After months of dealing with a mooching co-worker, this girl jumped at the chance to call her out in front of the whole staff:
I was psyched when I landed my first job as a marketing assistant at a small academic publishing house. I said yes to everything and viewed even sucky tasks like filing as learning experiences. All my coworkers were great…except Maggie (all names have been changed). She was at my level but obviously didn't have a grip on her responsibilities. Even though I was the newbie, Maggie constantly asked me to help her with easy stuff, from printing out mailing labels to transferring phone calls.
Now that I think about it, the way she dressed revealed a lot about her. At first glance, her outfits came off as professional and trendy, but when you looked closer, there was always something off-the cut would be wrong or she'd be wearing three different shades of black. Unfortunately, in those first few months, I was too blinded by new-job nerves to notice.
Before long, Maggie had turned me into her personal tech support and tutor-I explained basic procedures to her over and over. I hated the extra work but was reluctant to create tension by telling her off and worried I'd seem like a snitch if I complained to Steve, our hard-to-please boss. Maggie no doubt realized this and was taking full advantage of a naive newcomer like me.
In the beginning, Maggie was sweet and friendly when asking for help. But as time went on, she would occasionally toss the nice act aside and practically bark orders. I began to suspect I was dealing with a seriously shady character. So when she confided that she was trying to move to a different department, I volunteered to help her any way I could just so she'd be off my back.
I couldn't believe it, but three months later, she was still there. The even bigger shocker: She'd been promoted! Armed with a new title, Maggie doubled her requests. I continued to play along but knew I couldn't take much more.
Finally, after she had the nerve to sit across me and pass off my ideas as her own, I decided to take action. Right before our next company-wide meeting, Maggie came over to my desk to grab her notes, which I had, of course, agreed to organize into talking points. That's when I gave her an outline of my project instead.
In the meeting, she cluelessly started reading it out loud. It wasn't until Steve interrupted her to ask why she was talking about my assignment that the penny dropped. Maggie just stared at me, slack-jawed. Several other people were nodding and smirking- guess I wasn't the only one who knew what a nut Maggie was. I shrugged and said, " She must have grabbed my notes instead of the ones I wrote up for her."
Steve called Maggie into his office for a "chat," and I was ushered in 30 minutes later. The result? She kept her promotion but had to stay in the department she hated. And I was promoted after my review three months later, thanks to my excellent ideas. I felt bad about hanging Maggie out to dry, but I learned a valuable lesson in the process: Give credit where it's due...or else.