Stories – Part 2

Years ago, I worked for a non profit. I am now fully convinced that non profits attract the weirdest people. I think it’s because they’re supposed to be nice and non corporate and that means you can never fire anyone. Especially just for being weird.

I shared an office with a 60-something woman who had worked there for like 20 years or something ridiculous. She seemed very friendly and talkative and that was fine by  me. But then the real “K” came out. 

She told me she had fibromyalgia and even brought me brochures to read about the condition so I would have “patience” with her. Uh…why she thought I wouldn’t beats me. She didn’t start work until 12 or 1 because she had a hard time getting going in the morning because of the fibro. Therefore, she’d be at the office long after I had left at 4:30. A few months into my employment there, weird things started happening. I’d come in in the morning and my chair would be at her desk, her rickety, armless chair would be at mine. I thought it was odd and would say nothing and just switch our chairs back. Her chair was pink, mine was black, so there was no way she didn’t realize it wasn’t her chair.

So this went on for a long time. Every day, my chair would be at her desk and I would just silently switch them back. Until one day my chair was still at my desk when I came in in the morning, except the arm was broken off! It was laying in a plastic chunk on the floor next to my formerly nice chair. 

Then other things started happening. There would be copy on my desk that I needed to edit. My job was to edit, hers was data entry. They had nothing to do with each other. Apparently she felt the compulsive need to come to my side of the office after I had left (there was a cubicle wall divider in between us, so she couldn’t even see my desk unless she walked over there!) and look at things on my desk. She picked up a paper of copy, took out a red pen and edited it! She basically did my job for me.

I also found out that she’d answer my office phone when I wasn’t in the office. People who called me would tell me that. I had voicemail, there was no reason for her to answer my phone. She was just nosy. And nuts. 

I did talk to my boss and her boss about these instances. Her boss talked to her about it and she said that she couldn’t help herself from answering my phone, or uh..doing my work for me. Too damn bad. Help yourself. Knock it off.

But the cous de gras (or however you spell it, I took German, not French) was after a big group of us had gone out to lunch. I did not bring leftovers back, but someone must have. My boss came in weeks later and said sheepishly, “I think the leftovers you have in the fridge have gone bad, they really smell.” I was like, “I don’t have any leftovers in the fridge.” And he’s like, “There’s a takeout container with your name on it.” I go and look, and sure enough, my name is on a container that smells soooo rancid. I open them and see the mold sprouting on chicken salad. Uh…first of all, I’m a vegetarian. I wouldn’t have chicken salad leftovers. Second of all, I recognize the handwriting proclaiming them as mine – K’s. 

I was so mad. Not only does it look like I enjoy leaving nasty, stanky food in the company fridge for weeks, but it also looks like I took someone’s leftovers and said they were mine. Commonlaw leftovers in the company fridge. 

I immediately confronted K about it and she thought it was the funniest thing. “Oh! I thought they were yours so I figured I’d just put your name on them.” Seriously??? Why am I not capable of putting my name on my own leftovers?

After I left for the day, apparently my boss talked to her and told her I was really ticked. The next day, she had off, thankfully. 

So imagine my surprise when I’m at my desk working and I hear a knock at the outside window. I look over and standing in the bushes is K, holding a can of …garbanzo beans. THE HELL??? I half expected her to be holding my pet rabbit over a pot of boiling water (if I had had a pet rabbit). I look up at her completely perplexed and watch as she walks through the door and comes to our office.

She tells me how horrible she feels about the leftover incident and that she wanted to make it up to me.

“So I wanted to give you something and I looked in my pantry for something a vegetarian would like, so I figured you like garbanzo beans.” The can even had a ribbon tied around it. That was her peace offering. 

Luckily within a few months they transferred her to another office, so she was someone else’s problem, which was awesome for me. I later found out that she had been bounced around the company so many times because no one could stand sharing an office with her. I wonder why. 

And no, I never ate the garbanzo beans. Who knows what the hell she did to them.

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