Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tales Of A Co-Worker Past


Me, at work- Posted by Hello

Apologies for the grainy photograph. I scanned this from an old company newsletter.

I used to work with a woman I'll call Pearl, since she really was named after a gemstone.
Pearl was a nice enough woman, the kind of person who'd give you the shirt off their back, but was unbearable to work with.
She lived five minutes from work, but arrived exactly ten minutes late each and every day.
Pearl favored bright colorful clothing, and always had shoes to match any of the hues she happened to be wearing. One day, after dressing in the dark, she was appalled to find she'd come to work wearing one orange shoe paired with a pink one. She scurried home to correct this situation, on company time of course!
She constantly bragged about the neighborhood she'd bought into, and the investments she'd made, yet she'd bring in several empty milk jugs daily, and fill them with the bottled water provided by the company.
Pearl would bring shopping ads to work, read them and make lists, then take a long lunch. Upon her late return, she'd spend another five minutes storing her perishables in the breakroom fridge, and heaven help you if you'd stashed a lunch earlier in the morning- if lucky, you might be able to find it squashed behind Pearl's groceries.
Then she entered her craft phase. She began bringing in supplies, and making fancy photo albums, then stuffed cats, and finally those straw hats decorated with flowers which were meant to be hung as decoration.
The few times she actually worked were a disaster. She was in her late forties, and claimed all the technological changes were too much for her.
When required to work with intra-company workgroups she was frequently asked to put a "real technician" on the line. Did that embarass her... nope!
Just prior to her retirement I happened to quit smoking, and you-know-who received the brunt of my withdrawal pain and anger. When I started back up several weeks later, Pearl mentioned how mean I'd been. I didn't apologize, because that, dear Pearl, was the way I really felt about you!

12 Comments:

Blogger cheesecakey said...

This is my favorite picture, yet! I want to say it makes me think: 'Sierrabella, Girl Technician' but that could come across as condescending and not respecting your talents - I guess I'm trying to sound cute and not flippant. Did it work? If not, I take it back.

and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you didn't apologize to that crackpot!

10:56 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

cheesecakey-
I was one of the earlier female facilities techs in the company, and it wasn't fun starting on the evening shift with all men. It was the proverbial trial by fire, with some sexual harassment thrown in.
No, I don't think your comment is flippant at all!
I'll say I'm sorry if warranted, but she didn't deserve an apology, whatsoever!

11:08 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Wow, I love that you were a technician. I used to work in shops where rude/crude comments were common. But you were probably in a spot to make the guys feel uncomforable with your presence. Those kinds of guys usually start acting like jerks.

Pearl was an even bigger jerk, though. People like her don't ever see what they're doing to others.

11:48 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

squirl-
I tried to think of it as boot camp, and they finally let the pressure off... after about two years!
I put the fault upon the managers who saw what Pearl wasn't doing and did nothing.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

Hi. I am sleep deprived and not taking in all that I read, but I did want to say hi. And I keep hearing, "Ruby, don't take your love to town."

12:15 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

OMG-
Pearl's real name is Ruby! You're psychic in your sleep deprivation!!
I was going to comment on your posting today but felt you weren't really into the free-for-all that is your comment section.
Hope you can get some rest!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Nick Danger said...

I want Pearls job!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I love this story! Pearl/Ruby/Captain Incompetence sounds like some of people I've worked with. I think everyone has a Pearl to deal with - in fact, if I ever in my life not have a Pearl to deal with... that probably means I'm the Pearl, right? OMG - I have to go change my shoes right now!

5:16 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

That is kinda weird. As you said you were going to call her Pearl as her name is a gemstone, I immediately thought of Ruby. I know it's really not that amazing as there aren't that many gemstone names around. Just got a good chuckle reading that.

7:35 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

nick danger-
I personally think she expended more energy slacking than if she just did the work!
You could come in stoned, make a snack, take a nap, and still get more done than her.
I would have welcomed you!

kitty-
I've seen some of your postings, and can see you actually answer the phone and talk to people/idiots, so I doubt you're the Pearl type. I've worked with some lazy people, but she took the cake.

squirl-
Oh, another psychic! Perhaps later I'll tell the story of another co-worker who was much like Pearl, except the company promoted her!

8:10 AM  
Blogger Greenthumb said...

LOL!!! I totally guessed that her name was Ruby, and then I saw Susie's quote. Too funny!

Love the hair in that photo...he he he. No really, great hair. Great story.

8:26 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

greenie-
I was head senior of a switching system upgrade and had little time to fix the hair! This was before wireless!
Oh, and those glasses are safety glasses!

You all are such good guessers! Believe it or not, her sisters were named Pearl, Opal and Jade!

8:35 AM  

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