Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Office

In my house, we just can’t get enough of The Office. If you don’t watch this show, you’re missing out. I’ve told a few people about it and they later told me they just couldn’t get into it. I can’t even imagine that because to us it’s just so entertaining. If you’ve ever worked in an office setting you will be able to relate to all of the different characters in this show.

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.


Paul/dad/grandpa said...

I'm laughing and laughing and laughing--

Carri' only u could be so spot on, describing gross behaviour

I did see a bit of myself in some of those characters which made it even funnier--like I freeze donuts and then re-fry them, sometimes not even remotely remembering how old they are... I refry left over spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, Lasagna.. everything taste good re-fried--well...almost everything, maybe not cow chips, but that's about it.

I even had an idea for an "buffet jacket" for those all you can eat places (no-not to keep you from getting food on your shirt--I eat stuff that falls in my lap when no one is looking)
It's a jacket in-lined with Zip Lock bags. youv'e got the idea,

I am not going to talk about my 'eternal' drinking glass ( I suspect it crossed your mind when you were writing about those other wierdo's) and you are forbidden also--some people might think that's gross.--no!

Everybody has quirk's--but it takes a person with imagination to ferret them out and put them down humorously on paper--I'm sure youv'e got more anonymous folks, whose bad habits you can dissect and pin to paper.

Another good piece Carri, keep em coming

Carri said...

Thanks, Paul. How did you know I thought of you when I wrote this? Just kidding. Well, okay, maybe I did. Ha! Specifically your special glass and the donuts(Knowing you'd eat the ones Judy ate without batting an eye!) but I will be kicked out of the house if I tell anyone about your glass, so shhhhh.

Paul/dad/grandpa said...

sounds prudent to me Ms Carri--In return I'll not mention your Cock Roach phobia to anyone, it'll be "our" secret...

I'm sure your mom could add a lot to this blogg....

Ronni said...

Who knew we had worked in the same places?

Carri said...

I might have to do a part II on this. I kept remembering other annoying people after I finished.

My other half has finally updated his blawg tonight!

Paul/dad/grandpa said...

Carrie...I've asked a friend in high places, and the rest of my friends in "low" places--I know..thats where most of my friends are, at least the ones that I could reach. (The rest havn't put me on their visitors list, yet...)

Carrie, believe it or not, none could tell me the meaning of your line "Mona had a 'mullet' and it was 2005--need I say more"..

It would make a good 'hook' and Title for your first book:

The Shallow End of the Office pool
"MOna had a Mullet and it was 2005"
(if you know what I mean")

Anybody with an ounce of dark curiosity in them would have to at least pick it up to find out what was going on with this feaking 'mullet'..Was it a fashion statement?? or ,s-o-m-e-thing darker?? I give up..'Carri' I need to know.. NOW!!-

If I am the only one that 'didn't get it' keep it a secret and I'll owe you one..

Looking forward to your next "The Packing House" (another posssible title??)installment, and at least some hint of why "Mona had a mullet" .

.Theres something dark in there if you know what I mean, dean, its almost halloween!....(because Carrie doesn't rhyme with 'mean or halloween)

teedee said...

Hmmm. I wonder what kind of office worker you are?
Let's see. Maybe the one that knows everything about everybody?!?!?!??!

Paul/dad/grandpa said...

Axtually Tee Dee, The only few times I've worked inside, it was virtually all men and as most women know, by nature "were perfect!!!, so not much to say there ..allthough, come to think of it, we did have some 'wierd' secretaries, but I'll have to muse on that a while before I write about them. "they were guys--well..sort of.

It had something to do with a customer calling (after they were canned) wanting her "ball gowns" returned..but I doubt you would be interested in that story...

Carri ..I found out what a "mullet" was--Danielle told me..
Not nearly as off the wall as my own imagination--of course my being a 'left handed Pollock' doesn't help in these matters of the culinary arts--but it does Sound like a good idea for a new "business angle"--'EDIBLE PETS' they make great companions and when you get tired of them, you just Pop them in the oven with a couple of sweet potato's!!.. No need to haul them off to the SPCA....

just as an after thought though when someone offers to take your dog for a walk you better know where their taste lie. After all with the diverse cultures in America almost everything is edible, even hampsters..(just kidding about the mullet thing,) I really do know what it is.

Now for the main event" Carrie ..where's the rest of the 'dirt' you said you were going to deliver??? (I've read the last blog so much I've got it memorized...get busy girl..you have a highly 'sophisticated audience to please.

Ronni said...

Carri, could you email me the link to Joe's blog? I seem to have lost it.


Anonymous said...

I shared a cubicle with my friend Amy and another older lady. The older lady would pass gas all the time. She said one blanket "Excuse me" and that was the only time that she acknowledged her problem. Amy and I went to our supervisor to complain and she sympathized with us but asked us what we really thought she could do about it. Personally, I think the old lady was doing it to help her chances of getting her own office. Too bad it didn't work. Not only was she gaseous, but she was mean as a snake.

Carri said...

You forgot to mention her bathroom etiquette..........

Kelli said...

So I have to write about some of the disguisting women I work with that do NOT know how to courtesy flush. We got so sick of it that we put a can of Lysol in each stall but do you think they use it.......NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Grrrrr!!!!

Carri said...

Courtesy flushing should be a law! It's just the right thing to do for your fellow mankind, whether at work or in any other public restroom.