tell us some weird work stories

pigless in VA

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Californiablonde has a tough work situation. She's been very brave and decided that she is going to deal with it for the next few years until she can retire. Sometimes hearing other people's zany work stories can give you the strength to face your own situation. Every work situation has its challenges. What are some of the things you've had to handle?

CB, I used to work in a laboratory. I could fill pages of stories about the strange folks that I had to work with. I considered going back to work for them again but decided against it as there is one dude there whom I will call Dave. He hates me. He still hates me even though I've been gone for 18 years. Dave is a dud. He has zero manners and zero understanding of social rules.

Dave and another guy used to have farting wars where they would eat gas causing foods and spend all afternoon farting into the box fans and pointing them at each other.

Dave liked to take naps. He liked to nap spread eagle on the hood of his truck in the State parking lot. The Capitol Police thought he was a vagrant and demanded that he go away. He was incensed, because it was "my break, and my truck!" We had a small wall out in front of our building. Dave relocated his nap to the small wall. It is noteworthy that we had a forensics lab in our building. Police officers were streaming in and out all day bringing in evidence. So . . . they again thought Dave was a vagrant and informed him that napping on the wall in front of our building was not going to happen.

Dave, ever the conservationist, decided to recycle his aluminum cans. He preferred to crush them. He devised an ingenious method by stacking 4 cans on a laboratory table, placing a 4-legged stool on top of them and then jumping on the stool thereby crushing all 4 cans with a satisfyingly loud bang.

Dave, as noted above, did not understand appropriate work attire. He typically wore low riding, raggedy jeans with a grubby t-shirt. Frequently, his t-shirts were printed with tasteless jokes. I love a good joke, but you can't wear that stuff to work. The only one that I recall (this must have been during the stage where we had a supervisor who put her hands up as blinders when she walked through the lab because I confronted him) was Santa sitting atop a chimney as if the chimney were a toilet with his red trousers down around his black boots. It said something like, "You know you've been bad when . . ."

Dave was noted for saying witty things in meetings such as, "Will we have to brown-nose to get this job?"


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I used to teach adult school - employment prep classes for adults with various difficulties in gaining employment. This could range from anything to felony convictions to physical/mental disabilities, so it was definitely a mixed bag.

During a rare quiet period in class, I'd noticed one of the guys was restless, half standing then resettling in his seat, but didn't think anything about it until another student shouted, "Dude! Quit farting at me! You're always farting at me!"

I had to leave the room before I collapsed in hysterical laughter.

And then there was the guy who clocked in and took naps in the cardboard storage area...


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I'm a large, 5'10" and I won't say how many pounds, woman. I think I have a air of confidence most of the time. That is to say I stand up straight, I look people in the eye, I don't have a hesitant manner. I do know I can be brusk. I have a voice that carries; one of those voices you can hear over a crowd when I'm speaking at a perfectly normal level. It was great when I was in front of a jury...not so much in any other workplace.

I start with that because I apparently intimidate people. I don't know why, truly, and it hurts me - it hurts my heart to think people don't like me because of my voice and appearance. I'm a NICE person. I really am as nice as I can be to people. I try. I first found this out when I learned my sister-in-law's parents didn't like me. According to my brother, I intimidated them. I'd met them exactly twice; at my brother's wedding and at Christmas - when I'd bought them a gift, just because!

Anyway, at work I've had clerks more than once who complained that I was "mean" or "yelling at them". I cried the first time I was told by my boss that someone complained I was "rude and condescending". I made an extra effort to be polite and friendly and smile and speak more quietly.

But then I got a FORMAL complaint that ended up in my personnel file that was a complete LIE! I had a day with nothing to do. Literally, all my work was done. I was so bored I took work BACK from my clerk to do myself, freeing up more of her time. I was complaining about having no work and joked with the attorney in the next office, "I better be careful. Next thing I know I'll be buried in work!" My clerk reported that I had said, in a loud, rude, voice, "FINALLY my clerk gets to work!" or words to that effect. I had said NOTHING of the sort! In fact, she never even GAVE me any work that day! I barely spoke to her at all.

The worst part is that was backed up by someone else! So at least two people reported this and they have never told me who. You aren't allowed to know who complained about you, only that there was a complaint and what was alleged.

None of them even work here anymore, having moved on to other jobs. It was four years ago - and it still bothers me to this day.


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Yeah, not gonna happen. Lil would be pissed at me if I relayed the Cambell's soup incident. Even the more appropriate stories are fairly off color.

pigless in VA

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I'm sorry for the misunderstandings, Lil. I've noticed a lot of people have naturally loud voices. I'll bet the clerk was feeling guilty over something and that's why your words were twisted.

Another character in our lab was a woman whom I will call Fatima. I tried really hard to get along with her but she had a truly bad attitude. She'd been living in the U.S. for 20 years but was still having a great deal of trouble with the language which made for some hilarious situations.

