who was your weirdest coworker?

vincent_kartheiserWe’ve heard lots of stories of odd coworkers here — like the one leaving fingernail clippings in a reader’s desk, or the one who had problems keeping his eyes off women’s chests, or the one moonlighting as a prostitute on her lunch breaks. But I feel certain that we’ve just scratched the surface.

Since it’s Friday, why not tell us all about your weirdest coworker ever?  Leave no detail out, particularly any that are bizarre, salacious, or otherwise likely to entertain.

I’d also love to hear if you think you’ve ever been the weird coworker, and why.

{ 690 comments… read them below }

  1. Chinook*

    I heard about an ESL teacher I replaced (as in literally tookover his position and company apartment). I gather he collected his toe nail clippings and, in an office full of women, insisted that they wash his dishes at work. Luckily, my Japanese coworkers were westernized enough to tell himw hat he could do with his cup!

    Then I had another ESL coworker, a Brit who could be best described as “a lad.” One day he was going through some culture shock and was bending my ear about how he couldn’t understand the social dynamics of our office. He said, “I just don’t understand the structure. Who do I look up to and who do I look down on?” Shocked, I replied, “I’m Canadian and I don’t see people like that, but if you need to know – you’re a white foreigner. The Japanese look down on you and see you just above a non-white one.” I never could look at him the same after having to explain how to best be racist/classist in our new home.

    1. Anne*

      Woah, this comment has some problems of its own…
      You’re saying the Japanese women only stood up for themselves because they were”Westernized enough”?
      And making sweeping generalisations about all Japanese people being racist toward non-Japanese and non-whites?

      1. Anonymous*

        No, they were westernized enough to know the vernacular for a certain English phrase…

        1. Anne*

          Ah, I can see how the OP would mean that. I guess I misinterpreted because of my double take at the second paragraph.

      2. literateliz*

        Having also been an EFL teacher in Japan, I think the OP meant what you thought he did in the first part, and although the phrasing is a bit unfortunate, I think there’s a grain of truth to it… direct confrontation is really Not Okay in Japanese culture. I don’t think “non-westernized” folks would have done his dishes, but I can picture them being all “eh, um, well, y’know, that’s really, umm…” and backed slowly out of the room leaving him all alone with his dirty dishes. Which is even more hilarious if you think about it. (Did they really tell him to shove it? I’m impressed–smashing right through the wa!)

        As for the second part… no, not all Japanese people are racist, but the foreign EFL teacher does tend to be the bottom of the totem pole at any workplace. What kind of answer was that guy looking for anyway? Was he literally confused about who your boss was? Because I don’t see any other use for that nonsense…

        1. Chinook*

          “What kind of answer was that guy looking for anyway? Was he literally confused about who your boss was? Because I don’t see any other use for that nonsense…”

          I talked with a mutual friend who trained with the guy back in London about this weird question. He said it sounded like the guy was trying to figure out the class system, something which is completely foreign to me but I could see being a mjaor cause of culture shock if you are used to seeing the world that way. This was also back in 1997 in a more remote part of northern Japan where seeing 2 foreigners walking down the road together would cause locals to turn around and stare.

          As for Japanese people looking up and down at others, I saw it more as a class system with foreigners being on the lower rung (which goes back to when their borders were closed to foreigners). There were distinct classes in both Japan and Britain and, while not right, some people do have attitudes towards those of another class. Having a coworker so blatantly talk about it AND expect me to be okay with that world view, though, was what really made me think of him as a weird coworker.

          1. StevieS*

            Is it possible that your coworker was taking night classes at the time? The Japanese language is actually built to speak differently to people if they are above/below/on your level. Although this has more to do with age than class, it can be confusing to people who didn’t grow up in the system. I studied abroad in Japan during college and took a year of business Japanese that was focused on how to talk to whom and when. It does get crazy sometimes.

          2. K. A.*

            Maybe he was just asking about the hierarchy at work.

            We’ve worked overseas in Asia, and sometimes we didn’t even know what positions some people held or, if we did, if they were higher or lower than ours (like, is this person a manager-level or a worker bee?).

            It’s more difficult for some people than for others to understand when you’re in a foreign culture.

      3. CoffeeLover*

        I’m taking this a bit off topic, but I do quiet a bit of reading on sexism in Korea and Japan. While it is getting better, there is still a huge “women do the dishes” mentality. I’m not saying western countries don’t have their fair share of sexist problems, but I will say it’s better here. Japan is ranked 101 out of 135 countries for gender equality. Identifying a national problem isn’t racism. Here’s a recent article: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/05/29/commentary/abenomics-stumbling-over-sexism/#.Uai9YJxaVxk

        1. Bobbi*

          Yep, this is immediately what I thought of as well. I ran into a lot of Western guys who took pride in being able to order girls around while living in Asia.

      4. Kimberlee, Esq.*

        Actually, I think Anonymous below might be wrong. I have a roommate who lived for several years in Japan, and my understanding is that it’s really not much of a stretch to generalize about either of those things. Socialization of women in Japan is veeeeeeeery deeply ingrained, and yeah, it’s Westernization that has been changing that. And my white roommate encountered racism all the time. It’s not malicious, it’s more xenophobic. It’s a very closed culture, and you can find accounts of white people living their whole lives in Japan and never being accepted as Japanese. Sure, it’s changing, and sure, it doesn’t describe everyone. But Japan is definitely much, much more rascist, on the whole, against foreigners than most any other developed nations (as Chinook explores below).

        1. Newbie Here*

          Yes, it’s xenophobia, not racism. I have a friend who is ethnically Japanese but is a third-generation American. She tells the story how she spent several weeks in Japan on an extended vacation about 10 years ago. Friendly strangers would strike up conversations with her on the street, but once they figured out she only spoke English and was California-born and raised, became very cold to her. As if she was trying to trick them. She found it incredibly odd.

          1. Anonymous*

            I currently live in Japan, and I can attest to the racism here. It isn`t what it once was, but in Japan it is very common and acceptable to say you hate certain races and to treat others differently based on race. Usually this is directed towards the Chinese or Koreans, but the white and black foreigner get this too.

            I know it isn`t PC to generalize, but remember Japan works within the group mentality and they discourage individual thinking. If not everyone holds the same view, it is negated because in order to get along with the group you are pressured to have the same ideology.

  2. Cara*

    We have a coworker who apparently does not like to use the restroom facilities. Instead, he pees into the bushes at the far end of the parking lot (still in full view of those with window offices, those on smoke breaks and others milling about).

    1. Tina*


      And to think there was a guy in a different post complaining that he had been warned just for spitting on company property. This one definitely trumps that.

    2. Susan*

      Wow – and nobody has done anything about this? Totally unprofessional (and that’s understating it).

      1. A Bug!*

        Likely also illegal depending on the place, I’d imagine. If I were devious I’d have a plainclothes cop hanging around. (But that’d probably end up with the guy being put on a SOR – a little extreme!)

        1. Cara*

          No one has spoken to him. I think the managers are mortified to address it. He has been at the company for a few decades and it seems like everyone is just waiting for him to retire.

          I really, really wanted to take a video and put it up on YouTube, but never worked up the nerve. (Probably for the best!)

        2. Anonymous*

          Well, he IS exposing himself. I’d have to know more context, I guess, but the OP’s reference to it being in “full view” of others makes me pause a little.

