Monday, November 10, 2008


Cow has known for a while that the cubicle-dweller next door searches Cow's desk and files.

This morning, Cow found a document she'd left upside down on purpose, in her files, now right side up.

This person has waged a campaign since the day she was hired to make Cow uncomfortable and force her out, presumably because she wants Cow's better-paid position.

Where is management in this hostile working environment? You may well ask. Why are totally incompetent managers allowed to go on forever? One only needs to look at the veritable stampede out the door of good, qualified employees from this department to know something is wrong. But no one ever, ever looks at managers, apparently.

So, the question facing Cow this morning (aside from re-intensifying her job search) is, should she "seed" the files? With some fake documents, just for this file-searcher to find? Oooh, it is tempting, to make up a bunch of outrageous things and file them just to be "found."

Will this make it worse, or just provide Cow with some amusement?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That or run a bicycle lock or chain with a padlock through all your drawer handles just to make a point....

(The "seeding" sounds much more amusing, however....)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Watercolor said...

What is this person searching FOR? Good grief.

Like what would you seed with... :)

9:38 AM  
Blogger From the Doghouse said...

Or you could put a mouse trap in the middle of the pile.

10:48 AM  
Blogger scones with jam and cream said...

Dear Topiary, I think you should put something in the files that sounds just about plausible, and very interesting - like a bit of gossip in a letter. But you'd have to judge it so she would look very silly if she passed it on to anyone.
What a terrible person! Love scones xx

11:31 AM  
Blogger Supermom said...

I would be tempted to "seed".

12:26 PM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

Wow. Great idea. But, then it would tip my hand and let her know that I know that she's searching my office.

Well, a few weeks ago Cow had an upcoming job interview. She foolishly printed out the email, folded it up, put it inside a notebook, and put it inside her bookcase.

The next day she took out the notebook, the email was folded differently, and Cow was called in for an unpleasant session with the boss to account for "betraying" her by searching for other employment.

So, Cow's guess is, co-worker is looking for anything she can bring to the boss and make points with.

Love your idea. Luuuuuve it.

(file drawer opening....ow!) snap.


12:38 PM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...


Fake research. Fake emails. Fake things which mention this person. In fact, Cow is thinking of covering her entire desk and filling all her files with fake printouts.

All my real stuff is on the computer anyway.

Supermom: So glad there is at least one more evil person out there.

Cow will let you all know how this turns out.


12:40 PM  
Blogger Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Mark the documents with some kind of paint. Like the banks do with notes.

2:03 PM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...


Cow LUUUUUVES these ideas!

(Cow quickly searching Internet for exploding dye-packs)


2:17 PM  
Blogger HEATHER said...

Cow, I swear, I would plant something, that would backfire on her, like say something juicy that she would tell, but would be totally untrue, and she would look like a total idiot. You would have to be extra creative.
I LOVE Doggie's idea of a mousetrap! Then the witch would know that you know what she's doing, so you may not want to tip your hand.
I will tell you this, my mother had to put up with a VERY HOSTILE work enviroment for a long time, the BEST advice I can give you is ALWAYS be TWO steps ahead of this person, ALWAYS anticipate their next move, KNOW what they are doing before they know themselves.
AND DOCUMENT EVERYTHING-keep a diary and detail every bit of what is going on. That way when it hits the fan, you have a running log of what has been going on.
Hang in there and good luck!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Linda and her Twaddle said...

Leave a little note for the snoop. Or a treat. A little chocolate with a card attached welcoming the sneaky activities. Make a list as to where they may find things. And definitely leave some dodgy documents.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Watercolor said...

Good heavens! Perhaps we could fashion a fancy email that you have won a cruise for you and 5 friends and you can leave that about and see if this person suddenly gets nice....

ps. The primos black and blue salad is indeed yummy!!

5:25 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

Definitely seed it.

5:45 PM  
Blogger scones with jam and cream said...

Dear Topiary, I once read a short story where this sort of thing happened. A series of sensational letters - addressed to the poor person who was being spied on - were left about, which the searcher found and read, and got terribly excited about, and then the last letter read:'I hope you've enjoyed these ridiculous letters I've been sending you. I did it because you told me you thought a cleaner was reading your private mail. So I thought I'd give them something amusing to read...' Do you think a variant of this would work for you? In the story it shamed and humiliated the searcher.Love scones xx

1:42 AM  
Blogger Linda and her Twaddle said...

Oh, yeah, one more thought. If all else fails, get one of those little stinky fart bombs and set it off near her desk - then she will get the axe!

1:48 AM  
Blogger Kevin Musgrove said...

Oh yes, been there.

Seed the drawer with print-outs from a spreadsheet that shows that anything you're doing is 7% less good than the reality. And that anything they're doing is 9% better than the reality. They'll be torn between trying to do you down, chuffing themselves up and wondering why their figures don't stack up.

And leave a few laxative chocolates lying around.

6:35 AM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...


Cow is sorry to hear what your mom endured. It is awful what we must go through just to make a living. (Cow making mental note to stay 4 Cow steps ahead of Snoop)


You are truly evil! :) A list of where they can find things? Chocolate? Cow suspects Linda is a veteran of even worse workplaces than Cow!

Watercolor: Fake cruise, my, yes. Cow is also tempted to engineer a call from a fake boyfriend just to give herself even more status.


Cow is sorry to hear of the layoffs at your workplace and hopes you are not affected. :(
And thanks you for your vote to seed!


Ha! That is a very good story! And tempting, very tempting. Cow thinks she will use this too, perhaps fake love letters from the fake boyfriend. Good idea!


6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once had a co-worker with a real boyfriend. He tried to dump her and she didn't want to break up.

We shared a printer.

Imagine the things that were found sitting there just waiting to be read. Torrid notes. Anguished replies. Insane rationales.

7:17 AM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

O my gosh!


How indiscreet, to be printing things like that at work. But how funny.

Cow once had a co-worker whose husband moved out and in with another woman. Cow saw the entire 4-page, hand-written letter this woman wrote her soon-to-be-ex husband, when she went home and left it sitting ON TOP OF HER DESK!

Insane. Cow's mind boggled.


8:46 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

I'd be really annoyed at that. I'm already annoyed enough at my housemates taking my milk/cheese/butter/other dairy goods!

4:32 PM  

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