Every superhero has an arch-enemy; Popeye has Bluto, Superman has Lex Luthor, America has Politicians, Seinfeld has Newman and Sherlock has Moriarty so it’s easy to understand that all good has an evil countermeasure to contest its will, strength, patience and fortitude.
Me being the superhero that I am, I too have an arch-enemy and its name … is Pippi.
I’ve worked with Pippi for a couple years now and in my dealings with her we’ve had our ups and downs. Mainly downs…but that’s only because I determined a long time ago that she’s a manipulative, lazy, worthless person who delights in making others grovel for her respect. And since I won’t do that, she doesn’t like me and has tried to ruin my life and get me fired.
A few things about Pippi. First, The reason I call her Pippi isn’t because she’s cute with red hair and freckles. She’s actually very unattractive, but she does have red hair and freckles and she’s loud and obnoxious, so I call her Pippi because it just fits. I know…I know…it’s all very pathetic! Can you blame me? (don’t answer that!!!)
Second, and this shouldn’t surprise anyone, Pippi and Piñata are the best of friends. Both of them believe that they can do whatever they want. This is evident by how often they each watch movies, read books and make numerous personal phone calls during the day instead of actually working.
Truth is, the reason they feel so free in our office is because over the years they both have manipulated our supervisors by using the extremely brilliant, yet devious superpowers that Pippi possesses: subtle Manipulation, subtle Blackmail & subtle Gossip. Otherwise known as: Bullying.
They invite the unsuspecting prey out on the town by offering a fun evening of dinner and drinking; however, what the “prey” doesn’t know is that after a few months of being wined and dined, Pippi and Piñata will each learn something about the prey that is embarrassing, damaging or demeaning. Afterwards, they share their information with one another, in private of course, and then hold that against the prey as a means to blackmail to manipulate them into getting what Pippi or Piñata want.
It’s classic bullying, and Pippi and Piñata have attempted (and in most cases succeeded) to do this with everyone in the office.
However, my superpower is the ability to repel the likes of bullying, shameful tactics and manipulation wherever it may rear its ugly head! (shouldn’t there be some kind of heroic music playing right now? … no? … oh well … anyway …) Since I was able to see through her very deceptive, diabolical and extremely brilliant game (typical behavior of an archenemy), she now sees me as a formidable foe and has taken it upon herself to do everything she can to get me out of the office and off her team.
Which brings me to a story.
The very first month that we began working on the same team, Pippi asked if she could join me on one of my daily walks. Since I was new to the team, I thought it would be a good idea to “make friends with the locals”, so I agreed.
During our walk we talked about work related stuff and one of the issues we discussed was the problem of stress in our office. It seems like there are so many people who bring family issues into the workplace, that our office has become an institution for the clinically miserable. So I made a comment that I understood why some people in this world “go postal”. She laughed and then started joking about who she thought we should worry about more. The whole conversation was funny and light-hearted…or so I thought. Little did I know that Pippi was attempting to use her evil superpower on me.
Later that afternoon I get a message from my supervisor that she wanted to see me in her office immediately. Turns out that Pippi didn’t care for our “going postal” conversation and completely spun it to my supervisor that I was thinking about doing it. She had my supervisor so worried that I was almost placed on probation and assigned to a social worker for observation outside of work.
Granted, and even though I had been in the office for a while, I had only been with this team for a month, so my supervisor didn’t know me very well. It was a good 30 minutes of trying to explain my position and the details of the conversation I had with Pippi before my supervisor was willing to accept that I wasn’t the one who would be “going postal”.
Since then, Pippi and I haven’t been able to see eye-to-eye on much of anything. I trust that woman about as much as a field mouse can trust a rattlesnake.
So, I hope you can see why Pippi and I don’t get along. If not, let me add that numerous times Pippi has made reference to owning a gun, and while this shouldn’t appear to raise any alarms, Pippi has also informed our entire office that she wouldn’t be afraid to … and I quote… “defend herself at all costs if anyone got in her way.” I’ve learned to take that with a grain of salt and two Advil.
On a related note, a couple years back she also bought a handheld taser and decided to bring it into the office for “show-n-tell”. Kudos to management for actually stepping up in that situation and making sure she took her “toy” home. I don’t know if they would have had it not been for a select few in the office who raised a fuss that we didn’t care for her having a “weapon” in the office.
So these instances pretty much set the tone for our current relationship.
Sadly, and for some time, this office has had to endure her paranoia, stupidity, laziness, lack of respect, abusive speech, immoral conduct and overall disdain for any ideas myself or my co-workers may have presented in a meeting.
She believes that the whole world centers around her, and sadly the management treats her likewise. It’s a continuous feeding of the beast and the rest of us have had to suffer.
Almost everyone in the office is afraid of this woman, including our supervisors, but I think it’s because she has something on everyone of them and that worries them all. I say ‘almost’ because I’m the only one who isn’t afraid of her. Funny thing is…I have a lot on her and she has nothing on me.
I’ll share more stories as time goes on…but for now, just know that having an arch-enemy is pathetic.