaghetti straps or flip flops except on OT days on Saturday (even when it’s Casual Friday, there are standards to be observed). Let’s just say she got the same advice and chooses to ignore it.
There are rules about taking phone calls: you do it “off the floor”, meaning you go outside or into the hall because you’re not supposed to be disrupting the people around you. You also do your texting outside and on your break because when the company is paying you, they expect your time and attention to be geared towards THEIR goals. Yup, we’ve got that shit going on, too.
This job involves analysis of timelines and actions by a mortgage servicer (the people who collect your payment and apply it to your balance. Or, as happened a little too often, don’t). There is a lot of input to various computer systems that use the dates input to determine if harm was done to the borrowers. I’ve been hearing a lot of bitching about being “input monkeys” and sadly, not just from her, but from others of her age group (late 20s, early 30s). When we’re told that the daily goal for productivity will be increasing, that’s always good 10 minutes of bitching and whining from her and her dumbass sidekick (neither one is particularly smart, by the way, either in raw intelligence or the use/application of common sense). By the way, I’m already consistently hitting that upcoming daily goal plus extra, so it’s not as if Pharaoh just told us we have to move an additional 10 blocks per day to the top of the pyramid.
And this brings me to another point: Involuntary servitude in this country was abolished by the 13th Amendment in 1865. If you hate the job so much, you have two choices: shut the fuck up or get the fuck out.
You aren’t Terrell Owens or Barbra Streisand, okay? You’re not bringing anything special to the table that would make employers and co-workers put up with your shit. You're not even at the level of one of those useless "celebrities" from reality TV.
And a former middle school teacher, who has dealt with her share of teenaged tart tyrants isn't about to be bullied by someone who should have grown out of that crap by now.
After the email exchange over the music, the rest of the day was filled with sniper-shot comments about “blasting music” and pointed questions to other team members with headphones. Yeah, I’m working with a mental 13 year old.
First of all, you Dumb Shit Diva, “lil”? Really? You’re in no position in terms of authority, intelligence or any other measure of status to be condescending to me. You’re just another co-worker and one whose dead ass I am already carrying. And your dumb fuck sidekick’s, too. Considering how much time the two of you waste in socializing and extending your lunch half-hour and breaks (this has been noticed by management), I resent it and the fact that you feel entitled to bitch about how much is expected of you. In the words of Peter Venkman, when his secretary, Janine, complained about her workload, “I’m sure someone with your qualifications would have no trouble finding work in the food service industry.”
What he said.
As for the “ask me pretty please with sugar on it” attitude: Yeah. Begging’s not my long suit. For this post, I tried to find a Far Side cartoon of a family sitting down to dinner with the dog pointing a gun at them and saying, “Hey, Bucko! I’m done begging!”
What he said.
I am not going to wheedle, cajole, plead or otherwise tap dance to get adults to behave in an adult, responsible manner. If you’re going to be disruptive, discourteous and disrespectful, you will bring out the middle school teacher in me and be treated accordingly.
And if you’re enough of a dumbass to put it in an email that takes about .5 seconds to forward to management…that’s the kicker right there. Not only arrogant, but dumber than mud.
Maybe I’m the one who will get moved (not out the door. They like me, they like my work). But I’m not the one about to get an international reputation as the Dumbass Diva.
P.S. "Lil" Girl? You don't know me. You don't know where my influence lies. You don't know who my friends are. You don't know who owes me what big favors. And you sure as shit don't know how far I'll go to protect my income and peace of mind when pushed. Keep that in mind next time you want to play Queen Bee of the Middle School.