          1. Cara*

            He has his back to the office when he does this, so he isn’t really exposing himself, but everyone can clearly see what he’s doing.

            1. Anonymous*

              Fair enough. But does he stop or not go if there are people walking around down there? It’s just so weird!!

            2. Jazzy Red*

              Well, unless he’s peeing through his pants, he most certainly is exposing himself.

              Yeah, I’d call the cops on that. There’s no excuse for his behavior. If he doesn’t like the facilities at work, he could drive to a store or gas station and use those facilities.

              1. Cara*

                This sounds like a Buddhist koan. “If your penis is out but no one can see it…”

    3. Anonymous*

      I dated a guy like this! He said he like to feel the breeze. The first time he did it we were at a concert and he went in an alley so I didn’t think much of it. When he did it off our friend’s balcony, I figured something was up.

      1. khilde*

        I think if I ever have a guy tell me he likes to ‘feel the breeze’ as an excuse to pee outside, my suggestion to him will be that he should bend down and blow air on his dingaling while he’s standing at the urinal. {eye roll}

    4. Meg*

      WHAT. Has anyone EVER talked to him about this? How do you approach his behavior with new hires????

      1. Beth Anne*

        At one job I had some drunk guy came into our parking lot and peed in one of the empty spots. (Someone saw him out a window). Then he came in trying to sell something and he tried to shake the guys hand and the guy just blew him off!!

  3. Lora*

    I have definitely been the weird co-worker, although never for consistent reasons–they’ve all been workplace-specific.

    First job out of college: I brown bagged vegetarian lunches, usually sandwiches on whole wheat bread. No kidding, my colleagues thought whole wheat bread was the strangest thing.
    Job 2: I actually wore my PPE in the lab. Most folks didn’t and thought I was paranoid.
    Grad school: I had worked for several years before deciding to go to grad school, was honest about my results and expected people to behave professionally.
    Current job: I keep chickens in my backyard, garden, and do Latin ballroom dance as hobbies. At first I thought it was the combination of things, but it turned out simply knowing how to tango was sufficiently strange to be The Weirdo.

        1. TL*

          Lots of people in labs don’t wear full PPE – lab coats and goggles, for example, are often discarded; opened toed shoes and shorts are sometimes worn. Gloves are usually always on. It depends a lot on the lab and what you’re working with – my lab, for instance, works with very little dangerous chemicals and we were gloves to keep our samples clean, not our hands.

          1. Anonymous*

            Depends on the workplace. At my place gloves are often not worn, unless you’re working with something that can infect humans or extracting DNA/RNA. I don’t even know where the googles or face masks are in my lab (I also don’t work with hazardous things that require them.) Shorts are also a common thing, at least in the summer.

    1. Ptown girl*

      Where are you from? I’m from Portland, OR and feel like you’re describing the majority of my coworkers! In fact, it’s much much rarer to see somebody bring in chain fastfood takeout than a pack a veggie/gluten free/dairy free entree. Strange how different our cities can be!

      1. Lora*

        The first two jobs were in Cleveland, OH. Since then I have moved to Baaaahstaaan where the hipsters do bring in the greasiest fast food they can find, with blue cheese dressing and BBQ sauce on top…but they do it *ironically*.

          1. Karyn*

            Oooh another Clevelander! I’ve been here all my damn life, and trying to escape! Hope the job’s worth the construction headaches. ;)

        1. Meg*

          I love in Boston too! And yes, we do have more than our fair share of hipsters, who also enjoy drinking PBR ~*~ironically~*~.

        2. khilde*

          hey what defines a hipster? I’ve seen it used a few times in the last several days and thought it was maybe just a term to define young people. But now I’m not so sure.

            1. Ornery PR*

              one of those cultural things that is easier to learn through mockery

              um, awesome

      2. mm*

        I’m from Portland, OR too and our potlucks at work tend to be full of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes.

        1. Beatrice*

          I would love to work with you (or at the very least come to your potlucks). Being a vegetarian in the deep south is like being a cotton ball in a coal mine.

      3. Lynn*

        I don’t eat a lot of meat, and I used to hate group lunches at one place I worked. I would order my cheese sandwich or whatever, and everyone would get super-fixated on it. “But there’s no meat on it???!!!??? Did you know that? Do you like meat? Do you eat meat? Why not? Are you sure that’s healthy? Does your doctor know?” On and on and on for the whole meal. I would try my best to divert the conversation to something else, ANYTHING ELSE AT ALL, but with only modest success.

        Seriously, how interesting can that be? Especially after the first time?

        1. OneoftheMichelles*

          Maybe this is a weird cultural holdover from Victorian times, when lots of people believed that eating meat made Western white people strong enough to conquer so much of the rest of the world…Gandhi was SO happy to meet vegetarian Brits while he was studying law in Britain.

          As for this being the main topic for an entire meal–reminds me of the “off” vibe I got at a party I once went to, where the main topic was some diet all these friends/neighbors were trying….

        2. Anonymous*

          OTOH when I ordered a party platter of subs, the person taking my order was surprised when I ordered one with “meat only”. I even had to repeat it! I had to order it that way because some of the people coming to that event, don’t like cheese AT ALL, or condiments or even lettuce and tomatoes (not all the same people).

          1. Jessa*

            I just do not get why people (particularly people in the food service business) have to comment on what other people eat.

    2. dangitmegan*

      +1 fellow ballroom dancer…though I dance Standard. I work in the arts so it doesn’t make me The Weirdo though.

      1. Chocolate Teapot*

        I think there was also an element of being rich enough to afford meat, so if you were not eating meat, then it was assumed you were too poor to buy it.

  4. Marigold*

    I managed a bunch of temp workers for a while. We’d hire about 30 people for a week every couple of months. The work was incredibly boring, so I got some interesting excuses for leaving early.

    One guy said he needed to leave because it was raining and he’d left the window next to his computer open. I was speechless for a second, so he urgently explained, “It’s a new computer.”

    A couple of hours into another day, one woman asked me if she could leave early because she had to be at a custody hearing for her son. I really hoped that one was a lie. What would she do if I had said no?

    The job was testing elementary school math software. The temps played through it and let me know if there were any bugs. One man insisted that the game was giving him the wrong answer. It is really difficult to tactfully explain to a 40-something man that 7+4 really is 11.

        1. Rayner*

          As someone who /has/,a condition, I an honestly say not every accounting/spelling/etc error is dyslexia or dyscalculia and saying it every time is really really aggravating. It takes years for people to accept that those conditions are real, but when you start chalking every goddamn mistake, it drives me up the wall.

          . Sometimes, people do make mistakes. They add up wrong or have been taught wrong spellings or won’t back down when they realise they’re wrong.

    1. anon-2*

      That’s OK – I was at a deli counter, a woman asked for 8 ounces of roast beef and the server – a man in his 50s – was confused by it.

      He had to ask one of his colleagues “how much of a pound is 8 ounces?”

  5. kdizzle*

    At my last job, I often thought that I must be on some kind of hidden camera show because I had the most bizarre coworkers ever. Totally socially unaware.

    One day, I was sitting at my desk, eating a sandwich, when one of my coworkers walked in, sat down, picked up the other half of my sandwich and took a bite. What. the. hell. She just said, “you looked like you were finished with it.”

