People at Work are Weird

I really enjoy people watching and no place seems to offer the people-watching opportunities like my workplace.  I thought I’d share a few profiles of my co-workers.  I’m sure that every workplace has some interesting characters.

The Unprofessionals

I’m not overly interested in the personal lives of my co-workers.  Yes…sometimes I enjoy a one on one personal conversation with those co-workers I’ve known for a long time or have relationships with outside of work.  A few of my co-workers that get way too personal.

  • The guy (about 15 years older than me) who confessed at work that he thought to himself “I’d love to photograph that” in reference to my behind as I was leaving a conference room one time.  As if the statement wasn’t offensive enough, he confessed this at my desk, in regular conversation volume, while others sat in the cubes next to mine.
  • A new boss who thought the way we should spend our first few one on ones was “getting to know each other”.  He told me his complete life story from birth to his current status of being married and having kids.
  • A peer that called his wife during a meeting to get her assistance (I thought he was calling our internal helpdesk).  He put her on speaker phone and then proceeded to refer to her as honey, babe, sweetie, and love.  Awkward.  Let me count his unprofessional decisions:  1-calling his wife with a work problem, 2-putting her on speaker phone so I’d have to speak to her as well, and 3-using pet names.

The Non-Groomers

The company I work for is a white-collar, well-paid office environment.  We don’t work outside and we don’t do manual labor…aside from maybe stapling together papers or writing on a whiteboard.  So, why is it that some co-workers don’t take care of themselves.

  • The Engineer who came to work regularly wearing dirty pants.  I don’t mean dirty like…hey, he’s already wore those pants this week.  I mean dirty like…his pants had dirt on them.  It looked like he had just came in from working in the yard.
  • The Engineer who came to work wearing a t-shirt that was so thread bare his chest hair could be seen clearly through it.
  • Several co-workers who apparently don’t believe in deodorant.

The Over Groomers

Contrary to the above, there are a few co-workers that over-do it at work.

  • The analyst who came to work in a skirt so short it barely covered her butt cheeks.  Combined with four inch stilettos and fishnet stockings.  The same co-worker frequently came to work in low cut blouses.  She was never short of male visitors.
  • The invisible co-worker who has left their scent behind.  On several occasions I’ve gotten into an empty elevator or walked into a empty conference room only to be over-powered by the smell of cologne or perfume.  I feel bad for the people that had to share the elevator/conference room with the offender.

The Kitchen Destroyers

The kitchen habits of some of my co-workers is so offensive that I wish I could catch them red-handed an embarrass them for their behavior.

  • The mystery thief who steals lunches.  When did it become acceptable to eat someone else’s lunch?  I’ve had my lunch stolen several times at work.  In one such case, I had a few frozen entrees.  I wrote my name on each one, placed them in a plastic bag, tied the bag closed tightly, and put them in the freezer.  One of them was stolen.  That means someone untied the bag, saw my name on the frozen entrees, took one, and then retied the bag.  I wonder if they felt any guilt the next time they saw me in the hall.
  • The mystery dish dirtier.  In our office dishes and silverware are provided (I never use them because I have trust issues with the cleanliness of others…topic for another post).  My company has several signs posted stating (not even asking) that employees put their dishes in the dishwasher and to unload the dishwasher if they notice it’s done.  Since there are two dishwashers one is always available for dirty dishes and Facilities even keeps an eye on things and empties them frequently.  Yet dishes stack up in the sink.  As if that isn’t filthy enough, some people don’t even both to get rid of the half-eaten food on them.

The Restroom Offenders

None of my co-worker’s behaviors are more baffling me than those with strange bathroom habits.

  • The executive vice president (and others) who insist on cell phone conversations in the restroom.  Why on earth would anyone want to participate in a cell phone conversation in a public restroom.  My mom would “tattle” that I occasionally talk to her while I make a quick restroom trip, but she’s my mom and I’m at home.  Co-workers that use their cell phones in the public restroom potentially make both the person on the other end and others using the restroom uncomfortable.
  • Those that refuse to flush.  Can’t everyone make sure their “business” goes down before leaving the restroom stall?  Our company has automatic flush toilets, but they don’t always flush everything (note:  automatic flush toilets can be flushed manually too).  I’m disgusted when I walk into a stall only to find someone left their “business” behind.

Other Classic Co-Worker Profiles

I’m sure there are many more offensive co-worker profiles.  Do you have any offenders in your workplace?


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