It’s no secret that I don’t like my coworkers. Having gone a few years without ever speaking to one of them because I’d just had enough of her bullshit came to an end after I returned from maternity leave. It wasn’t a conscious decision, just something that sort of happened. It began with polite acknowledgement and remained out of a lack of enthusiasm for ongoing dramatics. I never initiated the conversations with her, however, and still don’t. I told myself that I could always revert back to the “professional silent treatment” if she did something to irritate me, so for now, I sort of tolerate her. My feelings about her personally are unchanged, I think everyone knows that.
Still, this shift gave me an opportunity to sort of mess with her. One morning, after the boss had been out sick for a few days, she came in to tell us how she had fallen outside our building. The weather was super rainy, and she was attempting to carry her lunch, coffee, and purse and umbrella (while walking), and slipped and fell in front of the building. She didn’t mention any injury, only lamenting the spilled coffee being her second lost cup of the day. After a few minutes, she realized the boss would be out of the office, did she decide to parlay this embarrassing fall into a free day for herself. She was relaying this information to me and another staffer when I decided to stick it to her.
What she neglected to consider was that a fall on our campus, especially one so bad that she needs to go home for, has to be reported according to standard practice and policy. If you fall at work here, you must complete an incident report, get examined by employee health for injuries (she claimed several), and be interviewed by public safety. Oh, and they also make you submit to a drug screen and follow ups. All of your time off for a fall is under workmen’s comp, so has to have extra documentation that’s required to be submitted. We made her do all of this.
So, instead of skipping out the door and going home, she got stuck in employee health for half the day (did I mention that it was new employee physicals that day? Super crowded and busy over there!), and had to recount her harrowing tale to public safety officers who now think that in addition to being a klutz, is also a terrible liar. And, while the boss won’t ever say so, he’s furious that she’s taking such a simple thing and making it into such a big deal. Of course, he doesn’t realized we made her. She’s had to stick to her lies (or at least over-embellishments) about her injuries, and is milking the eyeroll garnering attention for all its worth.
How do I know she’s faking her injuries, you might ask? Well, before the fall, I had placed a random screw I had found in the hallway under her seat. I thought it would only incur some paranoia, but it gave up a goldmine. I came in to find her crawling around on the floor looking for its source. Ms. I’m Too Hurt To Stay At Work was having no trouble contorting her injured body to find the non-existent source of this screw, and must’ve been down there for about 20 minutes.