Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why Is There Always One?

You know what I forgot about? I forgot that back in Corporate America - aka "The Real World" - there is always one person who is a giant pain in the ass. And everybody knows that person is a giant pain in the ass and yet? Instead of putting the pain in the ass on double-secret probation, or firing the ass, everyone tip-toes around and finds ways to work AROUND the ass.

Can someone please explain this to me? When I was young and stupid (okay, three and a half years ago so not so young but incredibly stupid), I thought this was a phenomenon only of my current employer. Mr. J. repeatedly tried to tell me that the world is full of great big giant PITAs (pains-in-the-asses) but no - I thought my situation was unique.

Well, duh is all I can say to my old-enough-to-know-better 33-year-old self. Duh.

I work with a woman who is so hideous that after my first run-in with her, I automatically nick-named her "Jaws of Death." I don't know why. I've never even met her in person. She could have perfectly healthy, life-like jaws. It just popped into my head and was much more original and creative than "Hideous bitch" - which, as I came to find out later, is what everyone else calls her. And I only call her Jaws of Death in my mind. Well, and as code that I use when e-mailing a certain co-worker, but other than that, I swear - it's just me and good ol' JOD.

I thought I had seen and heard all manner of corporate obnoxiousness until. Until. We had a meeting to prepare for a meeting. With her. No wait -here is what I mean: All of the people who were going to be in Tuesday's meeting with her were in Monday's meeting. To practice how we were going to do the meeting and who was going to say what on Tuesday when JOD was actually present. Is this woman the CEO? No. Is she my manager? No. Is she my manager's manager? No. Does she have any legitimate power? Not so much. And yet? She is a huge NASCAR fan, enjoys tanning, bleaching her hair and verbally ripping people apart in meetings at work. She's a real Miss Universe candidate.

Hence, we have meetings expressly for the purpose of preparing for the "real" meeting the next day with her. I happened to say this to someone from another part of the company. "I'm confused. Is this normal? To have a meeting to plan for a meeting?" And I'm not talking about some fabulous-presentation-to-the-client kind of meeting. I'm talking about just a regular meeting, with all internal folks and many of her peers. "Oh, yes," the person assured me. "We have meetings to prepare for meetings with difficult people all the time." Wouldn't it make more sense to show the giant pain in the ass where the door is and then cut down the number of meetings to only the actual number of meetings you need to have? Then again, I never went to Harvard Business School. I don't have an MBA. Hell, I've gone through undergrad, a master's program and a significant chunk of a doc program without ever taking a business class. So what the hell do I know?

Ah, well. The good news is, I know enough to recognize an excuse to drink and she gives me an excuse to drink. Which I did. And hence, I am now drunk. Please forgive any spelling errors.

Is it Friday yet?



Blogger Kai said...

Damn. Here I thought my company was just an anomaly. Our PITA was the receptionist. We got an entire new phone system because she decided she didn't want to answer phones anymore. Then they PROMOTED her.

Pass the Tequila.

November 14, 2007 7:41 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

The reason they don't show the PITA the door is the PITA always has a lawyer on speed-dial just chomping at the bit to file some sort of frivolous lawsuit that will net them millions of dollars.

Wine is cheaper.

November 15, 2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger Denever said...

If it's truly frivolous, it won't net them anything.

IME, PITAs aren't dealt with because most managers are wimps.

November 15, 2007 9:22 PM  
Blogger Saradevil said...

Tequila is much better for dealing with PITA's. Seriously.

Sometimes you have to spend money to forget the annoying coworker completely.

November 16, 2007 4:17 AM  
Blogger Shark said...

CNN just covered this issue in a brief, interesting article, at:

November 19, 2007 8:28 AM  
Blogger Vitriolic Virchow said...

Most managers are wimps. And hit men are expensive.

November 19, 2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

In my department, we have met without our PITA to get our ducks in a row. I really don't know why people don't deal with them. I think it is because most people don't like confrontation.
Enjoy the after-effects. (like being drunk)

November 20, 2007 7:33 AM  
Blogger Beej said...

You know, part of work is the concept of working with others. I too don't get why these people aren't shown the door. Especially when their attitude is counter productive to the department's goals. Her behavior is so disruptive that she ends up wasting the company's money. People have to have meetings to prepare talking to her, that is a WASTE of employee time that could be spent being productive. Time is money.

November 26, 2007 3:57 PM  
Blogger mex (aka Syb) said...

PLEASSSSSSSE do Gollum and Moi a favor.. if you are NOT gonna update this blog on a periodically normalish basis.. PLEASE say so.. I be tired a clickin and getting SOS (same ole sheet)


December 01, 2007 8:46 AM  
Blogger Aunt Jo said...

I work with someone like that, but I call her Bubble Butt.

December 17, 2007 12:04 AM  

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