Share it Please
Jobs and career paths change, but clearly the types of people you work with never do. I write this blog in my shiny new office, in a shiny new building, now armed with a degree with my name on it and a “career” instead of a shitty travel agency job that was not only unfulfilling, but the travel perks were non-existent. And the amount of hair-pulling I endured in the name of good customer service wasn’t worth my sanity or my soul.
So, here I am. Back at this blog again. And it’s all because of my shiny new job, in the shiny building with the shiny office. Turns out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I bring to you today, a story of… Ruffles. Aptly called because of the GIANT FUCKING BAG OF RUFFLES CHIPS SHE MOWS DOWN ON EVERY WEEK.
I first joined The Company three years hence, and I swear to God/Buddha/Flying Spaghetti Monster she hasn’t shut the blessed fuck up since. I didn’t think she was that bad when I started, just a bit hyper, maybe. Or not. I don’t know. Any and all facts my brain held on to have since been replaced by EVERY FUCKING THING RUFFLES HAS EVER DONE IN HER ENTIRE LIFE.
Ruffles is one of those co-workers that anyone would hate to share an office with. She talks. A lot. All the time. Every day, about everything that is happening in her life. I know more about her husband, her son, her father, her dead mother, her dog, her father’s dog, her sister, her niece, her sister’s dog, her friend Maggie, her other friend Lisa, and her other other other friend Leslie than I do any other general knowledge. I think I have lost any retention of my college education because of her.
If you think I’m being dramatic, imagine being on an airplane. Okay, are you there? You’re in an aisle or a window seat. You have a long flight ahead of you. You put your headphones in and try to relax the best you can, when suddenly, the person in the middle seat (BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS THE PERSON IN THE GODDAMN MIDDLE SEAT) taps you on the shoulder, totally oblivious to your headphones and says, “Hi! I’m Ruffles! Where are you going? What hotel are you staying at? What are you planning on doing there? What are you listening to? Let me tell you about my son’s Boy Scout project! Would you like to see a stupid cat picture you’ve already seen on Facebook at least 5 times? Here, look! LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!”
That’s what it’s like being in an office with this woman for eight hours a day, five days a week.
It’s because of people like Ruffles that people like me commit office homicides and co-workers gasp and sob, “But she was so nice! How could she just bludgeon Ruffles with a three-hole punch like that?! We never saw it coming!”
Let’s start with why I call her Ruffles.
As previously mentioned, every week, she drags in the biggest bag of Ruffles potato chips you can legally buy in this country. (‘MURICA.) Not the whimpy “Party” sized bags; I’m talking the “Family” Costco-sized bags (pictured thusly) that could feed, you know, a FAMILY for A MONTH. She stashes these chips in her desk drawer and fills a plate with them once or twice a day. And then… THE CRUNCHING, THE CHOMPING, THE CHEWING, THE SNACK SNACK SNACKING. I get into the office at 8:30am, and she’s already eating chips. (Or a Pop Tart that she breaks all the crusts off of because “they fill her up". BULLSHIT. You refuse to eat the crust because you're the worst adult picky fucking eater I've ever met and GODDAMN IT RUFFLES THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.
She continues to eat these potato chips throughout the day, for breakfast, before lunch, after lunch, for a snack… my whole three years of working here, I have never once been offered any of her chips. Not that I want them, but it’s the principle of the thing.
Another thing about Ruffles: she thinks she’s my mom. In fact, she thinks she’s everyone’s mom. To the point of actually SLAPPING myself and other co-workers upside the head when she thinks they’ve misbehaved. The first time she did it to me, I was so stunned and caught off guard, I had no idea what to say. Second time she did it, I let her know that if she put hands on me again, not only would I break her goddamned arm, but then I would go to HR. She hasn’t touched me since.
Every night before she goes home, (she leaves before me) she tells me the same mantra: “Be good and stay out of trouble!” You know what? Fuck you! I’m a 28-year-old woman who pays her taxes and has a mortgage. My OWN mother doesn’t tell me to ‘be good’ anymore. I don’t even know what that means in this context! Don’t get arrested? Don’t do drugs? Don’t have fun sexytimes with my husband? Don't have a life that exists outside a poor set of standards you create for yourself? WHAT???
The other night I had to go grab something from my car, on the way out of the office she yells “TAKE A COAT!” at me. I actually came back into the office to ask her what the actual fuck that’s about, and remind her, once again, that I’m a grown-up and if I want to freeze to death that’s my own damned business.
Ruffles and I have the same job. We sit in the same office. Ruffles is shit at her job. I am a goddamn rockstar at mine, because I don’t half-ass my shit. This was evident when I received an award for my work performance and she didn’t and she called me on the phone wailing “IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MEEEEEEE!”
This leads me into the actual reason for this post. Sore losership. (It’s not a word. Look at all the fucks I give.) Last summer, Ruffles and I were assigned a project that involved physically moving over 20,000 boxes of records. Every single file had to be labeled, re-boxed, and placed into storage in our shiny new building. This was a HUGE undertaking (obviously) and I did most of the work.
Well, let’s not be modest here, I did ALL of the work. I hucked boxes from the old building to the new one, physically running up and downstairs all day. I lost 8 pounds during the move. EIGHT. POUNDS. That’s how much running around I did. All Ruffles did was SIT and scan out boxes, and complain that the moving crew wasn’t moving fast enough. I did not have the luxury of sitting. I actually had blisters from running around and standing all day.
Fast forward a year, when my hard work paid off. I received Employee of the Year at The Company at an award’s ceremony I wasn’t able to attend because I was working in ANOTHER PART OF THE STATE, DOING THE EXACT SAME JOB. (Moving files.) I have no idea any of this is happening until I get a text from my BFF (who also works at The Company, and, incidentally was one of the only ones helping me move) saying I’d won.
Cuuuueeee phone call. At another office. Across the state. It’s Ruffles, and she’s crying. I’m concerned someone has died. “You got an award!” Sob sob! Oh, happy tears? “But it should have been me!” Sob sob. Oh, angry tears then. “They didn’t even mention me! All that work and they just forgot me!” Sob sob sob sob.
On the plane home that night, with my headphones in, no one in the middle seat, I ordered two glasses of wine and double-fisted Merlot in the tiniest bit of victory I think I’ve ever gotten.