Thursday, January 27, 2005  

"Hey Mary….How Was Your Weekend? You Wanna Have Lunch Later and Talk Some Shit About Our Co-workers?"

I’m not sure what this says about me but in every job I’ve held the office complainers want to align themselves with me. I’m not a huge complainer (quit laughing Andrew) and sure, work definitely sucks sometimes but I try to have a good attitude and not gossip about co-workers, complain about management, etc but it doesn’t matter. These office complainers seek me out.

In my first job out of college I worked for a very small advertising agency. Six out of my eight co-workers were completely annoying but I tried to ignore it and get along with everyone. I became close friends with the agency’s art director and he had something horrible to say about almost everyone we worked with. Usually it was pretty hilarious too but horrible all the same. The agency director (and my boss) knew my friend did not care for him and soon he didn’t care for me either. I was One with the Mean-Spirited But Funny Office Anarchist. Eventually we went from friends to dating and that just compounded everything and I ended up leaving my job. And then my parents thought the Office Anarchist was gay and we broke up and he hated me and it was terrible and where was I going with this story anyway?

Oh right. The magnetic draw that people have to confide in me how much everyone we work with sucks. In my second job I worked for a fairly large design firm and immediately hit it off with my office neighbor, another art director (although this time female). Within two weeks of my starting work we went to lunch, a yoga class and had dinner at her place. This was when I realized my Office Pal was also the Office Alcoholic and the Office Complainer. She gave me the dirt on everyone, called our principal a “f*ckhead” more than a few times and told me that everyone in our office hated her and she was so glad I was there. A few weeks later she was fired, left the office in a huge crazy fit and once again, I was left in the uncomfortable position of having befriended the Office Anarchist. A year I had become friends with the office IT person, who bitched constantly about how much everything sucked. She was sitting in my office one day, complaining about something when our principal asked to see her for a moment. A few minutes later she stopped by my desk and told me she had been fired. I started to wonder if I had a curse hanging over my head.

A few months ago I was worked late one night with my current Favorite Office Friend, a super-nice guy, who of course, started complaining to me about the partners in our company and how tired he is of everything, and the egos some people had and….on and on. I tried to just nod sympathetically and smile noncommittally but in my head a voice was screaming “NO! ABORT! ABORT! OFFICE FRIEND IS OFFICE COMPLAINER!” It’s happened a few times since then but I try to avoid it by changing the subject, leaving the room or pretending for a moment that I don’t speak English.

Why does this keep happening to me?

| posted by Mary | 1/27/2005 01:05:00 PM
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