A Really Bad Case of PMT in the Office

Mood: Perplexed

There appears to be an awful lot of people around me suffering from the same bad case of PMT, and I want to know how to deal with it.

Now, I must admit that I am a bit sensitive at the moment too – I’ve been a bit sad for a couple of weeks and have been known to burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Heck, last week I cried through 30 minutes of Home & Away, and the tears kept flowing for another 90 minutes during So You Think You Can Dance, after which I took myself off to bed because every show on TV was making me cry. My eyes were practically swollen shut by this point, and there was still a lot of puffiness around my eyelids the next morning. Not a good look.

In any case, the last few working days have yielded a higher level of hormones than usual. Some of the sufferers were the usual suspects, while others who were exhibiting the crippling symptoms of PMT belonged to the "highly unlikely" group.

It all started on Friday. I was still really upset by some emails that I’d received on Thursday, but I was determined to put on a brave face on Friday and get on with it, whatever "it" was. There was a flurry of activity associated with the making of a short film by some of my colleagues for presentation this week at the bi-monthly state branch company meeting. I was originally asked to help with the production, but declined due to client commitments. I was later volunteered to appear in the short film, to which I reluctantly agreed.

It wasn’t suppose to be anything big, but it soon turned that way at the hands of C who was nominated as the director, who moaned and groaned and complained bitterly for days about the "added responsibilities that have now been thrust upon her". Such a victim. When we were both first asked to help, I told her in no uncertain terms that if she didn’t think she had the time to spare, she should not agree to help, and that I was definitely not helping because I didn’t have the time to do a good job. Of course, in the end, she agreed to help, thus adding to her usual daily moans and groans about anything and everything.

I have previously blogged about C (the overbearing mother featured in this entry), so I was expecting things to go pear-shaped after I heard about her role in the production. And pear-shaped they went.

So the premise of the video was to show everyone "A Day In The Life Of The Company" from various different viewpoints, and those who were asked to be on camera were given in advance a set of questions to answer. Fairly basic stuff like what’s your job title, and what do you like most about your job, and recall a funny anecdote from your time with the company, etc. By Friday morning, I was prepared and ready to go.

There were a bit of reason and logic behind choosing me to appear in the video – I was representing my division and I was outgoing and friendly and loved the attention. And my reason for agreeing to be filmed was simple – I wanted a chance to tell / remind everyone at work that I was now a Project Pleb and not an Office Pleb, which some of my own team members have problems remembering.

Anyhoo, back to Friday and I was involved in a workshop all morning and wasn’t available to be filmed until mid to late afternoon. Which seemed to be fine with the crew member I’d been dealing with. She even gave me a timeslot (4.10pm) to work towards and I had rearranged my day to make sure I was available. So you can imagine my surprise when R (a site-based team mate) strolled through the door at 3.30pm and asked me if I too was involved in the film shoot.

A few minutes later, I deduced that R had been asked to be part of the filming earlier on Friday by C. So I made a joking comment along the lines of "well, if you’re here, you might as well represent the division and leave me off the hook" and we both laughed. Over the low partition separating C and me flew the following snark: "Gloria, you’re not in it – I’ve replaced you – you’re dumped from the shoot."

I beg your pardon???

Both R and I were stunned by the snarkiness for a moment, and stupefied, I asked what C what she meant by her comment. Again, she flipped over the partition: "You didn’t want to be in it anyway, so I replaced you." When I pushed again for a detailed explanation, she said "I told you, you’ve been replaced, you’re not in the video any more."

I sought confirmation from R as to when he was contacted – he confirmed C called him on Friday morning. I looked at C again and realised I was getting nowhere, and by this time, my blood was boiling from the way she spoke to me, so I very loudly announced that I now refuse to be part of this mess. I then called the crew member I’d been dealing with and told her (loudly, so C could hear every word) that I was not turning up to my designated timeslot, and when she asked me why, I simply told her what I’d been told – that C had replaced me. C was heard muttering "Oh, for Christ’s sake" as she slunk away.

Oh, piss off, C. Such unprofessional behaviour – and so typical of her. I didn’t care about being replaced; all I’m saying is that the least C could have done was inform me earlier in the day that she had replaced me, not 30 minutes before I was due in front of the camera.

I still haven’t spoken with her about this incident – nor do I want to – I know for a fact that she feels she was in the right and won’t apologise for her misbehaviour. So be it, C, you’ve now lost an ally in me.

Today, the most unlikely person to snap at me, did. So horrible and unexpected was the incident that I didn’t know what to say, only to burst into tears 10 minutes later when I had more time to process what happened and let the shock set in.

P is a new team member – new since October last year. He and I have always got along quite well – we have (or should I say, had) an easygoing relationship and often laugh and joke amongst ourselves to make the working day more enjoyable. Added to this, we are both working on the same project at work, so we are talking constantly.

P is due to run a workshop tomorrow, and he was told late last week that he would be hosting an observer (T from our Melbourne office) during the workshop. P, T and I all work on the same project. P and T have some personality clashes – on a number of occasions, P has said in no uncertain terms that he can’t stand T. P is also annoyed with T for what he sees as T "wasting project time" in attending his workshop – P feels that T would have be more productive completing other tasks more relevant to her part of the project. In any case, T forced an invitation to attend the workshop and P had no choice but to let her attend.

I must admit T is hard work – she is an old-school corporate executive who is used to having a lackey (or a team of lackeys) running around doing things for her, and since joining my company, she has had to deal with everything on her own. More times than not, she turns to the wrong person to ask for help, or tries to delegate tasks to people (which often seem inappropriate given the person’s capability, capacity or role within the project). I’ve offered to help her more than once, and she has yet to utilise me, which is really her loss.

Today, she contacted me three times – yes, count them, three times to get the details for tomorrow’s workshop. The first two times, I was still coming to the office. The 3rd time was via an email noting that she had tried to contact me twice before. As the workshop host, it was P’s responsibility to send out the details to all the attendees (including any late additions such as T), so instead of treading on anyone’s toes, I chose to pass on the messages to P.

You would think I’d just told P to "suck on this". OMG. Can anyone spell Snappy Tom?

P flew off the handle at me. He asked why T was contacting me for the details, and then told me that he would be sending the details shortly. I told him I was merely passing on the message and he just turned his back on me. I tried to make a joke of it and told him to go walk it off, and that was when P really snapped at me. Any other day, he would have laughed it off and joked back with me, but not today. "What are you talking about? I’m over it – so why are you still talking? Why are you still talking to me? Why are you still talking to me about this?"

I was going to help him with his workshop tomorrow, but given the way he spoke to me this morning, I’ve avoided any form of contact all day and have made sure that I am unavailable to assist tomorrow morning. I honestly don’t care that it looks bad on my part – he can kiss my ass.

Because of these 2 incidents, I have kept my head low at work and only speak when spoken to. I think I might continue doing that for a bit longer.

Jeepers, I do hope the case of PMT subsides soon. I don’t think I can handle any more people snapping at me.

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2 responses to “A Really Bad Case of PMT in the Office

  1. At least when my office reached this level of stupidity i dont have to actually sit in the same room as them! Meep!!! Hugs!

  2. Oh dude. the stupidity. I sympathise with you. the pmt just exacerbates the issues sometimes i know the emotions full well… and well… forget the others bad behaviour. they are clearly the ones suffering. keep smiling and forget the rest. (bastards!)

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