Rude Co-Workers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Rude Co-workers

by Linnie D., Phoenix, AZ I can still hear my mother's words reverberating, "Just give them time. They'll start to like you." But I wasn't sure. I never felt welcome at my neighborhood library for three reasons: the looks, the silent treatment and turned backs that followed me. I thought volunteering was a great way to give back to the community, but as I experienced the cruelty of co-workers, I wasn't so sure.

Before I volunteered at the library, no one had ever treated me with such disrespect. You can say that my parents kept me in a bubble, but is that so bad? When I experienced cruelty from people who were supposed to be on my side, the bubble popped.

Every weekday I walked into the dreadful edifice and onto the moldy, worn carpet. I could hear every step. I would arrive promptly at 8: 50 a.m. to see the ominous eyes of co-workers I would try to ignore.

"Hi, Veronica. How are you doing today?" I said. Her sinistrous eyes rolled at me and she snorted like a pig. I shrugged and turned away. I walked into the staff room.

"Where is that smell coming from?" I asked one of the staff members. I could already feel her hatred.

"Well, you just walked in so you should just ask yourself that question," she replied. My hand started to rise and form a fist, but she wasn't worth it. I lowered my hand and gave her a look that said, Next time watch out. After the incident, I decided to get some water. My tongue felt like a desert.

"Linnie, the supervisor wants to speak with you," one of the workers said. Oh great, what now? I thought nervously. The coldness of the office door knob penetrating my palm made me even more nervous. As I opened it I felt the cold rush of the air conditioner smack me across the face. I had expected an old grouch, and was surprised to see a smiling young lady.

"Please sit down," she said. "I just want to thank you for everything you've done for this library." I couldn't believe it! The softness of her words echoed through my mind, but the whispers of the workers outside the door took away all my happiness. I guess they didn't think it was feasible for me to get a compliment from somebody so important. As I was listening to all the supervisor's compliments, I put my hand under the chair but all I felt was newly hardened gum. It's amazing the things you notice when someone is talking. I noticed the smell of her perfume; I think it was some flower scent. I also was aware of how she kept fidgeting and touching her papers.

"Thank you for your time and keep up the good work," she ended.

"No, thank you." I stood up and shook her cold, timid hand. As I walked out of her office and into the staff room, I could see the co-workers staring at me with sinister looks. Why did it bother me so much? The whispers continued. They weren't even scared I could hear them. I walked into the main part of the library and sat down.

Even though it didn't seem like it, I learned something in dealing with rude co-workers. I need to quit feeling sorry for myself, open my eyes and be aware of the real world. If I don't face the fact that people can really be mean when I get out there, the real world is going to eat me alive.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 12:53 pm
i love this so much!
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