The humorless, stupid coworker.

I was working as a clerk, keeping track of a bunch of items that always went to the same group of people. We would hand out the goods in the morning and throughout the day, and then take them all back in the afternoon. I had one coworker who was my age, and the rest were old ladies. I think the youngest one was in her fifties.

I got along with the old ladies pretty well. They all seemed to like me, except for one: Alice. Alice hated me. She thought I was a slacker and had a poor attitude, and would always get on my case about how I needed to take incredibly trivial things incredibly seriously. I thought she was humorless, work obsessed, and just plain old bat shit crazy. There was no parking where we worked, so on a few occasions I rode in with her and another old lady in the morning. Each time, she would talk incessantly about what she was going to do that day at work, which would invariably be the same exact things she had been doing every day for the many years that she had worked there. She'd also conspicuously hide her purse every time I got into the car.

Alice would always try to get me in trouble for silly little things. Any time I didn't do things exactly by the book, she would go to my boss's office and tell on me. In nearly every instance, my boss, who loved me, would either not care, or think I was just awesomely efficient with my methods. There was only one time when she succeeded in getting me in any trouble at all, but it was so minor that I was entertained by the event.

Bored out of my skull one day, I wrote "Bill McDonald has Slavinizer #639b" on a sticky note and stuck it on the side of my computer monitor. It followed the format of other notes we'd make when somebody was in a hurry and/or the computers weren't working correctly. We'd write something like this down so we could enter it into the computer as soon as we could. I don't know what motivated me to write this note, but Bill McDonald did not exist, nor did an item called a Slavinizer. I assumed the note would either go unnoticed or get a couple laughs. If anybody made any effort to look for Bill or his Slavinizer, they would quickly see that neither was in the computer or in the books, and was obviously made up.

The day after I wrote the note, the phone at my desk rang.

"Second floor dispensing, this is Paul," I said.

"Bill McDonald has Slavinizer #639b," a voice said. It was my boss. "Does that ring any bells?"

"Yeah," I said, "I wrote that yesterday."

"Stop. I want you to stop," she said, her tone firmer than usual.

"Uh, OK," I said, wondering what the problem was.

"Alice said she spent three hours looking for Bill and the Slavinizer yesterday," she told me.

"Uh, oh, alright," I said.

Immediately after I got off the phone, my boss came to my desk.

"Are you OK?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I said, confused.

"I'm sorry for yelling at you, but I had to," she said quietly, "Alice was really mad."

"Yeah, you told me."

"Don't do that anymore, OK?"

"Yeah, sure."

My boss walked away, and I told the rest of my coworkers that Alice is stupid. I made sure everybody knew that I wasn't going to apologize to her because she had to go to the boss instead of talking to me directly. The old ladies gossipped constantly, so I know it got back to her.


Doug said...

A lot of the time when I'm depressed or something is bothering me I concentrate on work or the task at hand. However in her case she sounds like she has less of a life than I do and that she enjoys stirring up trouble at every corner

Lew said...
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Dancing Girl said...

Holy crap, that's my stupid coworker! Are you sure her name wasn't Sherry? Sherry gives everything in the office equal priority, so she flips out and shrieks at me about everything all day long, whether it's everyday filing or a huge important report. If she accidentally cut her finger off and started yelling, I'd never notice because she yells about everything all day long!

Anonymous said...

Who the hell are dumb-asses you to call humorless coworkers stupid?! That's bullshit! You're the stupid ones 'cause you can't seem accept them for their humorless selves most likely 'cuz you want to impose your fuckin' standards on them.

I mean, why the fuck do you care that humorless coworkers exist?! It's their right to be that! Hell, I like 'em for who they are 'cuz I can relate to them.

How would you like it if other people judge you badly for who you are? If you wouldn't like that, then leave humorless folks alone and quit bein' judgmental to them!