Without a whip or a chair – with nothing but wits, sheer nerve and charm, I have done it. I have accomplished the impossible.

For four years one coworker has caused me nothing but misery. She has stabbed me in the back, undermined me and started rumors about me. (That the rumor is true is irrelevant – she doesn’t know it’s true). She listened to my phone conversations, sneaked up on me to try to read personal email over my shoulder and I strongly suspect she went through my desk. Everyone told me she would calm down and leave me alone after awhile. They said she put every new person through hell. I didn’t know anything, I couldn’t do my job, and she had to redo everything that crossed my desk – oh, what hell I put her through by my very existence!

Everyone was right – she did back off after about a year. But I still felt an undercurrent of disrespect. She was just waiting for me to screw up. It took another two years before she decided to work from home (thus proving to me once and for all that there is indeed a God). After that, dealing with her became much simpler and she relaxed even more. Maybe I changed, too. I started laughing at her and making her laugh with me. I refused to be intimidated and wouldn’t let her make me angry. Maybe she got tired of the game when I wouldn’t participate. The last year has been peaceful. We’ve come to terms with each other. She has to live with my mistakes and I must live with her anal-retentive nitpicking.

Today, she told me she was coming in to the office and so I told her I was hungry. I asked her to stop and pick up an order of biscuits and gravy for me. She said no, she wasn’t going to be in for another couple hours and I let it drop. About an hour after that she sent me a message and asked if I was still hungry. Is the pope still Catholic? Yes! Then she told me I couldn’t tell anyone and mysteriously signed off. When she showed up thirty minutes later, she brought me homemade biscuits and gravy!

Ah, triumph! I have tamed the shrew!

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