Long time readers of this blog will recall that I used to go to work and in that workplace there were some.. hmm.. how shall we put this.. people who didn’t treat me too nicely. Which was odd, given I was the Boss’s Daughter. I mean that’s a pretty bad career move, one would have thought. But for those who haven’t been long time readers, here’s a bit of history so you can understand Karma in action.. this post will be long, my apologies in advance.
One staff member who I nicknamed Birdsnest NEVER spoke to me – no hello in the morning, no conversation during the day, no goodbye at night. That would not have bothered me, had it not been combined with a few other factors -
- That whenever my Dad left the store she and several of the other staff would congregate around a desk, chat with each other, and ignore the customers. I was forced to watch customers walk out without being served and I could do nothing about it.
- That she washed her hair once a week and on the days in between she would not even brush it, she would just put it into a pony tail. Can you say skanky? It looked bad but it smelt even worse when you got up close – cigarette smoke mainly but sometimes with a hint of I don’t even want to know what. When you’re serving customers personal hygiene is a *little* bit important.
- That she was running several at home businesses (catalogs, party plans) and that she would use the phones at work to call her customers and on occasion she would get them to come and pick up the goods from in the shop – an absolute no-no and against her terms of employment.
- That she would deliberately steal sales from the other staff members. There’s a simple rule – if a customer walks in and says “I saw (staff member) and I want to buy one of these” you write the sale up in the name of (staff member). If the customer comes in and says “I was in speaking to (staff member) but I’d like more info” and you spend a significant amount of time with them, its now your sale. Birdsnest was the only member of staff who never followed this rule – and the other staff often would not know she had stolen their sales.
- That one of the staff’s husband went away for an overseas tour of duty, and that girl began hanging around with Birdsnest, going out at night, partying – and soon she stopped speaking to me entirely unless it was necessary. Which did not go down well with me – we’d got along fine previously and I hadn’t done anything to deserve that (which she has admitted since).
- That she befriended one of the very young and impressionable girls who worked in the shop and started taking her out partying at night – and that girl soon stopped speaking to me also, previously we had got along very well. I could see a pattern here.
- That my parents and I would argue about *all* of the above, and they would tell me to let it go off my back like water off a duck and not pay any attention to it. Much easier said than done.
Now I’m not going to pretend like I was a perfect person during all of this. If she were writing this, I’m sure she would come up with a list of things that I did wrong and it would have a lot more things on it than what I’m about to say I did wrong, I’m sure.
- When I realized she was not going to speak to me, my attitude towards her could be called frosty at best, disapproving at worst. I had no respect for her, a 40 year old woman with two kids who acted like a teenager and a spoilt brat.
- When she did things wrong, I marked it down on my mental note card, and you can bet I brought all those things out during the arguments with my parents. I allowed these things to add up to the point that had she suddenly decided to treat me nicely, I would not have been able to return that niceness.
- I was not the only person who was upset by the ignoring customers etc, and when other staff complained to me about it, I cut them off and encouraged them to speak to the boss and tell them how it made them feel – I made it clear I was not there to pass their messages about being upset on to the boss for them however these all got added to my mental notecard as well and brought out – I should not have done that.
- Once, in a post I called her a skanky ho here on the blog, but two weeks later after THREE weeks of those braids not being washed and absolutely feeling sick to the stomach from the stench of three weeks worth of cigarette smoke – you cannot imagine the smell and everywhere in the store I went I could smell it, she was finally called into the office and TOLD to wash her hair before returning to work.. She complained about this in front of me and when she walked away I called her a skanky ho to other people – not to her face. She’d pushed me to my limit that day. I honestly would have preferred to say it to her face, but my parents would have deaded me. The message did get back to her, though.
The whole episode came to a fiery blowup in September when the younger girl who she had befriended hung around a rep that was in the store all day ignoring the other customers in order to get some sales from the rep and there was this big blowup over a sale she stole from one of the other girls – and I did not stop myself from saying what I really thought when she came to me looking for sympathy. All I said was “If it were your sale, your name would be on the invoice”. But it was enough to cause her to have a major meltdown.
After that I stuck it out for a little bit longer, before fizzling out to a quiet end in October last year – a quiet end which I never blogged about, but one day it all just got to be too much, and when the other half and I came home at lunch time I simply could not stop the tears, and decided I never wanted to go back. This resulted in the other half calling my parents to tell them I wasn’t coming back and he needed a bit of time but he’d be back later that day.
Within minutes the parents turned up here, there was a quite unpleasant confrontation where they kept telling me I should just let it go off my back like water off a duck, again, and I kept saying it wasn’t fair to ask me to do that and they should sort things out within the store. In the end they decided the best thing to do for the time being was for me to stay home and for them to help us out financially in order to do that – which they have done, they pay our rent.
Really I have never been happy with this outcome – I enjoyed my job, and I felt like they should have stood up for me because all I was doing was going to work and trying to do my job in quite unpleasant circumstances. To add insult to serious injury my mother keeps asking me “Do you think you’ll get a job”. When she does that I have to firmly hold onto my temper and try not to remind her that I had a perfectly good one, it’s just that the employers were stupid.
On the other hand, it has enabled me to do a lot of things I really wanted to do, like read more blogs, comment on blogs, and work on my own blog. I really have no desire to go back to work anytime soon, and am considering my own starting a business options – if we move where I want to live I have a few pretty good ideas.. we’ll see.
So finally Karma has caught up with Birdsnest – as it always inevitably does. If you have doubted that Karma is real and that it exists doubt no more. But also be aware that I get all of this third hand, so I’m not 100% sure on the details of some parts of this.
After I left the workplace Birdsnest has been quite nasty to the other half – he’s still had to go to work and deal with her. For months now he and several other staff members have been hoping, wishing and possibly quietly praying that she would leave.
Birdsnest met a new man who lived about an hours drive away from here. After a couple of weeks she moved in with him. I will not comment! Driving between there and here, she was caught doing over 120kms in a 80km section of road. When they told me which section of road I honestly believe she is lucky she was not in a major car accident – it’s a curvy windy stretch of road where 80 is possibly too fast for most cars.
Not long after that, she was in a serious car accident where she ran the BMW of the new man into the rear end of the car in front of her – what caused this? She was looking at a wedding dress in a shop window and didn’t see the car in front had stopped. The car was apparently not able to be repaired. I’m sure this did not go down well – especially as it was a company car.
I’m not sure what the laws are here but I suspect she didn’t just get charged with speeding for the first incident. I would suggest she may have been charged with reckless driving and that is why she had to attend court. She’s been thinking for the last few weeks that she would be able to charm them into allowing her to keep her license – and she failed. They took her license away, for how long I’m not certain. So today she had to resign because she will no longer be able to drive to work.
Me, I forgot about her for the most part after leaving work. I didn’t have to deal with her and out of sight, out of mind. But there were some days when the other half came home angry or upset about things she’d done and I know the other staff have still had issues with her. My mother has been quietly angry with her since I left but has had to tolerate her and pretend to be nice – something my mother is excellent at. The other half said he and my parents had trouble hiding their happiness at the news she is leaving.
Upon hearing this news, I felt pretty much nothing for the most part – if I had to put a word to it I would call it content. I have no wish to gloat – though the thought of dropping in and congratulating her on losing her license did cross my mind momentarily -but I feel very happy for the staff and I really am hopeful this will mark the beginning of a more positive workplace for all of them.