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But I Want The Desk With The View Of The Printers!

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: silvyrphoenix | May 24, 2021

I work in a small IT department for a law firm. Normally three people, we are at two people at the time of this story. In addition to the team being understrength and both members of the team almost drowning with the workload, I am dealing with health issues. I have reduced my hours to try to cope and have been working from home when I can. Bear in mind that the antagonist of this story, [Coworker], knows about this as she and I are on good terms and speak fairly regularly.

One Wednesday, my manager and I are asked to meet with one of the heads of department to discuss some building work and some members of staff moving, one of those staff being [Coworker]. We are told the details and work out a plan. I set up [Coworker]’s new workstation with new equipment — one monitor, keyboard, mouse, and desk phone — there and then and tell her that she can move there for now, and on Friday, I’ll set up the second staff member’s desk and install the second monitor for [Coworker].

The building work is due to be done on Monday. [Coworker] is informed where she is going and that all she has to do is move her laptop and plug into the docking station. We leave with everyone knowing what the plan is.

Thursday morning, I am working a half day from home. A phone call comes in at around 9:10 am.

Me: “IT, [My Name] speaking.”

Coworker: “Hi, [My Name]. My monitors aren’t working! I need things to work ASAP!”

I’m suspicious about her saying, “monitors,” as I only set up one monitor.

Me: “Okay, I’ll have to come in as I’m at home right now. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

I get myself ready, go into work, and go to [Coworker]’s desk. She is not sitting there; instead, she is at the desk for the other member of staff with all the equipment from her old desk. She has unplugged everything and moved it over, but she failed as she didn’t know how to reconnect everything. I begin the conversation fairly irritated as my fears are confirmed.

Me: “Why are you sitting there? Your desk is set up here.”

I point to the desk opposite that she has to have walked past. Her phone with a display is there with her name on it. She’d have to be blind to not see it.

Coworker: “I didn’t know!”

I know that she did know, but I don’t make an issue of it.

Me: “If you didn’t know, you could easily have asked.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but—”

Me: *Cutting her off* “Sorry does not include the word ‘but’.”

Coworker: “It’s no one’s fault. Can you just set me up on this desk?”

Me: “No one’s fault? Are you having a laugh?”

Coworker: *Storming off* “Oh, just do your job!”

Me: *Angrily* “That is not a good approach!”

I set up her workstation with her old equipment, called her over, asked her to log in, and, once I saw that everything was working, I left without another word. I don’t think I have ever been so angry at work. It took me almost a week to calm down. Even now when I think about it my anger stirs.

A few days later, my manager called me into a meeting with a really apologetic tone and look. He said that there had been a complaint about me. He didn’t disagree with what I said, but said that I had let my “customer service” mask slip.

This instance showed me how little [Coworker] respected my time, my workload, and my health. Just because she didn’t want the desk she was given. And what makes it worse? She is leaving in a month or two. Whenever she sees me now, she either ignores me or glares daggers at me as if I disrespected her!

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