It’s ice cold in the office and yet she sweats profusely. She leaves a little bit of herself behind every time she puts the phone’s receiver to her ear.

There are post-its and print-outs everywhere on and around her desk. Phone numbers and contact names are scrawled hurriedly on notes when the data is actually neatly typed on the rolodex hidden by a picture of her grandchildren taped to the shelf above it. The information that was sent to her from Outlook contacts is deleted from her inbox because she doesn’t know how to save it to her own contact file.

The desk surface has a light dusting of crumbs from the unlimited assortment of crackers she snacks on for nine hours a day. A basket of oyster crackers is hidden behind the monitor. Pretzel sticks are in a jar. A sleeve of butter crackers sits on top of a jar of peanut butter and Potato Stix; and those are squeezed in next to a cup of plastic dinnerware and some paper plates.

There are stacks of paperwork that need to be filed sitting on the corner of the desk and on the shelves, including one that is 8” high. They are not filed because she doesn’t know where they go and she hopes that when she gets back from vacation, they will have been taken care of. She will have to hope in vain.

The drawer that once held a set of back up pens, an eraser, a letter opener and some highlighters has been littered with random paper clips, discharged and removed staples, and a tangle of rubber bands.

She takes numerous personal phone calls on the main incoming line a dozen times a day, including a handful from her mother alone. She is 60. Not the mother, but the employee.


She uses her mouse to go from one field to another in a spreadsheet instead of the TAB key. Actually she uses the mouse to click all default menu options.

She was given list of supplies to keep stocked two weeks ago. They still have not been ordered. Included on the list was a special request item. When the employee followed up with her, she said it wasn’t written down. The list was found on her desk. On it was the item in question. She’s to compare prices of supplies with at least two on-line companies. She has no idea how to open two web servers and “toggle” between them so she goes to one site, writes down the prices and then goes to the other site and writes down THOSE prices and then goes back to the original site to order the lesser expensive items. However, she has since grown frustrated with that process and has confided that she’s only ordering supplies from the one site “because it takes too long to compare pricing”.

She has no idea how to create a label on her computer so all documents and packages go out in the mail with handwritten addresses on them. A sheet of return address labels that was prepared for her remains untouched in the tray.

For all these shortcomings and so many more, it is not her that is without a job with benefits and a regular paycheck. It is not her complaining about her fellow employees. And it is most certainly not her dedicating an overly-long and belittling post on her private blog. Who really is the better person? The one lacking skills or the one lacking tolerance?

15 thoughts on “Intolerant”

  1. I don’t know…, is intolerance of mediocrity the same as intolerance of a person? I don’t think so – it sounds like she could do a better job if she wanted to – not that she is developmentally challenged or some such ilk.
    If you hate her – that’s bad. If you hate her work ethic – that’s okay isn’t it?
    I’ll have to think about this one (clank, grind ….)

  2. And all that aside – cause it is well and good to know that it is the money – but that doesn’t mean your heart hurts any less to have a schmuck taking a good job when you are more deserving.

    Just know you aren’t the only one hating the situation and I’m mad as Hell with you- THIS ISN’T FAIR!!

  3. Is she overly nice to the higher-up people? Cause they probably don’t care or realize that she can’t print out return address labels and that she is a slob and that is takes longer because her computer skills are lacking…

    And like Serenity said, it is probably about the money and not wanting to pay the finder’s fee.

    And please don’t hate on us folks that get hot flashes, hormones are the root of all evil. I never had one until Clomid entered my life and WHOA Lordy! It was ugly. But it made me empathize with menopausal women.

  4. Does this woman have a supervisor? If so they are as negligent as she appears to be. There is no excuse for letting people “work” in this way. She just isn’t up to it. You must be going berserk with frustration. It really is so not fair that you who could do her job in half the time whilst standing on your head and doing another job as well are stuck as a temp and have to see her every day. Sorry.

  5. You have EVERY right to be frustrated. The whole situation is unfair. It sounds from the way that she runs her office, she will get what she deserves. Not only can I not believe that you got passed over by the company, but I can’t believe that she doesn’t have the courage to admit that the job requirements FAR exceed her abilities.

  6. OUCH! That is the bullshit of all bullshit! (I say that a lot, but I really mean it right now). I can feel the pain of working with someone like this, but cannot fully empathize with having to search for a job, while knowing this person is working. Reminds me of a woman I once worked with at a manufacturing plant. I had to train her to scan barcoded tickets that determined the pay of the factory workers. One day of training her literally put me in the hospital. (OK, my gallbladder was bad anyway, but she triggered the attack!) So, kudos to you for not screaming at her, and fuck the company that chose her over you.

  7. It’s not about ability. They just don’t want to screw over someone who’s been there a long time. They probably figure that it’s just cheaper to pay her for a couple more years til she retires and then they can hire some youngster to replace her.

    It sucks for you and it’s not about the better person. Please don’t use the policies that this company is employing as a reflection on your own abilities.

  8. I’m guessing she’s getting paid far less than you would based on your experience.
    I can understand the frustration. I’m going on 9 months without a job. I’ve sent resumes. I have not had ONE interview. Not one. What makes me seethe with anger is the thought that the twenty somethings in my old office who were working for beer money and partial rent STILL have jobs.
    Your position will come and you can leave cracker lady in the dust when it does.

  9. When you’ve been out of work for a long time, the thing that’s hardest to remember is that it’s not about who’s the better person. It’s about budgets, and money, and effort, and policies, and business.

    It’s soul-sucking, though, for the person who is in search of a job. I couldn’t manage it when it happened to me – had to change careers to one which I may hate, but I know gives me some measure of security. (For now anyway.)


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