October 23rd is Slap Your Annoying Co-worker Day. Lol. For real though. I came upon this “fact” last year when working on my content calendar and absolutely geeked out when I realised it will be on a Wednesday because niko na story.
Before I get into the post I would like to categorically state that I do not condone violence of any kind. This day is obviously a joke but sometimes the obvious is not so … well, obvious. So please do not slap your annoying co-worker and when asked say Lwile made me do it because this day was created in jest. Cool? Cool.
In 13.31 I shared that one of the things I know for sure is:
Be very careful before you consider a colleague as a friend.
Adults spend most of their time at work meaning our colleagues are the people we spend the most time with. Before you consider a colleague as a friend take all the time in the world and get to know them first. Cool peeps ≠ good friends. I learnt this lesson the hard way last year (will write about it on Oct 23rd for Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day, lol) and I have no intention of learning it ever again.
There are three females I worked with over the last few years that are the reason I am wary of considering a colleague as a friend. Obviously I will not share any names but just know they rhyme with Ingrid, Kalen and Suzy. Kwanza there is one I still work with this year who sits right next to me, so if she reads this situation itakuwa tricky but I really do not give a fuck.
The first person I had beef with was Ingrid back in 2016 when she joined the organisation I currently work for. Long story short, she absolutely hated me from day one. Initially my former colleagues chalked up our conflict to personality differences between us, but as they got to interact with her they realised that she is the one with the problem. I will not share any details otherwise this post will become a mean-spirited takedown and I ain’t about that life. Just know that when I wrote about my arch nemesis in this post she is the one I was referring to.
The second person I had beef with was Kalen. She joined the organisation in 2017 and we got along well for the most part. Until mid-last year when I learnt that kumbe she smiles to my face but talks shit about me behind my back.
I have always been a very straightforward person. What you see is what you get with me so if I do not like you, you will be the first to know. With time I have learnt to be civil with people I dislike when the situation calls for it (at work, social gatherings etc.), but civil is about all my straightforward ass can manage. So after finding out that Kalen is fake AF we stopped talking kabisa because I really do not have time for snakes in the grass. I cannot say this enough but if you do not like me please just dislike me with your chest. Smiling to my face but talking shit behind my back is stupid and cowardly.
Ingrid and Kalen were one thing, but the person who really fucked shit up was Suzy. She also joined the organisation in 2017 and up until this time last year I really believed Suzy was my friend. I remember not long after my mum died I told Suzy that I really wished she had gotten to know my mum before she passed away. That is how much of a friend I thought she was to me.
So how is Suzy the person who really fucked shit up? She set off a chain of events by telling Ingrid that I said some stuff about her, stuff that was not true, and as a result Ingrid retaliated and it became a huge mess mpaka HR got involved.
Last year on the first Friday of November, at around 6 p.m., Ingrid sent me some nonsense text asking why I hate her so much. By then we were not on speaking terms at all so that text took me by surprise because I thought we had come to an unspoken agreement of tusisumbuane. Also, she knew damn well why I do not like her so I responded with “is this a joke?” From there she sent a series of more nonsense messages and I shut the conversation down by telling her we shall deal with this nonsense on Monday. So on Monday Ingrid brought HR for the meeting but it was a nonsense one in that she refused to say what the problem is. I got so irritated by that hadi I reprimanded her in front of HR for wasting my time.
Back in 2016 I had a serious disagreement with Ingrid one day and I went to my former boss to rant and rave. She told me that while my anger is justified, unfortunately part of being in management is that I do not have the luxury of reacting. I cannot remember the exact way she phrased it, but she basically said that I have to rise above. So for 2 ½ years that is what I did – rise above. My professional self continually held her tongue in situations my personal self would have put a bitch in her place.
And I did pretty well with rising above until not long after Ingrid sent me those nonsense texts, my access card went missing. I had spent my lunchtime reading in one of the boardrooms as was my usual MO, but when lunch hour was over I forgot my card on the table. I went back to look for it but did not find it and I looked for it for all afternoon to no avail. I have said before that my intuition is my superpower, so after being unable to find it in the entire office I just knew that Ingrid was behind its disappearance. Upon coming to that conclusion I opened the Rentokil bins in the toilet to check if she had thrown my card inside one of those bins. In 31 years I had never opened a Rentokil bin in my life, because GROSS, but I did not put it past Ingrid to throw my card there.
I did not find my access card that day despite searching every inch of the office. So I asked the cleaners to let me know if they come across it over the next few days. They said they would and added that on Saturday they would be thorough cleaning the office as is their routine, and if they came across it they would keep it for me. I also wrote to HR the very day my card went missing, requesting if IT could share camera footage of the day with me because I was certain it had been stolen.
When the cleaners failed to find my card, I told another colleague in the office, “you know the way my intuition is my superpower … wait and see how when I pay for a new access card my old one will appear.”
And I was right.
Legit the day after I got a new card, I was driving into work when the colleague called to say that my old access card had been found behind the cupboard in the boardroom.
Lemme tell you guys I was big mad. I had searched that boardroom to within an inch of my life, mpaka I even shifted the cupboard to check if maybe the card fell behind it but it was not there. So clearly it showing up there the day after I got a new card was not a coincidence. I immediately wrote a follow up email to HR post my request for camera footage, telling them that my access card had shown up amidst what was obviously foul play. I simply could not believe that Ingrid thought making me pay KES 1,000 for an access card will make me suffer. Did she not know that 1,000 bob is small small money for me? Nonsense!
So I had a meeting with HR that Friday and it lasted 1 ½ hours because I was just sooo upset. What was annoying me most was all that high school nonsense was happening the week before my mum’s one year anniversary. So instead of focusing on what would be the toughest day of 2018, I was dealing with some low-level nonsense. I remember telling HR “if you want what is best for this organisation you will separate us, because I am tired of looking up from my desk and seeing her stupid face. I am through with rising above.” Lol. It is a wonder I was not reprimanded myself but I guess HR understood where my anger was coming from. More so because I had been in the organisation for 2 ½ years and in that time I had never initiated a complaint to HR, nor had any disciplinary issues. On the other hand in her time with the organisation Ingrid was usually in trouble for one reason or the other.
This is why we can’t have nice things, darling
Because you break them
I had to take them away
This is why we can’t have nice things, honey
Did you think I wouldn’t hear all the things you said about me?
This is why we can’t have nice things
So yes, this is why we can’t have nice things. I felt absolutely betrayed when I learnt that Suzy was the one responsible for all the drama because I really believed she was my friend. I fought for her again and again in the organisation and only wanted the best for her, both professionally and personally, so being stabbed in the back like that … I would be lying if I said it did not low-key break my heart.
Of course I have moved on from the drama and it no longer bothers me. If one year later I was still angry I would be doing myself a great disservice. But I still have the access card that Ingrid stole and I keep it near my bed as a reminder to really take my time before trusting people.
This year I am more outgoing, more social, so a lot of people probably think they have access to me. But if they were to pay attention they would realise that the stories I tell are the same ones I share on the blog. I no longer easily give people access to the intimate parts of myself because, thanks to Suzy, I learnt for the last time that not everyone who laughs with you wants the best for you.