Dumbfounded People Share The Stupidest Thing They've Had To Explain To A Co-Worker.
One of the blunt facts about working in an office is that you have to have the ability to co-exist. Sometimes this requires explaining extremely simple things to grown adults.
Here are people's stories of the stupidest things they've ever had to explain to a co-worker.
Many thanks to the Reddit user who posed this question and to those who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/26. I seriously had to explain sexual misconduct to a coworker.
I was 18 at the time and managed the file room for a decently large car dealership in the rich part of central Florida. I basically just sorted and filed Repair Order paperwork and retrieved files when needed. I was given a 17 year old underling (let's call him Alex), which was awesome, but it was soon found out that he was a moron who couldn't keep 6 digit numbers in numerical order. Your guess how is as good as mine.
So we threw him to the car lot. His job was the simplest thing ever. If a customer drove to the repair lot, he would greet them until a repair manager assisted them, then Alex would drive their car into the garage and leave it there for the mechanics. If new cars were brought to the lot for our Sales department, he drove them to the Sales lot. That's literally it.
About a week into his time as our lotboy, two women in their early 20's pulled in for a scheduled oil change they had an appointment for. I kid you not, this is word for word how he greeted them:
"Good morning you lovely ladies, I have to let you know that we just implemented a new policy that all beautiful women must give me their numbers."
Next thing you know, he is sitting in my office complaining to me about how prudish the managers are and how he was about to score.
I have never seen a mightier mess at any of my workplaces since that day. I stayed out of the aftermath. Manager talked them down. Alex somehow kept his job. I have no idea how it was resolved like that.
2/26. That looking at an eclipse while pregnant won't make your baby deformed.
3/26. If a customer doesn't finish their wine you can't just pour it back in the bottle.
4/26. Not me but a friend had to explain that it's 3 hours between 9am and noon. Not to one, or two but to three coworkers. Finally he flips out and screams "Anyone who thinks it's four hours between 9 and 12 is a BLOODY MORON!".
He tried everything, even made a sketch on paper of a clock and tried to explain. The way they did it was like this: they put up one finger and said "it's nine, (puts up another finger) ten, (puts up another finger) eleven, (puts up another finger), and twelve. So it's FOUR hours between 9 and 12.".
5/26. I used to work in a toy store and one day I was just in the back office when a rather thick colleague ran in. "Quick. Quick. Do you have a calculator?" ... I looked in a few drawers before saying no, but thought I could perhaps work out the calculation in my head... "what do you need a calculator for? You know that the till should..."
"I need to work out a discount!" "Oh ok. What's the discount? "50%" I laugh "That's just half price then" giving her the benefit of the doubt I then ask.... "50% of what?"
Expecting her to say something like 47.63 or something... "50% of 2" "Well thats 1!" "Is that 1 off or the new price?" "Are you serious? It's the same." She looks at me and clearly doesn't believe me. A moment later she politely asks if I'm sure we don't have a calculator... At this point I find one and hand it to her and get ready to leave. However she takes it and presses a few buttons only to then ask "How do you work it out on a calculator?"
I quickly take the calculator away from her, press the '1' key and hand it back. "There you go. It's worked out the answer." The new price is 1. At this point she smiled, thanked me and left content with her newly discovered knowledge.
6/26. We hang Christmas stockings along the walls of our bar. A waitress was real excited that we hung one for Jesus. I had to explain it was for Jesus, he works in the kitchen.
7/26. You need to stop trying to force a fart on other coworkers. It has twice resulted in you pooping yourself at work. We aren't even going to pretend anymore that we covered for you and did not tell the boss you had an emergency and had to leave. We definitely told him you pooped yourself again and had to go home and get new pants.
Side note: that isn't the worst thing he ever did.
8/26. Worked in childcare. Had to explain to a co-worker that if you suspect a child is being abused at home, you're legally obligated to report it.
He was just like, "nah, I don't really wanna get involved. If i don't report it no one will know." Yeah, that's the problem.
9/26. That the 2nd monitor she requested is not just for sticky notes.
Literal sticky notes, not the windows version. Her entire screen just has yellow pieces of paper on it.
10/26. "In the English language, if a word starts with a 'Q', it is almost always followed by a 'U'."
"Oh yeah? What about croissant?!"
11/26. Don't. Point. The. Nail Gun. At. Your. Face.
12/26. One of my coworkers always wears her earpiece for the office phone around. Every couple days she'll wear it out during lunch by mistake and when coming back into the office, she always says the same thing. 'Wow I wore my ear piece to subway haha! I feel so Amish." I tried explaining to her why it isn't Amish but she just doesn't get it.
13/26. A 70-something year old coworker of mine has been manually typing out the same confirmation email (about three paragraphs) for at least the last ten years. I had to show her how to copy and paste because none of the other morons in my office ever thought about helping her.
14/26. That I was born in the United States. At least once a week, he'll make a comment then say, "Oh but you wouldn't understand since you're not from here."
15/26. That a hippo isn't a bear, or a fish.
16/26. If she doesn't put her hours in the payroll system by the deadline she won't get paid on time.
The payroll is due on the 15th. I log in to approve her hours on the 16th and text her because she hasn't entered anything. She says "oh can I do it later" then the end of the work day rolls around and she hasn't done it.
I text her again and she says I'll do it after dinner. Which means I have to stop my evening to log in to see if she has done it, of course she hasn't. So I text her again telling her that the person who cuts the checks is going to start emailing me in the morning and I need to have her stuff approved by 9 am. 9am rolls around and she hasn't done it.
