Monday, April 20, 2009

One Person Less in the Apartment

The inevitable has arrived: my housemate, H, just moved out a few hours ago. Well, she packed a bag and an extra mattress, so maybe she's not gone for good. Since our apartment is provided by the company, she may not get to change accomodation as easily. Still, she has made her intention pretty clear.

How did this happen? A gradual build-up of frustration and resentment over the last 6 months in this desert city. A colleague and I were talking about this the other day: it's living in this desert city - we become less patient, our temper grow shorter.

My side of the story is - for the past 6 months, I have been picking up the slack for H at work. I have only told my Department Manager about this - and he has been trying to talk to H one-on-one. Unfortunately H just thinks we are bullying her.

I want to tell H this to her face: No, you moron. If we really wanted to bully you, we would have told the Store Manager about how you did not re-order Obama's Dreams From My Father. How you allowed Eat, Pray, Love to go out of stock for a month before I asked you about it. How you hid in the office on weekends when the store is busiest to avoid the customers. So many things we could have done to discredit you in front of the bosses. We did not. I walked away so many times when I could have confronted you and mock you for the incompetent, political backstabbing bitch that you are. You tried to drive a wedge between my Department Manager and myself when we first came to Dubai. You tried to take credit for my work. You thought we were stupid. We are not. We are just more decent, and we were too busy to play your games.

And you think we are bullying you.

What happened today was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I asked H to follow up on the order for a bestselling travel map. We are down to ONE COPY of the #2 bestselling travel map, and we need to order more urgently. It was part of her job, and I was tired to doing her job for her. Later in the afternoon, I found out H "delegated" the order to a colleague, Moideen. Except she didn't follow up with Moideen on the orders. So, her method of delegation is to throw the job to somebody else.

I decided I had enough. So I wrote an email to H, copying my Department Manager. In that email I told H that in future, if she would like to delegate her orders, I would appreciate it if she could at least supervise or check through the orders. I pointed out that Moideen's orders did not include our #2 bestselling travel map - which I highlighted to her. I sent it out right before I left the office, so I did not see her reaction. But I knew which button it would push.

H doesn't care about her job - but I still care about the store. I worked so hard to build this store and we are doing better than anyone expected. I will not allow a weasel like H to undo what we have built.

Now H has moved out. There will be repercussions, of course. Eventually the bosses will find out, and we will have to explain the accomodation change. My Department Manager will be alarmed (but he will not be surprised) when he hears about this.

The internet service in the apartment is registered under H's name. So when she moves out, she might want to cancel the internet service. This means I will probably be without home internet access for a while. Yet the idea of finally being able to come back to an empty apartment without H is so comforting.


Unknown said...

Not easy.
Hang in there okay? Keep your spirits up & enjoy your space & privacy for now.


Bybee said...

Oh awful...having to work with her and live with her. I hope she and her mattress don't come back.

Unknown said...

As they say, good riddance to bad rubbish. Obviously i'm so on your side (coz i don't like H).

Stefanie said...

How hard that you have to live with the person who makes work so hard. I suppose it is good that she has moved out. Will she be fired too? I hope at least that you get to enjoy your now quiet apartment.

Ana S. said...

As unpleasant as dealing with that must have been, at least the situation reached a resolution of some sort. You were more patient than most people would have been. And hooray for a quiet apartment!

Anonymous said...

arg! these situations are so difficult!

well, rest assured that you've done all you could've to deal with the situation peacably. more than that you simply cannot do...

Ella said...

I'm sorry, DO, what a mess. I hope things at work sort themselves out and you get a better roomate.

(Dubai does seem to bring out the worst in people, you're completely right about that. I think it's the glare.)

Carl V. Anderson said...

Well good for you! I know that you have been so frustrated with her for so long. Everyone hopes that co-workers will do what you did, which is to initially give them the benefit of the doubt and not run off 'tattling' to the boss, but when the person doesn't change and is not pulling their weight, or worse, that kind of thing just has to be done. It is your customers, as well as you and other employees, who suffer from this kind of behavior. I have no doubt this was rough. I go through similar rough things with my workers. But I think your life will be much more pleasant if she is truly gone, at least from your apartment. I would encourage you to continue to be bold and do what is best for you and the business.