    A different coworker walked up to me and said, “your hair always smells interesting.” This was the same person who told me once, “your glasses are hideous. I just hate them.”

    Another begged me not to sign a contract on my new house because Mars was in retrograde….or something. “If you have any respect for me and my opinions….please…PLEASE….change the date of your house closing.” I didn’t have the heart to laugh in her face…so I told her I’d take it into consideration.

    1. fposte*

      I applaud your control on that last one. “If you have any respect for me and my opinions” is serious candor-bait.

    2. Anonymous*

      I was just about to post my own coworker food story when I saw this. I’ve never had someone actually take a bite; that’s just bizarre. But there was one woman who, if she came in while I was eating, would inevitably ask for some of my food. It was bad enough when I had bread and peanut butter out and she asked if she could make a sandwich, but I could be eating a Lunchable or leftovers and she’d ask if she could have a bite. Every. Single. Time.

      She would also buzz our general intercom every half hour or so to ask what time it was. The scary part was that we were working at our computers all day, and there’s a little-known fact about Windows: down in the bottom right corner is a numerical code that changes every minute and tracks the movement of the earth.

    3. ExceptionToTheRule*

      One guy I worked with microwaved some pizza rolls for his dinner and left them on the table (where he was going to sit & eat) to cool while he got something to drink. While he was at the vending machine, a different co-worker (who had WATCHED him set them down and head to the soda machine) scarfed down the cooling pizza rolls. When the pizza rolls owner came back, the food steal-er said “I thought they were for everyone.”

      Poor kid had put his last $1 in the soda machine and had nothing to eat for a 12 hour shift.

      1. Elle-p*

        I would have sent that guy out to get me a replacement lunch. It would be for everyone’s benefit. I’m not pleasant to be around when I’m hungry.

      2. Jessa*

        That guy would have been giving that kid $$ to replace his lunch. Seriously that’s not on.

    4. nyxalinth*

      That would more be Mercury Retrograde,which supposedly messes up communication, business transactions, and so on. I used to believe in that stuff, then I realized that considering they happen for a little over three weeks at a time several times a year, shouldn’t things being going haywire almost constantly? That made me reconsider it.

    5. Sali*

      OH MY GOD if anyone ate my food I would go crazy.

      On a related note I used to work in a certain natural history museum. One day I made a sandwich for my boyfriend who also worked there (decent sandwich, cheese and ham I think), and made myself an AMAZING sandwich (parma ham, rocket, seedy bread – salivating as I type this). His lunch was before mine, and so I told him where to find his sandwich. I go on my lunch, and I see his sandwich. My sandwich is gone. What follows is something similar to Ross from Friends: “You at my sandwich? MY SANDWICH?!!??!”.

      I almost cried.

      1. Sali*

        Obviously meant *ate.

        The irony of us working in a dinosaur museum and me getting The Rage about a missing sandwich wasn’t funny enough at the time, I was genuinely upset!

        1. Chris*

          We have someone at work that has been eating people’s lunches recently and leaving “Thank you, your food was great!” notes in the empty containers. With smiley faces.

          Food snatching co-workers are the worst- there should be a universal punishment system in place for when you catch them

          1. Liz in a Library*

            That’s awful. Food stealers are the worst! We had a bad one at my last job, although the fallout was often pretty funny after the fact.

            One of our faculty members had gotten himself a sub and left it in the fridge for dinner. That night before class, he went to eat his sandwich…only to find that someone had opened it, taken out all the meat, then wrapped the bread and veggies back up for him. I heard the story from several co-workers the next day of him running through the halls, plaintively shouting “Who stole my meat?!”

            My boss once had leftovers in the fridge consisting of one half-eaten quesadilla (with bite marks) and one untouched one in the same box. When she went to get her lunch, the half-eaten one was gone…

            1. Sourire*

              We had a bad food thief, so someone took a bite out of every slice of pizza he put in the fridge. Food thief still stole them. He would also eat things that had sat out of the fridge for hours upon end and I once even heard of him sneaking someone back out of the garbage. I look back and wonder if he had a compulsion of some kind…

          2. annalee*

            I think the ‘universal punishment’ should be ‘immediate dismissal with cause.’

            If a coworker was going around taking $5 bills out of people’s wallets, they’d be fired for stealing. Taking someone’s lunch is absolutely no different.

            1. Liz in a Library*

              Agreed. And often when a blind eye is turned to one kind of theft of someone’s personal belongings, the other one starts happening too. :(

            2. A Teacher*

              Totally agree. We had staff members steal a bag of cookies from the special ed room. They have it narrowed down to 3 people from the camera but can’t prove who it was so nothing is done.

            3. Tuesday*

              Apparently the universally despised former president of my company used to routinely eat people’s lunches. He eventually got the ax for running the company into near-bankruptcy, but if he could have been canned for stealing lunches, that would have saved us all a lot of distress over the years.

          3. Cara*

            Oh hell no. I’d be hiding a camera in the break room and doing handwriting analysis on the notes.

          4. Natalie*

            Holy crap! That is mindbogglingly brazen. I’m with Cara – I’d be setting up a hidden camera.

            1. Jen in RO*

              A friend of mine just told me a story from high school. A guy kept stealing her Coke, so she laced it with laxatives. And then an innocent classmate drank it…

              1. Another Emily*

                This is one of the many reasons that, while fun to fantasize about, lacing food with laxatives or making a cat food sandwich is probably a bad idea. (Though at least the cat food is food, sort of.)

      2. Maura*

        There was a sandwich stealer, and someone decided to catch him by making a decoy sandwich–filled with thumbtacks. The scream from the lunchroom (and bandaged fingers) told who the thief was, but after that, I felt weird about the thumbtack guy too.

        1. Chris*

          That is so evil- as I’m laughing hysterically no less!
          I can see the lastest victim doing something along those lines with a decoy sandwich. Although knowing him, he’ll spike it with laxatives rather than thumbtacks and camp the restroom door all day.

          1. Cruella DaBoss*

            One of my coworkers often tells the story of her father spiking his entire lunch with a powdered laxative: both tuna salad sandwiches, the Doritos, and the drink in his thermos. It had worked.

            The culprit was out “sick” for a day and a half, but nary a pickle was pilfered from anyone from that day on.

      3. Beth*

        My college roommate had a big tub of yogurt she stored in our dorm fridge, with a special spoon in it. she told us (six to a room) with a funny look on her face not to eat her yogurt. Sure enough someone did. Come to find out she was into natural remedies and that she used the yogurt topically to treat her yeast infections. Needless to say no one ever touched her food after that!!

    6. Anonymous*

      Mercury Retrograde is a “Big Thing” in astrology, and lots of people won’t sign contracts etc during that period. The “If you have any respect for me and my opinions” bit is a little over the top, though!

      1. anon because astrology :)*

        Agreed. I do believe in astrology but totally understand why most people roll their eyes at it. I don’t believe we’ve found a way to explain how it works yet, but I’ve gotten to the point in my own observations that I can almost always accurately guess others’ Moon, Mercury, Sun, and Ascendant signs after I’ve acquainted with them.

