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Man, This Really Pops My Corn

, , , , , | Working | April 15, 2022

I have a coworker who simultaneously plays the part of a self-declared germaphobe and the office “lunch thief”. And by lunch, I mean opened and unopened packages of personal snacks that are often on or in desks that are not her own.

We are in a global health crisis when I find chocolate missing from my desk. Thoroughly disgusted that someone who was JUST bragging about how careful she is being stole a half-eaten chocolate bar, I decide to merely deep clean my desk and let it go. I have no real proof of it anyway.

Then, my bags of popcorn start going missing, so I hide them in a coworker’s office. They end up going missing from there, too. This time, I have proof.

She makes the fatal mistake of bragging to her pet-of-the-week that she is so dedicated to the job that all she had for lunch is a big bag of popcorn! So, I copy both her and our boss on an email innocently asking if she saw my popcorn as it had walked off from under my desk. She eventually cops to it after some light banter between our boss and me about who would steal popcorn, and I lightly chide her by telling her, “If it isn’t in the communal space, it is not for the community.”

I think this is the end of it as my food finally stops going missing! 

But wait… there’s more.

I have just restocked the entire office with a bunch of sweet snacks and plan to get more healthy options but am hesitant due to worrying about how they will be received. My boss is on the same page.

Boss: “I love all the sweets, but do we have any healthy options?”

Me: “I was thinking about that. Apples and oranges would be good. Same for carrots. They will all last for a couple of weeks just fine. Right now, all we really have is pita chips and hummus.”

Boss: “Isn’t the hummus yours?”

Me: *Confused* “I brought it to share.”

Boss: “But you scolded her for taking your food earlier.”

I mistakenly think he means my “work-wife,” who I teasingly complained ate said pita chips and hummus off my plate the day before.

Me: “Oh. That is just because she didn’t respect the pita to hummus ratio. [Work Wife] knows she is allowed to eat my food without asking.”

Boss: *Hinting* “I remember an email exchange about it.”

Me: “Oh! No. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t mind ‘sharing’. It was just that [Coworker] was removing food from my desk and sequestering it in her office for herself. As long as it isn’t in anyone else’s desk, or otherwise marked, that is fine.”

That witch had generously shared her stash with him and then made him feel guilty! She is definitely a wonder.

We Wish We Could Fire Her For You

, , , , , , | Working | March 11, 2022

There is a manager at the company who is… interesting… to say the least. At fifty-nine years old, she refuses to take accountability for ANY of her own actions. Instead, she blames anyone and everyone else or denies it completely. Unfortunately, because the owner of the company feels indebted to [Manager], she can practically get away with murder, so she has a mile-long list of ethics violations and complaints of unprofessionalism from employees, prospective new hires, and clients alike.

I file a complaint about [Manager] with our boss as she is repeatedly trying to get me to do her work while I am on vacation on top of sexually harassing me. While speaking to him about it, a lot of other sort of abuse at her hands ends up coming out, and I explain how she often will blame our boss for crossing boundaries if I attempt to set a boundary with her.

He agrees that we need to have a group conversation where we discuss how [Manager] is to respect my boundaries moving forward and promises to speak to her in the meantime.

[Manager] takes the “talking-to” in a completely different direction and to outer space. She decides to complain to another coworker about me. This coworker reaches out to me via text.

Coworker: “Hey. I heard that [Owner] said that you were being too sensitive about what [Manager] said?”

Me: “Wait… What?”

Yep, [Manager] decided that when [Owner] said, “Respect her boundaries,” and, “Stop making comments about her reproductive system,” he meant that I was just being “sensitive” and should be blown off. She also decided that it wasn’t my opinion, but [Owner]’s. Not only that, but she decided to gossip about it with another coworker, which is an interesting choice when your professionalism is being called into question.

To be this devoid of reality must be a treat.

Car, Cat, They’re Just One Letter Different

, , , , , , | Working | March 3, 2022

Our clinic cat needs to be shaved right before winter really sets in, so I order her a pet sweater to keep her warm when the office gets chilly. It fits everywhere except the length of the belly panel, so I am taking it in with a small sewing kit we keep in a desk drawer.

Coworker: “I should get one of those for my car.”

I think she’s referring to the sweater.

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “You know, a little sewing kit for emergencies.”

Me: “Oh, I thought you meant the sweater!”

Coworker: “That’s not a bad idea, either. I should keep a sweater in the car.”

Me: *Pauses* “I thought you meant a sweater for the car to wear.”

Where Do You People Keep Finding These Awful Managers?!

, , , , , , | Working | March 2, 2022

I have a manager who I can only classify as evil. It doesn’t matter your skill level; she will try to get you fired on the sole basis of you being “too ugly” and/or being better off than her. Unfortunately, she is a high-school dropout and fifty-nine-year-old divorcee who lives way above her means, so even the college graduates straight out of college with a mountain of debt are viewed, in her eyes, as privileged children who had the world handed to them.

Back when I was young and naïve, [Manager] used to use me as a minion to target this one guy. He was a jerk who was bad at his job, but she mostly wanted him gone due to his chronic illness. Nevertheless, she got her way and pinned it on me, framing it that we needed to fire him if they wanted “me” to stay. I just wanted him better managed, man.

The health crisis happens, and since our former target is gone, [Manager] has no one to blame as a distraction for her being unable to do her work. Therefore, she turns her sights on me and begins gaslighting the h*** out of me. Because we are remote at this time, this evil woman is the only one I can talk to at work — by her own hand. She then moves to get me fired by calling me “catty” and “difficult” when I am actually confused and frustrated.

Luckily, that doesn’t happen, and another manager sees what she is doing. He insists that I start working under him, and a year later, I am thriving! I am also able to finally get help for my mental and physical health issues, where previously, [Manager] refused to let me take my sick days off. I even rise to be on the same level as her in a short amount of time.