I don't know why, but she thought I was having an affair with a man who worked for our department but in a different building. Apparently, Fatima had run into his wife on the street to tell her that we were having an affair. Thank goodness, she understood that Fatima was making mischief. I confronted her about her lying gossip and she claimed that I was "telling untruths!" I was married to an unstable and very jealous man at the time. I told her that her lies could easily get me killed. She didn't much seem to care.

One day, she returned from lunch in a frenzied state. She yelled, "I hit caterpillar! I hit caterpillar!" We were all stumped as to what on earth she was upset about. Did she step on an fuzzy insect? After much careful questioning, we determined that she had driven the wrong way down a one street and a backhoe (the caterpillar) had swung its bucket around straight into her car door.

I very much want to hear the Jabber stories.


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I have a sort of funny story from work when I had a job at Papa Johns. This was back when my daughter was a baby, and her dad would work the day shift, and I would work the night shift when he got home. We had this manager who always came to work in wrinkled clothes and messy hair. Sometimes he would deliver the pizza, and he would take FOREVER to come back. He then let us know that sometimes he would stop by the beach after a delivery, and accidentally fall asleep on the sand. He was the manager, so we couldn't complain., but I'm sure the owners and Papa John would have had a fit if they knew!


No, we really want to hear the jabber stories!!

I work with children in ministry, and manage volunteers. One day we played a game with a group of kindergarten kids. It was arm to arm, then you would find a partner and touch arm to arm, etc . Eventually we gave each child a chance to be the lead, so one boy yells out, "penis to penis", we all freeze and before we say a word a little girl says, Awwww I can't play!


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I teach high school, so I have some good ones. A few years ago a student blew his nose on the flag. Last year there was a group of boys who were collecting urine in plastic bags, throwing the bags into classrooms, then running off as fast as they could. This went on for four months before they were caught. Yesterday a boy got suspended for chasing other students with a chain saw in shop class. He wasn't trying to harm anyone; he just thought it was funny. About ten years ago, two girls blew up a commode with low-grade fireworks. There was one day when I asked a sixteen-year-old student why he had been absent for two days. He told me it was because his mother-in-law had gotten shot. Now, I have a parent who expects me to let the kid make up all the work he missed while he was on a 2-week cruise. A few weeks ago, there was a silly prank. When a boy went through the lunch line, he sprayed shaving cream on the Jello. I think the principal overreacted by calling the boy's mother.

pigless in VA

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OMG, Crayola! Bags of urine! Nasty!

Candy interrupted me yesterday when I was about to tell my favorite Fatima story. We worked in a seed lab. We had samples of all types of seeds that we were required to test for purity and germination. One day we received a mixture labeled "range grass." Fatima asked innocently, "What is range?" I answered, "Where the deer and the antelope play." The next person said, "And seldom is heard a discouraging word." And the third person said, "And the skies are not cloudy all day." Fatima stomped her foot and marched off in a huff.

A lot of our interactions with Fatima centered around her mispronunciations of English words. Once the aforementioned Dave had just returned from visiting his wife's relatives in Newfoundland. Fatima asked, "Did you see askimoose?" Dave and I were both confused. I said, "What is that? A moose on skis?" She started yelling, "Askimoose! Askimoose!" Finally one of us realized she meant: Eskimos.

One time she said, "In my country, camel is like Mercedes."

We had a list of everyone's birthdays. We had just hired a new man who happened to have the same birthday as Fatima. She blurted out, "How come Rakesh have same day burfday as me?!?"


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I worked at a hospital in the Admissions Dept. This was before sophisticated technology so we could only enter patient data into a computer if the patient were sitting in front of us. Otherwise, if a patient came into the emergency room alone, we had to go back to ER with a list of questions about name/address/insurance, then walk back to the Admitting office and transfer our handwritten information into the computer. It happened quite often. I was pretty new when this happened and I really loved my job.

One evening at work I got a run-of-the-mill call from ER telling me a man had come in alone and Id have to go back there to get his information. I grabbed a pen and clipboard with question sheet and other papers, walked down the corredor and into the busy emergency room and a nurse pointed to room 4. There were a lot of people there, cops, paramedics, a few docors, others but this was normal.

I walked into Room 4 and the man was asleep, which happened. I walked up to him. , He was covered in a blanket, also normal and I gently said, "i'm from Admitting, Mr. Smith, and I hate to bother you, but I have to ask you some questions."

He didnt answer. I hated when I had to wake them up, but we simply had no choice. We had to get their identification and insurance. Period. And they had to sign forms if no kin was with them, even if they could barely hold the pen. I felt so bad about this part of the job.

I gently touched his shoulder over his gown and leaned over a little. I didnt talk too loud becsuse I didnt want to startle him."Sir? I...have to get...some information.."