So I get an email with a bunch of exclamation points before I even get into the office for the day. So I again have to text her and tell her to do her stupid stuff. She is getting paid on time but it's at the extreme inconvenience of every one else.
17/26. Drinking and driving a forklift is still drinking and driving.
18/26. That the Pyramids weren't built during the Holocaust by Jews in concentration camps.
19/26. The difference between "genetic" and "generic".
20/26. A woman at work was complaining that the scanner she was using wouldn't read a barcode. I looked over at what she was doing, and said "you have to hold it far enough away that the laser is wider than the barcode".
She did, and then claimed no one has ever told her that. She's worked here for years, and scanning paperwork is something that's done multiple times per hour. She's not bright.
21/26. Worked in an area known for bad commuter traffic.
Coworker was convinced that if she stayed late in the office and left after traffic cleared up she would get home sooner than if she left at 5pm.
Arguments took place for WEEKS. I couldn't get her to understand that she would spend less time in the car, but still get home later than if she left at 5. Most frustrating experience of my life made worse because she made fun of ME for not understanding such a simple concept.
22/26. It's chilled gazpacho not chilled Gestapo. Big difference.
23 No, I cannot turn off the "clicking sound" my mouse makes. It's just the sound it makes, it's not a sound effect, Carol.
24/26. That Chinese people are technically Asian. He tried to tell me that Chinese people aren't Asian and that if you called a Chinese person Asian they'd get offended.
I countered with China is the largest country in Asia. So he went and got another coworker who agreed with him and they basically both called me stupid for not knowing something that isn't true.
25/26. I worked on a farm and they would hire teenagers as temp cashiers during the summer. I was walking between buildings with one of the cashiers and he stopped and shielded his eyes from the sun. He said, "I came through here this morning and the sun wasn't in my eyes. Did it move or something??" I thought he was kidding at first...
26/26. That the 5 second rule was a joke (and that it is not anything to start a mass panic over).
So this particular incident started stupidly and just got worse from there. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the stupidest thing I've ever witnessed.
A few days before Thanksgiving, one of the older women on my floor started running around the floor excitedly warning everyone that "a new study shows the 5 second rule no longer applies". She actually was going from cube to cube, making sure to notify each and every person. I'm guessing she felt some urgency because a holiday pot luck was about to begin, but I have no idea. Most people were pretty perplexed by her concern, but a few people started to look a bit scared.
She only made through a couple rows of cubicles before people started to walk over so they could figure out what was going on. Things were still manageable at this point.
Several people asked her to clarify why she was so riled up. Her answers was something like "people need to be careful, it's not healthy anymore" as well as a few similarly vague statements. A couple other people had no idea what the five second rule is and tried to get her to explain it. She just said "you know, like it used to be ok as long as you didn't wait more then five seconds, but now it's not." That didn't help clarify the concept for any of that day's 10,000 since she insisted on coyly avoiding the phrase "picking up food that was dropped on the floor and eating it."
At this point a small crowd was gathering around this woman and was spilling over into my cube. There were several people still trying to figure out whatever terrible news this woman was trying to convey, but several more were just staring at her with a mix of shock, confusion, and disgust. A few brave souls were asking questions, trying to clarify if she was so concerned because she had regularly been eating discarded food off of the floor prior to this.
Unfortunately, she had whipped herself into a panic by that point and wasn't really answering anyone's questions. She just kept repeating "it's not safe anymore," regardless of what was being asked. This somehow set off a bit of a chain reaction. Seriously, it was like stupidity and panic had became an airborne virus, one with about a five second incubation period.
First, the crowd grew large enough that the newcomers couldn't really see or hear what was happening because everyone is talking (maybe 40 or so people wedged between a row of cubicles). Then, one girl - who was still in the dark about the whole five second rule concept - grabbed a phone and called her mother on the phone to ask about "the news" (and not bothering to mention "the five second rule" until several minutes into the call). The five second rule lady seemed to be having a mild panic attack for some reason
Then, I started hearing people on the outer edge of the crowd asking each other if there was some breaking news and why they weren't safe anymore. Someone loudly announced, "I'm freaked out, I'm going home." A couple other people grabbed their stuff and left too. People on the opposite side of the floor were starting to gather in small groups, and looked in the crowd's direction. A couple of those people decided to leave the building (but could have just been taking an early to lunch fir all I know).
At that point, things got silly. One of the girls in the center of the crowd looked up and suddenly noticed the commotion. She then got panicked and started asking things like "what's going on" and "oh my god everyone's leaving, do we need to go". Now, I should mention that she was actually one the first people to come over to talk to the five second rule lady, so should have known better than anyone what was going on. And of course, only a handful of people had left at that point.
Regardless, her and a few other people in the center of the crowd decided that "something had happened" and promptly started pushing through the crowd for some reason. This prompted about a dozen people to head towards the nearest exit door. I continued to run my daily reports.
The max exodus finally alerted a manager, who seemed rather startled by the scene after he walked out of his office. He promptly (and rather loudly) placed a call to security. Then he stood on a desk, shouted at everyone to calm down and asked for an explanation. No one volunteered one. So, he started pulling individuals aside and asking them what was going on and what they were doing. He got 4 or 5 versions of "I don't know" before I decided to get up and try to explain the situation. I had to fill out a report on "the incident" a few days later. It was a good 5 pages long. The security guards got a good laugh out of the whole thing.
Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....
Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.