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And What Happens When You Assume?

, , , , , , | Working | February 11, 2022

My husband and I work for the same company. It is a large company. He’s in charge of all technical work, and I have a high-ranking position in administration. Most employees don’t recognize me or realize my exact relationship with my husband.

The day before this, Human Resources sent out a lengthy memo about not eating other people’s food.

I go into the lunchroom and see a younger female employee unpacking her lunch. It’s late and she’s the only one still at lunch. Based on her clothing, she must work on the production line. I smile, nod, and then remove a package from the fridge. It’s clearly marked with a man’s name.

Employee: “HR just sent out a memo about not eating other people’s food.”

Me: “I know. I packed enough for two.”

Employee: “But your name isn’t [Husband].”

Me: “No, it’s—”

Employee: “If you don’t stop, I’m going to call HR.”

Me: “You don’t want—”

Employee: “Besides, I know [Husband] isn’t going to share his lunch with you. If he was going to share with anyone, it would be me.”

Me: “Oh, really? And why is that?”

Employee: “That’s none of your business. I know every woman here thinks she’s the one he wants, but you are all wrong. It’s me.”

Me: “You know, I’m thinking you should call HR. Before I do.”

Employee: “No, I think I’m going to call [Husband]. He can deal with you.”

I place a quick call to HR and ask the director to come to the lunchroom. The employee calls to the production floor and tells the production assistant to tell my husband someone is eating his lunch. The HR director and my husband show up at the same time.

Employee: “Now you are in trouble.”

HR Director: “What’s the problem?”

Employee: *Talking quickly* “She’s eating his lunch because she’s got a crush on him and she needs to be fired. This is exactly what that memo was talking about.”

My husband and I are both laughing.

HR Director: “So, you are telling me that my boss has a crush on the production director? And she’s eating his lunch?”

Employee: “Yes!”

HR Director: *To my husband* “Were you aware that your wife has a crush on you?”

Husband: “I sort of had a feeling. Something about being married for decades gave it away.”

HR Director: *To [Employee]* “I think we need to have a long chat. Finish your lunch and come to my office.”

After a brief chat, we suggested she not be fired but instead be warned and put on probation. Strangely, this was the first time my husband had ever spoken to her. She left on her own soon after.

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