Friday, February 16, 2007

Colleague in Focus: Cynthia

I don't need an excuse to write anything about Cynthia, because she pisses me off every moment that I'm in her company.

Being in charge of personnel and having, last year, transferred all the staff details to the new computer system, I'm well informed about the past employment of every member of staff in Food Place. Cynthia's is particularly - well - long. A glance at it shows that she's had around 20 jobs since leaving school and most of them haven't lasted for more than 3 months. It's not hard to imagine why.

She began working at Food Place when it opened but, evidently, settled better than at any of her previous jobs. This, most likely, had a lot to do with the first store manager being soft as clart. She let the staff get away with murder and the place was a disaster within months of opening. Cynthia settled into her lovely little groove of doing whatever the hell she liked in those days, and hasn't changed since. Whenever new managers have attempted to get her in line, she's gone off on the sick and threatened legal action, before returning to continue just as she always has done.

Cynthia has a strange notion that everybody is interested in her latest phantom illness. Through time, we've been kept informed about every last detail of all her bodily organs, functions, systems and God knows what.

The truth is, she uses illness to escape having to do a scrap of work. She can't go on the checkouts because she gets panic attacks. She can't work on the shop floor because of her back ache. She can't work in the cash office (not that I'd want her to) because the smell of copper coins hurts her teeth. She can't work in admin or stock control because she's "susceptible to the effects of the sounds computers make" - apparently the humming disrupts her mental capacity to work! So what can she do?

Basically, she comes in, whenever she fancies, and wheels a stock truck around the store. She equips herself with a bucket of soapy water and a cloth, and a price-checking gun. What, exactly, she does with these articles I'm yet to fathom. She stops every passing customer to bore them with tales of her ailments and, once in a while, selects a random shelf and checks all the products are in-date.

If she's not talking about her family's genetic history of cancer, she's discussing Polish immigrants. "Those bloody poles, coming over here and taking our jobs!" Yes love, and there's me thinking that you are a total waste of 35 hours a week that could go to somebody who actually wants to work!

She thinks she's very tough and will look for any excuse to get into fights with people. Lorraine once jokingly called her a fool for ordering 50 cases of coleslaw instead of 5. I have never seen such a drama in all my life. "Don't you DARE speak to me like that! You think you're hard because you're a supervisor? I'll have you in the car park any day of the week missy!" Poor Lorraine didn't know where to put herself. All of that took place in front of customers and the manager at the time, Eliza, did nothing about it. I would have sacked her on the spot.

And then there's the issue of her chronic bitchiness, nosiness and tittle-tattling. She stays in touch with a lot of ex-supervisors and store staff and tells them all sorts of things that are none of anybodys business. And now and then, she'll invent a complete lie and spread that about. She once got herself into serious hot water by accusing two members of the management of having an affair. They were both happily married and had absolutely no interest in each other - in that sense. How she ever got away with that, I'll never know.

And I must stop talking about her, because I've burst my Stressball.


Al said...

Advantages of Working in a Large Store #675: People like this can be easily ignored.

AggressiveAdmin said...

Yes, you're not wrong there. I think that's what can make smaller stores unbearable at times. We have 79 staff at the moment which, although it sounds a lot, isn't really at all. Over the course of an average week, I'll encounter each and every one of them.

cookie monster said...

could you not just lock her in the freezer?

AggressiveAdmin said...

Much as I'd like to lock her in the freezer, I couldn't. There's no lock on the door for one. I could jam something in the sliding rail, but, thing is, I'd be done for murder. And she isn't worth that much hassle.

I do have something on her though - that would get her the sack if I blabbed. But I don't have any cast-iron proof.

cookie monster said...

ah but you could kick off a good old self satisfying rumour. after all if shes doing it to other then she cna be on the recieving end for once!