What’s more terrifying that than the scariest ghost story you’ve ever heard? Going to work with some of these folks. We asked Facebook users to share their tales involving co-workers whose bizarre and unprofessional behavior made the fact that they had jobs stranger than fiction. These stories will remind you that the real-life experience of going to work offers plenty of scares – no ghosts or goblins necessary.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Montevideo/Flickr)
1. The person who thinks she’s working alone.
Sarah: I had a co-worker who would pop her lips every time she did something and only speak in meme-speak. I wanted to do horribly mean things to her. She sat across from me. Also, the baby talk lady, who I might have mentioned before. And the dude who would make tuna sandwiches in the office kitchen (and microwave them) every day. The kitchen was adjacent to the office.
2. The guy who frames you for his crimes.
Elizabeth: I had one who was likely lactose intolerant. There was a stench of death. It was awful. It was worse when my boss called me in because someone had blamed it on me. Ick all around.
Mary: I had a co-worker who actively tried to get another department in trouble. She made that her job other than her real job. She cost the company millions thanks to her “work ethic.” She also sabotaged my first couple months on the job by giving me misinformation and isolating me from co-workers.
3. The sexual harasser.
Voula: I had one who openly sexually harassed the female staff and made inappropriate jokes to teenage students. Never directed towards to me. (He probably knew I’d kick his ass.) I spoke to our department head and basically got the “well … we need physically strong men in our department” speech. Filed a complaint with the union … nada came of any of it. Oh … AND … AND … he was also paid nearly double what women with his same level of education, same number of years of experience, in the same exact position were making. YUP. Welcome to our public schools. Ahem. (No, I did not stay in that disgusting place.)
4. Remember how, when you were a kid, you’d drop the dishes so you didn’t have to wash them? Yeah, some people still do that.
Kathy: I had one who was ALWAYS on her cellphone so she didn’t have to take the incoming calls, which was her responsibility. She would be LATE. And she would call off so much that she worked less than she called off and she was full-time. Must have something on the boss because she’s still around. Worst part was how she would play dumb to get others to do things for her because it took less time to do it yourself than to explain it to her!
5. and 6. Sleepy Sleeperson … and Mrs. Hyde.
Molly: First, an office colleague, who sat in the cubicle next to me and worked in the same department, would routinely fall asleep at her desk. Even worse, she would also fall asleep at meetings, where she was supposed to be taking notes, and do the head-nodding thing you see sleepy people doing on the subway, and snore loudly. I made a point never to sit next to her because my boss told me that I should shake her awake when that happened.
Second, during college, I worked at a small clothing store one summer and the owner hired a manager who seemed cool until we started getting customers. She would routinely close the store in the middle of the day and scream at her ex-husband on the phone or try on jeans while lying down on the floor to get them to fit. One of the most entertaining summer jobs ever.
7. The thief.
Jodie: Co-worker who stole small amounts of cash and jewelry from other co-workers (including me) and petty cash, but only when I was working, so I couldn’t be above suspicion. Mysteriously, it stopped at my site when she was transferred, and started happening at her new site.
Jan: My husband had a co-worker when he worked in an AV/broadcasting dept at a university, who was stealing really expensive telecom equipment and selling it to one of the local police departments AND setting it up for them, doing trainings, etc. It was crazy when she finally got caught. Everyone looked like an idiot – the U, the police dept….
8. The unsubtle malingerer.
Mellie: I have one. I worked at a Barnes & Noble Cafe. Co-worker who called in sick a lot (I’m talking like … she would call in once a week) because she had knee problems, and when she DID come in, she would keel over the counter, groaning in pain and being rude to the customers. The best part was once when she called in to her shift … but that didn’t stop her from coming in to the store to go holiday shopping with her family. #notevenjoking
9. The person who doesn’t comprehend irony.
Paul: Worked with a woman who stormed out after screaming at the business owner that he was being mean. She then emailed the rest of the employees and ICs and tried to organize a “class action” lawsuit. She also signed all her emails with “Namaste.” She called out short-notice at least once a week, leaving reception staff and the other LMTs to scramble for coverage. Namaste, good riddance.
10. The guy who doesn’t quite get how expense reports work.
Nancy: I did a training for a client one time who bragged about how he was claiming all kinds of things on his expense reports in order to get the cash, including faking receipts. He then proceeded to park our rental car in a no-parking zone in Chicago. It got towed. We had to walk many, many blocks, in the cold, down into the bowels of Chicago to retrieve our car. He didn’t understand why we were so upset about paying the fine. He assumed we would put it on our expenses. We explained that our company didn’t pay for crap.
Note: Some names have been changed to protect the contributors, who’ve clearly been through quite enough.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have these horrible co-workers beat? Share your story in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.