Saturday, November 21, 2015


On payday Fridays, one of the secretaries in my area of the hospital delivers the checks or stubs.  For the last several payday Fridays, my immediate supervisor has been out.  Usually the secretary hands me my check and the supervisor's check, which I lock in the desk to await her return.  This most recent Friday, only my check was given to me.  I said nothing but "Thank you," as I didn't want anyone to think that I had a vested interest in receiving the supervisor's check.

Later, I delivered a paper to the woman who works next to my office.  I spotted my supervisor's check on the counter.  I pretended to not notice, not the she would have noticed, as she didn't look up from her phone.

I don't fit in with this crowd.  I've known that from the start.  On one hand, I don't care.  They aren't nice people and their work ethic is terrible.  On the other hand, this is my only source of income.  Their disdain for me can get me fired.

This particular secretary has always seemed contemptuous of me, but lately her nastiness has increased.  A few weeks ago, my supervisor went into a locked closet that she never goes into, which is where I keep my jacket and keys.  (Everywhere else is in her way.)  My key is a copy of a copy of a copy, so it doesn't work well in any lock.  The lock on this closet has perhaps molded to my mutant key.  When the supervisor tried her key, it did not glide in easily, so she started banging on the doorknob and kicking the door.  I feared that she would break the door and I would not be able to retrieve my stuff inside.

When she finally forced the door open, I grabbed my jacket, keys, and supply bag and threw them on the counter of an exam room that nobody ever uses.  Ever.  It is more of a storage room.  There is one working light and cobwebs cover most surfaces and objects.  Keep in mind that it is a room for the activities of my department.

Well, later that morning, this secretary decides that she is going to use the room for one of her patients.  (Her section, though it borders mine, is not mental health.  It also has plenty of nice exam rooms she could have used.)  I ran in behind them, blurting, "Oh, excuse me, let me just get my stuff out of your way," and grabbed the jacket and bag.

"What is YOUR STUFF doing in here?" she growled.

"The lock was jamming on the closet, so I put my stuff in here in case I can't get the door open," I explained, smiling as if there was nothing wrong.

"So what you do is you call the locksmith!" she shouted at me.  "What you DON'T DO is put your crap in an exam room that people need to use."

Another time, a patient appeared in my office, looking for her.  Her area is labeled until you actually get to it, so people keep walking and end up in my area.  I walked a clueless person back to her area, where she was talking with someone.  I told the person to sign in at the counter.

She said, "I'm standing right here."

"Oh," I said and turned to leave.

"OH!" she moaned.  "Like you didn't see me standing here."

I kept walking.  I did see her.  She was busy with another patient.  There was nothing wrong with anything I did or said.

I come away from these interactions thinking that she is so rude and unprofessional.  Yet she has the same perception of me.

I have to do something about her.  She's getting worse.  When I try to impress upon her that I meant no harm or insult, she gets more offended.

Other than my usual technique of avoidance, what can I do to make her stop?

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