Tales of the Office

another day at work

ME: Here are the tote labels for China, I didn’t print V2 because I don’t have a recent build for it, so I guess they’re going to build it this week, so I’ll print the labels once it’s built… Do you want me to just put them on your desk?

CO-WORKER: That’s fine, do you have the V2 labels?

 

 
Get me out of here.

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Any Advice?

I’m in a bit of a quandary.
I was recently moved to a different position at work and have been forced to get to know other people, something I’m not very fond of.   One co-worker, in particular, I cannot stand.  No matter how hard I try to understand him or how hard I try to lay my judgments down and just tolerate his incessant rambling, I cannot stand this guy.
We will call him Tim because I don’t like that name either (no offense to any Tims).
Tim is English.
Tim lived in England for the first 10 years of his life.
Tim is now 28 and still miraculously has an accent.  He even uses English terminology regardless of the fact that he has lived in America for the majority of his life.  Why?  Because his accent is the only interesting thing about him.
Our immediate supervisor is currently in Chicago which means more chit-chat taking place in the cubicle we all inhabit.
Tim spent the better part of yesterday echoing his thoughts across a sea of people who didn’t give a shit because he is the anti-Christ.  For whatever degree he is studying towards in college, I guess a basic psychology class is required.  Basic psychology apparently makes this guy an expert in the field which makes it very difficult to talk people on a normal level because of his excellent education.  No, I’m not exaggerating.
He disappeared for half an hour yesterday to talk to the CEO of the company and burst back in to the cubicle with air of superiority.

Tim (looking around to make sure an audience was present): Wow, I can’t believe I was gone a half hour… that guy knows A LOT.

Other co-worker: Oh?

Tim:  Yeah, he knows A LOT of theories, he’s really smart.  We just bounced thoughts [not his own, obviously] off of one another and he knew all about that one theory I was telling you guys about earlier [not going to bore you with psych 101 bullshit]… it was just really nice to be able to talk to someone on the same academic level as myself.

The rest doesn’t matter, I swear on everything I love and fantasize about, that this piece of shit had the nerve to say that.  They offer the same psychology class he’s taking in High Schools!  What kind of sad person needs that sort of glorification?  What sort of psychology expert needs the approval of people he deems inferior?  What sort of person thinks condescending to people earns them interested listeners, much less any sort of respect?

My quandary is this: Why is it bothering me so much?  Why can’t I just let it go?  The guy actually knows what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t hold any firm belief in any of it, he just wants to talk and make everyone else “look stupid”.
I wanted to scream at him that I’ve been reading philosophy, psychology and sociology books since I was 14 while he was discovering the miracle of masturbation.
I wanted to disprove his theories based on my actual experience and observation and tell him that it’s called a theory for a reason.  But I couldn’t.  I just sat and acted stupid and felt useless because even when I know I’m right, I don’t know how to open my mouth.

What’s more is that it made me consider why I, myself, need to prove to him that I’m not stupid.  I’m at this incredible point in my life where everything is unfolding beautifully and I’m growing in to the person I’ve always wanted to be and yet, I still can’t speak up.
In all of the confidence I’ve gained in myself as an individual, I still can’t open my mouth and tell people to shut the fuck up when I know I’m right because it makes me feel arrogant and condescending and that’s worse than looking stupid.
However, then I’m facing this situation again and I’m filled with actual anger.  Not just at my co-worker, but at myself for allowing this.
At what point do these two worlds collide and let me take the weight of inner-thought off of my shoulders? I’m so tired of listening to people talk to me like I’m an idiot and I’m so ashamed of myself for letting them make me feel this way.

