Just Ignore Her

Digital illustration of 3 female office workers, different hair and clothes, same pose

How will the new girl handle the spiteful boss? Lucy is worried…

As soon as Nancy had gone off for her afternoon tea break, Lucy walked across the office and perched herself opposite the new girl.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

Jessica nodded.

“Yes, I’m fine. I think I’m going to have trouble getting to grips with this billing system, but…”

“Oh, I wasn’t talking about that,” Lucy interrupted. “I meant what our delightful boss said to you! Nancy shouldn’t have said the things she said.”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter,” Jessica replied with a shrug.

Lucy frowned.

“Of course it does. You must have been really hurt when she had a go about your engagement ring.”

“No, not really,” Jessica said, as she looked down at her left hand. “I know my ring’s small, but I told my fiancé that it would be crazy to spend thousands on a ring, and it really doesn’t bother me what Nancy thinks.”

“But she was so horrible about it,” Lucy pointed out, remembering how Nancy had said she’d need to buy a magnifying glass if she wanted to see the stone. “I was expecting you to burst into tears at any minute.”

Jessica smiled.

“No, I decided before I started working here that I wouldn’t let her get to me.

“Somebody told me she could be a bit mean.”

“A bit mean!” Lucy rolled her eyes and sighed. “She can be really horrible, Jessica, but I think she was only nasty about your ring because she’s jealous. She was engaged once.”

“And what happened?”

“Oh, her fiancé saw sense,” Lucy replied with a smile. “He backed out at the last minute, which was pretty awful for Nancy, but we all thought it served her right.

“She’d been bragging about her perfect groom and her perfect wedding for months, but she suddenly went very quiet when her fiancé called it off.”

“She must have been devastated.”

“Yes, she must have been,” Lucy agreed, “but she ought to have got over it by now and she shouldn’t have been so nasty to you.

“Do you want me to tell her to give it a rest if she starts going on about your wedding again?”

Jessica shook her head. “No, it doesn’t matter, Lucy. I’ll just ignore her.”

“But she can be so cruel!” Lucy exclaimed.

“Didn’t you see the look on her face when you told her you’re only having a small reception? She would have said something horrible if her phone hadn’t rung.”

“Like what?”

“Like you’re a cheapskate! She and her perfect Ian McPherson were going to hire a huge marquee until he got cold feet and backed out.”

“What a waste of money.” Jessica picked up her pen and started playing with it. “My fiancé and I are getting married because we adore each other, and not because we want to throw a party for everybody else.”

“Of course you are. And if Nancy starts belittling your reception, you should tell her that.”

“Oh, I can’t be bothered.” Jessica shrugged. “If she says anything nasty I’ll just let her words wash over me.”

“What?” Lucy looked at the pretty young girl in astonishment. “You can’t let her get away with making snide remarks, Jessica.

“It was bad enough what she said about your dress. I’m sure it’s lovely even though it’s second-hand.”

“Yes, it is, and my reception’s going to be lovely too.”

“So you should tell her that.” Lucy looked down at her watch and then got up. “Knowing her, she might even start going on about your wedding down in the canteen – and if she does, I’ll have a go at her, if you like.”

“No – don’t bother. It truly doesn’t matter, Lucy.”

“It does!” Lucy said, wondering how anybody could be so laid-back.

“No, it doesn’t,” Jessica assured her.

“I can take anything she says to me because there’s something she doesn’t know.”

“Like what?” Lucy looked puzzled.

“Like I’m marrying her Ian McPherson!” Jessica blurted out, her eyes dancing with happiness.

“I don’t know when I’m going to break the news to Nancy… but she’s going to be speechless when I do.”

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