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Letting The Little Things Twirl You Up In Knots

, , , , | Working | May 31, 2022

I’m a “floater” for a bank. This means I go to multiple locations and fill in if they’re short-staffed. On this particular day, I’m at a branch that I don’t like and it’s been a bad day. I am sitting at a teller window between two coworkers.

When I’m nervous or stressed, I tend to twirl my hair. It’s a habit I’m trying to break by keeping it in a ponytail or braid. It doesn’t work today; I start twirling the ponytail. [Coworker #1] starts typing. A few seconds later, I hear [Coworker #2]’s computer ding. We have an internal chat window that we can use to message others in the branch. [Coworker #2]’s screen is turned toward me, so I see the message that pops up on the screen.

Coworker #1: “If [My Name] doesn’t stop twirling that stupid ponytail right now, I’m going to come up behind her and CHOP IT OFF! Why do we always get stuck with her?!”

[Coworker #2] turns and looks at me with a horrified expression. She quickly closes her chat window. We both stare at [Coworker #1].

Coworker #1: “What?”

She’s giving us a ferocious scowl.

Coworker #2: “Never mind.”

Meanwhile, I’ve got just enough smarta** in me to poke back. While staring at [Coworker #1], I start obviously twirling my ponytail again. I don’t say anything and I do not break eye contact.

Coworker #1: “What is wrong with you today?”

I stared her down until she let out an annoyed yell and stomped off. I told my boss, and she didn’t send me back there for several months. When I did eventually go back, they were much nicer.

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