And There’s Not Even Cake

It’s moments like this that make me hate my position in life.

yup

You may be dazzled by the Comic Sans font, but I assure you, this is no party – this is a group march straight to hell.  Not only does this happen at least twice a month, but after the standard “Happy Birthday to You”, there is a sliver of awkward silence followed by some god-awful G-rated joke that everyone pretends is comedy gold.
Then, the CEO, in all of his PG edge-pushing glory makes a joke about something on the birthday card (each one a special photoshop of someone’s face in a picture that represents an inside joke maybe three people get but everyone acts as if they’re in on), and everyone’s face turns brown as they laugh at something cataclysmic even to the pulse of something as beige as office-humor.
I’d be lying if I said my happiness couldn’t be bought with cake.  But trust me, there is none to be had.  Plus, with Bob throwing his insulin needles in the garbage, it’s probably best not to take any chances in a place with such fine minds.

Mmm Hmm, Thas’ Right

I have discovered my favorite thing about my desk being in front of my bosses office.
No, it’s not hearing restroom sounds from the single-person restrooms.  Not, it’s not watching people pound on the copier.  It’s the expressions of people’s faces when they see my boss is on the phone or with someone else in his office.  Especially John, whom I speak of frequently.  I think it’s because he feels like his job is the most important one here.  I LOVE seeing him walk up to my boss’ door eager as all hell,  and then watching his face droop in to an annoyed expression.  Sometimes he’ll linger and eavesdrop and even put his two cents in to the conversation (because he’s a social-moron) and then proceed to interrupt.
Bless this Friday he just walked back to find my boss and saw he wasn’t in his office.  His long sigh was followed by a “dang it, every time I try to talk to him, he’s busy or not in his office”.   How badly I wanted to tell him it’s because my boss’ job actually matters.
I bet you’re wondering what he’s done now?  Well, last week he tried to throw me under the bus because he couldn’t even complete one, simple task that his job requires.  I’ve worked here almost a year and he didn’t set me up with an alarm code until last Friday.  I’ve asked him at least 7 times within the time I’ve worked here and instead of installing mine, he gave me his about 4 months ago when I was working late trying to finish orders before a business trip.
Well, I switched my hours from 7:30-4:00 to 7:00-3:30 which means I’m the first to arrive now.  I asked him to set my alarm code last Monday and he said he would.  Weeeeell, by Thursday, I didn’t get an e-mail or anything telling me I was set up, so knowing he didn’t do it, I walked in, punched in the code I asked him to give me and then ate my breakfast in the lunchroom with alarms going off.
I knew this was the only way to go about this because I knew the alarm company would call him and he’d finally do his fucking job and add my code to the system.
By the end of that day, he sent me an e-mail telling me what my new pin would be.  Well, the next morning, I come in and use my code and guess what, it doesn’t work.  So, wtf, right?  Again, I go in the lunchroom and eat my breakfast until Walsh (oh the stories about Walsh) comes in laughing telling me what an idiot John is.
Well, instead of him calling me the day before or the day I set off the alarm to give me his pin (he has my number and used it when I set the alarm off 4 months ago) so the alarms would turn off, he huffs his stupid ass up the stairs and gives me kind of a look like I’m a big, fucking moron.
No “good morning” or any of the feigned cordiality we usually use, he looks at me and says “Yeah, you have to wait 24 hours for the code to go through” and I met his tone with a “Isn’t that something I should have known?  You didn’t tell me that.”
And that was the end of it.  Until this…


I get all of my boss’ e-mails forwarded to me, but John doesn’t know that 🙂
So instead of owning up to the fact that his job performance is to blame, he threw me under the bus.  He knew he’d get his ass chewed and when he told me about the 24 hour thing, he made it sound like it was common knowledge.  That, on top of the fact that he gave me his alarm code 4 months ago but made it sound like he gave it to me until mine was set up.
But, know what?  I love my boss, because my boss saw right through the bullshit.  My boss doesn’t know I get all of his e-mails either.  It was a mistake on my behalf, but I haven’t fixed it yet…
Anyway, after I saw it, I was pissed and I tried to figure out a way to let him know that John was at fault without letting on that I saw the e-mail.  Well, I found a way but my boss was the first to mention the alarm code and he didn’t hide the fact that he thinks John is an incompetent idiot.
It just baffles me that people his [John] age act like such children.  I mean, rather than shift the blame, own up, it’s more respectful and it actually looks better on your behalf.
I’m sorry, I know every other post is about this guy, but seriously, he’s just so much fun to bitch about because he thinks he’s clever and funny and smart and quick-witted and man, is he ever the opposite.
That being said, expect more and more post about him and other co-workers.  And just to put a face with the name:
John Pigeon

 

I’ll eventually get a better picture, but look at that shit-eating-grin.  Disgusting.

