People Share The One Person In Their Office That Causes All The Trouble.
Every office has one. You know who I'm talking about. That coworker. The poor soul who creates multiple stories for us to judge them on based on their purely outlandish and inappropriate behavior. The following AskReddit users share their best office 'that guy' or 'that girl' stories.
Source list available at the end.
I used to work with Brian. He was a large man and a pure software geek. He had a full beard like Grizzly Adams. Baths and showers were not on his list of important things to do.
Once, we flew him to our client site to help solve a pesky problem. I reminded him to dress for the occasion. I greeted him at the front lobby and was shocked to see him in a collared shirt that had never been ironed and his tie was TIED DIRECTLY TO HIS NECK! Not under the collar, but it was just wrapped around his neck. When I mentioned it to him- he said, "If that's my only problem, then we're in good shape."
My coworker, who was recently fired, once filed a lawsuit against Papa John's seeking $350 in damages. He ordered his pizza to be cut into squares not wedges, and they didn't listen to him the first or second time ordering. He got the manager on the phone the third time, who said he was going to personally do it. When it wasn't done, he called and raised hell. The manager told him off, so he sued. He also got into an altercation outside of our building that ended with him being struck by the other guy in his car and being driven up on the hood of the car while punching him in the face.
I used to work with a guy who was an excellent engineer, but he was frequently subject to fits of rage when things didn't go well with whatever he was working on. Picture this, a typical cubicle farm with engineers hard at work and the only sound you hear is the sound of tapping on keyboards. Suddenly, you hear the sound of hysterical angry cursing and someone slamming their keyboard on their desk repeatedly. Everyone leaps to their feet in alarm- like a coterie of prairie dogs scanning the room for the source of the noise. Almost all at once, everyone realizes that it's just Tim having another tantrum, smile at each other, and quietly sit back down. Later, our secretary walks over to his office with a new keyboard, puts it on his desk without a word, and then walks back out.
I worked with a guy who put up a very small picture on his cubicle wall of a political figure that killed millions of people. A coworker finally noticed it, and we all started talking about it. Many of us thought that it was similar to having a picture of Hitler. Since we were all mellow programmers, we said whatever and moved on. But every few weeks or so, he would replace it with a slightly bigger picture than the one before. At one point, it was taking up most of the cubicle wall. The guy was a very nice person, so maybe he was just trolling us.
Years ago, I worked retail at The Sharper Image. Paul was another sales guy who had really phenomenal genetics. He was in his late 30s and looked to be in his 20s in contrasted to another 24-year-old coworker who looked 40. Anyway, Paul lived with his wealthy parents and aspired to nothing more than going out clubbing after work. He was not particularly smart but very well-off.
One time, Paul apparently lost his cell phone at a club. He didn't bother reporting it or anything and later got a $4000 bill.
We had a dehumidifier for sale on display. On a slow day, we convinced Paul to drink the water out of the dehumidifier. Our manager found out later and just sighed, shaking his head and muttering, "Paul..."
His name was Steve, and he was "That Guy." I think he was a veteran. I have my doubts looking back on it all. We worked in a small office of maybe five people. It was my first day, and Steve got to train me, except that he was high as a kite off meds and passed out every 20 min with me sitting there wondering what the hell was going on.
He ate ALL of the food in the pantry (enough for six people for two weeks). He was so high that he actually started browsing porn in plain site, and when he was fired, he stalked our office female.
I work in an open concept office where we used an instant messenger to communicate. One day, I was working late. So, it was only myself and "That Guy." He disappeared for 20 minutes and came back, but I didn't notice much. He types to me, "Hey, do you like my haircut?" and I look over, and he has just LOCKED eyes with me after shaving his head with a razor in the bathroom.
This lady used to steal all of the candy from my candy dish. I never caught her, but I knew it was her. Nobody else had been into my office. So, I bought some habanero jelly beans (multiple colors). They vanished. She left work early claiming she was sick. She was flushed and seemed to be perspiring a bit. My candy was never taken again.
My good friend Paul works in the warehouse at our company. He's gotten into every sort of trouble imaginable. He tipped a towering stack of construction materials over the back of our yard's wall. He slammed the forklift into one of our delivery trucks when he dozed off. He's gone to the wrong construction site a hundred miles away from the intended delivery site, but he's a genuinely good-hearted guy, and the company's had mercy on him. He's still with us.
Paul's an Iron Maiden fan, and he's always singing while he works. Well, one day, Paul decides to sing a parody version of "Caught Somewhere in Time" with the clever lyrics of "Caught With Shaft in Hand." So, he's just belting these inappropriate lyrics out as he moseys over towards the will-call counter. Who should walk in, but one of our sales directors, who is giving a tour of the warehouse to a new (female) salesperson.
