The Office Scuttlebutt Is Getting Steamy!

, , , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

This is before cell phones were a thing. It’s before email, as well, so a lot of business is done over the phone. Call waiting exists but is expensive, so two phones for one desk are not unusual.

Me: “Hello, can I speak to [Employee], please?”

[Supplier] on the phone speaks with a strange intonation, which I later make out to be between seething and laughing.

Supplier: “[Employee] is no longer working for [Company].”

Me: “Oh, did she leave? I spoke to her yesterday and she didn’t mention it.”

Supplier: “That is because she didn’t know it then.”

Yep, definitely an edge in her voice.

Me: “Oh. Well, I…”

Supplier: “Yeah, you see, she has a boyfriend, and I suspect he is married, and she calls him at the office. It is the first call she makes every day and the last, and in between again a few times. They are long as well, which means I have to do her job on top of mine while she has sickening dialogs with her boyfriend.”

Me: “Not nice, indeed.”

Supplier: “So, yesterday, I got fed up with it. I had a phone call and another on the second extension, and then her phone started ringing which she ignored whilst continuing to exchange sweet talk with her sweetheart, and it became too much, so I jumped up and disconnected the call. She became mad, jumped up, as well, and slapped me in the face.”

Me: “Oops.”

Supplier: “The best part was that one of the higher-ups just passed by and wanted to know what happened. So, we were called to the office, we told our side of things, I got a faint slap on the wrist, and she was sent packing.”

Me: “But now you need to do all the work.”

Supplier: “Not a problem. I am used to it anyway, and now, as a bonus, I don’t need to listen to her phone sex anymore. And they are going to replace her! So, what can I do for you today?”

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Get This Guy A Map

, , , , | Working | February 25, 2021

In my company, there’s very little overlap between what the different departments can do. Order Admin can’t process anything for Accounting, Accounting can’t run RMAs, the Returns department can’t work on customer account info, etc. For the most part, this isn’t an issue, as we’re a fairly small company for the amount of business we do and communication is wide open.

Except for [Sales Guy].

[Sales Guy] seems to think that the Order Admin team does… everything. We get notice of customers sending payments, he forwards it to OA. Customer says a product is dead and needs to be replaced, OA. Vendor sends an email saying there’s a factory delay and we won’t get product until next week, OA. No number of reply emails about who to actually send these notices and requests to seems to permeate his skull, nor do statements that HE is the contact with his clients, so if something needs to be said to them then HE needs to tell the customer, not us.

The final straw comes this morning when he comes storming over to us in his usual “bull in a China shop” mode, letting out an exaggerated sigh while waving a piece of paper in the air.

Sales Guy: “Who’s doing this one?”

Me: “I don’t know which one ‘this one’ is. Let me actually see the paper?”

Sales Guy: *Hands me the printout* “They already said they want this on their account, not on their credit card.”

Me: *Already doing searches* “I don’t see anything in the order or any emails to us saying that.”

Sales Guy: “I already forwarded it over to Accounting!”

Me: *Pauses* “Wait a minute, you’ve spent the last two months sending us everything but requests to change something in an order, and then the one time you have an actual order change, you send it to someone else?!”

[Sales Guy], of course, got instantly indignant and started a big argument in the middle of the office, and both our manager and his had to get involved. The line “Do you really want to end up having me check every email before you send it?” may have been said by his manager.

In the end, peace was restored, and he hasn’t again started sending emails to all the wrong departments.

Yet.

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Needs A Clean Break From That Day

, , , , , | Working | February 25, 2021

I’m for hire via a temp agency for day jobs which are mostly cleaning jobs. I’m sent to a holiday park one town over for the day, along with several others, and I am told I will be given a ride by someone from the temp agency, since it’s a bit too long of a road for me to bike there.

The workers gather at the agency office to be picked up and my ride turns out to be one of the workers. The woman herself is… a character, to say the least. The few teeth she still has in her mouth are disgustingly yellow, her hair is a mess, and the thick and greasy layers of makeup that she smeared on her face still can’t conceal all the bruises she has underneath. She leads me to her tiny old car, which is so filled with trash that I literally have no place to sit. She shoves some off the passenger seat, leaving my feet in a pool of plastic bottles, used tissues, cigarette butts, and I don’t wanna know what else. 

