Glenda’s name may have meant good and kind, but she was the supervisor from Hell. Her most famous words were, “Rules are there for a reason,” but after a while, it became clear that the rules were for everyone but Glenda.
She arrived one morning looking like she’d walked out of an 80s Whitesnake video—without the cloud of smoke. But we didn’t need smoke to warn us. Glenda was a bad witch, and from the moment she took over our department we knew that she had the power to make us vanish if we didn’t do exactly as she said.
Glenda evaluated our performance at least monthly and picked our work apart whenever she felt like it—usually in front of the rest of the department. “If you don’t know how to do something,” she would say, “then fake it till you make it.” When she did say the rare “good thing” about one of us, it was done in such a way as to pit us against each other. Our once harmonious group began to fight internally which fell right into her plan. If we weren’t speaking to each other, we certainly couldn’t compare notes about her.
When Glenda had been there for a few months, she began stopping by my desk for an occasional, “How’s everything going?” chat. One day, right before five o’clock, she called me into her office. “I need you to pull some special reports for me.”
“Sure,” I said. But I had plans for dinner. “I’ll do it first thing tomorrow morning.”
She handed me a sheet of scratch paper. “Here’s a list of what I need. And I need them now.”
“Oh. Tonight?” I was surprised. Overtime was not permitted. Was she asking me to break a rule?
“And this is just between the two of us, so you’ll need to clock out first. Don’t mention it to anyone else. There’s some activity I need to look over.”
I was a little confused. She had the ability to print the reports so why was she asking me to
stay late to print them?
Glenda shared one of her rare smiles. “I’m thinking of nominating you for a new position and I want to make sure you’re up to it.”
I was excited. The new position would probably include a raise. Maybe I’d finally be able to replace my old car. As I printed the requested reports, I felt as if I were floating.
“One minute,” she said, when I stepped back into her office with the printouts. She marked them and handed them back to me. “The ones I’ve marked have been repeatedly denied by the insurance company. Why should the clinic pay taxes on money they’ll never receive. Please write them off before you leave tonight.”
“Are you sure we’ll never collect on them? Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing the—”
“Would I ask you to write them off if I wasn’t sure?”
“I was just double checking,” I said.
Glenda raised an eyebrow at me. “But if you don’t want the promotion, I’m sure there’s someone who–”
“No. I’ll do it.” I took the reports and did as she’d asked. After that night, I repeated the process daily at her request. Glenda marked the accounts I was to write off and I wrote them off, never thinking to verify the action with her supervisor who’d been there forever.
One afternoon, I took the reports to Glenda’s office and was surprised to find that she’d already left. The next day, she didn’t show up to work. She’d been AWOL for over a week when rumors began circulating throughout the company. A cashier from the front office had been discovered in a Las Vegas hotel under Glenda’s name.
Apparently, an audit trail in the company’s billing software tied me to the daily reports and write offs. When the police called me in for questioning, I discovered the CRIME ABOUT IT!
They’d been working together—Glenda and the cashier.
When someone paid their bill with cash, the cashier hadn’t posted the payment. Instead, she stuck it in a “special” envelope. The invoices Glenda had told me to write off, were the ones that had been paid with cash. The diabolical duo had pocketed the money and I had unknowingly helped them by making the bill disappear.
Apparently the two of them had saved up quite a little nest egg before Glenda noticed a red flag. When it was time for them to get outta Dodge, Glenda took off early, with all the money.
She could be anywhere now—using a new name and the same scam—or a different one. I mean, “Fake it till you make it???”
Be careful who you hire.
So there it is. The first installment of our CRIME ABOUT IT! series. Thanks so much to the person (only you and I know who you are) who sent me the “Most Irritating Day” that inspired this story.
If you would like to submit your most irritating day to CRIME ABOUT IT! you may do so here.
I look forward to your comments and questions.
I’ll keep writing. Please keep reading.