07 April 2006

My colleague 'who doesn't know face'

Thats a direct translation of a Yoruba phrase - Eni ti o mo oju

I respect an individual’s right to personal space and would (reluctantly) tread there only if invited. The key thought here is that I wait to be invited. Not so some people. I have this colleague, you know the type, she knows the most, can talk the most, can work the most etc. In my opinion she has a much exaggerated opinion of her capabilities.

When I got engaged to my Ex, he gave me a really beautiful (okay I am biased) 3 stone diamond engagement ring. I think a couple of days later I had to go to her office to get some stuff done. From the door she spied the ring and could barely wait for me to make the walk to her table (the person I needed to see sits close to her work area). ‘Congratulations’ she says ‘Let me see’ I gladly obliged her. ‘You are wearing your ring on the wrong finger!’ she exclaims. ‘I am?’ I reply. ‘The engagement ring is worn on the 4th finger of the left hand isn’t it?’ I ask ‘No, it’s worn on the 3rd finger she replies’ and then proceeds to try and remove my ring and place it properly. ‘Hello?!’ I ask as I quickly curl my fingers and actually wrestle my hand out of her grip. ‘Na you put ring there, wetin be your own wey you wan commot am put am somewhere else? Na where my bobo put am na im e go remain, make I no vex o!’ By now everyone in the office is looking at us. I am really angry at this know-all. I take a deep breath and see my Ex’s face smiling at me. I calm down, ‘How is your husband?’ I ask with a smile ‘He is fine she replies’ ‘A beg make I quickly see Mr O’ I say as I walk on. Gosh, if you feel you know better, advice me and let me decide whether or not to heed your advice, don’t go forcing your (very wrong) opinions on me!

One would think this woman would have picked sense o, at least when it comes to me. Yesterday she comes to my office to see another colleague, and I am on the phone. I get off and she comes over, ‘Madam how now?’ she says as she reaches for my handbag ‘Yes, and how may I help you?’ I ask looking pointedly at my handbag which she is carrying. ‘I beg wey your purse, I need money to eat’ ‘Na me give you bele?’ I wonder ‘And you are actually going to begin to go through my bag to get?’ I ask as she starts rifling through my bag imagine! E be like say make I give am flying dropkick! I turn from her and make a show of busying myself at my computer. I am boiling now. She begins to feel foolish, she touches my arm to get my attention (by this time my back is turned to her) and says ‘its not here’ ‘Really?, I wonder where it is’ I say as I pointedly remove my poor bag from her vicious grip and as if on cue my extension rings, its my ED wanting a status report on some work I was doing. She hangs around a bit, and seeing that my call wasn’t going to end, she leaves. Imagine! How can someone commit such an indiscretion? Perhaps she figures we are friends, but even my friends wouldn’t do that at least not without my permission, heck even Princess wouldn’t go in my bag without me asking her to! Well its three strikes you are out for this particular colleague, and by the time I am done with her, I will have another batch of adjectives to add to the growing list that describes me.


nigeria, what's new said...

oh boy, there still a lot of these 'I know it all & have been there' types about. It is easier to avoid them when they are not family. Good luck.

yemisi. said...

Adefunke, hi.

#1. i just love your blog. i look forward to reading it every day and i am grateful that you update so regularly.

#2. that yoruba phrase is very apt. your colleague seems illiterate when it comes to reading social cues. she sounds rather self-absorbed. hope it does not land her in trouble one day.

take care,

Adunni said...

As i read this piece, i found myself cringing not at your colleague's behaviour but at me. I realised that i'm guilty of picking people bags and examining the contents ( only my very close friends though) and i wonder do they feel like you do but can't say so cos we're friends or do they really not mind.
Anyways we're friends and they're stuck with me.On the flip side, the lady in question being your colleague and all sounds like she really doesn't "know eye".

Olawunmi said...

i absolutely hate it when people are socially "clueless". people who violate your space without prompting, people who do not stop for a second to consider if their next action might be disagreeable to you in some way.

its absolutely worse when they are bosses or family members that you cannot tell off or control without needing the intervention of the angels to mend whatever fences are burned as a result of your passionate reaction to their inconsiderate actions.

i swear diplomacy is a pain sometimes!!!