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Offensive Coworker Disorder

, | Working | August 15, 2012

(A nervous-looking customer comes into my work. She tells me her order and hands me the money. As soon as it is out of her hands, she takes a container of hand sanitizer out of her purse. She proceeds to squirt a liberal amount onto her hands and rub it in, all the while looking nervous and slightly embarrassed.)

Me: “Is everything all right, ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, I’m sorry. I have OCD… it’s kind of embarrassing.”

(I, myself, have a mild form of OCD so I know how she feels. I ask my coworker to double-clean the things we use to make her order. I go to take another order while my coworker hands her order to her. She proceeds to do the same thing with the sanitizer after she gets her food.)

Coworker: “Wow, lady!”

Customer: “I’m… sorry?”

Coworker: “That is really rude. Do you think I have, like, germs or something? What the h*** is wrong with you?!”

Me: “What’s going on?”

Coworker: “This lady is acting like I’ve got an infection or something! I wash my hands just like everyone else!”

Me: “Hey [coworker], she has OCD. She can’t help it.”

(The lady is looking seriously freaked at this point. All of the customers are watching this exchange and many of my coworkers, including the manager, have come up to see what is going on. Then my coworker breaks out this lovely little comment.)

Coworker: “Then she should go back to the institution before she offends someone else!”

Manager: “[Coworker], go home. You are done.”

(My now ex-coworker was fired right after that. I wound up getting a free meal for my break, which I ate whilst sitting with my new friend, the customer with OCD.)

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