Salesman Robert enjoyed his job, but for the last few months there had been a problem in the office. And not just for him. A new employee named Victoria had been annoying everyone from her very first day there, ordering people around and telling them how to do their jobs even though she had no idea what she was talking about. Worse, she was a shameless brown-nose, running after her bosss like a puppy. Robert decided that she needed to be taught a lesson – he drafted the whole office in his revenge plan, and used Victoria’s own weaknesses against her.
On A Dark Desert Highway
Robert drove down the desert highway feeling annoyed. Usually he loved this route – the landscape was clean and beautiful, the desert air refreshing as it blew through his hair. He loved the feeling of freedom as his car ate up the miles, and liked to imagine that he was the only person left in the world.
But on this day, he found that he couldn’t relax – he’d received yet another irritating email from Victoria in the morning, and it had put him in a bad mood. She was the office accounts manager, and she’d ordered him not to travel above 60 mph, because, she explained, that way he’d burn less gas.
Robert was a salesman at a small healthcare equipment company, and he was good at his job. He was on his way to a hospital in the town of Spencer to check that some medical equipment had arrived safely.
The journey he was making now was him following up on a successful sale. It wasn’t really necessary for him to go to the site personally, but the company liked to show its customers that it cared, and it was on his way to his next big pitch anyway. There was no way he’d get to either place on time if he traveled as Victoria had told him to.
Of course, Robert had no intention of doing what she said, because it was stupid and none of her business. Victoria’s job was to check and rubber-stamp the expenses requests of people in the company. That was her only job, but ever since starting at the company she had taken it upon herself to give advice to other employees on how to do theirs.
Her suggestions were all ridiculous. People in the company felt that the power of being in control of the purse strings had gone to her head. Unfortunately for Robert, he spent a lot of money on gas, so he had to contact her every month.
He’d received a lot of driving advice from Victoria in the few months that they’d worked together. Last time he’d sent a report, she had suggested that he leave the office later in the day so as to avoid traffic. That way he would burn less gas waiting around in traffic jams. Of course, planning his journeys around the morning rush would make him late to appointments.
He ignored the email, and so she then sent another one demanding receipt. He had just replied “Received.” Ignoring Victoria’s emails was the easiest way to deal with her, he’d found.
Don’t Call Me Shirley
But he couldn’t help but feel annoyed by her condescending attitude, even if he didn’t have to do what she said. He just thanked the lord above that she wasn’t his boss.
The very first time that he’d sent her an expense report, she had decided to look over all of his destinations that month, and inform him that he wasn’t taking the most efficient routes. Robert had honestly thought that she was making some kind of joke.
No Sense Of Humor
Because he thought – or at least hoped – that she’d been joking, he had replied in the same vein. He made some stupid joke, that his car needed the exercise. The reply he got showed him that she had been serious, and had actually mapped out alternative routes for several of the journeys he’d made over the month.
None of her suggestions made sense – some were longer routes, and some of the roads she’d marked were closed. Robert had just thanked her via email and resolved to try and avoid her as much as possible.
Unfortunately, that was not possible. Every time he sent his report, she’d reply with some kind of insane advice. Once she had suggested that he should help hospitals unload their new equipment from the trucks after a successful sale.
She thought that this would help “cement company/client relationships”, but Robert thought that the only relationship that needed cementing was her relationship with reality.
Do Not Abbreviate
Looking back, it had been clear from the beginning that Victoria was going to be an annoyance. On her first day, he’d gone over to her desk to introduce himself as he would to any new employee.
After shaking hands and learning each others’ names, Robert had innocently asked her if she goes by ‘Vicky’. Big mistake. “Victoria,” she had snapped. “My name is Vic-tor-i-a.” What can you say to somebody like that? Robert had just smiled awkwardly and wished her luck in her new role.
Robert was not the only person to benefit from Victoria’s advice. John, one of Robert’s colleagues, was a telephone salesman. One time he had taken a work trip and had to approach Victoria.
She had taken the opportunity to explain to him that his telephone manner was all wrong – he needed to be spend more time getting to know the person on the phone before he began his pitch. She gave him this lecture in the middle of the office, with everyone listening. John told Robert that she’d been sending him emails on the subject too, which he just deleted.
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
Darleen, who worked in HR, hated her. She was due some of the blame for hiring her in the first place, although everyone understood that she couldn’t have known. They sat close to each other in the office, and Victoria was constantly annoying her.
On her first day, she’d thrown away the pot of coffee that Darleen had made and re-brewed it, while explaining to Darleen how she should have done it. That wasn’t the best start to their working relationship.
Don’t Call Me Vicky
Victoria would look at resumes on Darleen’s desk as she was passing by and offer her opinions on candidates, which would have been annoying even if her opinions had made sense.
One time she went too far, telling Darleen that her hair would be more flattering if it was shorter. Annoyed, Darleen had cut her off mid-sentence with the words “thanks Vicky.” Victoria had glared at her and replied: “Vic-tor-i-a.”
