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Climbing up the greasy pole

Updated on March 1, 2017

She smiled at you, friendly, easy eyes, soft facial features, lips pretty, slant, almost bearable. Her hair down, fair skin. Pleasing to look at. There was nothing hard or harsh about her, she was nice, vivacious and even colorful.

She would listen, take in what you say, write down your suggestions, and be pleased you had given her all you had. Her eyes would sparkle at new ideas, wanting all of creative side of you.

I was glad, she came to me for assignments, for features and interview questions. Without belittling her, I had my fingers and hands all over her work, and in the end it makes you feel good.

I understood later, silly me, why she wanted the advice, and was prepared to bat her eyelids. I didn't know that's what people do, you know, put on a show of niceties, whereas inside themselves they are as hard as nails, a side peppered in flowers and perfume, smiles, jeans and cut blouses.

Men do that as well, it is not a female affair, but in this case it was a she.

She was in too much of a hurry to get it right to the top, and if all was required was to put on a charade, so be it. In front of people, she put on the caring look, as if there is no real ulterior motive except for the good of the company, good of the profession and work. If there was a slimy side to her at first, she didn't show it.

Days past, and the shoes was placed on the other foot with her big toes screaming from down under. She couldn't wait to slice to the top. Because of some stupid bureaucratic hiccup it was her turn to be boss. Ours is not a system based on merit but inadequacy.

For a while she thought I was now answering to her commands and wishes, and when she thought it was not the case, she turned sour with strokes of meanness across her face, the ones that come with false pretentions.

Of course, these changed quickly if she wanted something from me, some writing or editing. She was nice for a while, but nice in the way she could bring herself to be, just to get something she thought would ultimately serve her interests.

Immediately after I emailed her what turned out to be effectively an assignment, she would turn back to her cold self. This was I thought a very clever way of letting me know who's boss.

It was schizophrenic, bordering on paranoia, switching personalities from one hour to the next, it was draining. Apparently this is something many do to their colleagues, and even friends. This is more than politics from beneath. How do you deal with such personalities is difficult to answer, you need a psychologist I suppose.

My boss, or attempt at being boss, was my student. I told her one day to sit down and edit, at a time when we took in linguistic stray cats. Our weekly, now defunct, provided windows of opportunities and trained those with the modicum of English in the art of writing.

She came to me fresh out of college while I was sitting half-dozing on the computer screen and said she wanted to work. Between you and me, I liked the way she look, slick and ready to go, young with vitality, still fresh to go into the cauldron of journalism.

It was not a dirty-old man thing at all. Ours was a newspaper for stray cats, we were an outfit, and I let anybody and everybody write who had an inclination and something worthwhile to say.

But having said that it was a paper of professionalism and had a message and a purpose without sounding too highbrow.

But that's history. The girl, student, worker, journalist long talked to me even after I left the newspaper, phoning me, asking about different things, joking with me, not so much as flirting but there was one, or two saucy things said.

I didn't think there was a purpose in being nice, although she complained to me time and again about how her boss reduced her 'air of professionalism' to writing letters and emails, which she never accepted.

Nevertheless, ours was a working relationship, she wanted good stuff, and I was a mug, a nice mug. And this become the background to us working together. The funny thing is I hired her the second time around, not realizing she was a pussycat with vicious claws who waited for the prey.

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    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Thanks....................

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      5 years ago from USA

      Did you mean "spiteful"?

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      I thought, and check on that, if you highlight certain words and phrases. it will be easier to pick up by other hub writers. Thanks

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      I thought, and check on that, if you highlight certain words and phrases. it will be easier to pick up by other hub writers. Thanks

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      5 years ago from USA

      Marwan: I loved this, but could not figure out why you had all those blue words and lines throughout the article. Never saw that before.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      5 years ago from Taos, NM

      It takes all kinds! I love the ending.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Thank you both, Timetraveler2 and xstatic, its really great when I get comments like this

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Up and all but funny, though I did have a rueful grin for you here and there. A great narrative. I really like this one a lot. Sharing too.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      6 years ago from USA

      The way you wrote this was almost poetic...it was really gut wrenching. It's too bad such nasty people exist, but kudos to you for recognizing and rising above it all.

    • profile image

      Rasheed Roussan 

      6 years ago

      Nice one doc.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Cheers, she is really, and what is sad there are many people like her that exist.

    • DAWNEMARS profile image

      DAWNEMARS 

      6 years ago from The Edge of a Forest in Europe

      I really like the concept of the pretty young girl with a preditor inside. Great reading. Thanks!

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Cheers Shawn taking about is actually more sedative than when you actually experiencing it in real life.

    • Shawn May Scott profile image

      Shawn May Scott 

      6 years ago

      What a nasty little girl!!! I have heard many stories like this. this is not professionalism it is disrespect and if it is the "new way" I do not want anthing to do with it.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      6 years ago

      Nowadays, your described scenario is very common & about to be the rule regardless of the gender.

      Do good because you're good not because they worth or not.

      Thank you.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      7 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Hi Ranzi, I think it's a thin line because there is a difference between using sex appeal and being outright and tough to get what you want. As I said there is a streak of nastiness and meanness wrapped up with attempts at niceties. Somewhow its being hollow.

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting read!

    • Ranzi profile image

      Cut The Bullshit 

      7 years ago from All Over

      Very nice read Marwan! I guess some women use their sex appeal and charm to get what they want. Now can I ask you, if she was a young man, would you of treated her in the same way?

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      7 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Thanks Shaun

    • Shaun75 profile image

      Shaun75 

      7 years ago from Edison

      Really Marwam, You always choose some different and caching title. Heads off to you Men.

    • profile image

      Ibtihal 

      7 years ago

      Serves you right for falling to young and pretty girls

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      7 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Thanks a lot. Very glad you liked it.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Marwan: It is always good to be nice, regardless of the outcome. People use all kinds of means to get what they want. This is a great hub because it explains both sides of the same coin... You also have a knack of choosing unique titles to American ears. LOL!

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