 

augh at this office

Seriously, I have never felt as stupid as I do in the presence of these people.  Every time John opens his mouth, I want to curl away in to darkness so I don’t have to hear his tone or his laugh (ah-he-he) or any of his stupid comments ever again.  And then there’s Larry, the guy that’s 50 that rides a scooter.  If he’s not awkward enough, his dead-stare certainly is.  Half of the employees are LDS which makes me feel like everything I say is written down in some notebook they all peek at at the end of the week.
I can’t drink enough Red Bull’s to make myself friendly, so I crouch behind my computer screen when someone walks by.  They all think I need glasses more than I really do at this point.  It’s awful.  I can hear people huffing up the stairs like it’s a mountain side and I’ve learned the who’s-who by the sounds of their walk.
I’m not trying to be cynical, but I just spent my break listening to someone tell me how you have to fit a certain standard to be a member of an LDS church and how there is a sort-of ranking.  I guess my questions and my criticisms most likely made it clear I’m not much in to organized religion or religion at all for that matter.
This whole place is a joke.  The CEO is hardly capable of running a company and constantly makes stupid decisions and not to mention, bad jokes.  The only one that actually laughs is John because his face is smeared with shit from all of his ass-kissing.
But, whatever right?  Decent pay (ha) and benefits paid in full, and my job is EASY.  Still though, the company could be better.

This is sort of like my living hell.

Dear Public Poopers

There is something about hearing the kerplunk of poop hitting the toilet bowl in the stall next to you.  It’s a strange invasion of privacy that you can’t actually stray from or cover-up.  It’s especially awkward when you have to wash your hands next to the person, avoiding eye-contact because you know if you look in to their eyes, there is that little flicker of I-know-what-you-were-doing-in-there.
Shouldn’t they at least have the decency to hide in the stall until the other person exits?  I’m sorry, doing your hair and make-up and the “mirror-dance” when you check all angles in one thing.  These are things girl’s restrooms are accustomed to.  But pooping is a totally different thing.  If you’re going to poop in public, ladies, at least pinch it when someone else is right next to you.

WHAT RHYMES WITH FUCK OFF?

I hate meetings.  It’s not necessarily the meetings I dread, it’s the people that I have to listen to.  More than half of whatever they’ve written on their agenda has 8,000 side paths and once they reach their point, they’re already straying from the margins of the next topic.  But even more than listening to these people, I dislike the pompous enthusiasm.  It’s great to like your job, but it’s quite another to treat it as if it were some badge of honor that grants you permission to parade around like some proud rooster, showing off colors everyone has already seen 10,000 times.  Like the safety guy for example, I’ve come to the conclusion that you must have at least 5 socially-inept qualities to even apply for a job in any field of safety.
Let’s not ignore the fact that their belts are always tight enough to ensure that no actual blood flow reach their brains.  Can we also bring to attention the fact that they’re usually the only ones laughing at their jokes.  It has to be part of their training, “be sure to make a pun about ‘handling’ the broom properly”.  I hate it and it makes my teeth hurt listening to them.
Our safety guy at work is the worst, his social skills (or lack thereof) only suggests that he was top of his class.
During meetings, he talks longer than anyone.  This includes his direct boss and the CEO of the company.  Augh, what did he say today… something like “safety isn’t a practice, it’s a journey”  I swear to fucking God, he said it. Every eye in the room shot downwards to avoid making eye contact that might cause the ripple effect of pathetic laughter directed at him.
One meeting, I swear, he was shifting in his chair like there was hot shit in his pants, just waiting to drop this on us:

“My last name is Pigeon, not Parrot [laugh] guys.  I don’t like repeating myself; we really need to make sure we’re wearing safety glasses at all times.”

