Far out Friday: Truly strange colleagues

by Rose Sneyd14 Jun 2013

Alison Green, aka blogger Ask a Manager, recently asked her readers to submit descriptions of their weirdest ever co-workers from which she selected her favourite ten for publication.

Some of them were brilliant:

  • A worker who balked at using a bathroom: “Instead, he pees into the bushes at the far end of the parking lot (still in full view of those with window offices, those on smoke breaks and others milling about).”
  • A compulsive liar: “We kept a list of crazy things she said, like one time Bill Clinton tried to seduce her, another time she was on a boat with U2 and Elvis Costello and the boat capsized, and that she was responsible for inventing a number of famous products.”
  •  A pants-shirker: “I had a co-worker who noticed people would go to the restroom and change into workout clothes before leaving the building. She decided she’d be okay to change into her bathing suit with just a long t-shirt over it and then come back into the office space to finish filing. She did it twice before I had to go ask my manager to talk to co-workers about wearing pants in the workplace. I wish you could’ve seen my manager’s face when I led off with that statement.”
  • A backscratcher lover: “In my first office job, there was a guy who carried a briefcase very day. Inside the briefcase was a plastic fork taped to a pen, and nothing else. He’d used it as a back scratcher, loudly proclaiming his pleasure as he shoved it down the back of his shirt.”
  • The keener: “At a previous job, a meeting was called and the team supervisor announced that a senior team member had just been let go and that we would discuss the transition. As soon as the supervisor had the words out, the Team’s assistant blurted out, ‘I call his job!’”

The list of ten inspired us to have a look at what else the internet would turn up in terms of weird co-workers. The DC Urban Moms and Dad forum turned up some crackers, including:

  • A male in his late 30’s with whom the contributor had been working with for three years and who had never been heard to speak a word. Oh - and he waited until the end of the day, after everyone had left the office, to empty the free candy bowl.
  • An IT woman who completely ignored you, even when directly addressed. The one exception was if you asked this woman about the cats that she owned (there were eight). “She has eight cats at home and loves to talk about them. If you can get her talking about her cats, she’ll actually help you.”

And on DemocraticUnderground.com you can read about a secretary in Southern California who couldn’t remember whether it was morning or afternoon.

“She would have to place one sticky note on the telephone saying ‘Good morning” and another one for “Good afternoon’."