Paul rounds the corner, continuing the chorus with, "CAAAAUGHT WITH SHAAAAFT IN HAAAAAA...." and bumps into the sales director. He plays if off like nothing happened and shakes his hand and the hand of the new employee (who are both giving him odd looks). To add to the hilarity, when they finally depart, we notice that his fly has been down the entire time.
We were interviewing candidates for an open position and had it down to two people. One was white and the other was black. We were at a meeting discussing the two candidates, and our guy was asked how he felt about the two candidates. Mind you, our director and CIO were there, plus the whole team of IT staff. His response was, "Well, it depends on if I have Jungle Fever." The room went quite and one person just said, "I think I need to leave now."
A woman at my company has decided that instead of paying off her student loans, she will simply get more degrees. She's 40 plus, on her fourth masters degree, and she does nothing but complain about school work all day. She's probably at least a hundred k in debt.
I worked last year with the most intense guy ever. He was ex-military and going back to school for his third undergrad or something.
On one particular day, while we were listening to NPR, a story came on about someone getting shot during a home robbery. Apparently, in South Dakota, there is a law which states: "If someone breaks into your house, you can shoot them dead and not go to jail." I simply stated that I don't think I would be able to kill a person, and he screams in my face (covering me with spittle), "BUT IT'S YOUR RIGHT!" It became kind of a meme for the other interns.
On one other instance, he went on a rage about how dumb women are (I am woman) and that their only purposes are breeding and feeding etc. I got pissed, slammed on the brakes, kicked him out of the truck, and told him that he was in a timeout and that I would be back when he was done being ignorant. Best memory ever. It was made even better since we were on an Indian reservation, and he was not very fond of natives.
We had a "know-it-all" guy, who no matter what the context was, always had a story. This included the time when we were discussing with some Russian engineers what it meant to stand in a food line. Know-it-all guy tried to answer the question. We're all like,"Dude, when were you in a Russian food line? Be quite and let him answer."
My favorite though had to be the discussion of where to go for lunch. The discussion included a couple of H1B guys who were from India. The idea of an Indian restaurant came up. "The food at that place is no good," they said.
"Yes, it is," said know-it-all guy (who I think had been the one that suggested the place).
"Not really, no," they said in a polite way and suggested other places.
Know-it-all guy dismisses the other places. "No, really, this place is the closest to real authentic Indian food."
Finally, I had enough and said, "Know-it-all guy, listen! These guys were just there a month ago. They have lived there all of their lives! When they say that something is just like mom used to make, they mean it! We're going to take their opinion on this one."
We had this totally terrible supervisor at my first job when I finished college. She would scream at people in front of the entire office, send out nasty emails to people and cc everyone and anyone on them, and then would cry to HR that people misunderstood her whenever anyone would complain about her.
It didn't help either that her mother was a close friend of her supervisor, and that she had started her career as a hairdresser (this was an IT department). She would often leave the office for no reason at all, for hours on end, and then come back and scream at us that nothing was getting done. Of course, she was the only one with keys to different buildings, and we couldn't work on anything without her approval first.
The icing on the cake was when I was assigned to set up a new computer lab. I told her what I thought would be the best way to do it, had my idea dismissed by her completely, and then was fired two weeks later because "You don't know what you're doing and have no place working in IT."
Every tech support group is made up of misfits in one way or another. I did that job for 5 years for various companies. I'm not sure if the job makes you like that, or if those kinds of people just gravitate towards the job. Might be a little bit of both. My first tech support job was for Gateway (at the time Gateway 2000) and man that group of dudes were really, really special.
One guy named Abe spent his entire day on Russian mail order bride websites with an excel spreadsheet doing height/weight ratio calculations, so he could get the "best" one.
Don't discount "that guy" too quickly. An old friend of mine used to share stories about a coworker that would always say and do wildly inappropriate things such as picking food off said friend's plate in the break room (uninvited, of course). My friend was nice to the guy anyway, despite the annoyances, and he considered him a friend.
Anyway, long story short, my friend died suddenly one day after he'd quit his job with "that guy" a while back. The guy was on his Facebook friends and ended up producing quite an outpouring of feelings and sympathy with the family and friends of the deceased. He would note every time he drove by my friend's old house or anything and not obnoxiously, but in a very genuine and caring way. He was very kind and supportive to all of us that were grieving. He obviously was a very caring and friendly individual, just totally socially inept.
The moral of the story. Some of those guys are just totally weird, but some are actually really nice people that just don't know how to interact well. Give them a chance and you might make an invaluable friend for life (and death). This guy was far more loyal than the trite of "normal" people that my friend had worked with, some of which made brief and non-sentimental remarks on his death. "That guy" seemed to be the only one that was really, truly affected by it.
Posts are edited for clarity.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.