Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Workplace bullying

This week, I have been subjected to the most cruel and insufferable act of workplace bullying.

Here's the story.

To celebrate Easter, my department (it's a small Government agency) is holding a mock-Easter Show (for non-Aussies, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is a big deal, if you're into that sort of thing. We're not in Sydney, but that's a mere detail).

I had been comfortably ignoring the posters around the place calling for entrants to the Miss (Insert name of department) Easter Show Girl 2007 pageant. Not my thing - although I'm not adverse to fancy dress, I'm just not into doing it in the workplace. That's kind of weird. And anyway, we have an overtly camp guy in our office who always wins prizes for his fancy dress at work christmas parties etc, so I figured I'd leave him to it.

Then, apparently, a directive went around to Managers that not enough people had entered, and most notably, not enough women had entered. Make of that what you will. Given there are more women than men in my department, that says a lot about the men we have on staff!

Next thing, my manager, who is also a friend and therefore should know better, approached me and said, 'You'd love to be a show girl, wouldn't you?'

I firmly said no.

She said, 'I think you would love to be a show girl.'

I wanted to say, 'No, really I wouldn't. Honestly. Not in the mood. I was hoping to sneak in and have a drink and then take off. These sorts of events are always a great way to get an early mark out of the office.'

I didn't. I said no again.

Apparently, my no wasn't determined enough.

I'm doing it.


I'm entering what is essentially a 'Miss Universe' style competition, minus the swimwear section (thank God). If you're cringing, imagine how I'm feeling?

Two women in my section arrived at work today with all manner of gaudy fancy dress (actually, they are clothes each has worn to weddings etc over the years but now they're relegated to fancy dress. At least I hope that's the case otherwise I said some pretty offensive things at work today....)

So I will be up against the office camp guy, a few other blokes who think it'll be funny to dress in drag, a few princessy girls who will be taking it seriously, and then there will be me.

How the hell did I get into this? How can I come down with something terribly and painfully infectious in the next 12 hours?

Hubby says why didn't I just stand my ground and insist that no manner of pressuring or bullying could force me to do this?

I don't know. My manager is a bit like that. You just don't say no.

I should have saved some of my enormous zucchinis and entered the produce competition.

Oh and all entrants had to submit answers to three pertinent questions. Here they are, with my answers:

1. Which celebrity most parallels your personality?

Nigella Lawson

2. Which magazine cover would you most like to be on?

Gourmet Traveller. (I would have said Interweave Knits but no one would know that magazine)

3. What one thing would you most like to change about the world?

I said something about more eating and drinking.

No knitting related answers, I know, but I didn't think of anything even remotely amusing to say about knitting. I'm more known for food at work, than knitting.

Clearly, the Australian Public Service doesn't have enough to do, what with it being an election year and all.

Onto other news, Thursday 5th is my first blogiversary.

I'm feeling quite chuffed about this and plan to celebrate the happiness this whole blogging gig has brought to my life in a suitable fashion, so check in for details then. (Note: there will be a prize).

First, I just have to get through this bloody awful pageant. If I survive that (not holding my breath) there'll be a post about the celebration of blogging.