It’s Not My Fault You Hate Your Job (and Your Life)

Filed under jobby jobby job job, my uber-confrontational personality

On Friday afternoon, I got an e-mail from my manager, who works in our Chicago office, saying that “someone” in my office complained to HR that I’m late to work “all of the time”.

This shouldn’t have affected me. The peon-y nature of my job shields me from a lot of the corporate bullcrap that other people have to deal with. On the other hand, because my job is so peon-y, if someone makes a complaint about me, you know he or she had to dig reeeeeeally deep to find something to complain about. This is obviously the sort of person who sues McDonald’s for not printing “Caution: contents hot” on their coffee cups. Or takes his next-door neighbors to court because their dog bit him in the butt after he shot it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

I don’t want to be the waitress who accuses her table of being cheapskates when their poor tip is based entirely on her terrible service, so I’ll admit that I’m often not in the office right at 9 a.m. Because I take public transportation, I can arrive anywhere between 9 and 9:15. But everyone in my office takes the same public transportation, so everyone‘s arriving between 9 and 9:15, and in fact, many people are arriving between 9:15 and 9:30.

What really bothers me is that I have a personal relationship with every single person in my office. We’re a huge software company with thousands of employees worldwide, but my office only has 20 employees, and every single one of them knows the details of my life outside of work, and I know theirs, too. So the idea of someone not only complaining about me but going behind my back to complain to HR seems pretty unbelievable.

And really, I don’t so much mind being complained about. If the worst thing someone can think to say about me is that I’m not always at work at 9 a.m., then I figure I’m doing pretty well. The problem for me is that because I don’t know who did it, I’m going to be deprived of the joy I’d get out of ruining this person’s life in small ways. “Accidentally” forgetting to order his lunch on Fridays when the company buys for all of us, making sure we always happen to be out of whatever coffee he enjoys drinking, not ordering cakes when I know it’s his birthday. Fun, right?

I had two people pegged as possible suspects on Friday, but every time I asked one of my co-workers if they thought it could be one of those guys, they all said no way. And unfortunately, they all offered up the alternative of this group of visiting employees from another of our offices. In particular, they were blaming this guy who had come to my desk shortly after I arrived, and I had tried to make nice with him by asking him polite questions I didn’t at all care about the answers to, but he couldn’t have acted less interested in talking to me. Likely because he felt guilty about having just reported me to HR in our Canadian office.

Since those guys only come to our office once every couple of months, I’m going to have a really hard time properly punishing him for his transgression. About the most I can do is “forget” to add his name to the security list so he has to wait in the lobby until I decide to call down to tell the guards to let him up. I know you have to discipline a dog within moments of its wrongdoing for it to properly learn its lesson, but at least I’ll feel better about myself.


  1. Cristy says:

    So petty. So ridiculous. I hate office politics, and all the stupidness that comes with it. Blech.

  2. thickcrust says:

    This is actually a complaint I lodged about you 2 years ago. I didn’t think the company actually had an HR department. Having someone there to remind you to show up on time doesn’t an HR department make.

  3. Alfagirl says:

    I’m sure it was someone visiting from another office. No one would complain to HR about that — they would just jokingly make fun of you about how the new office hours must be 9:15 since that’s when you come in.

    Alternatively, maybe your boss tried to reach you a couple of times in the morning and you didn’t pick up so she made up the HR complaint as a way to bring it up to you in a passive-aggressive way. Or something along those lines.

  4. This pisses me off so bad I can’t even comment on it coherently. I’m sorry.

    (Not that I’m exactly known for my coherence, but you know what I mean.)

    The same thing happened to me multiple times before I became a full-time freelancer, and the very MEMORIES of it make me quite stabby.

    One day when I am more in control of my emotions (i.e., after my wedding is over and I am significantly less likely to decapitate someone on a Greyhound bus), I shall write a rant about it.

  5. Seoul Sister says:

    So of all the people in your office who are late, you are the only one who was singled out? No other complaints about all the other people who you say do the same thing as you? Hmm. While I can see your point about it probably being the out-of-towners, something tells me that someone in your office is really jealous of you, either for some personal reason, like your looks or your possessions, or this person was also scolded for the very same thing and now feels justified in making you suffer for it too. That being said, though, I also have to say that it really frosts my balls when the work hours are stated as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and I get up earlier than I need to just so I get to work a few minutes before 9 a.m. and other people seem to have the mindset that the starting time is arbitrary. It’s such a passive-aggressive way to be a rebel against the company and against following corporate rules. Maybe you could try leaving home 15 minutes earlier, or something like that, and the person tattling on you would have no reason to do so. Is there someone in your office who is ALWAYS on time, and who seems to have a stick up his/her ass about stuff? That might be your snitch right there.

  6. Tracey says:

    I loved reading all of the methods of punishing people you have at your disposal as an admin.

    Everyone you work with is now afraid to ever cross you.