I am reasonably sure that I have spoken about the one quote I live by from a favorite movie of mine. The movie, which I was turned on to by my mother, is a 2000’s Italian film called ‘La Lingua del Santo’. The quote? Let me translate loosely (and from memory):
It was at that moment that I realized the entire time me and my friends were thinking he was an idiot, he was thinking the same thing about us.
That should be a pretty simple thing to figure out, but I keep encountering people who can’t figure this out. That coworker who you look down upon and think to yourself ‘Oh, what a moron’, it is more than likely that they think the same thing of you.
I have not been having a whole lot of fun here at this job. My coworkers make it very clear that they do not have a whole lot of respect for me. And that is fine. They also think that I am an idiot. That is fine too. I don’t really care what they think because, as clarified with the quote above, I think the same thing about them.
I live with one of them. She may be one of the dumbest people I ever met. Hands down.
In the context of living together, it is simple things. She goes out onto the terrace to sunbathe and leaves our balcony door open. This is stupid enough by itself, easily. But then she will later sit down at the table to do some work, swatting away all the flies that she let into the house, and moan about the terrible situation she finds herself in. “How are these flies getting in here?” she will lament, while the very door she left open remains open, not 2 meters behind her. And I have to sit here watching her do it.
Sigh. And she still doesn’t get it.
Years ago my brother lamented a flatmate he had, who once announced that he would eat a salad before proceeding to produce a whole head of lettuce from the fridge and eat it, pulling a single undressed and unwashed leaf off the head at a time and eating them unceremoniously. That isn’t a salad of course, and my poor brother could do little more than stare at that flatmate in pure fucking disbelief.
I often find myself with a similar experience of pure and utter disbelief at the sight of my own flatmate / coworker, and all the incredibly moronic things she does.
She isn’t capable of washing the dishes. I know this because I will pull dishes that she has put away after cleaning and found them in one of two states: either still caked with whatever food she had previously prepared, or covered from end to end in a thin film of the grease. For the longest time I had no idea how she managed to pull this off. I knew she washed the dishes (in that I could hear her do it from time to time), but I just had no idea how she did them in a way that would make things worse. It got so bad that I started doing the washing for her, because I would have to wash her dishes again either way, right? I was finally in the kitchen one day and I saw what she was doing wrong: after putting dish soap on the sponge, she was putting the sponge under the running tap and washing the soap right off of the sponge.
I just stood there in pure disbelief, for some reason remembering my brother’s lettuce-leaf-eating flatmate.
But home life is actually pretty good between me and the moron who thinks I am a moron. In terms of how we work, that is where the real problems began. For a person in management and ad hoc HR, I really cant imagine a worse person to be working with people. She told me an anecdote about how, at a former work place, a boss once reprimanded a direct report who was moaning about their personal life. That boss explained to the person with problems that personal problems were like jeans:
“everyone has jeans at home, but not everyone brings them to work.”
Yea, fucking, right. When you hear shit like that, know that it is a lie. That colleague will expect the world to god damn stop when they want to bring their jeans to work.
And bring them to work she did.
When she broke up with her boyfriend, she needed to vent to one of her friends during work hours. So I politely fucked off. Where did she decide to vent? Right where we were meant to have a meeting. When I did fuck off, again to give her the privacy she needed because she couldn’t help but bring her problems to work, I expected her to at least message me when she was done, so that I could join the meeting.
She didn’t. I missed the meeting. Because of your fucking jeans.
Three of us on her staff all missed birthdays because of the quarantine. We all had plans, we all had things we wanted to do, and many of them involved other people. I was meant to have friend visit around that time. We all got screwed by quarantine. But the way she moaned about it you would have thought she were personally slighted, as if the virus itself were out to get her. And when did she moan about this, all I could help but wonder was why she was bringing her fucking jeans to work.
Before ever meeting she would do a wellness check up, and every time she did I wondered what the fuck the point to it was. I wasn’t going to air my jeans to the fucking meeting.
I like to call my flatmate / coworker a moron. But the truth is that as a description that doesn’t really give you a whole lot of information. Truth is, she isn’t actually dumb. She is probably what one would call educated by all metrics of the word, and able to reason extremly well. What she is, is terrifyingly selfish in a manner that I never before thought imaginable. She doesn’t care one iota about other people. At all. And this is a person who works in the humanitarian field.
Take a moment to let that sink in.
Whatever she does needs to be focused on her, and how it can be advantageous to her. Once you re-contextualize her with this knowledge, everything she does actually makes sense.
But none of it makes her a good person.
This person is kind of my boss. But the one time where I gave her a task to do she fucked it up so royally that she may as well not done anything else at all. And the type of mistakes she made were indicative of the kind of person who was pretty much phoning it in. When she finished the task, she went to have a good cry with one of our mutual colleagues, because she brought her fucking jeans in to work that day.
Just now I asked her about a meeting she attended, the results of which are actually rather important to the continuing of my operation. She knows this, and she knows that I am pretty anxiously awaiting the results. So when I asked her about the answer I got she replied with ‘the meeting was fine.’ Maybe she genuinely didn’t know what I was talking about, but a few minutes later she came back to me with “Did you have a specific question about the meeting?”, and the question was delivered with the biggest ‘why are you bothering me with this you moron’ grin than I have ever seen. I thought she was an idiot for her answer, but she thought I was an idiot for my very asking.
And that is the crux of this all.
The moron will never read this. I keep this blog private for a reason. By the time this publishes, I don’t think we will be working together anymore.