Friday, August 25, 2006


Very few people get under my skin the way Dena S. did.

In fact, very few people - around six - get under my skin at all, but Dena S. was one of them. In fact, Dena S. was the queen bee. The king cobra. The royal bitch. I mean, she actually looked like a pit bull and, even though I had almost a foot and 40 pounds on her, she scared the crap out of me.

It was not as if I thought she'd bite me although she did sometimes snarl - OK, she didn't make the snarling noise but she did (really and truly) make the snarling face. The horror!

It was just that I was afraid because I never knew what would piss her off.

I always meant to write down some of the stuff she wrote to me. Now, six months later, I can't remember a shred of it ... Except that she chewed me out for working too hard and setting expectations too high; she badgered me into trading quarterly objectives (long story) with her; and then she complained about her quarterly objectives later and got them switched again.

I learned to dread the way she invaded on my desktop with that innocent little blue boxed "hey" of hers. MSN Instant Messenger was her favorite venom-delivery method and she used it with regularity and precision. She'd bait me with some sweet talk about the weekend and end up cheerfully accusing me of being the most evil and manipulative person on the planet.

She drove me so completely insane that I dropped every last shred of polite discourse and told her exactly what I wanted to which included, but was not limited to, "This is ridiculous." "No, I absolutely refuse." "What do you want from me?" "Why can't you just leave me alone?" and "If you have a problem with me, talk to our manager."

Eventually our manager talked to us. Separately. I'm not sure what he said to her but he said something to me that I will never forget.

He said: "You doan like Deena an thas okay. You doan haf to like heer but you do haf to work wit heer. Whatever you tink about heer personally, shee ees a good writeer."

He was Brazilian.

(I know it is a terrible representation of a Brazilian accent but at least you don't have to hear me try to do it. )

(She wasn't a good technical writer, by the way, but it is pointless to argue with a software developer over that. They don't know shit.)

"So Aye wan you to do somteeng for me." he continued, "Aye wan you to tray to get along wit heer. Now, when you see heer, you feel angry, am Aye rayght? So Aye wan you to tink funnee toughts when you see heer. Aye wan you to tink 'Hey! Look there's dat funnee laydee.' No more angry. Just funnee. Funnee laydee. Okay?"

It didn't really work. She still snarled at me and I still cowered in person and then snarled over IM. And then our boss got fired and a few weeks later, I left.

But now, when I think of Dena S., I think of him saying that to me (No more angry. Just funny. Funny lady) and I laugh. I should probably think that whenever I encounter any of the six people who drive me completely bonkers. Right now, I just try not to look them in the eye.

Honestly, I never remember his advice when I need to. I remember it later when it does me no good. And then I laugh.

I wonder if it'll work with other stuff that fills me with bile ...

Funnee Bush administration ...

... hmmm ...


Anonymous Kelly said...

We're in parallel universes. Someone just gave me the exact same advice to deal with my #1 impossible person. Let's see if it works...

2:21 PM

Anonymous chadwick said...

quarterly objective: avoid bringing a sniper rifle to work to kill all my coworkers... again.

8:11 AM


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