The best thing about creating a novel is using your own experiences and thanks to an evil co-worker, I am able to evoke a certain emotion or characteristics into one of my characters.
Being petty is a relatively new word. I have seen pettiness all my life, especially from women. Nowadays, petty is a synonym for strength or assertiveness. I highly disagree with this latent concept.
My co-worker embodies petty. If you look in the dictionary you will probably see her smug face, rolling eyes, and pursed lips beside the word. I call her Ms. Petty. Ms. Petty is also my acting supervisor. Compared to everyone else that works there, she is the new kid on the block. 8 months into her new role and she has already managed to rub the seasoned phlebotomist the wrong way. Her knowledge is supreme, meaning she assumes that she knows more than any of us with a combined 25+ years of experience working for the company. Because of her position, she is arrogant and cocky. Each day I watch her dictate, be rude to people, and carry on with a snarky attitude.
In the midst of her reign, she managed to find a friend. A fellow co-worker who often comes in to help when we are short-staffed.
The complaint about her is always the same. She doesn’t like to work. She doesn’t like to do this or that and she is mean to the elderly patients who come in. The co-worker, who comes to help, sees this despite of their new burgeoning friendship. Being the fair person that she is, she wrote a detailed email to the chief about the behavior and habits of Ms. Petty.
A meeting is called. Ms. Petty is reprimanded harshly. Ms. Petty was not happy with the one she thought was her only friend. She devised a plan to make the young lady’s life hell each time she visited. It started subtle at first. Saying slick comments indirectly when she was around. Sticking to rules she was usually relaxed about and finding little things to write-up disciplinary actions. Ms. Petty even wrote her up for scrolling through her cell phone. A crazy reason to find fault with someone. The office was empty that day, except for the staff, we were all bull shitting but Ms. Petty had it out for the young lady and scrolling through your cell phone was against policy. Whatever the young lady did that was slightly out of policy and procedure, Ms. Petty wrote and emailed to the chief . After three write-ups, there is a verbal and after the verbal, termination. Ms. Petty had the young girl written up three times in a week. She is now on the verge of losing her job.
Tired of the cattiness, the young girl immediately complained about Ms. Petty to the president of the company. Her world of evil reign and ugly behavior is coming to an end. I am loving every minute of watching Ms. Petty squirm through karma.
Reflecting on the situation I often wonder, what makes a person turn into “Ms. Petty”. Logic dictates that there is a catalyst behind certain behaviors. As part of my novel, I chose a character, based off of Ms. Petty, to be the trouble maker for Natalie. A character that has nothing more to do than to make Natalie Dupree’s life uncomfortable. The character is not happy with themselves and find joy in being mean and spiteful to Natalie. The underlying catalyst would be jealously and envy.
Being petty is childish and ridiculous. It is the main reason why women argue and bicker with each other. Everyone wants to be a kid. No one is willing to be an adult in the situation. No one has the courage to be happy for someone else even if their life mirrors defeat and stress. No one wants to be the bigger person. An eye for eye is a petty person’s favorite biblical quote. We cannot grow as women if we do not learn, uphold, and appreciate one another.
So without further ado, I will not look down on Ms. Petty. As a matter of fact when I get to work, I may thank Ms. Petty. It takes a special person to be selfish, crude, disgusting, lazy, and mean for the sake of seeking pleasure in another person’s demise.
She has given me the greatest antagonist for my character Natalie and after weeks of searching for one, I am thankful.
Thank You Ms. Petty!