#2 in a continuing series on Women I Have Worked With. Not funny like Hazel, though.
From 1979-1989 I was the union rep for a couple of hundred clerical workers, mostly secretaries, and in that capacity I did a lot of good (I think) and also met some epic wackjobs. Amanda Lee I will save for another post.
Elizabeth was a tall blonde woman who had been messed over by our employer. She worked for a professor who had been told numerous times that he had 90 days to decide whether he wanted to keep her or scrub her, play her or trade her -- but that once the 90 day probationary period expired she would be HIS to keep, no ifs ands or buts. So what did Mr. Genius do? On Day #91 he woke up horrified and called the personnal office and said "I can't stand this woman! Make her go away!"
So of course they tried and I had to stop them. I assume I don't have to tell you why, principal of the thing and so forth. Thus Elizabeth came into my life whining and bitching and moaning at every opportunity. She was a large woman with misshapen feet, yet she persisted in wearing sandals in all weathers, usually accompanied by ripped black stockings, to show off her bunions.
Although she had some measure of job security, she was taken away from the professor and assigned to other faculty over the ensuing ten or fifteen years. I can't even count how many office spaces she was assigned to. Nothing ever satisfied her, and she alienated every cow-orker (ooh, that was a trip down memory lane!) she ever came in contact with. And of course the department could have fired her all along if they'd had their ducks in a row and documented the case properly, but instead they kept violating her contractual rights and forcing me to charge in and save her ass time and again. Once a delegation of her luckless office mates approached me to ask if I would go easy on rescuing her job, but I was able to convince them of the Principal of the Thing and all, thank goodness. Or not.
I never could decide whether she was a classic case of overcompensation for an inferiority complex or a genuine superiority complex, which I'm told are rare. I never detected a fissure in her utter complacency about her job skills, her looks, her sex appeal, or her intelligence. Which were poor, average, no comment, and average by my assessment.
She lied about her age, which I dislike. But she did it in a really funny way. She was about 10 years older than I, and she tried to buddy up with me and another woman whose birthday is just a week off mine. We of course never disguised this, but it was quite amusing to hear her edit her stories of going to college in the '60s. She once even brought in a snapshot that was clearly altered. She committed numerous anachronisms which we would then patiently wait for her to dig out of.
She was a bit of a racist and an altogether unpleasant person, not the last whose job I would be forced to ensure, alas. She palled around with a couple of the other bottom-feeders and they would go clubbing sometimes, but she only ever went home to her cat Jeremy.
When it was time for her to retire, she committed a truly bizarre deception that fooled no one -- she went out and bought an enormous zircon which she wore on the third finger of her left hand, and invented a rich fiance who was going to Take Her Away from All This. Of course I was friends with the personnel (now Human Resources) director on the down-low, and so I knew quite well that Elizabeth was just going to go back to her apartment in Whiting, Indiana and Jeremy.
Jeremy died, and a few years later her landlord got a call from one of the other tenants about a smell. You can figure out the rest.