Pro Tip: Don’t Be A JERK

, , , , | Working | April 13, 2020

(It is a Tuesday and I just got done cleaning out the fridge at work, something I am expected to do daily. Today, there was only one thing to remove: a partially empty can of tea. Fast forward to dismissal time and we are changing out of our uniforms in the locker room. [Employee #2] is my working partner, meaning we split the daily tasks between us.)

Employee #1: *passive-aggressively* “Somebody threw out my tea. Tea that costs money. If it was [Employee #2], I’m sure it was a mistake. But somebody still threw out my tea.”

Me: “Pro tip: don’t put your drink in the door of the fridge because if someone were to open the door too fast, it will fall over and spill everywhere–”

Employee #1: “Did you just say, ‘pro tip’?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee #1: “Oh, God.”

(She then is pretty much ready to head out the door and go home but not before she shares these parting words of wisdom:)

Employee #1: “Well, you can take your ‘pro tip’ and shove it up your a**!”

(The next day arrives, and we receive a huge order of many extremely heavy pallets that all have to be moved upstairs. We have elevators for this so it is not so bad. The problem employee barely speaks to me this entire day, but instead proceeds to rally the rest of the team against me, sends the elevator to the wrong floor on purpose causing me to lose time moving pallets, and when she does speak it’s to ridicule me and make my day as mentally miserable as possible. I let this go on for one more day, but on Thursday, I attempt to arrange a meeting with a supervisor and the problem worker at the same time. Nothing can be arranged until Friday. Remember that this started on Tuesday. On Friday, I am in the office alone with a supervisor and tell him everything that’s been happening and I am extremely honest about even my own shortcomings. He calls in the troublemaker for what is essentially an ambush. I didn’t want her to be able to plan any of her words.)

Supervisor: “[My Name] here has been telling me that you’ve been very passive-aggressive for the past couple of days and I would like to hear your perspective.”

(For the most part, her story holds to the truth. That is, until we get to the Q&A part of the meeting.)

Supervisor: “She also tells me you’ve been sending the elevator to different floors than the one she was on.”

Employee #1: *not even a split-second hesitation* “Oh, I thought I heard someone calling that they needed the elevator, so I sent it over.”

Me: *internally* “Really? And what is so difficult about pressing the elevator call button that this certainly imaginary person couldn’t do it for themselves?”

Me: *outwardly* “And what about throwing my own words back at me like they were poison? You just stood there and watched me struggle with a pallet, but you didn’t have any ‘pro tips’ for me?”

Employee #1: *another split-second hesitation* “Oh, you were hauling pro mix so I was trying to be punny by saying, ‘pro tip.’”

Me: *internally* “Except for the fact that you ridiculed my choice of words before any of us knew the pro mix would be delivered. Are we now suddenly clairvoyant? Makes perfect sense!”

Supervisor: “Well, we’ll need to stop this hostility. [Employee #1], if you or anyone else has any complaints, please come to me or any other supervisors next time, okay? Don’t take it out on your coworkers. [My Name], you’ll have to stop cleaning the fridge for now until we can come up with a better system for making sure new items don’t get removed by accident.”

(It was fair enough for the interim, but I was still only doing my job. I learned something very unpleasant about a coworker that I once thought was cool: liar, and a quick one. But she did try to make it up to me later after dismissal by telling me to have a good weekend, something she has never done before. It actually made me tear up a little because I was reminded that she’s not all bad. For the record, others rallied to my cause without even being told to. I have more friends at this place than I thought!)

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