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Personal Essay

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Although I am only 22 years old, I have experienced many different work ethics and morals at each of my job positions. In a past position as an Office Assistant at the Attorney General's Office , I encountered a difficult employee work issue involving a woman who had absolutely no desire to complete her own work. In this paper, I will refer to her as Martha, disguising her real identity. At my interview, I was presented with my job title, Civil Litigation Office Assistant, and what my job duties would include, court filings and deliveries. Once I was hired, I asked for a copy of my job duties in order to perform my job to the best of my abilities. I worked approximately twenty hours a week due to my class schedule, so my time in the office was very limited.

Martha maintained a large workload as she was in charge of three different attorneys. Within the first week of starting my new job, I immediately became aware of a reoccurring trend; any time Martha was given a project or task by one of her attorneys, I was given a project or task. Martha dumped projects on my desk almost every day, tasks that were outside of the scope of my job description. Being brand new in the organization, I took on all of her tasks and completed them within a timely manner. When she gave me her projects, she always insisted I do them whenever I had a spare moment; however, a couple of days would go by and she would be asking me why the project had not yet been completed. The other attorneys and paralegals began to utilize me as well for normal tasks within the scope of my job description; it became difficult for me to assist everyone who needed me, while still managing to keep my workload from Martha from stacking up in piles on my desk.

Martha's personality consisted of dry humor, snide remarks, and sarcastic implications. She would say inappropriate jokes not only to me, but to the other employees in the office. She was very outspoken and wore her feelings on her shoulder - everyone knew what kind of day she was having at all times. Martha's job title/position, her burley figure, and her strident tone and voice intimidated me. I was hired to assist "all" of the employees in the office with filings and deliveries; my job position was beneath Martha's so I felt obligated to perform every task she gave to me. In addition to dishing off her overwhelming work load, she spent every minute of her free time browsing the internet, blogging, and making personal phone calls; this factor caused me a lot of frustration. It is safe to conclude that Martha's work ethics were not what most people enjoy working with. Another factor to consider is that Martha rarely thanked me for completing her work. She had the attitude of, "If you've finished that task, then you have time for some more!"

Martha possessed many of the behaviors discussed in class relating to difficult employees in the workplace. Three behaviors of a difficult employee directly attributed to my experience with Martha: passive aggressive, controlling, and inconsistent. According to the Mayo Clinic, "passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them" (Hall-Flavin, 1). The Mayo Clinic also lists off a few signs and symptoms of passive-aggressive behavior. The signs that pertain to my experience with Martha include procrastination, inefficiency, cynical or hostile attitudes, and lastly, complaining about feeling unappreciated.

Rarely was I unable to assist Martha with her tasks at hand; however, when I was busy helping other paralegals and attorneys, she would procrastinate on all of the tasks given to her and they would eventually end up on my desk. I believe procrastination goes hand-in-hand with inefficiency; if a person is unable to get their work done in a timely manner, it indicates to me that they are disorganized and inefficient. Almost on a daily basis, Martha exaggerated in a joking manner about her massive amounts of work. As she ran around frantically, dropping more tasks off at my desk, she would comment, "I am so f#*^ing swamped, but I guess that is what I get for agreeing to work for three different attorneys who don't appreciate me, huh!?" Martha believed her hard work went unnoticed by her fellow attorneys, which may be one of the reasons she acted the way she did.

On day two of the course, we discussed several ways the target could be besieged, including verbal, physical, indirect, direct, passive, and active acts of aggression. Being Martha's target, I experienced three acts of aggression categorized as verbal, active, and direct. I was subject to



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