just make it stop!

I’ve mentioned Anxious Mum occasionally before and once threatened to compose a long post about her – which became unnecessary because the effect of intense anxiousness became less when we moved from the tiny windowless box into the open-plan and sat with lovely, normal, un-crazed people.

However, all that has changed now that she is separating from her partner and appears to feel that the Whole World should be involved, so allow me, if you will, to indulge in my little rant. But first, some background …

Around three years ago when Anxious Mum started at the Celeste, she sat in the same cubicle as Heather and I (we were all in different teams) and Don was over the fence in the next cubicle.

AM has two children: Brosnan and Dench (or, as we liked to refer to them, “Brosnan and not-Brosnan” because of the obvious favourite), who appeared to be a constant Disappointment to her, for they were not of the school captain, rugby captain, musical/academic prodigy type, despite the dozens Improving Activities she organised for them. I have never seen children whose lives were so micro-managed. I’m am not exaggerating when I say that every 15 minutes were accounted for (“now, make sure that Dench practices her lute for 15 minutes and then she must revise her spelling …”). They did not ever seem to just play or have time to themselves and there was a HUGE scene when the children’s father bought a PS2 for Brosnan.

Heather, Don and I (and others) agreed on many occasions that we would not be at all surprised if there was a call one morning informing us that Anxious Mum had been murdered, because of the daily horrible, shrieking (although Don remembers it more as whispered shouting) phone conversations she engaged in with her partner (henceforth, The Murderer). Honestly, I have never heard anyone regularly speak to someone in such an ugly, demeaning, hostile way. And we could have well understood the murder. The whole situation was ghastly and embarrassing. Often we had to escape outside or to the kitchen until it was over because we really did not know where to look.

For a good while, after she moved to another area, it was bliss! Just Heather and I and Don and The Professor and other colleagues happily chatting and not constantly inflicting our Dramas on others. Excellent!

Then, alas, the hand of fate intervened, and Anxious Mum and I were in the same team and shut in the windowless box and she was Tense and Anxious and it was Very Difficult. But I tried to be cheerful and friendly, because I’m all about the workplace harmony and Not Making a Fuss.

Thus the usual shrieky phone calls to The Murderer and other Dramas returned to my life.

Because Brosnan and not-Brosnan were not the “school captain, rugby captain, musical/academic prodigy” type, Anxious Mum became convinced that there was Something Wrong with them and so began the round of doctor shopping, diagnosis by internets and hideously expensive fringe-therapies. When one doctor would proclaim them okay and perfectly normal, she’d move on to another &etc . She’d regularly ask what we managed to do to have J/F diagnosed (errrmm … he has a disability?) and regale us with the progress of therapies. Apparently, a couple of therapists and The Murder asked could they not just stop and accept the children as they are? The results were Not Positive. Cue moar anxiety and shrieking and conflict.

I’ve omitted a couple of extemely-less-than-pleasant character traits here, but I will point out that Anxious Mum is pretty much universally disliked across Marie Celeste (despite the freaks it is super-easy to make friends there), she has a huge sense of entitlement because she worked at National Broadcaster (more than 5 years ago [and WTF?]), is generally belittling and nasty to everyone and thinks she should be much more well regarded and paid much more than she is despite doing nothing to earn it, etc etc (am sure you’ve encountered the type).

Then, as mentioned above, we moved to the open-plan and it was a little less Intense (yay!), until she announced that she was leaving The Murderer, then OMFG. When too much drama is barely enough …

Firstly, she informed me quietly that it was completely unreasonable that Marie Celeste did not provide rooms and phones to have personal conversations, and that mobile phone calls were too expensive, so everyone around us would have to “just put up” with her calls to her lawyers re: her divorce proceedings. And so we’ve all been subjected to an ever-increasing volley of calls to the lawyer / various agencies. Personally, I have been subjected to the gory details of how they’ve been calling the police on each other (they’re still living in the same house), culminating in bragging how she goaded him into shoving her so she could take out an AVO against him and escalate proceedings (to get him out of the house).

The divorce proceedings have now been going on for six months and it is becoming really difficult to deal with. On Friday, it was so very ghastly (see twitter) that I had to leave my desk and just walk away. Twice.

Because The Murderer has worked part-time and was the carer to the children and ferried them about to their endless Improving Activities and earns little while she earns A Lot (see twitter rant about someone in same job doing much less but earning $20K moar), he’s claiming child support. So there have been Very Loud frequent rants on the telephone about I should not have to support him “just because I am more intelligent because I earn more money” etc etc. How the counsellors they have to deal with don’t know what they are talking about because they only earn $50K a year. And how The Murderer is a loser and “just a glorified nanny” and insane (because he is requesting support) and how she plans to have him committed because he is unhinged (because, heaven forbid, he wants support).

Frankly, this makes me ill and angry and outraged and Angry and I want it to go away. I wish I had the bravery to tell her to Take It All Elsewhere and STFU, but all I can do is complain to Dishy Boss (who is equally spineless and won’t say a thing either).

GAH! Is it any wonder I am losing my grip?

Anyways, thank you internets, that feels a WHOLE lot better (at least for the moment).


3 thoughts on “just make it stop!

  1. Hmm, not sure how big your workplace is, but frankly, if you have a HR person I would be putting a firm complaint to them that the rest of you not be exposed to this kind of unprofessional conduct. Boss may be dishy but is really letting the rest of you down. Sorry to be so serious when I usually try to be fun and amusing but when you say she is provoking anxiety in you, that is more than just an irritating workmate.

  2. Curious, you (and Joan and Don) are right of course. This has been going on for so long that I have begun to think it is normal and tolerable. It was only when I was composing the post (and how much I left out) that I realised the extent of the horribleness!

    Times like this I wish I still worked for a large soulless corporation with a HR Department/Person, Marie Celeste flicked ours quite some time ago. Nonetheless, I will attempt to raise it somewhere.

    Harriet, indeed!

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