        That being said, sometimes…astrologers (professionals and amateurs) can be kinda ridiculous. I think most of them are a lot like Professor Trelawney and give it that appearance, but then you get real ones like Firenze that make it all actually make sense…but no one gets to hear the non-crazy ones. :)

        I’ve also seen Mercury Retrogrades turn out to be really positive Big Things, since the flip side is all about reflecting on the past. I almost always hear from a long-lost friend during that time, or my Cancer-influenced friends will ring me up to chat.

        1. bob*

          I suggest you look up
          – confirmation bias,
          – availability heuristic
          – belief bias
          – congruence bias
          – Barnum effect
          – Illusion of validity
          – Observer expectancy bias
          and whole bunch of others.

          astrology is a crock. there is no evidence for it. there are well known cognitive reasons for people thinking it works.

          1. Nichole*

            I don’t necessary believe in astrology, but calling it a crock is a little harsh. To paraphrase (probably badly), there are more things in heaven and earth than we can dream of. Just because your experience is that it’s not true doesn’t mean that anon hasn’t had equally valid experiences that have led him/her believe otherwise.

          2. Ruthan*

            I’m totally late to this party, but what’s your 90% confidence interval on the likelihood that anyone is going to take unsolicited advice that contradicts their beliefs?

        2. Lucy*

          Whenever an astrology believer wants to guess what my sign is, I always tell them after their guess: “Oh my god! You’re spot on!”

          They very rarely are. I’m a virgo, a taurus, a cancer, a leo …..

          1. A Nom.*

            Regular member, hiding because of astrology…

            I don’t believe it in the traditional sense, but I use it and horoscopes and tarot as a way to uncover things about how I feel and what I think about a certain situation, more of a self-discovery thing. If my horoscope says family matters are going to take a major role today, then I’m reminded, hey I haven’t talked to my mom in a week. Let’s see how she’s doing. So yeah, self-fulfilling most definitely. It’s all about interpretation.

    7. Julie*

      This reminds me of a co-worker I once had who liked to smell everyone’s food. At lunch she would walk round the table and put her face close to each persons meal and smell it.

  6. Famouscait*

    I had a boss who would clean out her closet every few months, and then bring in to work those items that she felt were “too good” for Goodwill. She’d artfully display them in an empty storage closet, and then proceed to take each of her direct reports through and pick out items for us. She’d also send us home with used clothing for our husbands/boyfriends.

    Needless to say, I never showed up to work wearing any of her old clothes or accessories, and we all did what she couldn’t and just gave the things away to Goodwill.

    1. evilintraining*

      At my last job, we would have a clothing exchange twice a year – you could pick stuff as long as you brought stuff. Whatever wasn’t claimed was donated. Everyone really enjoyed it.

      1. Anonymous*

        That sounds fun! I would be totally up for a clothing exchange at our office.

        While at my last job, I was signed up for a couple subscription boxes and also got deluxe samples from other places (ie Sephora) so when I got a stockpile I would bring them in and tell any beauty-interested women in the office. But I definitely didn’t parade them through the lineup and pick for them, ha.

    2. Meg*

      It comes across as a bit condescending, but it sounds like your boss really had good intentions. I know some people who prefer to give clothes away to people they know rather than toss them or donate to Goodwill. Maybe she just did it awkwardly?

      1. Another Emily*

        My Mom does this with stuff that she doesn’t need anymore but still has sentimental attachment to. Giving it to me allows her to maintain that sentimental connection to the item (in her mind, she doesn’t police my house). If I need the item then I enjoy that connection too. If I don’t need it I give it to goodwill myself.

        I can’t picturing doing this with my boss though. The sentimental aspect of this process is just not something I associate with work.

    3. Lils*

      That is awesome. I love how she picked out what she was going to send you home with.

  7. Liz in a Library*

    Well, there was the old boss who spent most of his days writing his erotic novel…like 6-7 hours of every work day.

    I also had a co-worker who wet herself regularly. Before you get mad at me…I have serious sympathy for those with health issues. In this case, she freely told us she did it intentionally because she thought it would help her open disability claim if she could demonstrate that she wasn’t physically able to handle the demands of the workplace. We shared a desk and chair… :/ She also ran a side business from the office and babysat her infant granddaughter there constantly. Oh, state employees!

    1. Jen*

      Was the “wetting herself” co-worker in Chicago? I was on a train once where a woman wearing business clothes stood up and looked at everyone and peed on herself right in the middle of the aisle and then just stood there smiling. I remembered thinking “What kind of office does she work in?”

      1. Liz in a Library*

        Nope. She used the tactic of getting everyone’s attention, too, though. It was weirdly exhibitionist, like your lady. I had no idea this was a thing…

        1. FiveNine*

          The thing is there are products — Depends, adult diapers, etc. I’m already totally appalled by the woman who was wetting herself just for a disability claim and it sounds like on top of that she wasn’t using them. As for the woman on the El and/or subway, I’m more sad, as though maybe she’s just unaware that such products exist.

          1. Liz in a Library*

            I should have been more clear with the woman wetting herself for the disability claim, because I don’t think there’s anything good about making fun of someone’s legitimate health concerns…she made it extremely clear on many occasions that she was capable of making it to the toilet, but that she just chose not to because she thought it would make her case stronger. She also seemed to really enjoy the attention that she’d get.

      2. Anon*

        I wonder if maybe she had stood up to try to make it to the bathroom and then just couldn’t make it, so she smiled hoping no one would notice because she was so embarrassed. This has happened to my elderly mom a few times.

      3. Lyda Rose*

        I’m in Chicago and I think I might have seen this lady. I’ve definitely seen it happen on both the EL and suburban trains.

    2. the gold digger*

      I have a friend who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. He had to go to a meeting in Asuncion with the head forestry guys of the country. Had to wear a suit, etc.

      My friend had giardia.

      And he pooped in his pants during the meeting.

      He said, “Don Pedro, I just pooped in my pants. Is there any toilet paper?” (Which is not such an odd question – I took my own toilet paper to work when I was a Peace Corps volunteer.)

      Don Pedro said, “Michael, you know we are a poor country and a poor agency. You know we don’t have toilet paper.”

      So my friend had to walk all the way back to his hotel in poopy pants to clean up and change clothes.

      1. Amanda*

        I feel so bad for him. I remember the second week of my PC training and having to run to the training center toilets to throw up…and then the toilet wouldn’t flush so I just had to leave it there. That was embarrassing enough.

    3. Meg*

      Have you ever seen 10 Things I Hate About You? Where Allison Janney plays a secretary who spends her workday writing an erotic novel? Your boss reminds me of that!

    4. Liz in a Library*

      I just keep thinking of more wackos I’ve worked with. These two were less funny and more concerning…

      -The coworker who made really inappropriate and detailed threats against another employee, and when reported by a colleague who was concerned about her, left that colleague a decapitated stuffed animal in her car…

      -The coworker who, as his first words to me ever upon meeting, announced that the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange is the most compelling moment in cinematic history. Late at night. While he and I were the only ones in the entire library…

      Working in higher ed was a really strange trip…

      1. Liz*

        In regards to the decapitated stuffed animal, did he leave both the head and the body in there? Because I would totally sew it back together and nurse that poor thing back to health…

        My boyfriend has decided that makes me the weird one.

