Say It Don’t Spray It
As a frequent flyer of coffee, books, and free Wi-Fi, I have been spending alot of time at Borders Cafe lately (in SOMA if you want to stalk me). I have come to realize that there is so much more going on at this cafe than internet blind dates, and Mexican nannies with small White babies…
There are also an insane amount of white collar business people at the cafe who come here to FIGHT with one another. It’s FANTASTIC!
I have sat here just this morning now for 1.5 hours and have beared witness to TWO arguments already.
Some are quick little spats, but sometimes you get lucky and have voyeuristic pleasure for hours…
For instance, two 20-something year old co-workers ordered coffee, while they stood across from the condiment counter pouring non-fat milk into their espresso’s one says to the other one,
“Even IF I hadn’t forwarded your email to him, I would have still suggested to him that you needed to work on your approach”
“That’s not what I am saying, that’s not what I am saying, I understand why you did it but don’t tell me one thing and do another”
“I’m trying to help you, dude, help YOU”
“I’m the one who decides that NOT YOU! That’s NOT your job”
They stood across the counter from one another evil eye, to evil eye- by now several of us had begin to stare…
“Hey, do you maybe want to go for a walk?”
“ya, that’s cool”
So as I sit here now, writing this, there are two very ‘wide screen format’ women in business suites who have excused themselves from the table of four across the room, to come over to the condiment table to have a ‘pissed off at you’, and ‘in your face’ argument.
You can’t ask for anything better, really. This saves me from having to strain my ears to hear them on the other side of the room !! It’s kinda like a 3D Reality Show because they have now moved so close to me I can actually see the spit flying out of their mouths as they begin to go from a heated whisper to a full voice.
“Remember that *I* am your manager”
“I will *not* sit here and have you talk to her like that”
“I will talk however I WANT in order to get the project completed”
“You don’t like her, we all know you JUST don’t like her, we all like her, you don’t like her”
“I don’t like the quality of her work, and yes I think she could put more effort into her job”
“So you admit, you don’t like her”
“This is not productive, don’t talk to me like that, I am NOT your friend, I am your manager”
Both turn away from one another and return across the room to the two other women they are with. DAMN !! Now I have to really strain to hear them. I do things like stretch in my chair while turning my head a bit to the left, I act like I am looking out the window, I turn my laptop a bit more angeled towards them….
Within minutes, Ms. “*I* am your Manager” is now raising her voice to all women at the table.
“I am who I am, and I am *not* going to change, I am stressed, I have alot of work to do, I need my team to work with me. A 7 hour day, with a 1 hour lunch break everyday is NOT going to cut it with me ! You have worked here 18 months, that is not long enough to prove YOURSELF!”
The argument continue’s on with two condiment counter women explaining the “chain of command” to the ‘girl manager does not like’.
2nd condiment counter woman says, “If I ask you to do something, and then Rebecca asks you to do something then yes, Rebecca’s work takes priority because, she is a higher rank than me… but then you must communicate with me that you have put MY work off to do Rebecca’s work, and tell me how long it will take you to get back to MY work”
Ms. “I am your Manager” (who we now know is Rebecca) pipes in,
“I think that I am a bit aggressive, I know you’ve heard that I’m hostil, my tone of voice is not like yours, I *can* get more aggressive, but I chose not to. So I don’t care what you have heard about me, or what you think you know about me, I am the manager and I decide what gets done. YOUR SHOW-MAN-SHIP IS SH*T !!” yikes, I’m starting to feel like I AM in this meeting !
When she says this her voice is raised now which is helpful so I don’t have to look at her to hear her, but now I feel My Stomach get shakey like she is yelling at me too. Flashbacks of what it was like to work at corporate and have three bosses are coming back to me and I struggle to defend myself and want to help ‘girl manager doesn’t like’.
Rebecca (Ms. “I am your manager”) continues, “The showroom looks like sh*t, no one can buy that sh*t, what is wrong with you? Why don’t you ask for help? Why am I the fulltime housekeeper here? I have a team of people who are supposed to work with me, and everything is dirty, messy, and filthy. Who’s responsibility is that? IS! IT! *MINE* ?”
OMG it’s so uncomfortable right now…
Dead Silence…Crickets….No Talking….Is this MIC on?
Someone tell her who’s responsibility it is so we can ALL get through this meeting !!!
‘girl manager does not like’ is statue – like, chewing gum at rapid speed, with one arm draped behind the back of her wooden chair like “I really don’t give a sh*t, just get over yourself” (an attitude which might be what caused this entire ‘sit down’ in the first place).
But I can’t help but feel sorry for ‘girl manager doesn’t like’, with these women sitting down with her talking AT her for over an hour now, she must feel totally ganged up on. Hell, I FEEL ganged up on just listening to it.
I don’t think ‘girl manager doesn’t like’ has said more than one word during this whole debate, and the poor Chinese lady at the table looks completely disinterested and couldn’t give a Crap what all these fat-assed, white ladies are so angry about. She just stares blankly at all of them, with a note pad she has not written on, staring out the window ….probably contemplating when the next number 30 Stockton bus is coming so she can jump in front of it.
Finallly the Chinese lady says to ‘girl manager doesn’t like’, “look, are you willing to change your attitude”? Dead Silence..no talking….uncomfortable.
This situation may never get resolved. I say we all meet back here tomorrow at 12pm and continue it then….