You know, I don’t understand my colleagues. We’re busy recording a series of podcasts on TB for a project at work. One, the most senior of three of us, wasn’t keen on doing the project from the beginning. Every time we record we hear about how she hates recording and how stupid the script is (which I partially agree with). The other colleague likes taking charge. And I’m the reluctant leader who is afraid of taking charge because he knows that he can be quite tyrannical and callous if he releases that side of his personality. I don’t like conflict so I keep that side in check. But, today . . .
Last week, colleague #1 complained about how her pleather office chair hurt her back so she decided to replace her chair (the black one in the picture) with one of the chairs (one like the green one) in the office colleague #2 and I share. She then left the black chair in our office.
Yesterday, when colleague #1’s husband came I broke my chair (the grey one). He sat on a chair next to my station and for some reason I didn’t think about moving my chair out of the way when I tried to insert the headphones’ jack into the back of the PC after having removed the PC speakers’ jack. I pushed my chair against the wall until it couldn’t go any further and the back rest broke. The chair’s back rest is in that position permanently.
So, I took the black chair because its back support is adequate. It helps me maintain proper form so that I don’t huddle over my computer. The black chair stood in our office for about a week before I made the switch. Colleague #1 used to sit on it whenever she came over to chat.
Today when she came over I sat on the chair. She asked me to get up and let her sit on the chair since it’s her chair. I just ignored her. She asked me twice. Then, colleague #2 piped up and commanded me to give colleague #1 the chair. I got up very quickly and gave the chair to #1. I then took one of the office chairs (pictured in the office image). They wanted to know why I didn’t take the green chair.
“The green chair,” I told them, “is dirty and I don’t want to ask the cleaners to clean it and hear their complaints.”
Colleague #1 said, “It’s the cleaners’ job to clean them whether they like to or not.”
To which I responded, “I don’t want any hassles.”
“Why don’t you take that chair?” replied colleague #2 pointing the low backed chair by my other work station.
“It doesn’t support my back well,” I said. I had already checked the chairs out this morning before I started working.
When colleague #1 was done with her visit she said that I can sit on her chair, I didn’t respond. I was seething with anger. Who is colleague #2 to talk to me like that? Why did I allow myself to react that way?
When we went up to the studio to record the podcast series, they took their sweet blooming time to come to the studio. They know that colleague #2 is will be out of the office from Monday for three weeks and that we would be recording the last three episodes today.
They eventually arrived and after some small talk we began recording. Now colleague #1 isn’t a good actress/reader. I’m not one either but I know a little about acting and reading aloud. I would like to help her—in fact, I thought about helping her a couple of times—but I chose not to give some unsolicited advice because she’s not open to it and will take offence. And whenever I try not to hammer her on her mistakes but when I ask her to reread something she has a problem with it.
There was one instance today where her breathing was all wrong. She took a breath right before the natural pause in the sentence which made the sentence sound choppy. When she was done with her part I asked if she could do it again and explained the reason why. She did it again and skipped one or two words. I asked her to redo it, but she refused and said that she is throwing a tantrum. I left it.
We did another programme and at the end of it colleague #2 asked whether I was going to say good-bye. Now the programmes usually end off with a good-bye but this one didn’t. I looked her sternly in the eye and said, “No.” Her eyes asked me why. I simply told her, “I’m throwing a tantrum.” Colleague #1 laughed. We did say good-bye at the end of programme 13 even though it was unscripted.
I was fuming with anger. I’m tempted to list all the bad character traits of colleague #2, but I won’t. I have a lot to say about it though just like she has a lot to say about me. I’m passed my anger (thanks to this post); now I’m only upset. But, I really feel like going into a tirade right now. She doesn’t want to see me angry. Even I don’t want to see myself angry. When I get angry, I go into a rage. And a shouting competition? Oh oh oh, you don’t want to go there! But, yeah, fights don’t solve anything. They only make matters worse.