We get on the road. It’s scorching hot outside, about thirty degrees Celsius, and she leaves all the windows closed while she’s smoking cigarettes behind the wheel and swaying like a drunk.

She manages to drive right past the holiday park that is situated on the outskirts and drives all the way into town about fifteen minutes away.

Her reasoning? “They said it was at [Town] so that’s where I’m going!”

We pass a local theme park that has advertisements up for a Halloween event and she happily states that she should apply as a scare actor. “I look a fright anyway by myself!” No s***!

We end up arriving at the holiday park half an hour late. We don’t know where we are supposed to report in, so she calls the agency to ask. Halfway through the phone call, she hands her phone over to me and lights another cigarette. I’m trying to keep the makeup-smeared phone as far away from my face as possible. The conversation I try to make with the temp agency is constantly interrupted by loud and gross coughs from the woman and her yanking her phone back to her so she can listen in, continuously coughing loudly near my face.

Finally, we get sent to our duties to clean the bungalows. I end up with another lady who explains what needs to be done with the greatest haste and impatience.

She leaves me alone to clean the bungalow. At this point, it should be noted I have slight autism and anxiety issues. I’m left behind with little to no instructions, and the hellish ride to get here has made my emotions pile up and the result is a giant panic attack.

I go back to the front office to call in sick and fetch a bus back home.

Just another day in the life of working temp jobs, leaving me to wonder how on earth people can be so gross.

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Want To Slap Him Right In His Stubborn Mug

, , , , | Working | February 24, 2021

My coworker likes to have his opinion heard, which is fine. I will often nod along even if I don’t agree or have no idea what he is on about. Sometimes his opinion is so based on ignorance or stupidity or just fundamentally flawed that I don’t bite my tongue and instead try to show him reason.

A new branch of a global warehouse membership company has opened near our work. [Coworker], of course, has his opinion on it and why the membership is a scam and how it should all be free. After several minutes of the one-sided conversation, he changes tack.

Coworker: “Anyone who pays for membership is a mug.”

Me: “You think so?”

Coworker: “Paying to save money? Mugs, all of them.”

Me: “I paid and have saved more than the membership fee. And that’s on filling up my car alone.”

Coworker: “Well, you don’t save it, really, do you?! It’s just a ploy. A mug’s game.”

Me: “A full tank is around £4 cheaper and I fill up once per week. I have had my membership since it opened, which is about ten weeks. That is more than I spent on the membership fee.”

Coworker: “Yeah, but—”

Me: *Interrupting* “I acknowledge that saving on food isn’t that much, but I probably save another £5 a month on cleaning supplies which would pay for the annual membership in seven months.”

Coworker: “You’ve just been taken in by their advertising.”

Me: *Sighing* “Whatever you say, [Coworker].”

There really is no point in trying to make him see reason; he is just so much smarter than everyone and has to be right. I renewed my membership last month and continue to use the store regularly. [Coworker] never even went inside to check.

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J Is For “Jerk”

, , , , , | Working | February 24, 2021

I am clearly the bad guy in this story. My coworker struggles with the phonetic alphabet — A for “alpha,” etc. — and with her accent, it makes telephone communication difficult. So, she made and laminated a little helper sheet with all of the alphabet on it.

One boring afternoon, I photocopied the sheet and changed some of the words around — nothing too bad or offensive. Some are really subtle and others are just obvious — T for “tea” and G for “gnome.”

I kind of forget about it and eventually leave the company. Months later, I happen to speak to a guy I used to work with.

Guy: “Yeah, it’s not great. A load of people left and it’s not the same.”

Me: “Oh, really? I hadn’t heard. Like who?”

He rattles off a long list, including my coworker.

Me: “She left? Oh, I will have to reach out to her.”

Guy: “Yeah, do that. She is doing really well, but her replacement is really odd.”

Me: “Oh?”

Guy: “Just a real oddball all round — like when she spells things out, she uses weird words, P for ‘put-put.’ Who does that?”

It is then I remember that was an exact word I used on the copy.

Me: “Maybe she needs a guide to phonetics; you could print one off for her.”

Guy: “Good idea. I’ll do that.”

I never admitted the prank that lived on two generations, but I hope it got sorted in the end.

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