Grab yourself a coffee, croissant or something ’cause this is going to take more than a minute…
Nicolas wasn’t a pain in my ass until he went and poked the bear.
Yeah, you guessed right.
I was the bear.
At a large firm I used to work for many moons ago, Nicolas sat in the cubicle next to me and listened to every word I said. I knew that he was eavesdropping because his cubicle would go totally silent each and every time I would take a call or talk to a colleague. Even though I didn’t care for his “vibe”, I was always civil to him – just not overly-friendly.
Being selective with whom I would engage with in that particular environment, I never participated in gossip and never gave anyone anything gossip-worthy about me, especially Nicolas. But I guess the guy needed a little drama to fill all those hours he didn’t spend being productive.
To give you a little context, Nicolas was the same weak ass colleague whose files I had been asked to take over, little by little, because he felt “overwhelmed” with his workload. I could definitely understand why because he spent so much time having breakfast at a colleague’s desk every morning, logged more personal calls than with his clients and he gossiped the day away with anyone who would listen.
But things shifted when someone whispered to me that Nicolas had been making up stories about me.
Now, THAT wasn’t cool. I was fuming and the only thing on my mind was telling him what he could do to himself.
But then it occurred to me that I could have a little fun with the situation presented to me.
First, I handed back all the files that I had taken on for him and suggested to my manager that if Nicolas wanted to feel less “overwhelmed”, he should actually try working.
Oh yeah, I went there.
Then, I hit Nicolas where it would hurt the most – with some free-flowing gossip created, produced and edited by me, as an experiment to see how the “information” would ripple and bounce back to me.
I could fill a small notebook with the ludicrous crap I said in my little cubicle knowing that Nicolas was eavesdropping – tales of living in different parts of the world, claims of having done Botox, how I had dated a popular local athlete…
Oh yeah I did.
It was amusing to see how long it took him to eavesdrop, gossip and then have someone approach me with some odd question that was peppered with something he had heard me say.
And oh, how hilarious it was to give that someone a seriously confused look and say, “Huh? That’s not true. Who told you that?”, a question to which that someone could never respond to without outing Nicolas.
But it didn’t take long for Nicolas to do it all on his own.
The best “gossip” was when I called up a friend (who was in on the joke) on my lunch hour and talked about how I was once almost at the altar to get married but the man that I really loved stopped the wedding, had whisked me away on the back of a motorcycle and that we had secretly gotten married. It was hard for me not to laugh when my friend was howling with laughter on the other end of the line.
Does that storyline sound familiar to you? Do you know why she was laughing?
Because I had regurgitated a warped version of the Bo and Hope (Days of Our Lives) storyline from way back in the 1980’s. Seriously stupid shit that Nicolas should have been able to smell a mile away but he didn’t.
When you’re a hungry fish, you’ll take any smelly bait.
A few days later, two co-workers approached me for a “superficial” conversation. Of course, one of them asked me if I had ever been married. Of course, I said no.
When the other one said that “someone” had said that I had gotten married, I responded with a clueless face.
Nicolas felt he had no choice but to scurry out of his cubicle and try to save himself.
Nicolas (confused look): “But you said that you got married!”
Me (serious face): “What are you talking about? When did I ever tell you that?”
Nicolas (dazed and confused): “Uh…uh…You didn’t. I…uh…heard you on the phone.”
Me (straight face but laughing my ass off on the inside): “I don’t know what you heard me say but I’m not married. You must have misunderstood.”
Nicolas (opens his mouth to say something but realizes that he can’t go further with the conversation without looking like an ass): —-
Co-workers # 1 and #2 glance at Nicolas in disgust and then quickly walk away.
Nicolas was left standing there like the loser that he was. Poor guy, I think that he almost believed that he had misinterpreted what he had heard.
A few months later, Nicolas left for another company.
What’s the moral of this story?
Don’t waste your time being bitter. Just have a little fun getting even.
©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.