A friend and former co-worker suggested that I write about the annoying habits and personalities of my co-workers in the workplace. It didn’t take me long to start thinking back to some of the people I’ve spent forty hours a week with. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some great friends at previous jobs, but have also encountered many types of people I’d never willingly choose to spend time with after 5:00pm.
The following information is from 1991 through present and taken from a variety of offices I’ve worked in. (Some names have been changed for obvious reasons).
The Unidentified Pooper- My friend and I could never pinpoint who this mystery person was but we'd narrowed it down to two people. Nan or Judy- This person needed to see a gastroenterologist immediately. She flushed but always left a little something in the toilet every morning for the person behind her to find, which is why I know she needed to see a gastroenterologist. It wasn't normal! Why she couldn't ever stick around long enough to make sure it all went down is beyond me.
Judy- I could probably do a whole blog entry on Judy alone. She was about fifty, short, overweight but not obese, lazy, sneaky and extremely nosey. She was the food police in our office, among other things. Whenever we held training classes for the field techs or customer's our sales department would order lunch for the class. If there were leftovers they would be put out in the break room for everyone to snack on for the rest of the day. She would usually be up at the front desk by 9:00am asking our receptionist what we'd ordered for lunch that day. Whenever the food would arrive the receptionist would transfer the phones to the service department and she and I would take the food over to the classroom, which was out in the warehouse in a big theatre style room, and set it all out buffet style. Judy would always follow us out there to preview the food if not sneak a plate off before anyone saw. Her desk was right outside of the break room/kitchen and when the leftovers were brought in she would literally sprint in there and start making huge plates. We found out later that she’d hide them under her desk to take home for her husband and kids. No, she wasn't poor! Trust me on this one, she was just greedy for any free handout. She was always trying to scam and steal free stuff for her brother's home business, too. She would always hint around about how she was fixing his business up and if we were going to throw anything away to please let her know, but she was hoarding supplies for him every chance she got. She really was a piece of work and gave my friend and I plenty of material to discuss every day. Once someone brought donuts in on a Friday and she’d saved them in the frig and ate them on Tuesday, which grossed me out. She carried a tote bag everyday and I know it was for the food and supplies she was collecting to take home everyday. We fondly nicknamed her “the mooch". She just wasn't a very nice person or I wouldn't have cared that she hoarded food.
Vance - He needed to see an ear, nose and throat doctor or at least take some Sudafed for his sinus issues. He would sniff constantly and then do the throat-clearing thing pretty often. It wasn’t just regular sniffing either. He would sniff so deep and hard that I had to bolt down the stuff on my desk. It literally drove me nuts.
Dustin- He came to work with a bit of a big head like he’d been there for years. I, unfortunately, had to sit in the cube next to him. He had no sales experience or a clue about the equipment that we sold, which wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d had the salesman personality and skills needed to push the product. If I were a customer I would’ve been turned off by one simple fact alone. He talked so slow that you could’ve custom ordered your product and had it delivered from someone else before he finished his sales pitch. He would make cold calls from his desk and ask for the person responsible for making the decisions to purchase our particular product, then he’d get their voice mail and start leaving a long winded message, talking so slowly that I could only imagine the person on the receiving end sitting there with a pencil and paper waiting on a name or number and for him to spit it out and get to the point of his call. I can’t tell you how many times I actually thought he was talking to a live person and how floored I was when I realized he was actually leaving some unlucky person a four minute voice mail. Do not mistake that statement to mean that I am a fan of speed talkers who leave voice mails talking so fast that you can’t get the number written down after three tries, but there is something to be said for a happy medium in between those two extremes.
Craig - He was a good-looking and funny guy but had such chronic bad breath that we (myself and a co-worker) seriously considered putting several packs of gum in each of his desk drawers. He could be standing four or five feet away from me talking and I literally had to hold my breath. I will give him credit though because he often asked for breath mints. I was more than happy to share. He also loved to use the endearing term “Hey, partner” which was just plain annoying.
Bonnie - She was the “one-upper”. Everything you’d done, she’d done bigger and better. If you had a cyst the size of a grape fruit removed from your ovary, she had one the size of a watermelon. She also reminded me of Debbie the Downer. She was always having a bad day. People were always screwing her over causing her to do back flips at work. (Well, that was her version of events, anyway.) She was also a "close" talker and got in my bubble. I just hate it when people invade my bubble.
John - He was another “cubicle” neighbor from the job where we had the lower walls and could all see each other. He was an older man who could sometimes be amusing with his Minnesota accent, “Don’t ya know?” but he yelled when he talked on the phone and he liked to stand up and look around a lot. Sometimes he stood up right in front of his desk chair just watching everyone. He also liked to stand up and walk around and lean on the counter top in front of my cube, though his cube, which was directly next to mine had the exact same countertop facing the exact same direction. He would just stand there and stare at everyone in the office for about five minutes causing me to shift in my chair. Why did he need to stand at my counter when he had his own dang spot identical to mine? He also clipped his finger nails at his desk and that noise sends me over the edge.
The evil receptionist- She was a bitter forty-five year-old recovering drug addict whom enjoyed being mean to our customer’s and employees just because she could be. She gave callers the runaround even when they didn’t deserve it. She would also burp loudly right there at her desk in front of anyone. The first time I heard her I thought I was imagining it. It was so loud and gross that I was totally blown away. She's another one who also needed to see a gastroenterologist. At least if break down and absolutely have to poop at work, which I try my hardest not to do, I get in and out as quickly and painlessly as possible. Not her. She always wore sandals with big toe rings and it was easy to spot her feet from under the stall doors when you walked in. She would sit in there for thirty minutes sometimes reading magazines but she would also be doing her business with no qualms whatsoever if someone came in. I cringed whenever I walked in and saw her feet under the stall doors, knowing I needed to get in and out as quickly as possible for my own well being. I learned my lesson and tried to avoid using the restroom if she wasn’t at her desk. My nose couldn't take it and neither could my stomach. She was also the classic “It’s not my job” and loved to pass the buck. I always love those types.
Floyd- He was the strange old man who used to throw paper spitballs at me all day long. At first it was funny and I threw them back but after about two weeks, it grew old and ignoring him didn’t work. He eventually threw one that landed in my drink and sprayed me, my entire desk and computer monitor with Coke, causing me to blow a gasket and retaliate for a final show down. He had other ways of picking on me and his peace offering would always be food that he would leave sitting on my desk. I learned later that he’d freeze anything, (like a leftover hamburger or French fries from his lunch at McDonalds’s) and keep it for weeks to eat later. Someone once brought White Castle hamburgers to the office after a trip to the casino. Floyd heated one up for me and I ate it. It tasted kind of funny but I had no idea it was from six weeks earlier when the other co-worker had brought them. I never ate any food from Floyd again after learning that! He reminded me of an old man who would have lots of cats in his apartment and always be peeking out of his window at the neighbors.
Mona - She had a mullet. It was 2005. Need I say more?As always, I could go on and on, but I better stop myself now.