Not the Lesser of Two Evils

I have this co-worker who is a very nice, friendly, generous lady, but I hate her. She talks too much, she's always chewing ice (SHE'S CHEWING ICE RIGHT NOW), she is a terrible writer and an unironic user of clipart, she's always touching me kindly, and she is bad at figuring things out on her own.


An example of her dumbness and irritatingness: if she's asked to schedule a meeting by our boss, boss will send a long email chain with the note "Nice Lady, will you schedule this meeting." And then Nice Lady will not be able figure out who is supposed to be in the meeting or what the meeting is about and she'll ask me to help her. I'll read the freaking email chain and figure it all out in two seconds. "Oh, I'm on a learning curve," Nice Lady says. "I'll understand everything eventually." But I know she'll never understand anything because she's a dumb lady with an obstinate brain. After working here for 6 months, Nice Lady still hasn't learned that the first number of the rooms in our building is the same as the floor. It took her at least 4 months to learn that our boss's name is "Carolina" not "Caroline" [not the real name, but it's the same thing].

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I'm oppressed* by her friendliness and her generosity. She's always wanting to have friendly conversations about nothing when I just want to do my work. She's always trying to comfort me with terrible shoulder pats and encouraging words when I have screwed something up. "Don't do that, please," I snap. "It makes me feel worse." And then she looks all hurt, I'm just trying to help her sad eyes say, and I know I'm evil.

This is what happened this morning: Nice Lady came in and gave me a danish from Starbucks. But I don't want a stupid danish from Starbucks; I don't even like danishes, and I'm trying to reduce the amount of sweet junk I eat. This is the third time she's given me a pastry I don't want. It's so nice of her to think of me, and I thank her for it, but I feel bad because I'm either going to have to eat this danish I don't want or throw it away. So I say to her, "Oh, thank you so much, Nice Lady, I really appreciate it, but you don't have to do that."

"I'm happy to do it, dear! I just thought you might enjoy it! But you might want to warm it up! I think that really improves the taste!"

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"Well, I'd prefer you wouldn't," I tell her, bluntly, cruelly. "I'm trying to watch my weight and I hate for you to buy something that I'm not going to eat. It seems like such a waste."

"Oh," she says, all sad-eyed again. "I'm a giver. I never think giving someone something is a waste. I didn't mean to offend you."

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Why am I such an ungrateful, prickly bitch? I wonder. I'm not even trying that hard to watch what I eat.

"You can throw it away or give it to someone else," Nice Lady tells me, shrugging. She sits gracefully in her chair.

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I mumble something about how I'm not offended, I just don't want to be wasteful, and I'm sure we'll be best buddies again later, because she's so very nice.

I hate myself, but I hate Nice Lady more, and so I know I'm evil. And so I know that this forum is my true home.

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*"oppressed" in the sense that it weighs down on my spirit, not in the sense that I'm being held back by an unjust system or anything. In the Oppression Olympics I know that living under the friendly thumb of Nice Lady's kindness is a last place finisher.

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