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Pickling Your Way Out Of A Pickle

, , , , , | Working | December 9, 2022

I use to manage a bunch of programmers, though I’m not one myself. I mostly worked to protect them from our customers, vet and filter requests down to them, and basically do my best to ensure they could focus on their job. They did quite a good job of managing the technical parts themselves.

One of my programmers was absurdly cheap. [Programmer] would eat dry, non-name-brand bagels every day for lunch, with the occasional “splurge” of some knock-off condensed soup. He got some good-natured teasing from the team for his cheapness, though he probably mocked his own cheapness more than anyone else. Since his cheapness was primarily so he could save more money to donate to charity, we couldn’t really fault him for it.

While I tried to shield my team from time-wasting meetings, we did have a group one every other month. As compensation for wasting their time with a meeting, I would buy food from one of the local fast food joints for everyone to eat during the meeting. [Programmer] refused to order when everyone else did, claiming that since he knew he would never be buying food for anyone in the office, owing to his cheapness, he didn’t want to mooch off of any of us. I tried to point out that I was paying for the team and didn’t expect him to repay me, but he still insisted on showing up to the meeting with his dry bagels while everyone else had a real meal.

Then, one day, through some sort of mix-up, we ended up receiving far more pickles than we needed with the meal order, more than anyone could eat.

Programmer: “I hate pickles, but I can’t stand to see food get thrown out! Please don’t throw the extras out.”

And he started eating one even as he clearly loathed them and looked like he wanted to gag.

I’ll confess the team had a little fun with this, taunting him with the threat of pickles being thrown out to pressure him into eating more pickles and laughing at the look of disgust on his face. The programmer was good-natured about it and didn’t seem to mind some friendly teasing, and in the end, he managed to eat a bag full of pickles all by himself.

This gave me an idea, though. At the next team meeting, after collecting everyone’s orders, I added one extra meal to the list. I then happily informed my frugal friend that I had an extra meal I planned to throw out if he didn’t eat it. Despite his jokingly complaining that he was being forced to eat under duress, it worked; he accepted the extra meal rather than see it go to waste.

From then until the day our contract ended, I would buy random meals for him each meeting and “force” him to eat with us via the threat of throwing it out otherwise. He never did admit defeat and start ordering the meals he wanted, though, so I had fun having him try every meal option I could find. Only once, a few days before April 1st, did that meal come with extra pickles.

Fighting Crazy With Crazy, Part 3

, , , , , , , , , | Right | December 9, 2022

I work in a pharmacy in a large grocery store. I am speaking to one of my coworkers about how uncomfortable some of the men who come to the pharmacy counter make me feel. They often call me pretty, try to touch me, or ask me when I’m leaving. 

Coworker: “You know, you’re pretty small, but if you can’t physically beat a man, you can always out-crazy him.”

Later, I am taking the trash out. In order to do so, I have to go into the back of the store which is usually empty of people. As I’m putting the trash into the bins, a man approaches me.

Creepy Guy: “What’s a girl like you doing back here all by yourself? You know there’s no camera back here, right?”

Remembering my coworker’s advice, I put my hands up like a cat and hissed at him. 

He didn’t seem scared, but he did back up. He also now refuses service from me. 

“If you can’t physically beat a man, you can always out-crazy him” was and still is some of the best advice I have ever received.

Fighting Crazy With Crazy, Part 2
Fighting Crazy With Crazy

Confused Employee, Party Of One

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 8, 2022

Now that the health crisis is over, my place of work wants to hold little parties so that all of us remote workers can meet each other. Most of these are at bars. I don’t drink, so I usually don’t bother to show.

They schedule one such meeting at a bar that’s pretty close to my house. I tell them I’m not going to show because I don’t drink, but they badger me into promising to come to this because it’s so close to my house. Apparently, they chose it specifically so they could meet me.

The day comes and I bicycle to the bar in question. I arrive on time and wait for an hour for anyone else to arrive. I double-check my email to make sure the address and bar name are correct repeatedly. No one shows, not even the Human Resources guy who was so enthused to meet me.

Finally, I buy myself a Shirley Temple, a Virgin Mary, and a plate of wings and have a little party all by myself. I then submit it as an expense.

To my mild surprise, the company reimburses me for it.

When I ask Human Resources about it, they avoid the topic instead of explaining why they didn’t show up.

Well, Rest IS Important…

, , , , | Working | December 7, 2022

[Coworker] is the laziest guy in the office. He’s also the most competent guy in the office, which is probably the only reason that he hasn’t been fired yet.

One day, I catch him napping on the break room sofa.

Me: “Why aren’t you working?”

He responds without even opening his eyes.

Coworker: “The data entry laptop is outta juice, so I’m giving it twenty minutes to recharge its batteries.”

The laptop he’s referring to has all the confidential customer data on it, and it’s office policy not to disseminate that information, so anyone who wants to do the data entry has to use that laptop and only that one.

Me: “Then why are you sleeping?”

Coworker: “I’m also taking twenty minutes to recharge my batteries.”

I laughed, shook my head, and walked away.

Really Maid Him Live Up To His Word

, , , , , , | Working | December 7, 2022

A few years ago, we had a new developer who had been with us for a few months and frequently joked about how he was “too cheap” to do things. During one of our standups (brief daily status meetings), the subject of Halloween came up.

New Guy: “So, are we all going to dress up for Halloween?”

Manager: “No.”

New Guy: “Aww, you’re no fun.”

Manager: “Let me rephrase. I have no intent to dress up. If you want to look ridiculous, you’re welcome to come in whatever costume you want.”

New Guy: “I’d totally do that if I wasn’t too cheap to buy a costume.”

Manager: “Really? You make it sound like we don’t pay you anything.”

New Guy: “Hey, if costumes are so cheap, you’re welcome to buy me one.”

Coworker: “You know what? If you promise to actually wear whatever I get you, I’d be more than happy to find a costume for you.”

New Guy: “You know what? Sure. I have no pride, so bring it on. Let’s see what terrible costume you can find for me to wear.”

We took him up on it, and he actually got not one but two different costumes brought in by different coworkers. One was a dress worn by one of the characters from Frozen. The other was a sexy maid outfit, with an emphasis on sexy — even by our work’s non-existent dress code, it was rather questionable whether he could have gotten away with showing up at work dressed in that thing.

He wasn’t daunted, and on Halloween, he showed up wearing both costumes, with the majority of the maid outfit put on over top of the dress.

Me: “You look ridiculous. I can’t believe you actually wore them.”

New Guy: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll have you know I feel pretty and witty and gay!”

We spent the next year joking about what terrible outfit we could force him to wear the subsequent Halloween, but sadly, that’s when the global health crisis hit, and none of us was working in person for Halloween. [New Guy] did post a photo of himself in the princess dress on our work chatroom to cheer us up a little that Halloween, though he claimed to have “mysteriously” lost the sexy maid outfit.