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Wanna Read About My Work Drama?

TL;DR: Post your weirdo colleague or work drama story in the replies!

My department has been going through what you might call "growing pains." Lots of change. Nothing is "routine" anymore. In the midst of all this, we found ourselves with two core vacancies.

After a long search, an offer was made a couple months ago to someone with very impressive expertise and degrees. This person came in at a "senior" tier — meaning s/he would handle some of the more complex assignments. Once the offer was accepted, we heard all about how great the New Person (NP) was in our team meeting.


Then we met NP.

Initial impressions?


Ummmm... Quirky? Maybe a little eccentric? Sometimes, kinda... weird?

[Do you know how dangerous MSG is?! Well I do! I've been hearing all about it since June! In fact, I can't believe I'm even alive to type this!]

Now, we work with engineers, mad scientists (a term of endearment here, I swear) and Type As, so "quirky", "eccentric" and "weird" are par for the course. But, whatever, you get your job done, we're all cool.

Except, NP wasn't getting the job done. NP would ask different people to explain the same concepts and procedures over and over and over again. NP started telling anyone and everyone that this was really stressful and didn't know how we did it.


This person has a couple decades of experience in this industry, several advanced degrees and held a prestigious position prior to here. I do the same fucking job, with four years experience and on-the-job-training. Oh, and I probably earn significantly less pay.

Plus, there were NP's numerous health issues.

Now, I know enough to know that I don't know shit. You can't look at someone and "see" that they're sick, plus, I'm not their doctor. However, 1.) NP openly and constantly discussed the health stuff; 2.) was asking around about our disability benefits within the first few days on the job and; 3.) the existing health issues were routinely used to explain why NP couldn't do things (my state's laws allow you to ask someone to confirm that there is no reason they wouldn't be able to perform the job at hand.)


Hmmm ...

Week 1: NP asked a colleague for his/her cell number "in case [NP] need[ed] to go to the hospital." Yeah, I don't know why 911 wasn't an option, either.


Week 4: NP left the office on a stretcher due to dizziness. NP always feels dizzy. Wait a sec. Read that again. I did not write that NP often feels dizzy, I wrote that NP always feels dizzy.

Week 6: NP popped into another colleague's office unannounced one day and asked "can you pick me up in the mornings since you basically drive past my neighborhood, anyway." Colleague said "no."


Week 8: NP took to wearing headphones at work b/c it was "too loud." There is nothing "loud" about our hallway but I get that some people are sensitive or distracted by even routine background noise. This is probably the least offensive item on the list.

On-going: numerous absences. Like, every week. Dominating conversations with NP's health problems and telling you how whatever you're eating at that moment is dangerous and so-and-so organization just published a study on MSG/gluten/etc. and how it's totally going to eventually kill you.


I would be willing to let some of these slide if they were isolated. Plus, if someone's immune system or thyroid or whatever turns on them, holy crap. We all take our good health for granted. Even in private, the colleagues I chatted with about this were all careful to add a disclaimer about not faulting NP for health problems. Real ones, that is.

Some of the questions NP asked, though ... struck some of us as... suspicious. Manipulative, even. It made some people wonder if there was abuse of the system.


Then the really fun rumors started!

Depending on who you asked, each of the key supervisors in charge of the hiring process had "concerns" about this candidate. The supervisor's identity changes, based on who's telling the story.


NP's portrayals of illness were inconsistent or stories would change.

NP started throwing people under the bus. I can personally vouch for that one. I was an eye-witness.


My favorite was a former colleague (FC) who was visiting and (behind closed doors) expressed absolute shock to several of us that NP had been hired. You see, FC was familiar with NP through a professional org and... lemme make sure I get this quote right, "NP is cray-zee! I've known that for years! The supervisors know it, too! They were at those get-togethers with me! You guys are soooo screwed! Seriously, NP is NUTS!"

Ruh roh.

And, suddenly, a couple weeks ago, we learned NP was out on short-term disability.


According to one of my colleagues, NP is claiming "mental stress."

Mental. Stress.

Because: work. You know what I call that? A slow weekday. This is the same work that the rest of us are dealing with just fine.


Management appears to be building a case for termination (I cannot understate that this is incredible, it is damn near impossible to get fired here).

A months-long search for this "amazing" candidate and we got less than six months out of NP. Oh, and nothing new was successfully completed. And until NP is terminated or at least officially removed from that position, they can't begin the search for a replacement.


*serenity now*

So, who's the black hole at your work? The time-waster? The office vampire? W

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