  8. Meghan*

    I had a coworker once who was going to be a first time mother and she was constantly stressed about her baby. When our boss asked her how long she thought she’d take for maternity leave, her response was: “I don’t know, the baby could be born with a heart defect.” Or, my favorite, her husband couldn’t accelerate on an highway entrance ramp because their car might flip and the baby could fly out of the car seat through an open window. She was kind of bonkers.

    1. KellyK*

      Wow, poor woman. I mean, I’m sure everyone stresses about pregnancy, especially the first one, but that’s a pretty unusual level of paranoia.

    2. Lynn*

      Wow. I was kind of sympathetic to her with the heart defect thing, but you lost me with the flying out the car seat thing. Congenital heart defects run in my family, and I actually was worried my babies might have them. It sounds weird out of context though, so at work I limited myself to “assuming we’re both healthy, knock on wood, I expect to take six weeks.”

      But the flying out the car seat is totally bonkers, no question.

    3. VictoriaHR*

      I had horrible nightmares about something happening to my baby after he was born. Armed terrorists grabbing him out of my arms, etc. Wound up on antidepressants. PPD is serious bidness. I remember my sister would watch true-life medical shows on cable and any time there was a serious child’s illness mentioned, she’d hold her pregnant belly and cry that her baby was going to have that thing, no matter how rare (her boy is fine). Pregnancy hormones =\

    4. Anonymous*

      Well, better bonkers-cautious than the type of bonkers that speed around tight curves on the on-ramp

    5. Sarah*

      My dad is that woman. I have been warned and am still concerned to this day about things that have a very remote possibility of ever happening. For example, I have to have my windows in my car up or all the way down, never cracked because if I crash my head will hit the glass in such a way that the top part of my head will be sliced clean off…. My dad calls it love, I call it crazy.

  9. Jen*

    At a past job we all had our photos taken for laminated ID badges. The poloroid that they’d take would be bigger than what they’d need so the images would be trimmed down to just the head and neck so the image of the person’s torso would be thrown in the trash. A co-worker was near this guy’s desk and needed a paperclip so she opened a drawer of his desk to grab one and discovered the drawer was filled with the decaptitated poloroids of female workers – so he essentially had been saving the chest pictures only and keeping them in his desk. No men, just ladies. Clothed boob shots with no heads.

    1. A Bug!*

      Wonder what would have happened if the pictures “disappeared.” Would he actually report the theft?

      1. Jen*

        Nope. My friend felt uneasy about how she discovered them and was worried she’d get in trouble for opening up someone’s desk drawers.

  10. Rachel*

    I’ve got a ton of awful stories about this particular coworker, but the one thing that sticks in my mind as being the overall worst at work was her obsession with onion bagels. I don’t know why this grosses me out so much, but it does. We shared a small office and then a desk in a cube farm so we very much could smell each other’s food if we chose to eat outside of the kitchen. This girl ate onion bagels for breakfast nearly every day. I have a sensitive nose/stomach in the morning and the thought of eating bread with onion powder on it makes me gag a little.

    After we moved into the cube farm, we were told to not keep food at our desks. The back of the office was a construction warehouse, so it wasn’t insulated properly and we often had mice visitors in the office space. One week we started noticing more and more droppings around her area. Turns out instead of keeping her oh so delicious onion bagels in the kitchen, she was keeping them in the storage area above her desk. I don’t think I’ve ever used more lysol wipes in my life. After this, she at least started keeping at eating them in the kitchen. So gross!!

  11. Jen*

    Oh I have another one! At my high school job someone would always burp and blow into people’s faces and say “Guess what I had for lunch” – how did I forget about her? She was charming.

          1. Ali_R*

            I can’t stop laughing at this one… as a parent of close in age boy-girl siblings I can clearly see my son doing that to his little sister. Unfortunately she has a pretty tough constitution.

            …Unlike me – I instantly vomited (durning my daughter’s slumber party no less) when her friend talked about their dog having an accident on her bed – the poor girl felt terrible about it.

  12. RJ*

    My weirdest coworker was completely hyperactive (undiagnosed, but probably could have been). He was a middle-aged guy and he insisted on touching everybody. He would come up behind you, or lean over your chair, and gently shake you by the shoulders. Not in a perverted way at all; I honestly thought he felt that was an appropriate business bonding method. He’d do it to men and women alike, but it was so inappropriate.

    He would also bust out with final pronouncements in the *middle* of meetings. e.g., “Yes! That’s super! That’s what we’ll do!” I remember one time he was proposing using ~N as a keyboard shortcut for something. “Yes! Tilde N! That will be perfect!” Of course, I had to burst his bubble by telling him that ~N was already assigned as a shortcut for a really commonly used function in this software.

    And finally, I had a large cubicle in this office. He would burst into my cubicle unannounced and unacknowledged, start prattling on about something crazy before he had my attention, and then start moving things around on my desk and/or opening my desk drawers. Dude! Don’t touch my stuff! I’d tell him that, but he really seemed unable to stop. One time, he opened a decorative box that sat on my desk all the time. I swore that I was going to start leaving tampons in every container or drawer that he might open in hopes that finally that could help break the habit.

    The saddest part is that he wasn’t actually a bad guy – just a really annoying weirdo.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      “”Yes! Tilde N! That will be perfect!” is going to be my new catchphrase for pretty much everything.

      I actually think I would like to have this guy in my office. This sounds endlessly entertaining.

      1. RJ*

        Oh, Alison, I wish I could have found him entertaining. I might today even, but this was a number of years ago, I was a lot younger, and I had problems with enforcing boundaries myself. Sadly, I allowed his behavior to push all my buttons.

      2. Jessa*

        Except for the touching people part. I have back problems, touch me where I can’t see you or don’t know you’re there…it is not going to go over well.

    2. AdAgencyChick*

      Oh god, the looker-in-the-desker. I had one of those a few years back. I shared an office with someone else, and this guy came in looking for my officemate. Instead of leaving because my officemate wasn’t there, he proceeded to start looking in his desk drawers. At least he stopped when I pointedly asked him, “Looking for something?”

      1. Kelly O*

        I have one that is not even shy about reading everything she can see – on desks, shared printers, fax machines, etc.

        At one point, I worked in another physical area with her, and my desk was open, in the middle of everything. She would stand there and read anything I had open on my desk. (Needless to say I am paranoid about leaving things out, even if I’m only stepping away for a few.)

  13. AnotherAlison*

    Well, my weird coworkers seem normal in comparison. I think some of the other examples are just disturbed people, well beyond weird.

    One coworker of mine told me he had painted the interior of his house with a brush because he couldn’t figure out how to use a paint roller. This might not be so strange, except the guy was a structural engineer.

    The other really strange one is current, so I better not say anything.

      1. tcookson*

        I worked in the engineering dept of my uni for a brief time while I was still a temp, and two of the engineering professors got into a knock-down, drag-out shouting match over whether the admins should be allowed to call them by their first names or should have to call them Dr. So-and-So, as the students did . . . I’ve never seen that be an issue in any other department (the staff call the profs by their first names, mostly) . . . I never was sure if that was an engineer thing or just that particular guy’s thing.

