02/01/28 to 02/03/01


These last weeks have been, well … interesting.

Mandi said when she first came she was OK with a computer, and it looked as if she was OK at first, but she had a lot of problems and it turned out she couldn't do real basic stuff like setting fonts and margins, or saving files. She didn't like it when I tried to explain how to do it though, she just wanted me to do it for her and said I took too long to explain. It's true I could have done it for her quicker than I could have shown her how to do it for herself, but I didn't want to be called over every time and there was no reason why she couldn't have at least opened and closed her own files right - I mean, even AJ can do that.
But whenever I tried to explain things to her she'd say you don't wike me do you I'm going to cwy you made me cwy - and then LeeAnn and Fiona and James and all wouldn't wait to see what had really happened, they'd just jump on me and start in to telling me to stop being nasty to her.

Then LeeAnn was threatening one of the shop floor guys just before the coffee break at ten and overran slightly so she was the last in the break room, and when she went to pour her coffee there was none left. The last person hadn't refilled the pot and she thought it was Amy. Amy said it wasn't her but apologised anyways, as it was LeeAnn, but LeeAnn sulked the rest of the day and wouldn't talk to Amy at all.
The next day the stapler and punch from LeeAnn's desk were taken and left on Amy's desk, and LeeAnn told Amy she didn't mind people borrowing them but they ought to put them back when they'd finished with them. Amy apologised again and LeeAnn went down and took it out on the Welders, who are all scared of her as well.
Amy was real upset for the rest of the day and told Fiona she'd only apologised because it was LeeAnn, but she hadn't done it. Now I didn't see who did, but I'm real sure it was Mandi - maybe it's something to do with the way she sat watching so intently.

Well, that's how it started off.
The atmosphere in the office changed a great deal. We've all had a good working relationship before and there's only been minor spats and the occasional comment, but it was getting bad. After about two more weeks of problems and nastiness we'd all cottoned on to the fact that most of it came from Mandi, but AJ decided he liked her. She'd run to him and get her story in first and he'd come out and yell at us all to stop picking on her because she was new to the company

Amy was the first to give in unconditionally. She didn't stand a chance, she couldn't handle it at all, but we all knew she would as she falls apart under even the lightest pressure. All the rest of us have looked after her until now and nobody's ever been relentlessly cruel to her before.
Nobody else could deal with it either, and one by one we just rolled over and gave in.
Mandi always made sure she wasn't caught doing anything you could actually point to and complain about - and if you did try to say anything she'd say you don't wike me do you? you're being mean you're howwid to me, and run to AJ, so you'd just back off and give up.
I'm not too good at dealing with problems like this myself, because I'm a coward, so about all I did was wait until she went home and then take it out on Mr Flossy, her stupid stuffed plush rabbit. I know for a fact I wasn't the only one behaving childishly - one evening I caught Fiona sticking paper clips in it and she made me promise not to tell. I said OK, as long as she let me stick one in too.

James was the last, after me, but he finally gave in after the last complaint to AJ, and it looked like the end of the office. Then the water monster in the roof stepped in to save us all.

Friday 28 February, about half three:
The pipes had been making a lot of noise yesterday, but it was very quiet today - we've all gotten so used to it we all don't notice it any more, but you sure notice it when it stops.
Mandi had gotten Amy to do her work for her so she was free to wander about and try to upset us all. James and I have been able to escape some of it by staying in our own offices and trying to not come out so she has to come in and get us, and today she decided she'd pick on me.

It started innocent, as it always does, by her standing over me and asking me a whole string of reasonable questions - all designed to get me to say something about school or college so she could tell me again how different the US system is to the UK one. Finally I gave in and admitted no, I didn't know anything about schools in the UK, and no, they didn't teach us about UK schools in the US, and yes, that proved I was stupid as everybody else in the office knew what she was talking about.
She seemed satisfied with that and wandered off to sit at her own desk for a while to plan the next session - I knew she'd be back to dig a little more, and I can tell you I wasn't looking forward to it.

The pipes had been so quiet all day we all were startled by them suddenly starting up again - only much louder. There was a lot of banging and yelling going on up there, and if you looked up the ceiling tiles were visibly shaking. James and I came out to see what was happening, and all the others stopped to look up too.
Fiona said the worst of it's over your desk, Mandi, so I opened my big mouth just one more time and said well maybe it's the water monster wanting a snack. Mandi glared at me and said you don't wike me, do you? I can tell, and James very kindly nudged me to stop me replying. Mandi grabbed Mr Flossy to cuddle up to, and it must have been right about then that the water tank in that part of the roof burst open and the ceiling over her desk gave way.

The emergency plumber said they would work over the weekend and get it safe for us to come back in on Monday. He also said the pipes had been constricted by something and finally had ripped from the tank, and the tank itself was rusty - but cheer up mate at least it hadn't been full, it looks like it'd only contained about forty gallons. It looked like much, much more.

Andy told us all to go home, as there wasn't anything anybody could do until Monday and things had a chance to dry out over the weekend, but we all hung around to watch Mandi go crazy, try to wring out her dress and scream a lot.
She finally squooshed home after telling Andy (as the senior person in AJ's absense) that she's going to complain to Head Office about us all and him in particular, she'd never work for the company again after the humiliation and agony our negligence has put her through, and she's going to go straight to her solicitor for damages for constructive dismissal, personal injury, and damage to her personal possessions.
Mr Flossy didn't say anything, he just dripped.

So it looks as if it wasn t just us - the water monster didn't wike her either.

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