Then He Cried
Back when I temped for Turkey, Office Manager handled all human resource-type things. In April, as I was starting, Turkey closed his office door to tell me he was taking that over from Office Manager. So what exactly was Office Manager supposed to be doing with all her time? How much managing did our office really need? Office Manager had also been promised some number of paralegal (a.k.a. billable) hours each week, and it was in her contract that she'd get paid for them, whether or not Turkey was able to bill out for them. So if he didn't have the paralegal work to give her, he still had to pay her anyway. He almost never had the paralegal work to give her. Why? Because he has a crush on the (straight, and married) architect, so he gave him almost all the paralegal work.
So back in the fall, Office Manager gave five weeks of notice, per her contract. Then, in the first week of December, her last day came, and sadly Office Manager was gone. A few weeks ago, since I open all the mall, I became aware of the fact that Office Manager filed for unemployment, claiming constructive termination. I had to look it up.
When I thought about what it means, how it can be applied, and the truth of things that happened with Turkey and Office Manager, I smiled. She had a shot. When Turkey saw the mail he asked if I'd read it. I told him I never read the mail, just look at it enough to see who it goes to, with the only exception being when Turkey is out of town.
Turkey is a guy who overshares. He tells me every time he's going to the bathroom. He slams family members and co-workers to me (and other co-workers). Turkey also lets me (and others) see what would seem like incredibly personal documents regarding his life. It's almost like passive-aggressively showing off, to let everyone in the office know how much you paid for your second home.
Today something came in the mail basically saying that Office Manager submitted paperwork proving her claim of constructive termination and while Turkey can appeal, they will begin paying her. Turkey asked if I'd read the documents, and I told him no, that I just open and date-stamp everything before distribution. He folded the pages back up and tucked them under his arm. His cheek twitched, and Turkey told me he needed to take a few deep breathes. I asked if he wanted me to come back, but he said no, so I sat and waited.
It was awkward. Turkey sat, looking down, breathing, while I sat in silence. In my head I'm quite fidgety, but lawyers don't want someone fidgeting on the other side of their desk, so I force myself to sit still. We probably sat, breathing, for about 45 seconds before Turkey resumed opening his mail. What? Don't you sit with your boss providing moral support while he goes through his mail each day? What do you mean that's a waste of time?
Turkey asked once more if I'd looked at the mail. Once more, I gave him my standard reply. We continued on with the mail. It was clear Turkey wanted to be finished quickly, and when we were, he told me to close his office door on the way out. I reminded him that he had to leave in 45 minutes for a meeting. Turkey immediately got on his cell phone, and the WASP and I could hear his tone of voice through the wall. It wasn't pretty. The two of each other looked at each other in shock as we heard the noises he was making. I've been a legal secretary for 15 years, and this was a first.