  14. Cee*

    I had two male coworkers, Creepy Coworker and Stalker Guy, who would come into my office and linger while staring at me. They didn’t come in for any particular reason. They didn’t have any questions or even want to talk. They’d just stand at the edge of my desk and stare at me. One was fired, the other was “spoken to” about being a creep, but he never stopped. One year for Christmas he decided to surprise me by walking up behind me, spinning my chair around, kissing me on the lips, and walking away. Apparently this is what you get when you’re one of 3 females in a company of about 80 people.

    1. Liz in a Library*

      What. I’m pretty sure I would have reported that immediately as assault. I’m sorry you had such a creep!

    2. Ophelia*

      This was more of an odd situation with coworker who isn’t usually random or strange.
      Officer manager: “Are you a vegan?”
      Me: “No, why?”
      Office manager: “You never drink coffee.”
      Me: “I’ve never liked it. I’m more of a peppermint tea person.”
      Office manager: “You have the skin of a vegan too.” Then he quickly walked out of my office and didn’t speak to me again for the rest of the day. It took me awhile to realize he was complimenting my skin.

      1. Lindsay*

        … All coffee is vegan. It’s not if you add milk, but that’s clearly not vegan. So strange!

        1. Beatrice*

          I know! This guy is intelligent and normally very articulate so this was very bizarre.

      2. CoffeeLover*

        Lol high schools should include a class on how to properly compliment someone without
        a) coming off like a creap
        b) making the person wonder if it was actually a compliment

        I had a older gentleman in an elevator tell me I had a “nice face”. It was a nice thing to say, but the word choice could have been improved. :P

    3. Natalie*

      Wait, did you work with these two guys at the same time? And if so, did they ever come in at the same time and stand at the edge of your desk together?

    4. Windchime*

      We used to have a staring guy here at work. If I had to talk to one of his cube-neighbors, he would stare at me as if I were a strange, rare bug that he had never seen before. One of our male co-workers had to put away his picture of his wife, because this guy would come by and stare at it.

      He would also conduct long conversations with his online dating prospects at his desk, in a loud voice that everyone could hear. At the time, our office was in a building that was previously a bank so there was still a window for the drive-thru, with parking right outside. He met one of his online dating prospects there and they proceeded to have a hot-and-heavy makeout session in the car, where everyone on the ground floor could observe them through the drive-through window. He was weird. I don’t remember why he finally got let go.

  15. Anne*

    Oh man. You know that saying about drunk people – “If you’re not sure who the drunkest person at the party is, you are”?

    I think I’m the weird co-worker.

    1. NCL*

      I’ve had some generally quirky and/or annoying coworkers, but nobody who rises to the level of the coworkers others have mentioned here… So I’m definitely starting to wonder if I’M that weird coworker. O.o

    2. Kat*

      I am pretty sure I’m the weird coworker too. I hope to at least be “charmingly odd” instead of “creepy and awful”.

  16. bearcat*

    I’m the weird coworker: I have an aromatherapy scentball that smells like peppermint. I have a white noise machine. I made a door for my cubicle out of a hippie tapestry and similarly cloaked the top part in a bigger tapestry so now it has a ceiling (no meetings in my cube, though; because the “ceiling” is only 6 ft high). I’m a vegan; therefore they never really see me eat anything that I didn’t prepare and I order the weirdest stuff off the menu when we go out together. I have a series of work outfits that are basically all the same thing in different colors and this is weird because I’m a woman and apparently I should vary style (says my mom). My coworker walked in on me licking dressing off my desk one time (I’d just cleaned the desk and the dressing was SO GOOD!) and I generally eat like a starving animal when I think no one is watching. I cut my own hair and sometimes it looks weird (I like it that way). Every time I use the bathroom, I bring a bottle of my own soap to the bathroom because 1) the bathroom soap provided has triclosan in it and 2) I don’t want to leave my bottle there for other people to use. I hula hoop in the quad outside on my lunch break, which necessitates storing a bright and multi-colored hula hoop in my cube. Now I actually teach lessons and get paid as part of the fitness program for employees so that’s cool.

    Why all the weirdness? Because I wanted to and no one stopped me. I have no idea if it bothers anyone. Probably not.

    1. Cee*

      Haha… I love this. I’m incredibly similar. I try to tone down the weird at work because I have enough problems with coworkers as is.

      1. bearcat*

        I brought about 40 hoops to a work conference and sat them in the middle of the dance floor during the social part and people went NUTS! Hooping is apparently something that many people have wanted to try and never have (at least as an adult, I assume).

        (I have 40 hoops because I make them.)

        1. Sascha*

          I’ve been hooping for a few years and it’s wicked fun. I have yet to encounter an adult person who didn’t light up when they tried one – even though they protest and say “I’m terrible at this, I can’t do it,” etc etc.

        2. CJ*

          Awesome! I won a hula hooping contest when I was 10. I kept on going for over an hour. It was great fun.

          1. tcookson*

            My daughter won a hula-hooping contest one year when she was in elementary school, and then the next year she came in second place because she started trying to do the Chicken Dance and hula-hoop at the same time. That’s one of my favorite stories about her — I just love how goofy that girl is!

    2. Sarah*

      As long as your manager is okay with the covering of the cube, the only part I see that could affect others is the aromatherapy. I have allergies and that would be a huge issue for me (cause migraines and nausea). Otherwise, go forth and be weird :)

      1. bearcat*

        I’ve asked everyone within a 3 cube radius and everyone said they can’t smell it at all and therefore doesn’t bother them. The weirdest part about it is when you walk in and it’s like…is that peppermint?

        My manager is cool with all of it and runs interference for me with restaurant selection when we go out as a group and when people ask him questions about stuff (the soap, mainly; people think I’m immuno-compromised or something and want to pray for me…)

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          You could try soap leaves as an easier thing to carry back and forth. They’re like little sheets of soap that dissolve with each use.

          1. bearcat*

            I make all my household soap. I googled soap leaves and have all the tools I need to make them myself. What a great idea, thanks!

    3. Anne*

      Wow. I am like your polar opposite and therefore also the weird co-worker.

      I am a 5’3″ female powerlifter. I am stronger than most (all?) of the guys here, and am the person that Bosslady comes to when she needs a spider squished. (Regularly.) I am built like a tiny She-Hulk. I eat a ton of meat and veggies, and in the work kitchen, I keep protein shaker cups, whey protein, creatine monohydrate, and BCAAs. Personal effects on my desk include a grip strength trainer, 2 types of calculator, 3 sets of highlighters, an “I <3 Spreadsheets" mug, a container of different vitamin supplemnts, protein bars and fruit. My hair also looks funny, because I treat it horribly with all kinds of chemicals and dyes. (It is currently pink and blue.) I wear doc martens and lasergun cufflinks with my monochrome business suits. I don't have any aromatherapy stuff – I smell of extra-strength men's sports deodorant. (Seriously, you go lift 120kg a few times then cycle to an office with no shower. It's necessary.) My clients love me.

      So. Dude. High-five. We should be a sitcom.

        1. bearcat*

          I met my evil twin anonymously in the comments of a blog. Man, my mom has some explaining to do. Seriously, I wish you had a blog. I’ve been interested in strength training and you seem awesome.

          I did ride my bike to work every day (with hula hoop over shoulder and a cart that I made to pull my files, which tripped out all the morning commuters) but there were 4 cyclist deaths after being struck by cars and I got scared. Plus I moved farther away (9 miles as opposed to 3 miles before).

