update: I work from home and my coworker wants me available 24/7

Remember the letter-writer earlier this year who worked from home and had a coworker who wouldn’t leave her alone, to the point of paging her repeatedly in her own home? She updated us in February, when this coworker had interrupted the CEO with work papers at a funeral. Here’s the latest:

I just want to give everyone a wee update-to-the-update — to cut to the chase, Karen wasn’t fired.

However. This is horrible and gossipy, but I am friends with the guy who has the office next door to Karen in the brick-and-mortar building, and he mentioned that our CEO, Norman, came into the office (he has been absent lately due to stuff with his dad’s death). Norman had an hour-long closed-door meeting in Karen’s office. The walls in that building are pretty thin, but my friend said they didn’t need to be — Norman apparently got “fairly animated” (friend’s words) about being approached to sign things at his dad’s funeral, and then brought up that this isn’t the first time this has been an issue. (My friend didn’t elaborate, just said that my complaints “among all the others” had been brought up — and then he decided he didn’t want to be essentially caught with his ear to the door when Norman left, and he found a project elsewhere in the building.)

Karen went home for the rest of the day after this talking-to, and that was on Tuesday. When she came back in on Wednesday, my friend said that she stuck mostly to herself, and is almost…hiding? People are coming to her for things rather than vice-versa, and she hasn’t paged ANYONE — not just me, but anyone. (I really don’t think anyone is missing it.)

I think she is embarrassed, probably mostly by her behavior at the funeral, and is now laying low. I’m hopeful that this will be a wakeup call to her, and that she’ll understand that her need to get work done doesn’t trump EVERYTHING. My friend with the neighboring office also offered that he thinks Karen isn’t very happy at home, and that with our grandboss dying, she was probably trying to really sublimate herself in work and get through it — I can be sympathetic to that, even if I think bringing contracts to a funeral is WILDLY inappropriate.

Anyway. Cheers! Thanks for all your validation and outrage on my/Norman’s behalf! You guys are all great (especially you, Alison!)

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