12 February, 2006

Rumour and Expectation

Day One:
My contract is renewed for another two months.

Day Two:
The Token Human who replaced the Cow-orker when she left for Marketing hands in his notice. Cat + Pigeons has nothing on what this results in,,,

Day Three:
Word spreads. The feeding frenzy begins.
  • the Crazy Man approaches me to see if I want the job. He doesn't seem too surprised when I say "no", and we briefly discuss whether now is the time to look at restructuring that unit;

  • the Cow-orker approaches to see if I want to take the job. She's still struggling with the idea that I might not want to come back. I tell her "no", and she asks whether the Crazy Man has sounded me out about taking the job;

  • my former manager phones me to warn that I'm likely to be set upon by the Secondary Cow-orker to see if I've been head-hunted (or press-ganged) yet. The Secondary Cow-orker interrogated the token human at length the previous evening to make him spill the beans about what was going to happen with his job, and appears to be trying to piece together the order in which he told people. Apparently this has something to do with her theory of people nominating their successor;

  • a former workmate rings up to see if I've been approached to take the job. He only thinks it's funny now because the Primary and Secondary Cow-orkers haven't yet seen fit to confide in him;

  • the Secondary Cow-orker finally strikes. Have I been approached yet? What do I intend to do? What do I think "they" are planning?
    (She could simply ask management what they plan to do, but that might pose unacceptable limits on the wildness of her speculations. Plus she's probably convinced they'd lie to her, anyway, so she may as well begin asking everyone.else who doesn't know what's happening so they can fuel her imagination);

  • another former workmate warns me that the Secondary Cow-orker is now quietly going nuts trying to predict what will happen, and inventing scenarios in which she'll be able to win the job that's rightfully hers after being "cheated" of it twice already;

  • my former section head approaches my former manager to see if I plan to move back into my old area, and whether anyone's approached me about doing so yet. He seems surprised to learn that I'm not leaping with joy at the prospect of returning to work with the Cow-orker.
    (Incidentally, this confirms my suspicions that people didn't believe me last year when I said that I wasn't just leaving because of the money);

  • the Secondary Cow-orker drops by for another visit to tell me her theories on why the token human is leaving. To the best of my knowledge they all miss the mark by a wide margin. Then she tells me how she'd have been a much better choice for the job in the first place, because after one rough year in the role, he still didn't have the breadth of knowledge that I (or even the Cow-orker) had built up over several years;

  • more warnings: the Seconday Cow-orker's mood swings have gotten dramatically worse when some sadist pointed out that I have a family to support and might not have a choice about whether I take the job or not;

  • the Cow-orker comes back to see whether I've reconsidered my previous response, and to fish for hints as to whether I've heard anything about what's going to happen. She's busy working herself into a state of terror over the thought of being to look after things alone, even though there's actually zero possibility of that;

  • my manager calls again to tell me that the Secondary Cow-orker is behaving like a lunatic, but he hasn't been able to find out what she's been told that set her off.
A productive day for everyone involved, really.


dthree said...

"pose unacceptable limits on the wildness of her speculations"

I am SO using that with my cow-orkers.

Funniest thing I heard all week.


kc said...

Says the bad little voice on my left shoulder, "oooh take the job, sooo many stories for you to post."

Says the good little voice on my right shoulder, "aieee, run away. But first post two month's worth of stories till your current contract runs out."

It all sounds like such fun.

Argh said...

See, this is why I never come on here and ask for career advice. I'm not convinced the people reading this have my best interests at heart.

Anonymous said...

Of course we have your best interests at heart. Right behind our hungry appetite for your stories! But as long as your stories keep on rolling in, we care about nothing but your health, sanity and riches.

Dr Irony said...

It is in your best interests to get as many crazy stories as you can, publish them all and get elected to government based on an anti-cow-orker policy base.