          I guess I’m an artsy hippie who works in data analysis.

          I display my artwork in my cube and came into work on my birthday last year and the coworkers had moved my collages to be displayed all over the department. The director liked it so much that I now have a permanent display our lobby.

          Another time, a coworker brought a ton of costume jewelry she did want/wear anymore and sat it in the common room to give away. After it had been left out for 2 days (long enough for everyone to get what they wanted), I took what was left and refashioned it into a desk sculpture/figurine and gave it back to her. She loves it.

          Coworkers and clients want me to sell them this stuff (hoops, art and all the things I’ve upcycled) but I really would prefer to give it away for free or keep it. Just because it’s pretty and other people sell things like that doesn’t mean I want to. And yes, I’ve heard of etsy.

          Maybe we should both start blogs.

            1. bearcat*

              I knit too (actually, I do all the needlecrafts). I absent mindedly yarnbombed (yarn graffiti-ed, for the uninitiated) the fence in front of the building next the bus stop with all these small hearts and stars and got this email from my director’s supervisor: “While [company] does not generally encourage defacement of company property, the installation next to the bus stop can stay :-)” Yeah, my director’s supervisor (a somber middle aged man who I barely know) both recognized what happened to the fence as my handiwork and emoticoned me with a smiley.

              1. Julie K*

                There’s something in Boston that sounds similar. Near Back Bay in Southwest Corridor Park, there are several upright metal posts (about 4″ in diameter) – they are there to keep cars off the path. They have rings on the side, near the top, so a large chain could be run between the posts. Someone has knitted (or crocheted) colorful “ring warmers” that completely surround each ring, and on each one there’s also a little knitted animal head at the top. I had never seen anything like it, and it’s really cute. I just searched through all of the photos on my computer, and I can’t find one, but I know I took at least one. If I find it, I’ll post a link in another comment.

              2. Anne*

                That is so fantastic. And kind of another evil twin moment.

                When I was in high school, I was a good little batling and got into Wicca. On the spring solstice, I looked up a bunch of things that were traditional to do and eat and my friends and I had a bit of a party in the woods behind a local and highly prestigious university. One of the things was making God’s Eyes (you know, two crossed sticks, yarn) so we made a whole bunch of them. And then we weren’t sure what to do with them, so we took them with us while we went on a walk, and hung them all up in the shrubs next to a path.

                Months later, my professor mom told me that this “installation” was the talk of the university. People thought it was wonderfully mysterious and organic, and were putting the God’s Eyes back up when they saw they had fallen down from wind or rain and arguing amongst themselves about interpretations.

                Dude, we were just some kids with black clothes and way too much crunchy acrylic yarn… :D

            2. Heather*

              I knit too. But I don’t really talk about it. I did make a baby blanket for a work friend as a gift tho.

          1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

            If you’re interested in strength training and want to read a hilarious young woman’s blog about it, I highly recommend http://npcbikini.blogspot.com/ for Sauce’s musings as a competitive bodybuilder. :) She and AAM are my two must-read blogs.

      1. Susan*

        I love the mental image of a tiny She-Hulk. And mad props to you for rocking the strength.

      2. bearcat*

        Totally on the sitcom! Clients and coworkers love me too. It’s nice having someone around who does things just a little differently and makes you think about your life and re-affirm the choices you’ve made without being all judge-y and “you should be my way.” (I guess that statement could apply to both me and them, because they are slightly different from me and make me think about my life too.)

        1. Anne*

          I think that’s exactly right. I used to worry about it, especially as we’re a B2B tech company, but there seems to be something people just love about someone with blue hair and a suit.

          Competent without being a drone. I think that’s our selling point.

        2. Jessa*

          I think AAM in general would make an awesome sitcom. I mean all the weird work stuff that happens on this blog is great fodder.

      3. Ash*

        I think I fell in love with you from just your description. ;)

        I’d love to get into weight training, and am also a short woman. Do you have a blog. :)

        1. Anne*

          Awww, thanks! :)

          I have sometimes thought about starting one, but no, I don’t have a blog. However! I can give you a bit of advice:

          -Get yourself a good routine and stick with it until it stops helping you improve. A “good” routine will involve squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and probably some kind of overhead press, as well as a few other exercises, spread over a week. I started with the “Stripped 5×5” routine and it served me very well. If a routine is recommending that you lift a weight for more than 8-10 reps, it is not a good routine for building strength.
          -Safety: Concentrate on getting your form right first, and THEN start lifting heavier weights. Super-important. The book “Starting Strength” is great for form tips. Take rest days (none of this “active rest” stuff, no running, no light weights, really rest at least 1-2 days a week.) Have some protein within an hour after your workout to avoid some of the soreness the next day.
          -How much you weigh is not the important thing any more when you start putting on muscle. It really, really isn’t. Step off the scale. Your BMI will start to seem crazy high, and it is now Wrong. If anything is important, it’s your body fat percentage. If you start to put on weight and it’s worrying you, just take a look in the mirror at your beautiful now-enormous, shapely butt. Then do more squats. :)
          -Eat a lot of protein. If you want to put a number on it, try to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight every day.
          -Good websites: Lift Big Eat Big, Fitocracy, Nerd Fitness, Stumptuous, T-Nation, Epicurean Body Builder.

          Go be awesome! :)

          1. AnotherAlison*

            I stumbled on to a new website yesterday that I’m kinda into, if anyone wants another recommendation. . .GirlsGoneStrong.

            Lol, I didn’t realize short people were built to be fantastic at deadlifts, but I too am good at these, which nearly makes up for my suckage at all forms of press moves. I hurt my elbow the first day I started & never quite recovered.

            1. Anne*

              Yes, Girls Gone Strong is also super cool. I don’t follow them regularly, but every once in a while their stuff turns up on my facebook feed and is very motivating. :)

              I think presses are quite difficult for most ladies – we’re naturally good with lower-body strength, guys have the natural upper-body strength. (My husband teases me by calling me a T-Rex. Yes, I married my lifting buddy.) But maybe it’s worth talking to someone about the elbow? I bet if you even grabbed someone who works at your gym for 2 minutes and asked for ideas, they could make some recommendations. PTs help a lot of people train past injuries.

              (And you know what I did on my first day bench pressing? Barbell to the face. Yep. Got myself stuck there. The guy in the squat rack next to me helpfed me out and didn’t even laugh, but oh my GOD was that embarrassing.)

          2. AdAgencyChick*

            Heh. So true. I used to be overweight (about 60 pounds overweight), so when I went from dilettante weightlifter to serious weightlifter and gained 10 pounds, I freaked out a little bit. Then I reminded myself that my jeans still fit. And HOLY MOLY, I can no longer walk down the street in a short skirt without getting (complimentary, if uncouth) commentary.

            Cheers, strong sisters! (I can’t join you in the “short, therefore good at deadlifts” corner, though.)

          3. Catherine*

            “Eat a lot of protein. If you want to put a number on it, try to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight every day.”

            Holy Moly! Is that for weight lifting or for any kind of serious exercise? (I do 165 minutes of cardio weekly, about 60 minutes of weights, squats, lunges etc and 60 minutes of planks, curls, stretches etc) I mean, 188 grams of protein in a day is a lot! not sure how to do that.

