I have never claimed to be perfect. I will never claim to be perfect. But I live my life trying, basically, not to be an asshole. And I think that it has worked out well for me so far.
Because why? Why be an asshole? Why be difficult?
I work with an asshole. An asshole who, I believe, is an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. I think that she likes it. Likes stirring everyone up because she can. Revels in the perceived power of being difficult.
It’s really unpleasant. I don’t like being around her.
Yesterday was Coworker B’s going away party. The rest of our department – five of us – decided to throw him an incredibly casual reception at the end of the workday and invited the rest of our coworkers to drop by for snacks and an opportunity to wish Coworker B well in his new career adventure.
I volunteered to bring a few different dips and crackers. Another coworker made a few different salsas and brought in the corresponding tortilla chips. My boss brought in a bunch of fruit and dips. One person bought all of the paper products.
And we all waited and waited and waited on our asshole coworker to volunteer to bring something. And then my boss asked and got no response and then she asked again and got no response and, seriously, what are you trying to say by refusing to bring in a few liters of soda? Seriously.
You’re not going to bring anything? Fine. Don’t bring anything. We proceeded without her and bought drinks and set up the party and had the party and she didn’t show up. And I was like GOOD. I DIDN’T WANT YOU EATING THE FOOD OR DRINKING THE DRINKS, ANYWAY.
There are obviously situations in which someone cannot participate for whatever legitimate reason (no money, religious beliefs, whatever) and that is fine and I understand it and I will even be nice about it. But she was doing it to be a jerk. She was doing it to make some unknown point that, in her head, her absence and refusal to participate made loud and clear. (None of us have any idea what this point was that she was making.)
Fast forward an hour to when we were cleaning up and then my asshole coworker shows up and helps herself to a plate. Which she sits and eats while we’re all cleaning up around her.
Lucky for her, I was in complete hostess mode and I was chatting away with her like she hadn’t been an intentional asshole about the whole party and it didn’t even occur to me how vile and rude she was being until we finished up and one of my colleagues (who had been huffily cleaning up around our asshole coworker) turned to me and whispered “you’re far more gracious than I am.”
My graciousness was a complete accident but life is so much more pleasant being accidentally gracious than being intentionally assholeish.
So have some hummus, asshole. I win anyway.