Fast forward. My new manager leaves the company, and [Manager] tries to swoop in and be all “us against the world” again. She even tries to pit me against a new hire (who is wonderful in every way, but has male-pattern baldness so that is a no for her). I am older, wiser, and in a better mental state a year after the fact, so I manage to stave off her advances. She doesn’t like that very much. Her minion is gone!

Therefore, she fervently tries a new round of attempts to get me fired. But because everyone who worked with us pre-global health crisis already knows what she did to me due to a very public mental break, she has to throw suspicion off of her and make it look like it is OUR boss who is insisting that I be fired. She goes around telling everyone what a valuable member of the team I am to the point that it is beyond creepy.

Meanwhile, she also sets up situations trying to make it look like I am overstepping bounds by privately asking me for tasks for her subordinates, only to send a nasty, aggressive response in front of our boss when I (le gasp!) give her suggestions. Luckily, each time I am able to call her out on it in the sweetest and most apologetic manner (i.e. “I am so sorry. They don’t have to do these tasks. I only mentioned it because you asked, but no worries!”) so she is even nastier for no reason. 

Her whole aim is to make it look like I am needlessly attacking her and questioning her competency while acting like she is this sweet, innocent victim who has done nothing wrong and loves me so much that she sees me as a daughter! 

One day, though, we are sitting in an all-staff meeting when her boss asks me a question about why test cases aren’t matching up.

Me: “I am not sure, as I haven’t had a chance to look at the problem quite yet, but is it possible that it is [reason]?”

His eyes get all wide in surprise and he starts nodding approvingly.

Boss: “You know? I did not. See, [Manager]? I told you she was good! I didn’t even think about it!”

He crows and sings my praises as he fixes his issue for himself. Meanwhile, she is left stuttering with egg all over her face.

Manager: “I-I already knew she was good, [Boss].”

It definitely felt satisfying to know our boss has my back and sees the good I do, no matter how much [Manager] tries to tear me down.

It’s Almost Worth Getting Pregnant Just To Escape

, , , , , , , | Working | February 24, 2022

I work for a small company with ten employees. The Vice President is… Well, let’s just say anything pleasant I have to say about her is about as true as if I explained to you that butterflies are actually birds that are warped by light.

Her one good quality is that she has so little empathy and compassion that she is convinced she is the victim in every single situation when there is no possible way — even those of her own making. If someone is calling her out for anything insensitive, unprofessional, unethical, or all of the above, she will buckle down and act like you are the crazy person, trying to gaslight you with the most ridiculous stories of why you are wrong.

This leads to some pretty entertaining “WTF” moments.

It is also worth noting that the VP has a strange obsession with my uterus and ovaries — a REALLY strange fixation that they are apparently just there to cause her grief.

About six months into working for the company, I fall ill with a stomach bug and end up leaning over the toilet for the better part of the day. I text the VP and the owner letting them know I am taking a sick day as I have a stomach bug.

Immediately after, I get a call from her. At this point, I naively think this woman is kind, caring, and, thoughtful and wants to check up on me. Oh, boy, was I wrong!

VP: *Immediately after I pick up* “Are you pregnant?!”

Me: *Stunned* “Uh… Probably not?”

VP: *Not listening* “You cannot possibly be pregnant. It would really be inconvenient for me. I cannot have you getting pregnant on me!”

This rant goes on for a bit. I am just taken back that this is what she jumped to. Finally, I manage to stop her and inform her that I cannot possibly be pregnant as I am on my period. You would expect at this point that anyone in their right mind would apologize for the assumption, right? 

VP: “Oh, good. That would be really inconvenient for me. Now, why I called you. You can work, right? Since you are not with child?”

This happens twice more when I get the flu and a headache. At this point, I really dread getting sick simply because it comes with a side of accusations about how I am out to get her by ending up pregnant. I probably should tell someone about it, but I can’t believe it happened the first time; I thought it was a fluke. The second and third times are equally cringe-inducing.

It gets worse, though!

[VP] also has an endearing habit of informing me that I am on my period whenever she perceives that I am getting upset about something. She will always stop in mid-sentence and say:

VP: “I know you are young and hormonal, and I am sure that it is ‘that time of the month,’ but I need you to compose yourself.”

If I wasn’t mad before, I certainly am now! When I forcefully inform her that I am not on my period, she insists that I am for a good five minutes until telling me that I am getting uppity with her. It does not matter that I haven’t said a word in that five-minute monologue. 

One time, someone actually walked in on us and she had the gall to tell him that I was “being hormonal because I was on my period” but SHE forgave me.

Recently, I ended up with bronchitis that resulted in pneumonia, which caused me to be at home for a week. Upon discovery, she insists that I am probably just ovulating, ignoring the fact that I am hacking up a lung and have a fever. 

This is during the global health crisis, and I have taken two tests at this point, so I know it isn’t that. I also have a third planned for this afternoon. I inform our boss, who is actually sympathetic, and leave. As I am walking out to the parking lot, [VP] stops me.

VP: “You are probably just ovulating at your age.”

I am sick at this point, so I just walk to my car without a response, because what can you say to someone at this juncture?

Finally, though, when I am feeling better, I decide to “confront her” by copying our boss on an email where I inform her that I am tired of the sexist comments made about my body any time I am sick or when she doesn’t like what I have to say.

She delivers this killer line:

VP: “I would never make comments about you possibly being pregnant or on your cycle. My comment to you about your fever in relation to ovulation was a comment that is a medical fact. I must have been trying to offer a possible cause other than you having [contagious illness].”

Well, you heard it here first, folks. It is just a scientific fact that when you ovulate, your body temperature reaches 99.9-degrees.