You know, everything would be so much easier if the new guy was actually nice. I try and block his whining out, instead focusing on those performance reviews I need to get done yesterday, but his abrasiveness still grates on me like I’m a block of cheese.
“…still, you know what they say, better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Although Daddy does both, being a Jacoban and a dad.”
“Oh my Watcher, that’s brilliant! I never thought of it that way, but that is so true. Your poor parents.”
Ah, much better. Personal, but I can tune it out.
“So I’ve had a few ideas on the new UI design, but as a convenient regular user I’d like your input.”
“Ha, I’ve never been called convenient before. But sure, what would you like me to say?”
Wait, is that Jackie? I thought she was still in Shang Simla… I hope everything’s okay.
“What do you mean, you changed my stuff again?!”
“Look, we have a brand image to look after… did you check the style guide before starting this piece? It has plenty of helpful tips…”
“Plenty of helpful tips, nya. You just don’t appreciate my taking initiative.”
Oh, for the love of… again?! Alright, Michelle to the rescue. For the third time this month.
I get up, close my laptop and walk past as if to leave. “Oh, hey Bea, CJ. Something I can help with?”
“Yeah.” Beatrix slides over the new flyer designs. “Take a look at these.”
“Wow,” I say, genuinely. “The layout is fantastic. I’m willing to approve these as-is, especially since they’re perfectly aligned to the style guide. What does it look like as a mockup?”
“Not like this, I can assure you,” CJ says, rolling his eyes. Aaaaaand there it is. “My original design was much fresher and less stuffy. But someone here doesn’t appreciate my initiative.”
“Oh, okay,” I say with an apologetic look at Beatrix. “You want to talk about it over here?”
We do. “Look,” I say, putting on my serious face, “I appreciate you taking initiative. What I don’t appreciate is constantly undermining the powers that be, and us in the process. The last time I disagreed with my boss, I set my career back five years.”
Bald-faced lie. That little horror story happened about two or three jobs back by now. But if it gets him to shut up and listen for once…
“Look, maybe the style guide does need updating. I’ll bring it up the next time I meet with the design people. But for the Watcher’s sake, please, enough with the grumbling at my top performers. You’re making them cry.”
CJ snorts – actually snorts. “Nya. The sort of display of weakness I’d expect.”
“Well! Thank you for making your position clear,” I say, trying to keep a handle on my annoyance (and failing miserably). “I don’t think we’ll get any more out of this conversation, so you’re free to leave. And those flyers will be put forward as an option… with Bea’s changes.”
I have to confess I felt the smallest bit of schadenfreude as he stood there gawping. Didn’t expect anyone to stand up to you, did ya? Not surprised, considering how much of a lazy, entitled little –
No. Shush. Calm.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Slooooowly. Don’t break down. Not now. Don’t let him get to you. Don’t let him cost you your job. At least not until you work out how best to persuade Allison to let you fire him.
Ahhhh. Much better. Can’t break down at work again. Not when the last time I cried at my desk cost me my job. Put me off revealing my diagnosis to HR ever again.
If only my network was as big as it used to be… they all deserted me when they found out.
It’s so much easier having connections.
Thanks for reading! This month (and last month) was a little different: in January, you were introduced to the protagonist, and this month you saw the antagonist courtesy of Flawsome Sims (AnnoyingTiger on the forums). Next month Michelle will get some help from a fellow manager who, it seems, has dealt with our pesky friend before…
And now for the stats: 651 words this month, with 7 pictures. Obviously, go read the rest!