Years ago, I actually had a job working at a savings bank. I started as a teller and progressed up the ranks. One of my positions was in the SBLI Department (Savings Bank Life Insurance) where I had the title of Chief Clerk, the third “in charge.” The bank had a program where they would hired business majors as management trainees. These trainees would be rotated through various departments and evaluated before getting a final assignment in the bank. One day we got a Management Trainee of our own and I was assigned to train her. Let me say first, that I was not impressed by this short, dark frizzy haired, rotund, over eager, over confident, newbie, but I had to work with her. Her name was Shelly and she thought she knew it all.
Day one I begin by explaining each facet of my job and she is taking NO notes. I took notes when I was trained and I will say, at the risk of appearing immodest, that I was very intelligent and could have run rings around Shelly. I suggested she take notes, but she said she “got it” every time I show her a task. I was getting pretty annoyed. I started to show her how to put the policies together, before they are sent out. Again, no notes. I finally said, “Okay, you already know how to do it, here, you take over.” Of course, she couldn’t do it and I was basically wasting my time with this lump.
One day, I was in a mischievous mood and decided we needed to play a little prank on Shelly. I took some scotch tape and taped down the receiver so that when her phone rang and she picked up, it would keep ringing. Then, when I saw her sitting at her desk I called her number. Her phone rings. She picks up and says hello, but the phone keeps ringing. The tape is so clear she can’t figure out what is going on. And she keeps looking at the phone and the rest of us for help! It was a little like a scene from Candid Camera. I had tears running down my face and just couldn’t hide my uncontrollable laughter.
I had so much fun with that prank, that on another day, I put her phone in her desk drawer. She never noticed it was missing from her desk, that’s how bright she was! I called her number and the phone begins ringing. She starts looking all over for her phone and as she does so, the one of the wheels from her chair pops off and she falls to the ground. I was pretty worried they would think I had tampered with her chair too, but I swear I never touched it. Maybe her ample derriere had something to do with tipping the chair over as she searched for the phone, but I swear it wasn’t me. I’ll admit to wanting to knock her down a few pegs and deflate her ego, but I am smart enough not to get sued doing it. The whole little comedy lasted a few hilarious minutes, as Shelly scrambled/rolled to get back on her feet and popped the wheel back in her chair. She wasn’t injured at all, but maybe her ego was a little bruised.
Sometimes you need a little something to lighten the tension in the office. I took matters into my own hands. Luckily she was only with us a couple of weeks and never made it through the management trainee program. She got lots of bad evaluations…gee, I wonder why? I wonder what became of Shelly? Maybe she went to work for the phone company?