Flying in the face of her general self-perception as an open-hearted, friendly person, Charlotte O'Ryan's hatred for a coworker she barely knows has forced her to face her darker side.
"I know it's not fair to hate someone I've hardly even talked to," said O'Ryan of the coworker she's nicknamed GAG - short for "Gross Annoying Girl". "I thought I was a better person than that. But oh, my goodness, is she annoying."
As O'Ryan explained it, GAG's irritating habits include compulsively fussing with her lank, greasy, blonde hair in the restroom mirror every morning, wearing the same frumpy, gray flannel skirt several times a week, and making a big deal out of drinking tea rather than coffee.
"The few words we have exchanged have been about how she likes her tea," said O'Ryan. "She mostly sticks to herbal, except when she needs a jolt of caffeine." She cringed. "See what I mean? Annoying!"
O'Ryan freely admitted that her hatred for GAG is not logically warranted, and that if she got to know her coworker better, she might like her or, at least, only mildly dislike her. But for now, the best O'Ryan feels she can do is not to act on her burning hatred.
"I may not be a very nice person, but I'm not a psychopath," she said. "Sometimes that's as good as it gets."