And so to today, Valentine’s Day.
It was time for Gillian to be punished for her three prior transgressions where she had wounded me.
Gillian who thinks she is far more capable in her position as head of her department than she actually is. Gillian who adopts the role of involved mentor, caring boss, attentive listener and champion of the oppressed.
All part of her facade and I saw through it a long time ago.
She is a Mid Range Narcissist. Of course, she does not know it. She is one of the Angels With Dirty Faces
Thinks she cares but snipes about others behind their backs, raises complaints that she has been overlooked in some regard (and always plays the equality card to do so) and issues global e-mails in that typical passive aggressive manner whilst sucking up the fuel from her dedicated appliances who regard her as some champion of women’s rights in the workplace.) If only they knew.
If only they knew she only does it for those Prime Aims. She is reasonably effective at maintaining her facade in front of her underlings so they look at her with starry-eyes and declarations of loyal dedication. I know of her unguarded comments about the “oompa loompas” (a section of perma-tanned support staff) and her contempt for a particular section of her department that she inherited and would rather do without but they are all female and therefore too damaging to her facade if she were to jettison them. I know the real reasons she created the book club at the business (all female of course). I know how she flirts with particular colleagues, but always denies she is doing so (“We just get along very well”, “We connect as friends, nothing more.”) There are holes in the facade and they will be exploited, but all in good time.
What I also know about is the fact that her long-term partner, Ted or Tony or is it Toby, begins with a T anyway, is emasculated and long-suffering. Under the auspices of business development Gillian engages in intimate interactions with men ranging from flirtation and cock-teasing through to corporate conference shagathons. She has a gaggle of admirers who think they have a chance of something concrete with her and she absolutely revels in the attention she receives from them but also in ensuring colleagues know all about it. Gillian always shows off the thoughtful gifts which arrive at the office sent by these admirers. She flounces through the business clutching the latest bouquet with a look of delight plastered all over her face. She gathers her coterie together to tell them about the invitations to Wimbledon, Glyndebourne or the Emirates Stadium and of course there then follows the dissection of the event following her attendance. Of course she pretends she is loyal to Ted/Tony/Toby and states “I cannot help it if other men wish to be generous towards me, who wouldn’t say yes? Of course all they get from me is my company,” she asserts in her righteous St Gillian manner.
(Tell that to the director at PrimeCorp whose back was raked by her talons that all he got was her company. )
So today is one of those days where Gillian will arrive at the office in great expectation for the fuel fest that always develops on Valentine’s Day. A day of flowers, expensive bottle of fragrance, wine, jewellery and similar all couriered to the business, a consequence of the desire for anonymity, discretion and practicality.
Gillian will be expecting to turn her office into a florist’s shop. She expects to be inviting her team to ooh and aah at the luscious gift sets from Harvey Nick’s, praising the impeccable choice of those admirers. Every year it happens and it is sickening.
But it did not happen this year.
It did not happen this year because Gillian needed to be punished.
It did not happen this year because Gillian’s expectation became mild curiosity which gave way to puzzlement and became annoyance and then the tears. Oh how they flowed, hunched over her desk, her shame rampant as she let those tears flow crying for herself naturally but blame-shifting by saying she had been promised this and that and how could they be so rude and impolite.
Her office was devoid of the effects of admiration and romance. Even worse, all around her others received the flowers, the confectionery and the expensive flourishes. They were elated and she felt eroded.
Her coterie clucked and gathered around suggesting that the fault must lie with the couriers and today was of course a very busy day and the gifts will most likely come tomorrow. She snapped at some, unable to contain her own ignited fury as she continued to be wounded by the failure of these admirers to deliver as usual. The carefully constructed caring facade was punctuated by these moments of sharp, heated fury until the startled and apologetic response from a secretary or analyst gave her the fuel to address the wounding to some degree so her fury abated. She descended into her immense Pity Play lapping up the sympathy as she fought to address the wounding caused by this immense systemic failure. Her world was collapsing but the fuel from her coterie was flowing and it needed to. Of course Gillian was oblivious to what was really occurring, she just saw this as the treachery and nastiness of men, the slippery nature of players who were only after one thing. Her invective flicked from a scathing appraisal of self-centred alpha males as she engaged in projection and blame-shifting to then explaining why it hurt so much (“He (being Toby/Tony/Ted tries, he really does but you know what it can be like, it gets predictable and he doesn’t mind that I get all this attention, he knows it is part of the job.” – Sure he does, you mean he dare not complain otherwise he ends up with a glacial silent treatment for two weeks).
One of her special days has been utterly ruined. Marvellous.
I ensured I was at the business today to witness this unravelling and most of all to savour the delicious fuel that has flowed steadily and in large amounts for most of the day. Why? Because this was my fuel. I caused it. Gillian does not know, but that does not matter – I know I caused it and thus the frustration, the annoyance, the irritation and most of all the misery is all fuel for me.
Our Head Receptionist is Tania. A capable lady who runs a tight ship of efficient and effective receptionists. The smiling and engaging face of the hidden darkness of the business. Tania is a Super Empath – no doubt about it. Fair, honest and supportive and willing to move mountains to assist, but mess her around, lack gratitude or worst of all, belittle her team’s contribution to what the business achieves and ka-boom, Tania strikes back.
Tania is one of my Lieutenants. She is well-rewarded for her contribution to the smooth running of the Tudor Empire within the business. My requests jump the queue, information is obtained for me, favours readily carried out. Oh, it comes with a price but it is one which is very much worth paying. So much flows through the reception team of an organisation that they are absolutely crucial to recruit to the cause.
And one of the many things that flows through reception are deliveries.
When that third wounding was occasioned by Gillian, I applied my mind to how I would punish her and as I was checking my diary and saw V-Day approaching I knew that this day was the most appropriate one to exact that revenge over her.
I was pushing on an open door with Tania. Already a Lieutenant and she hates Gillian for her hypocrisy (ha – if only she knew!) and high-handed haughtiness towards her and her team. She also heard Gillian slating reception without foundation and thus her anticipation at what would pass was almost as great as my own.
Tania was instructed that all deliveries of bouquets for Gillian should have the card removed and replaced with an alternative one (suitably mysterious and always anonymous) and then delivered to a different recipient in the business. All other gifts would be checked to ensure there was no reference which would cause a problem and once suitably vetted either retained by Tania and her team or sent to somebody else in the business to delight them instead.
Accordingly, the usual and expected dozen or so of deliveries meant for Gillian never reached her and went somewhere else. Many surprises were had today. Of course the items were signed for so the couriers could not be blamed for non-delivery if, in the unlikely event somebody queried if delivery had been effected.
None of the givers would ask if she had received the gifts, after all, they were always sent anonymously. Gillian would not embarrass herself by even trying to ascertain from those she expected gifts from, if they had sent them for fear of additional rejection and wounding. Nor would she contemplate checking if there had been deliveries with reception – she would not engage direct with reception (her p.a. always did) and besides she knew Tania disliked her and therefore, as the cowardly Mid-Ranger she is, she would not want reception knowing she was bothered by the non-arrivals.
A simple interception and hugely effective.
And so today, so far, has proven its usual brilliant self for the games to be played and the fuel to flow.
As I left the business earlier, I saw Gillian sat at her desk, which seemed stark and bare compared to how it might ordinarily look on Valentine’s day and as I strode past, buoyed with the fuel from her (and others) I looked at her through the glass panels of her office and locked eyes with her. The dejection and defeat in her eyes sent a further shot of fuel in my direction and I raised both my hands making two Vs with my fingers.
Not the V-sign which is the British insult.
V for victory.
Two Vs – Valentine Venom.