I took on a contract/temp job at a nationally popular business publication in my area, partly for the extra money and partly because I thought it would be a good way to make some editorial contacts, if possible.
Everything is fine with the job, except for the fact that I have to sit in a cubicle--for most freelancers, who are used to working from home, a cubicle is something akin to a cell at Abu Grahib or Gitmo--next to one of the most obnoxious copy editors I have ever encountered.
My experience with copy editors is that they are a necessary evil for writers. Find a good one, and they can take an article that is garbage and transform it into readable copy. Find a bad one, and they become your worst nightmare. I've had copy editors who have actually changed correct grammar into incorrect grammar, or misspelled a name that I spelled correctly.
Given that, I am not working directly with the copy editors at all, but that's the only space they had for me.
From day one, I noticed that one of the copy editors never closes her mouth, period. From the time I arrive into my drab cubicle, until the time I leave, she is constantly running her mouth, getting into people's business, and generally trying to let anyone and everyone know how wonderful she is.
The first day I was there, I ate lunch at my desk. The HR person came by to answer a question for me concerning the login for my computer, and 'Little Miss Wonderful' copy editor had to interrupt my conversation with a 'HEY GIRL, ARE YOU TAKIN ME TO LUNCH TODAY?' scream over the top of my cubicle wall.
HR person sort of grimaces and says back to her, "Um, no, I'm not." She finishes talking to me, and LMW follows her down the hall.
30 seconds later, HR person is back in my cube saying, "Oh, did anyone tell you that you cannot eat lunch at your desk?" My lunch was far gone by the time she came back to tell me that, nor were there remnants of lunch on my desk, but somehow she knew I ate lunch at my desk.
Wonder who told her? Hmm...let me guess.
So, I told her that nobody had said anything about eating at my desk, etc.
Since that time, LMW has done everything possible to get and keep my attention, and feels the need to constantly blather on about her personal life, take cell phone calls from her friends all with this high pitched, fingernails on chalkboard type of voice.
And this is the level of competence as a copy editor that she possesses:
I heard her ask another copy editor, "Is homeowner one or two words?"
When I heard her say that, I felt the same way that I did when I saw the following bumper sticker:
"My Child made the Principle's List at Marbut Elementary School."
I have tried my best to just ignore her and do my job, but it makes it hard when I have to be on the phone a lot tracking down information from people and she's constantly talking very loudly.
Her latest game was to start invading my personal space, by sitting on the edge of my cubicle desk, her boney butt facing me, and carrying on conversations with various other employees almost in my cubicle.
Normally, if I were a full-time employee there, I would not hesitate to have a little discussion with her, but as a temporary employee I am not sure how or if I should handle this problem.
When I continued to ignore her and her boney butt, she finally turned around and said, "I'm in your cube, because I have a bunch of office supplies that I just got in mine, and I don't want these people taking my stuff."
I just looked at her as if she had lost her mind.
Right now, all I want to do is walk into her cube and start screaming "Shut UP..JUST SHUT UP...SHUT UP...SHUT UP...SHUT UP," but I am sure that would have the opposite effect on her.
Anyway, I came across this HILARIOUS mp3 file that sort of sums up my feelings. Leave it to Babs Streisand to confidently say what we all would like to say to someone at some time or another.
This guy turned Babs' response to a heckler during her New York City shows, into a dance remix.
This is fantastic. I so want to just blast this into the next cubicle.
Click on the STFU link in the music player, and enjoy.