Advice For Everyone
Even the office cleaner, a very sweet woman who everyone liked, wasn’t immune to Victoria’s helpful advice. Robert had popped into the office once late in the day and saw Victoria holding the mop, explaining to the cleaner that she should have put more soap in the bucket.
The cleaner was looking at her in absolute shock. Just like everyone else at the company, she got through the conversation by smiling and nodding, realizing that the best way to deal with Victoria was to just ignore her.
Stuck With Her
As insufferable as Victoria was, she was not at risk of losing her job. She was a competent accounts manager, and irritating people is not a sackable offense. She came in on time every day and put in extra hours.
So unfortunately, it looked like the others were stuck with her for the foreseeable future. Apart from this, Victoria loved to brown-nose to the management of the company.
When the boss arrived in the morning, Victoria would practically jump out of her chair to offer him coffee and hold his office door open for him. It was sickening to watch. All day long she would sit at her desk crunching numbers with a pinched, snobby expression on her face, but break out into a charming smile whenever her boss walked past.
She would frequently knock on his door to bring things to his attention and ask him questions. Sometimes even he looked annoyed by all this.
Once, Robert had been in the office all day because they were due a visit from the regional manager. Victoria had brought in cookies that she claimed she’d baked (although many in the office suspected otherwise), and she guarded them like an angry alsatian.
She sat at her desk with one eye on the kitchen all day, and became super alert whenever anyone opened the fridge. Except of course when the boss walked by, and then it was a big smile.
The Best Laid Plans
When the regional manager had finally arrived, Victoria sprinted into the kitchen and came out carrying her tray of cookies, which she offered to the man with a winning smile.
He hadn’t even wanted one in the end, and the employees had demolished the plate after he left. Darleen looked at Robert and mouthed the words “store-bought” while Victoria sat at her desk looking disappointed.
Plans For Revenge
Telling Robert not to drive over 60 miles an hour pushed him over the edge. He didn’t know if it was the stupidity or the arrogance that most bothered him most, but it didn’t matter. He decided that something needed to be done about Victoria.
While driving at a sleek 80 miles per hour down the desert road, Robert began to plan a little workplace revenge.
A Tricky Problem
When he arrived at the hospital he did his official check, shook hands with the manager and all that, but he was distracted with thoughts of Victoria. How could he and his colleagues annoy her as she had annoyed them?
He didn’t want to get her fired of course, because she hadn’t exactly done anything wrong. And if he did something to annoy her, she would just run straight to the management to complain. Luckily, Victoria solved the problem for him the very next morning, with a simple email.
Looking at the message, Robert couldn’t believe his luck. Victoria had offered him the keys to her own downfall on a silver platter. She had sent a long and angry email and CCed the entire company – management included.
It turned out, to Robert’s surprise, that Victoria had noticed that nobody was following her advice, and she was angry. Apparently, she’d been keeping a list of all her suggestions, because she had something to say about everyone.
Height Of Rudeness
Robert was the first on the list – he didn’t pay any attention to her idea that he help unload medical equipment. She was especially angry that she had never even received a reply to the email.
She said that it was extremely rude that he hadn’t even acknowledged that she had given advice.
She went on. John was rude to customers, she said, and needed to spend much more time focusing on building a rapport with them before trying to sell products. If he was to do that, she said, his sales would improve – but he had not even bothered to reply to her emails on the subject.
Darleen, she said, refused to listen to her either. She continued in this way, and not a single colleague was spared from her wrath because not a single one had listened to her.
Robert monitored his inbox for the next couple of hours, entertained by what he saw next. As he suspected, his colleagues were quick to reply to the email. John wrote a scathing email back, saying that Victoria was way out of line trying to tell him how to do his job, and that she had no idea what she was talking about.
The hospital representatives that he called on a daily basis were not interested in conversing with him about their personal lives, they were interested in purchasing medical equipment from a professional. Darleen’s reply was even more personal.
Darleen said that not only were Victoria’s opinions ill-informed and not welcome, she had no right to look at other people’s resume’s which were sent to HR. Darleen said that she was invading people’s privacy by sticking her nose in where it was not wanted.
Robert knew that he had to act quickly and enact his revenge before anyone else replied to her message. He needed to get his message out before more people vented their anger.
Clicking ‘reply all’, Robert wrote: “Thank you Vicky for your suggestions.” He explained politely that many of her suggestions would actually reduce overall efficiency, but that departments should definitely hold meetings to discuss the issues that she raised. He concluded: “As always Vicky, we appreciate your efforts to assist in streamlining our processes.”
His colleagues caught on immediately, and the word ‘Vicky’ was used in all the following emails. Robert hoped that his plan would work.
Enjoy The New Name
Next day in the office, Victoria was sitting at her desk when the boss came in. “Good morning sir,” she said as she began to rise from her chair. “Good morning Vicky,” he replied. Vicky froze. “Is something wrong?” asked the boss.
“No sir,” said Vicky, glaring resentfully at her colleagues, who were all trying to hide their laughter. They knew that she would never correct her bosses – so now, Vicky it was.