People think God was resting on the seventh day, but really, he was working on John Pigeon’s ability to come up with a bad joke in advance.  Seriously, I try to put my bitchiness aside and see the good in him, but my vision is always clouded by his arrogant, condescending tone.  To top it off, he’s a one-upper.  If you can catch a fish with your bear-hands, he can do it ice-fishing.  If you saved children from a burning building — I don’t really know anything better than that, but if you tell him of your heroic-doings, you’ll find out.  And you’d think that perhaps with no audience, he’d be different, nope; he’s a Rubick’s Cube with the same color on every side.
I don’t really know why he irritates me so much, but every time I see him, I just want to run in the other direction. Every bit of dribble that comes from his mouth is warded off with some sort of I-hate-you-don’t-talk-to-me repellent, I can’t stand his tone, his voice, his jokes or his laugh.  I have no doubt I’ve been openly rude to him, but it’s never been intentional, I’m just not good at pretending to be nice to people I don’t like.
I had to help in the warehouse once because they were short-staffed, but I didn’t have steel-toed boots, so I had to wear these awful fucking things:

They’re steel-toed shoe covers and they’re mustard yellow (the only plus).  He laughed every time he looked at my feet and when he saw me taking a picture of them said “Be sure to send them to your friends [ah-he-he], tell them it’s the latest fashion”.  That alone “latest fashion”, I can’t, I just can’t even get started on shit like that.  Not five minutes later after one bad joke, “Did any of your friends say anything, you’ve gotta show me the text message when they respond”.  Jesus dude, seriously?
One might come to the conclusion that he’s lonely — no, that’s not the case.  I met his girlfriend at the Christmas party last year, her hair was bleached to troll-doll status and she had more lipstick on her teeth than her lips.  She wore some awkward, turquoise sequined sleeveless top with a white skirt that had the most dizzy wave-pattern on it you’ve ever seen.  She was friendly enough, but one of those people where it was obvious she was constantly grasping for things to talk about.
I just don’t know how people get to be 45 (or however old he is) and it seems no one has mentioned to him “hey, you’re not foolin’ anyone pal, we see you striving for attention, sit down and take a breather, I know you must be exhausted from running your mouth”.   Just being in his presence is exhausting.  Not only due to his incessant ramblings but also a result of all the insults flying through your head when he’s anywhere near you.
I just… just can’t… there are no more words.  Damn you John Pigeon, I just really don’t like you.

I Feel Like This Is One Of Those Awful Orientation Videos You Have To Watch For A New Job

Ladies, we all use the terms “creep,” “stalker” and, “psycho” to refer to men that make us uncomfortable. And we all know the signs of a man that is about to earn that term when we see them.

Sirs, if a girl does not make eye contact or keeps fidgeting with something in her purse, her hands or her phone; she does not want to talk to you.

When we show signs of discomfort, we’re praying the creep will just take the hint and walk away.   The men who recognize the fact that you are uninterested are thinking something along the lines of “bitch” or “prude” or some other derogatory term.  While some will give up, others keep pressing and even go as far as to ask for a phone number, regardless if you tell them you’re in a relationship.  I’m not a feminist and you won’t see many topics like this on my blog, but I firmly believe that while women maybe be (seemingly) treated as equals, we’re still not viewed as equals.  I know this because when I buy a philosophy, psychology or even a poetry book, I’m more likely to purchase a book on the subject written by a man. I have avoided buying philosophy books written by women because I feel they’re generally derived more from emotion than logic.  Which is actually very hypocritical of me considering I am constantly struggling to separate the two in my own life.

