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Territorial People: Don't Touch Their Stuff Even When It's Not Theirs

Carolanne diveWell RHU, something came to mind recently and wanted to see which of you have noticed similar things. People get territorial, sometimes about really trivial things.

They don't cock their leg and scent mark it, but there's still that nth degree of ownership that makes hackles rise and attitudes suddenly cop out of nowhere. An example:

Volunteering with Wonderful Lady at the local hospital has me doing all sorts of chores. Across the hall is our meeting room, where volunteer interviews are held. It is also where the Tender Loving Care department stores magazines to bring to patients, and carts to help volunteers to make bulky, awkward or heavy deliveries (vases of flowers and the like).

Come once a month, the volunteer newsletter gets printed and I must go retrieve a box of like 200-300 of these things from the printing room in the basement. Why me? Because Every. Volunteer. Ever. will stop Wonderful Lady in the halls to bring a problem or other task to her attention. Now granted these aren't really trivial whining or bitching fests, but it really makes it hard for her to get any work done.

So, I cross the hall, snag a cart (which coincidentally is marked "TLC Volunteer") and trot off downstairs. I snag the box of newsletters and trundle them back up to the office, deliver them, then take the cart back to the room where I got them from. Note: this takes me 5 minutes only if the elevator is slow.

And there is a hissing, irate-as-a-wet-cat, elderly volunteer from TLC, glowering at the empty space where the cart had been.

Doing my best not to roll my eyes, I return it to its rightful proper place and put everything back into it the way it had been.

But the volunteer isn't pleased.

TLC: You took the cart?!

Her puckered expression makes her look like she was weaned on a lemon and I swear if she had fur, her hackles would be raising like an angry dog's.

Me: Yes I did. I needed it for a delivery.

And I'm not sorry. So either climb on your broom and fly away or I'll hit you in the face with a cup of water and watch you melt!

TLC: What department do you work for?

Carolanne doctorMe: ...Across the hall... With [Wonderful lady].

You know... your boss? The one who keeps this place running? The one who busts her ass to follow up on every little problem that you and 300 other people come to her for?

She's still looking at me with the same level of friendship that a cobra gives a mouse.

Me: *sigh* She asked me to take a cart and bring up the [Newsletter] for all the volunteers.

TLC: Oh. *She lets out her breath and the attitude of "don't fucking touch my stuff" slowly fades.*

Dudette? What? You are a volunteer. Chill the fuck out! Yes it's annoying when you can't find things that you need for your work. But I was returning it exactly to where it had been after my chore. Don't get pissy at ME for following orders from our BOSS.

For heaven's sake, why are you so territorial? You don't own anything here unless you brought it from home, and the cart is not one of those things. It took me about five minutes. ZOMG you had to wait five minutes when your shift lasts 4 hours! What a terrible loss of time! Also: there are other carts in the room. If you absolutely had to have one, you would NOT have been left bereft.

May all your coworkers get over their possessiveness,

Comments

Su Chan

So much WTF. So she's all hissy because one of 'her' carts is gone, and she could have used another? What a douche.

Also, not suee how much this box weighed but under safety regs you might have been required to use a cart to move it.

jessicavye

My mom was in hospital after major abdominal surgery. Semi-private room, mom's in the bed closest to the window, her spoilt brat of a roommate had the bed closest to the washroom. There's a commode chair in the room so I wheel it over to my mom, so she won't have to hobble as far as the washroom. She uses it, I clean it out, wipe it down, and return the chair to the middle of the room where I had found it. After a couple of times, the roommate said "Can you please stop using *my* commode?" I just looked at her and went to the nurse's station, where I asked if the commode was there to be used by both patients or if it belonged to the roommate. The nurse just rolled her eyes and said "Unless she brought it in with her ... it's our commode and any patient can use it." In fact I think they took it away from her and put it on my mom's side of the room, telling Roommate that her bed was right next to the bathroom anyway and it would be better for her to get up and start moving around. It seemed like a pretty weird thing to be possessive about, to me.

Einar

I think you said a while back that nurses keep stealing your carts, so maybe she was just trying to keep other departments from taking them again? Could have been a lot more polite about it, though.

Madrias

There are few things I get territorial about. One of which is my home desktop. After having to password lock it and clean viruses off of it, I now tell friends, and visiting family/friends of the family, "Touch my rig, I break your hand. Are we clear?"

Book Baby

The ONLY thing I am territorial about is my CAR--a 300c. My kids know I would remove one of their hands and DH knows I would remove his testicles if he drives it without asking. I extend the same courtesy to him AND my kids. Toucha my car and I breaka yo' face.

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