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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I am so incredibly tired today and if I were to close my eyes I’d be out in less than 20 seconds. But I feel I have seriously neglected my blog page, so I’ll attempt a quickly before I fall asleep.

One again, the one thing on my mind – my job and the people I work with. I need to get out of this company so badly it hurts. I have developed a twitch in my left eye, which I know is pyschosematic. It only comes on when I’m either in that building or thinking of it. I also have chronic “roller-coaster belly”. Nerves, I tell you. I have to find a better place to work before my system completely breaks down.

Among all the crazies I work with, there is one that I sincerely believe needs psychiatric help. Her name is Maria. She is a 40 year old Spanish woman who has been with our company about a year. She carries around a pink Barbie doll lunch box, wears little girl butterfly barrettes, and buys her clothes from the juniors department – not because she’s “little” but because she seriously thinks she’s still 14 years old.

She does these things that just drive you batty.

She has decided that the lunchroom is her own personal kitchen. Twice a day she makes “Spanish coffee” and a toasted roll, which consists of a lot of milk, a tiny bit of coffee, a toaster oven, and a microwave. I have no problem with her diet, but she goes through the whole gallon of milk in a week. She uses the microwave to heat up her milk and the toaster oven to heat up her buttered roll simultaneously so that no one else can use either. By the time she is finished, break is over and we must leave the lunchroom. If you try to squeeze in front of her to use one of these, she snaps at you in Spanish and jumps between you and the appliance.

She parks her car in her own self-made parking spot. You know how there are usually two rows for two cars? She parks hers in between both so one else can use the other spot, and she actually extended the row to where there isn’t any; right in front of the lot so you have to squeeze around her to get out. Our company driveway is a dead end street, and by law it is one-hour parking. Recently, she’s been parking her car on the road in front of the door so she can run in and punch her card before she’s late. Meanwhile, the parking lot is a whole 20 feet away from the road. We were recently told that the road has been deemed one-hour parking, so everyone who used to park at the dead end has been forced to find a spot in the lot. Except for Maria. Now she parks where everyone else was forced to move – but she will play the poor unsuspecting victim when she is issued a ticket. In the winter time, while everyone is working up until the last bell rings to punch out, she is pulling her car up to the door so it can warm up, then walks back into the building and waits to punches out.

When we have pizza day or a party of some sort at work, she takes 3 or 4, sometimes more; plates back to her bench and then wraps them up to take home. Every year our bosses take the secretaries out to lunch for Secretary’s Day. Maria is not a secretary but for some reason she was invited anyway to come along. We went to a buffet at a very nice restaurant. Maria put food in her purse to take home.

One lady we work with invited Maria ONCE to go to her boyfriend’s club in NYC. Maria wasn't ready when her ride came. She made her ride wait an entire hour for her to finish getting ready. When they got to the club, there was a buffet - you got it. She took an empty cheesecake container and filled it with food for home.

Another time someone from work needed a ride home. Maria charged her $5 and only took her as far as her own house. She made her fellow co-worker walk two miles to get home.

The bathroom is also her own personal powder-room. She has a make up bag in there, hairspray, a brush, her toothbrush you name it. I brush my teeth from time to time in the bathroom also, but only during break and I keep my toothbrush in my desk. She has all her stuff laid out in front of the mirror like it is her vanity table. Every time you go in there she’s there putting more make up on or brushing her hair. And since the whole building was just lectured on wasting time away from your desk, she is making us all look bad. I even have caught her twice washing her hair in the sink. In fact, I believe that is her towel drying on a hanger from the bathroom ceiling.

And if all that isn’t bad enough, she tells management she has to use the bathroom a lot because she had a hysterectomy and has to urinate frequently. As someone who also has a medical condition, I say shame on her. She does not use the facilities and return to work. She stays in there as long as she can. After all, who is going to come in after her?

She plays the role of the poor innocent victim.

She is one of those people that would file a false insurance claim without blinking an eye. I believe she would fake an injury to collect disability and not give it a second thought.

Many, many times she has been caught doing her nails – in the lunchroom where we all have to smell it while we eat, at her bench where we can all smell it, and in the bathroom...

