Jacqui first met her teacher Mrs Brown in her high school graduation year. She doesn’t exactly know what happened, what was said, or why Amelia Brown took such a dislike to her.
But, Mrs Brown seemed hell bent on finding fault with Jacqui’s attitude, her school work and her appearance.
Eventually, Jacqui’s parents stepped in and complained when Jacqui failed Mrs Brown’s class; the only fail in a parade of “A” grade passes. Following an investigation by the principal, Mrs Brown was forced to back down, apologise to Jacqui and amend her course mark to a more realistic “B+”.
The next two months until final graduation, proceeded uneventfully. Jacqui and Mrs Brown were civil to each other, extraordinarily polite and smiled when they passed in the corridor. But neither forgot. Neither forgave.
Time went on. Jacqui graduated, finished a short course in advanced administration and before long, was looking for a job. She was on her way in life and she’d never felt better, more hopeful, or optimistic.
Two week’s later, Jacqui was offered a job at one of the most prestigious beauty salons in the region as the “Director of First Impressions”, greeting clients of the salon, ensuring their comfort, and managing the marketing for special promotions on the company’s database.
Jacqui was excited beyond belief! She simply had to tell her friends immediately!
Sitting down at the computer, she updated her Facebook status.
Got a job at VIP Beauty! WOO HOO!!!” she wrote.
As an afterthought, she giggled as she added
Bite Me Mrs Brown!”
Jacqui’s first day of work was a flurry of excitement, at least until 3:00pm when the owner of the store pulled her aside. She looked serious. “Mrs Amelia Brown just called me and urged us to fire you”, she said as Jacqui felt almost dizzy with shock. “She said” continued the store owner, “That you’re a troublemaker, that you’ve caused conflict before, and she said that you’d been in trouble at school, although she wasn’t specific. Mrs Brown has threatened that she will never use this salon herself and will encourage all her friends to boycott us here unless we let you go.”
Jacqui’s knees went weak, as she attempted to undo the damage. Truthfully, she explained the situation, without embellishment and as she concluded, the store owner nodded. “It seems you have an enemy there Jacqui”, she said. “I see no need to take this any further.”
The store manager’s words were comforting, but Jacqui’s relief was short lived.
Over the next two weeks, Mrs Brown called the Franchise Regional Manager and every beauty salon in the area to warn what would befall them if they hired Jacqui. After 20 calls by the end of the second week, the Franchise Regional Manager refused to entertain Mrs Brown’s obsession a minute longer. The store manager liked Jacqui, was pleased with her work, but the annoyance shown by the regional manager who urged action, and the barrage of telephone calls from Mrs Brown, were becoming problematic. Jacqui understood the company’s eventual decision to let her go and she bore no ill will towards them. It was just too much drama for a small store to bear.
Jacqui searched her mind. How had all this gone so wrong? How had Mrs Brown even found out about her new job?
“BITE ME MRS BROWN!”
Suddenly those words came flooding back to her. The Facebook status update! Of course!
Immediately Jacqui rechecked her privacy settings. Seems several changes had been made to Facebook’s account settings since she had first set up her page, but Jacqui hadn’t bothered to check what they were or how they worked. They barely rated as far as she was concerned.
She now knows better.
Jacqui’s throw-away line on Facebook, found by, or referred to Mrs Brown by a mischievous friend, enraged the vindictive teacher, reignited her workplace humiliation, and strengthened her resolve for revenge. Jacqui, although innocently, inadvertently fanned the flames by neglecting online discretion and embarrassing an obsessive person publicly.
Update: Twelve month’s later, Jacqui lives and works in Australia after deciding to get away from her home country and let Mrs Brown’s anger cool.
When securing her current job, she refrained this time from saying “Bite me, Mrs Brown!”
(even though she thought it!)