Thursday, August 26, 2004

Nice girls sit at the crappy desk

The kids' schools started back in Scotland today. I've never been to school in this country, but I guess the summer break must be slightly shorter than it is in America, because somehow it seems like the holiday only just started not so long ago. How do I know all this, since I have no children, you ask?

Well, because the woman who sits across me, and the woman at the desk next to her were talking to another woman who sits on the other side of the room, who came over to talk about the school run. It was little Johnny's first day, you know and how did little Mary react this morning, it's her first day too, and oh, her brother Tommy looked so cute in his uniform. And the woman from the typing pool came past and said she couldn't believe her son was in primary eight now, and the pregnant woman, just back from maternity leave chimed in with a discussion about how fast they all grow up.

Don't they just.

Meanwhile, I sat at my desk, alone, quietly gnawing off my left arm.

Yes, my desk. My same old crappy desk. For those of you who followed the saga, I didn't get the Good Desk. I normally wouldn't bore you with something as banal as the outcome of that little incident, but I was touched that so many of you got it, and were rooting for me.

What happened was this:

Eventually, I chivvied the other two colleagues into "formally discussing it". If you are rolling your eyes at that, think how I felt.

Colleague A said she wasn't that "bothered", as we say here, and she dropped out it. Colleague B said he wasn't that bothered either, but that "it would be nice." He kept repeating that.

I finally said I was bothered, that I really wanted it, and if he didn't stake his claim, I was gonna move in. And all he continued to say was, "well, OK, you have it....yeah, go on, you have it.....pause..... even though I really would like it."

At that, I should have said, fine, I'm having it. Moved in, that would have been the end of it. But you know, I have to work closely with these people, and I wanted to play nice, be decent and fair. I am trying to put the kibosh on a certain me-me-me tendency, which I know could result from the infertility saga. And karmically speaking, I somehow just didn't feel too good about trampling over this guy to get it.

And his body language was....well, let's just say it would be the Seventh Level of Passive Aggressive Hell from him for the rest of my working days.

In retrospect, we probably should have flipped a coin, giving us both an even chance. But I really didn't want to do that. I couldn't face the possibility of further proof that fate hates me right now.

So we finally asked the Big Boss to decide. Turns out the "only equitable way for him to decide was in terms of who was most senior". That would not be me, then.

D'you know, I went in the bathroom and cried afterwards. Because it's not just the desk. It's so not just the desk.


At 12:26 AM, Blogger JJ said...

It never is, Sweetie.

At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a jerk. Glad you made a stand, sorry you had to deal with the jerk.
And what JJ said.


At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Mare sweetie, I so get it, I so get it. I'm sorry, I really am.

One of my first jobs out of college was working for a big named brokerage house down on Wall Street. This firm used desk moving as a bullying tactic. It took my breath away at how artful they were about it and really screwed with people's self-esteem. Apparently, where you sit, when in an open pen, matters as much as what table you get in a restaurant. This company had a staff of movers and phone guys. People would crap when they saw them coming and would start a silent prayer, "Please don't stand in front of my desk." I was in a support position, so none of this really affected me, but I got it because I saw how they would manipulate and that really pissed me off. I'm so sorry.

Sending you a big hug.


At 1:26 AM, Blogger Soper said...

I am soooo coming over there and kicking some major UK ass. That is just wrong. Just wrong. In America, this would have been settled by a race to see who could squat at the desk first, which would have happened before the prior occupant had even finished packing his things (we still have some genetic echos of the old land races hanging around). I am sorry you are having such a shitty week. Do you want to be a superhero? Super-T is hiring, Double Girl has been soooo unreliable lately, she's been hanging out with Radioactive Ovary Woman and has gotten really shallow, she won't quit talking about her damn Fendi sunglasses and getting lipo....

At 2:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's never just the desk.


At 2:57 AM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Oh sweetie. Nope, it's not the desk that really made you cry. Anymore than the stereo in my living room made me cry.

Still, it would have been nice to get the goddamn desk. I mean, after all you've been through. You, you, you. I think women suffering from infertility get to think about themselves! Hope that guy realizes he owes you something.

At 3:00 AM, Blogger Jen P said...

I'm sorry Mare. I was really, really hoping you got that desk. But they're right. It's never just the desk for us. Gah. This sucks Mare. You deserve so much better than all this. Sending you lots of love.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn desk mongerer! If he only knew why you deserved this desk more ;)

It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where a man who was on a ship that was lost at sea trumps George on getting an apartment because of his pain. George goes before the panel of apartment managers to plead his case of bing a single man, with bad luck, and obnoxious behavior...George had them crying over the guy on the ship ...but do you know who actually got it? Neither one some other guy who paid the supers money....

Life sometimes feels like one big unfair joke on seems that is where you are right now.

-alexhere fromthe kitchens of the infertile gourmet

At 6:17 PM, Blogger sherry said...

It's times like this I know you wish you could muster the strength to huck that damn good desk across the room.

I know, it's never about the desk.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry you didn't get the good desk. I was really cheering you on to get it. Those fuckers. And, you're right, it's never about the desk.
JenH (

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Wavery said...

For you dear, I will fly to Scotland to pee on the good desk. The desk is only as good as you think it is so after I pee on it it will be known as the "Pee Desk."
Actually someone did pee on my husband's old secretary's desk. It is a messed up thing to think.
But you should give yourself credit for enduring the office politics on top of all the adorable kid chatter without the help of urine dousing. God it can be so draining to be 'nice.'

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You deserve the deserve a lot of other things too. Don't worry, I would've cried as well.


At 11:03 PM, Blogger Toni said...

I like the peeing idea. At least do it when no one is there - might make you feel better. (Or if peeing is too hard - some people have 'shy pee' - you could do something to get back at him). What an ass.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger DeadBug said...

Of course you deserve the desk. However, I think you should start talking up the excellent qualities of the desk you do have and make him jealous. You know, things like, "Now that I think about it, I'm so glad I'm not by the window--too much glare. And it will be so cold over there in winter!"

And, if that doesn't work, pee. Definitely pee. One difference, though: I'd pee on the boss's desk instead.


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