Just the other week, I walked into the bathroom and she, of course, was in there. She had her foot up on the chair in there and was fiddling with her toes. In the time that it took me to do my business and wash my hands, she was still fiddling around. She was washing her hands, wiping the chair down, going in and out of the stall, etc., you know, acting busy but doing nothing. As I was walking towards the door to leave, I swore I smelled nail polish.

I returned to my desk, only to discover after about 5 minutes that I had left my cup in the bathroom. I returned to find Maria STILL in there. Now I know I had smelt nail polish.

I returned to my desk again and made a comment in jest to another lady that I thought Maria was doing her toes in the bathroom. We both had a good laugh about it. However, she sent another girl into the bathroom to check on the situation. This girl agreed it smelled like nail polish and said Maria was STILL in there.

Now it’s been around 10 minutes since she’s been in there.

Well the lady I told, told someone else who has a horrible reputation for spreading gossip. That lady told Maria’s boss – my husband - that she was painting her nails in the bathroom. The next thing I know is Maria is upset and says she was only fixing her sandal and someone else was doing their nails. I thought, whatever. She was still in there forever, so she was doing something.

The next morning, I am told that she is going to our plant manager about ME! So before she did that, I went to him. I told him the whole story and how I wasn’t even the one who told Maria’s boss. He said not to worry about it as he was well aware of her habit of wasting time.

Within the hour, she was in his office CRYING and SCREAMING my name for the whole building to hear! She was going in and out of English and Spanish and could hardly breathe from being so traumatized. She said that I am “OUT TO GET HER”, I’m “SPYING” on her, and that I have been “WATCHING HER FOR MONTHS”.

Ummm. Okay psycho.

I’ve never said more than two words to her, but apparently I’m stalking her.

The manager shrugged it off. He never said a word to me, so I went to him and asked how it went. He laughed about the whole thing. But being the person I am, I somehow felt badly that she thought of me like that. I had never in my life been accused of being so deviant! I didn’t even know how to handle something like that.

So, I wrote her a little note apologizing for making her feel like I was ‘watching’ her. I didn’t have to, nobody told me to, I just did.

Honestly, deep down I didn’t care what she thought about me, but I thought at the very least it would restore my halo with the upper management (seeing how she was screaming my name across the whole building) and maybe save my butt from any future explosions from her. I showed my note to management before I gave it to Maria, just to make sure I didn’t write anything that may come out the wrong way - Obviously, she is unstable. They thought the note wasn’t necessary and that when someone gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they tend to blame it on someone else. In other words, Maria finally got busted so she pointed the finger at me to take the pressure off her. But my note made management see me as the bigger person, so what the heck.

I left it on Maria’s desk while she was on lunch. By the end of the day, I was certain she had read it. I passed her in the hall, and she completely IGNORED me. No eye contact, nothing. She could have been somewhat human and acknowledged that she read it, but she ignored me instead. I immediately realized that what kind of person she really is.

The next day I found out that after she had read my apology, she told another that it meant nothing to her.

Nothing to her. It meant Nothing to her. My apology meant Nothing to her.

That’s about as good as spitting in someone’s face if you ask me.

Well then, it means Nothing to me either. I’m sorry I ever gave it to her and she just made me look like a fool. And now guess what Maria? I AM watching you.

So today, another person in this building got to experience a Maria moment. I share my office with a wonderful Puerto Rican lady named Blanca. She is the kindest, more sincere person you could ever meet. For no reason, Maria told someone in the back (someone that has been working with Blanca for 15 years) that she though Blanca was a phony.

That person mentioned it to Blanca, and all I can say - this did not sit well AT ALL with Blanca. That Puerto Rican blood, as Blanca put it to me, started boiling. She walked straight up to Maria’s face and said,

“I have been nothing but nice to you, and this is what you think of me? You can go to hell – you are dead to me.”

Of course Maria denied that she meant Blanca, even though she had said her name specifically. Once again, playing the poor victim.

Gosh I wish I had that kind of strength sometimes. It would have helped me out more than a stupid note that only ended up back firing anyway.

I found the need to blog about his woman because she has built up this anger in me that I have never had about one person before. I think if I write about the crap she pulls it will be somewhat therapeutic – at least that what I’m hoping for. I couldn’t even breathe her out in yoga, so maybe writing will help.

Besides, I am CERTAIN there is more to come from psycho Maria and I am going to have to blog about her again.