Back to the subject; I would like to make clear that not all men make women uncomfortable.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with flirting with a woman, complimenting her or even sitting next to her to talk.  There is, however, a problem with men who assume that touching a woman on her arm, leg or lower-back is completely acceptable.  It’s not.  While some women have no problem letting you know they don’t approve, a majority of them are not comfortable saying anything.  The reasons as to why women prefer to say nothing are deeply embedded in the standards of our society and how certain things are portrayed.  Women have been made to feel guilty when they feel or think certain things; we’re easy targets because we’re emotional and are constantly at battle with our heads and hearts.
However, I could talk forever on the subject, so I’ll move along.
The following is a chart of all documented Sexual Harassment charges within the last 14 years.  If you’ll look, I have highlighted a few rows (click image to enlarge):

These numbers actually shocked me.  Granted, many of these are probably circumstantial and yes, the Merit Resolutions seem to stay somewhat steady throughout the years and even manage to surpass the Administrative Closures (which, thankfully, have slowly declined over the years).  But nearly half of all the cases are filed under No Reasonable Cause which grew to half in 2010 and exceeded more than half in 2011.   Even more shocking are the percentages for Reasonable Cause.

What truly bothers me is that some people will look at this and automatically assume either:

a) The woman was lying and wanted attention
b) She misunderstood her harasser
c) She wanted money

I don’t doubt myself that some of these charges were probably the work of con-artists and sure, some woman need drama in their lives, but you can’t tell me that out of nearly 206,000 lawsuits, nearly half of which were found unreasonable, that all of those women were guilty of one of the aforementioned assumptions.   And while some may see the decline of recipients as a positive thing, I see it as a growing number of women uncomfortable with speaking out.
I’m not writing this to form a battalion of angry women and encourage them to sue their boss for maintaining eye contact too long.  I’m writing this because I work with a man who is married, knows I’ve been in a relationship for over 10 years but thinks it’s okay to touch my thigh, my lower back and sit uncomfortably close to me.

Other’s I work with have even mentioned that he follows me around and sits next to me at any opportunity.   He sends me text messages throughout the day, sits in my office for twenty minutes at a time and mentions things to me about my body.  I have politely let him know I don’t appreciate being touched, I’ve asked him to leave my office before and yet, he still persists.

However, I’m uncomfortable mentioning anything to my boss because “it’s not extreme enough” and “he’s not hurting me”.  No one has personally said these things to me, but even mentioning some things that have made me uncomfortable to the other men I work; they just laugh and say “yeah, he’s weird”.  They’re not bad guys and they wouldn’t say anything that they thought personally offended me, but like the majority of people, they don’t see it as a serious problem because it hasn’t advanced to a certain level.  Even I feel burdened by a certain standard and keep telling myself, “no, it hasn’t reached that point yet”.

But honestly, it has reached that point.  The company I work for has two separate locations.  Some days, I don’t work with him at all, but the days I do are awful.  When he calls my name out to say hello, I immediately want to hide, when he comes near my office, I pretend I’m on the phone (and he still lingers until I ‘hang-up’ sometimes), it doesn’t matter what he’s doing, his presence makes me terribly uncomfortable.   I was partnered with him one day to clean things around the building and he kept finding ways to touch me the entire 5 hours we worked together.  Each time he’d reach his hand near me, I’d jump away and tell him I didn’t like being touched — he laughed.  I’m genuinely a very laid-back person, and my sense of humor is absolutely filthy.  But, I only make jokes, in confidence, with people I’m comfortable around.  This invitation has never been extended to him and I’m always careful to watch what I saw when I’m around him.  However, the day we worked together, he constantly made jokes about me giving him blow jobs; “Oh, why are your knees dirty, you’ve been on the floor with me”  “Look at those dirty knees” “Oh, I see white knees, good thing no one else is around”.

Even with all of the situations combined, I feel like calling it sexual harassment could be overkill even though I know that’s exactly what it is.  Some would say that I prolong the discomfort, and yes, they are correct to a certain degree.  But instead of pointing the finger at the person who isn’t saying anything, maybe it’s time to question why we’re too uncomfortable saying anything.  The solution does not lie solely on the person who doesn’t speak out, the solution rests on the shoulders of all of us.

With that, I would like to, at least, encourage men to think about their actions.  Just because a woman doesn’t outright tell you she isn’t comfortable with something, doesn’t mean she isn’t.  Read the body language, notice her short answers, notice she probably doesn’t make eye contact.  And lastly, never put your hands on a woman who displays any of the previously mentioned signs.