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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Haven’t You Heard Of Tinder?

, , , | Romantic | February 26, 2021

I’m at work when my company cell phone rings; it’s an unfamiliar number. I pick up and a man is on the line. He apparently does not hear the voice he expected.

Caller: “Hi… I’m looking for [Stranger]?”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t know anyone by that name. You’re speaking to [My Name].”

Caller: “No, that’s not right. This number belongs to [Stranger].”

Me: “Well, this is my work number, which I only received very recently, and numbers do get reused for new users, so I guess this number might have belonged to someone else before me. Sorry, I don’t know how to help you further.”

The caller pauses for a moment.

Caller: “Are you single?”

Me: *Confused* “Um, excuse me?”

Caller: “You sound attractive.”

Me: “Um, that’s a strange way to meet people. I’m not on the market, though.”

Caller: “I thought it might be a sign from God. You know, it’s so funny, me meeting you through this call; it must have been destiny.”

Me: “Yeah, how about no?”

Caller: “Oh, okay. Bye, then.”

I’m still wondering if this method of picking up dates ever works on anyone.

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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.


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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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