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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Before beginning to read the following post, it’s very important to remember this is about a friend of mine, and not about me. Blogging about your place of work while you still work there is a ridiculously stupid thing to do, and I would never do something that irresponsible. So this story is about a friend of mine, and this happened to her a few years ago.

A few years ago, on a week not unlike the one that we’re currently experiencing, a friend of mine was temping in a company. She had been having a wondrous time, having fun in her week nights and fun in her weekends, and even work wasn’t going too badly, and she used to come home at night and enthuse to her boyfriend (because my friend had a boyfriend) about what a great job she’d found herself in, how it kept her busy but not too busy, and how everyone seemed quite nice, and she’d even managed the week before to do some things above and beyond the call of duty and hopefully would be recognised for such without having to blow her own trumpet, and really everything was going well.

This friend of mine came into work on the Monday of that week, the Week Where It All Went Wrong, and was accused of doing something that she didn’t do. The worst thing about this accusation, according to my friend, and I’ve no reason to doubt her, was the fact that the accusation was implied rather than directly stated. Something wasn’t where it was supposed to be, and now it couldn’t be found at all, and my friend was suddenly at the end of a long line of people who were all pointing in her general direction, without any solid implication being actually said out loud. People like her boss and the department head would come stand at her desk every now and again and sigh about this thing that was missing, and wonder aloud where it could be, and ask my friend over and over again if she’d looked in the most obvious of places (of course she had, she’s got a head on her shoulders). One of them even insisted on looking again in all of these places, and then came back to my friend’s desk and sighed and said that she couldn’t find it.

“Of course you couldn’t find it”, my friend later told me she thought, but didn’t say, “it’s not f*cking there.”

My friend began to feel terribly frustrated by this situation, seeing as how this thing that had gone wrong, and was still going wrong, seemed to be growing into an incident. The woman who insisted on looking in places already looked started to keep a closer eye on my friend, and then the holes started to be picked.

“Is that work?” she asked while passing my friend’s computer. My friend gritted her teeth and said that, no, it wasn’t work, but she had been working through lunch and was now catching up on study during her 1 hour law-enforced non-work related period of rest.

“I’ve been asked to speak to you about filing”, the woman said a while later, and my friend began to want to cry. The filing in this job, this job that had otherwise been a dream, had always been an issue, and my friend had already spoken to this woman about the filing on a few occasions. My friend assured her that the filing was under control.

A series of emails then started to fly between my friend and this woman, in which the woman was initially flippant and then outright aggressive in relation to the nature of my friend’s work, implying again that some of the things that had happened in the last few days had all, somehow, been the work of my friend.

My friend started thinking about ringing recruitment agencies.

But then my friend got to thinking on the train on the way home. Recounting this story to me, she explained that she remembered she was about to move in with her boyfriend, possibly as soon as two weeks from that day, and she wasn’t financially able to be without pay for long, if at all. My friend also remembered that this was a temporary position, a temporary assignment that, when left, would never come back to haunt her. She also realised that she was young and pretty, whereas the woman who insisted on looking in places already looked was old, haggard, bitter and jealous.

Yes, you heard right, my friend was moving in with her boyfriend.


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