My Co-Worker Invents Problems

Or at least I’m starting to think this is the case.

I’ve mentioned my female co-worker before, the one other female tech geek where I work. When I first started the blog, I wrote about how she took a comment I made–which wasn’t even to her–as my having some sort of issue with her taking her full lunch break. For a while after that, I kind of wondered if I’d done something else that made her automatically defensive.

Shortly after that, though, one of the older women where I work–she is not a tech geek–asked if anyone wanted to join her outside while she smokes. That particular day, I decided it’d be nice to get out of the suite. I usually don’t like being around smokers, but I can’t remember what happened–maybe I was just overwhelmed by dealing with the phones while not being sufficiently trained. I saw an opportunity to get away from work for a while and took it.

As we were leaving the suite, the female tech geek was coming out, too. When the older woman and I were alone together, she said, “She’s weird.” And I knew about whom she was speaking, but I asked anyway because I wanted to hear her say it. She confirmed it was the FTG. And we talked about it a little bit, and I was telling the woman how I knew the time was coming when it’d be me and FTG alone together at work for a couple of hours and, basically, how I didn’t like that because I don’t feel comfortable asking her for help. The woman told me FTG is like that with everyone and it’s not me.

Now, you know I don’t trust people, so I partially wondered if the woman was just being nice to me because I was new.

But maybe a few weeks or a month ago, the chatty Cathy of our work place–who seems to have a good relationship with FTG and is the only person FTG really speaks with in a social way, for the most part–said the same thing, i.e. FTG is weird. And I was surprised she said it.

And then when I was told that I was being moved to the schedule that would have me working with FTG for a couple of hours, just the two of us, I told the guys that I do not want to be left alone with her. And I think they kind of understood where I was coming from. It’s been almost a month now, being on that schedule, and I still don’t like being alone with her in the mornings. I start to feel relieved when an hour has gone by and I know the other tech geek will show up any minute. It’s not a matter of feeling unsafe or feeling that there will be drama. But she and my supervisor both just make me uncomfortable in ways I can’t totally explain.

Sometimes I think it’s getting better, but I am starting to realize that she has almost a split personality. Everyone has good days and bad days. Everyone’s mood varies. But hers is…yeah, “weird” is a good word.

I’m mentioning all this because today is a decent example. Lately, I have been answering the phones less at work. One reason is because I don’t think I need to answer them as much as I used to since I have been exposed to a lot of the technical calls they receive by now, and the reason I was answering almost every call before was to get that exposure. Another reason is there are certain types of calls I’d rather avoid. I can’t really control that issue, though, but it does make me hesitate to answer the phone sometimes. But, truthfully, during the day time there are either three or four tech geeks working–depending on what time it is–and FTG and I answer the phones over 95% of the time. The guy who comes in the afternoon almost never answers the phone, and it has been like that at least since I started working there–probably before, as well. He answers if nobody else can. The guy who trained me does quite a bit of work and is very valuable to the business, but he just does not really answer the phone.

Usually, we’re not that busy at work, so it’s not a big deal as far as dividing up the calls. And I do think having four people there at any time is counterproductive, i.e. I think it’s similar to the bystander effect–the more people around, the less anyone is going to do because they think someone else will do it. Either way, as I mentioned in one of my first posts, you have to fight FTG to answer calls a good portion of the time. Sometimes, she acts as if she’s the only person who works there. Last week, there were definitely times I accepted and took advantage of that, especially since I was working on pieces for my college football blog.

But today was busy in spots, and in the afternoon it reached a point when the phone was nearly ringing off the hook. There was no way for us to sit there and only one person answer the phone because of this. Even the afternoon guy answered calls, because he really didn’t have much of a choice. I answered the phone quite a bit today, and there were at least two times when I had to put a client on hold to answer another call because everyone was busy on the phone.

So imagine my disbelief when I see a ticket in the system in which FTG wrote that “other people aren’t answering the phone.”

So, after she left for the day, I told the guy tech geeks what she wrote. The funny thing is we talked about FTG on Friday and how she just does all the work, whether you’re trying to do your part or not. So, when I told them she wrote that, one of the guys immediately mentioned how she barely even lets other people answer the phone. And I basically said that it doesn’t make any sense, today of all days, to say or think that no one else is doing their part with how much the phones rang. Last Thursday or Friday? Maybe. Today? No.

The thing is I am not sure if anyone goes through our tickets to see what everyone is doing, but I’m almost positive that there is some kind of checking up on us. I remember not long after I first started, a couple of the non-tech women complimented me about how I sound on the phone and one of them mentioned how detailed I am in my tickets. These are women I rarely send tickets. As boring as it is at work a lot of the time, these people have plenty of time to look at our tickets, and I would not be surprised if they do.

So, I opened that ticket back up and wrote in there that I was on a call during the time FTG complained about in terms of us not answering the phone, and I also mentioned that the afternoon guy had been on a call somewhere around that time, as well. I thought about linking to the ticket I’d been working on, as well–which had the exact same time on the ticket as the one she wrote that note in did–but, for me, it’s not that crucial and it shouldn’t be that crucial for anyone else there, either. And I think enough people who work there know that FTG is to blame quite  a bit for not everyone working an equal amount on technical issues.

There just was no issue today, and she created one.

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