I’ve been working for eight years now and I’ve been fortunate to have the experience of working for a small, a medium and a large corporation in that time. In my first job, I worked from somebody’s home. There were just two of us and all interaction with other staff was done online (the sum total of TWO of them) until we moved to an office in the middle of Cape Town (where still, there were not more than four of us) and then we moved again into a house around the corner from where I lived. So “fitting in” was not a problem at all…well, for those of you who know me, you’ll agree that I’m quite a “loud mouth” and making myself comfortable in any situation is usually not much of an issue. I moved jobs after about three and a half years as we were moving cities and I felt that I needed more of a challenge hence the move into the banking industry.
In my next job, I worked with a lovely bunch of ladies all around the same age as me. The team quickly shuffled and soon, I was “part of the furniture” and I even became a team leader. After a year or so, I was no longer the “newbie” and after three years, I was definitely not bothered about “fitting in” as being in a company that had been around for about six years, I was one of the oldest around.
After just under four years, I again moved to a large corporation where I’m currently working and have been for about one and a half years. When I joined the team, my role was a new one that didn’t exist. As my boss had said in the interview, it would give me a chance to mould and create the role myself, it was all in my hands. Very exciting stuff until I actually started working here. My team consisted of four other people all of who had worked together for a number of years and all of who were a little “click” on their own. Breaking into a click is NOT my idea of fun! My first six months were torturous to say the least!! I kept thinking that although the move from my previous firm was definitely a good one, I wasn’t so sure if the team was the best thing for me, but with the encouragement of my husband and family, I kept going at it until one day, I looked up and realised that the team HAD changed and not only had it changed, but I was now one of the “in crowd”. My dad kept on asking every few months how things were going and one day, I actually responded that I was enjoying work and I felt comfortable in my team to his surprise!!!!
Angelo often says that it sounds like we’re at work playing games rather than actually working. There are five of us in our team, one guy and four ladies, all of which are round about my age, besides the lady that I referred to in “Grumpy Pants“. I remember starting to work in the team where everybody had a nickname and when one of the ladies said – to the same guy who’s still in our team now – that I didn’t have a nickname yet, he said that I’d have to “earn” a nickname…these days I go by “Jodester”…yes, I even have a nickname so I KNOW I’m now part of the team.
Roll on last week Friday. My team (especially “dude” that I’ve spoken about above) LOVE to play pranks at work. Every few
days weeks, somebody’s got something funny on their desk or a joke is played on them or their phones are covered with cellotape (yes, that’s happened to me and I only figured it out after yelling down the receiver several times and just about swearing my mother for having two useless phones!!!) or something or other. I find that it makes the day quite enjoyable really, and generally, I’m not really involved other than joining in in the fun. So last Friday, “dude” went out to the mall quickly and we (NO, NOT WE AS IN THE ROYAL PLURAL WE BUT THREE OF US HENCE WE) decided to play a prank on him. So my colleague suggested that we swap his huge computer screen for one about half the size on the spare desk next to me. Of course, I jumped into action and undid the plugs and for good measure, I also unplugged his phone…do you see where this is going????? Grumpy pants also added in a few funny things – and we did all this to the master of pranks!!
An hour later, he walked back in. Initially, he thought it was quite funny and quite impressive that we were involved and not only grumpy pants and the cherry on top was when he noticed that his screen had been swapped. It was not so funny about twenty minutes later when he realised that somehow, he couldn’t get onto the Internet or access our local drives. He logged a call with IT…and we all know how USELESS IT can be…………….an hour later, his PC was still not fixed so he decided to have lunch and made some random comment about how you okes messed it up, you better fix it by the time I get back. Of course, we just ignored him. Lunch hour over and his PC was still not fixed! After another call and him getting more and more irate (and us ignoring him), he got up and shouted – you guys messed it up, I’m going home and I’m going to e-mail “the boss” *I’ve left out the name of boss here on purpose!!*. I almost wet myself – REALLY, ARE WE IN SCHOOL…I mean, what was he going to say, Jodie moved my PC and now I can’t access the Internet and shared drive so I’m storming home…really?????? So I shout to him, you know how to give medicine but you can’t take it to which he shouts back some equally dumb retort waving his arms in the air and going all red in the face…the entire office was looking at him (yes, we’re completely open plan!) and when he left, they all let out a little giggle. I mean, seriously, which 29year old person threatens you with telling on you to the boss.
Anyway, I REALLY tried (NOOOOTTTTTT) to get IT to sort out his PC to no avail. Grumpy pants (who goes waaaayyyyyy back with “dude”) still tried to pacify him via BBM even though I said she’s being silly and he’d have a field day with something like this if the tables were turned – I was having none of it, really, what childish behaviour. Yes, I’d also be annoyed that I couldn’t work but to throw my toys out of the cot and threaten reporting such incident to “the boss”…really, I almost wet my pants, not out of being afraid, but out of sheer disbelief that he even thought of such a brilliant idea as to e-mail the boss. What was he going to say – JODIE UNPLUGGED MY PC AND BECAUSE I CAN’T WORK, I’VE DECIDED TO GO HOME, PLEASE GIVE HER A WARNING…REALLY???!!!!! I did (out of the kindness of my heart) send him a message to say sorry that he couldn’t work and I’d also be ticked off but surely he understands that WE (yes, I used we ‘cos all of a sudden, I was apparently the responsible one all on my own!!) didn’t intend to do that and that he should have a nice weekend. No reply, no nothing.
I was still flabbergasted at his reaction last night as I got into bed and wondered how he’d react today. So I get in this morning and decide to mention nothing to grumpy pants who incidentally came in early and got IT to sort it all out and even did a test that all was working…I guess that’s how you stay in the “in crowd” ‘cos when “dude” got in this morning, I’m now being just about ignored and somebody even walked up to me this morning and said I HEAR YOU WERE A NAUGHTY GIRL ON FRIDAY…really, REALLY, was I the only one and secondly, oh my gosh, it was a prank!!!! Well, you learn the hard way I guess. I’ll just keep quiet until things get back to normal and hopefully one day, I’ll wangle myself back into the “in crowd” 🙂