I shook him a little. My gut clenched. He didnt feel right.

He was dead.

I ran out of the room calling for help to be met by the entire crowd of workers, doctors included, cracking up. Loudly.One nurse was laughing so hard she had to wipe her eyes. Then I got it. My jaw dropped. "You did that on purpose!" I was looking from one smiling face to another.

One guy in green scrubs said, "Yes, everyone gets this initiation."

This was very long ago and i dont know if it could happen now, but it happened then. I saw many dead people at that job, but that was my first and I never forgot it.
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pigless in VA

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SWOT, I admit that I laughed at that, but I would never play that level of joke on someone. I just read your beautifully written story to SO who knew where it was headed immediately. He chuckled a bit and then said, "that's also disrespectful to the dead man." Meaning, neither one of us would have participated in that type of joke.

You made me remember a story that I heard in high school. We were at MCV at the medical school visiting the cadaver lab. One of the students there supposedly had removed an entire arm and used it to pay a toll with a live toll booth operator on Interstate 95. Another over the top joke.


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I am thinking that medical professipnals need some black, spooky humor to get through their jobs. Even I laughed about it after the fact. I was only 27 and very gulible and a sitting duck for a "joke" like this.


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Pigless...those stories are outrageous! OMG.
My story of a recent event is a joke compared to that!
But at one of my last jobs, I brought in a special apple that I had purchased at the local health food store. One young woman there liked apples. So do I. Sometimes I would treat myself to this sweet hybrid apple at the health food store. I had a feeling she thought this was weird. Maybe it is. I don't know. It wasn't/isn't something I do every day....but as a treat. OMG! I don't think this is the end of the world. It's not like jewelry or something. Good grief!

So, one day I bought one for her to eat. I thought it was a nice gesture ... and she would get to see why I buy them occasionally. I was trying to be nice.

She acted even weirder. Seems, she and some others working there started a rumor that I was a spoiled b.... because I had to buy special hybrid apples from a specialty store. It was sooooo NUTS. I'm not positive, but I think she never ate the apple. Little did I know sharing this one piece of personal information about myself would cause such an uproar.

pigless in VA

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Nomad, I completely understand the apple situation, and I would have eaten the apple. My coworkers all think it is hilarious that I bring in half of a honeycrisp apple every day for work. I look forward to eating this apple every day. It's delicious! I've tried other apples, and they don't measure up.

I have more apple stories but no time right now. Stay tuned . . .


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I had a feeling she thought this was weird. Maybe it is. I don't know.

Nooooo....What's weird is anyone giving a rat's patootie that you spent a few bucks on a special apple now and then.

Some people.

We had a clerk we fired who was eating other people's lunches. Or at least, taking bites of them. That's not why he was fired, and he was only suspected of that - until he was gone and the eating of other people's food stopped, that is.

We also had a clerk that was fired for dumping her work in the confidential shred bin instead of doing it! We're a government LEGAL office!!! My favorites though are the people who quit with no notice. One lawyer came in on her first day, 7:45 a.m., and said, "Yeah, I'm sorry, but I took a different job and I won't be working here" and left and went to her other new job. We had one clerk, and older woman, come in and halfway thru her first day, we noticed she was gone. Her purse was gone, no trace of her. She just left at lunch time and never came back - never even called later!

Oh! And there was the attorney who apparently had his medication's stop working - I'm not sure what his mental illness is, but he would just put people on hold and leave the building! He left one day and no one could find him for his hearing and he called a bit later from the hospital where he was having himself admitted! Him, I at least felt bad about. He was a nice guy.


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We had a clerk we fired who was eating other people's lunches.

We used to have this happen all the time. I guess those who did it figured that the inmate workers would be blamed for it. I had someone steal my foot long sub sandwich and I wrote a nice LOOOOONG letter that I posted on the fridge very politely calling them all kinds of an S.O.B. for taking my entire lunch when I would have happily shared if they would have just asked. It got so bad for a while that some people were sabotaging meals on purpose and planting them. Doing things like putting super hot peppers in it, dousing it in some weird spice, and sometimes even pepper spraying the outside of the container.


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Pigless...looking forward to hearing your apple stories.
Lil...You are a riot!!!!LOL!
Of course I'm fine now. But, I'm embarrassed to say I spent a week down in the dumps about that freakin apple thing. I was trying to be nice and even though I knew in my heart they were being ridiculous, it absolutely bothered me. I think sometimes in work situations, if people are envious or troubled by some other thing...a personal thing (who knows!?! ) they might take it out on someone and pick some DUMB thing to make a fuss over. I hope I would let it go MUCH MUCH MUCH faster now if something like this were to happen again. For goodness sakes it is about as dumb as it gets. LIke the songs says...LET IT GO. Only way to handle these silly things. Good lesson (s).