            1. Anne*

              No, that’s really just for trying to put on serious amounts of muscle – people who are into powerlifting, crossfit, bodybuilding, etc. And honestly, although I weigh about 150 pounds, if I’m getting 100 grams a day I’m doing *alright*, just not as good as I could be.

              If you’re really into cardio and high reps/low weights training, protein is still important, but not nearly as much. I mean, personally I’d still recommend that people try to aim for 60+ grams a day just for health. But carbs are almost certainly more important for what you’re doing. :)

              1. Catherine*

                Gosh! Thanks for that. 60 grams I can manage. And yes, low weights (16 lbs for my skinny little pipecleaner arms) and high reps (3 or 4 sets of 15)
                (For some perspective, I’m 55, 5’11” and have lost 30 pounds in the last year on this regime. 15 more and I’ll be in healthy BMI regions.) Thanks again for the advice.

                1. Anne*

                  Dude, that is *fantastic* progress. Well done. :D

                  It sounds like what you’re doing is working great for you. Don’t change it too much just based on what other people tell you if it’s working, you always know your own body best. You get a lot of people in fitness saying that they’ve discovered the One True Way – Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, carb loading, whatever. But no one thing is perfect for everyone.

          4. Emma*

            I recommend the blog Stumptuous.com for women’s weight lifting. You can find her on Facebook, too. I found a lot of her nutrition information to be solid, although I don’t necessarily agree with her more faddish food beliefs (Paleo, intermittent fasting, etc). She is very intelligent and witty, though, and this blog is what started me on strength training.

        2. Anne*

          Also, because you are a short woman like me, I bet you will love the same exercise I do: deadlifts. We’re built to be fantastic at them. :)

      4. Sascha*

        Lasergun cufflinks!!! That’s so awesome! I seriously want to be friends with you and bearcat right now.

          1. Jessa*

            We need to organise a convention of AAM people. Some kind of crazy wonderful get together.

    4. CoffeeLover*

      Good for you. I think too many people get caught up in not wanting to be the “weird one” that they forget how to let go and be themselves. Weird people are the interesting people and have way more fun. ;)

    5. College Career Counselor*

      You sound quirky and interesting. AND, you seem very self-aware–which appears to be lacking in many of the co-workers mentioned on AAM who insist on (passive-) agressively foisting their more challenging behaviors on those around them. It’s when people’s behavior impedes their work or those around them that it gets tricky. Looks like you’ve got it balanced..

    6. nyxalinth*

      I think you sound weird in a fun way, not a scary or annoying way.

      I’m usually the weird one, too. I’m a gamer geek (World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Dwarf Fortress, a few others), I’m child free (most people have kids), I don’t watch a lot of TV so I can’t gossip about the latest shows (most of my viewing is Adult Swim on Cartoon Network) I know more about internet culture and memes than I probably should, and I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of it right now!

      1. Jen in RO*

        I’ve never thought of myself as the weird one, but I do get some funny looks when I talk about raiding… then again, some of my coworkers also get funny looks for their hobbies, so I don’t exactly mind it.

      2. Kelly O*

        Oooh, so you are jazzed about the Venture Brothers return?

        –> Counting down the days…

        1. nyxalinth*

          I watch it sometimes, I’m more of a Metalocalypse fan, myself! I listen to music by a band that technically doesn’t exist lol.

    7. Anonymous*

      I’m the vegan in my office. I’m also naturally thin. 100lbs. Everyone thinks I’m starving. They place all kinds of cakes/cookies/goodies by my desk ALL THE TIME. I caved once and they looked at me like a 2 headed monster because I can eat SO MUCH. I ate an entire pizza over the course of a work day. I only worked 8:30-12.

      1. bearcat*

        When sweet corn comes in season, I buy a 20 pound bag and eat it all the time. One ear as a snack between meals and 6-8 ears as a meal. I can eat 15 ears a day and on average eat 10 ears a day. My coworkers giggle when they walk by my cubicle and I’m either eating a stack of corn on the cob or I’m holding a half eaten cob in my mouth while I work on the computer.

      2. RLS*

        Same-ish! I’m the resident veg*n in my workplace. I’m not skinny by any means (5’7ish, ~160lbs; I don’t really weigh myself) but I used to be 280 lbs, and I work on my feet. I lost all that weight by sensible diet, good attitude, and exercise. My metabolism is ridiculously fast and it’s crazy what I can eat in a lunch break sometimes.

      1. Jazzy Red*

        And I wish I worked in your office! Maybe you could re-teach me to hula hoop correctly.

        1. bearcat*

          This link shows a good diagram of what you need to do: http://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/workouts/hula-hoop-exercise-00000000057576/page2.html

          It’s either side-to-side or forward-back (the next page on the link). Whatever you feel most comfortable with. Keep it around your waist (above your hips and below your ribcage) and remember there are two places you need to push to make it go in a circle, on two opposite sides of your body. I do front-back mostly.

          The hoops you buy at the toy store are not made for adults. When you stand with the bottom part of the hoop touching the ground, the top part should hit your body somewhere between your hips and your shoulders. Bigger/heavier hoops spin more slowly and therefore are easier to learn on.

          Beginners can and should rock back and forth or side to side (depending of which style you chose) using your legs and feet. It takes some of the pressure of your abs when you aren’t used to the motion.

          Also, there will be bruises where the hoop touches your body at first…light purple bruises that will heal more quickly than standard bruises because they are really shallow. Let them heal before starting again or you’ll make yourself really swollen.

  17. Heather*

    I’m so bookmarking this page to remind myself that my “annoying” coworker isn’t so bad. LOL

  18. Ophelia*

    While in university I worked as an English tutor. It was a wonderful job and I really enjoyed proof reading papers. I got along well with all of my coworkers except for one: the generalist tutor. She felt that she was in charge of the center because she did not have a specific area of expertise and would routinely call us out over behavior she felt was questionable. Her behavior left a lot to be desired though. Almost every shift her boyfriend would come into the center and sit on her lap, make out with her, fondle her, or go into the bathroom for a quickie. Now, I don’t mind people being physically affectionate but there is a difference (or should be) between public and private behavior. She was also rude to the students coming in to the center for help, telling them they were stupid, should be able to figure this out alone, etc. After repeated complaints from students and faculty the head of the tutoring center made a surprise visit and found the generalist tutor having intimate relations with her boyfriend in the bathroom down the hall. She fired her on the spot which was almost a let down. Work was a lot less interesting after that. ;)

    1. Sascha*

      Quickies in the bathroom??? WTF??? I just don’t understand how some people think that’s okay.

      1. the gold digger*

        Not to mention how do you do it, really? I don’t quite get the logistics of cramming into a bathroom stall and how all that all works. Maybe I don’t have enough imagination.

        1. Ophelia*

          The bathroom closest to the tutoring center was a special handicapped bathroom with two very large stalls. We discovered what they were doing when a freshman foreign exchange student from Bahrain came into the center crying. She was only sixteen and I’m not sure if she knew what sex was…

    2. Mike C.*

      Slams open the bathroom door, shouts in a loud, booming voice –


      If you do that, you’re morally obligated to come back and report the results! :D

  19. Riley*

    I once worked with a guy who was OBSESSED with the free section on craigslist. He was two cubes in front of me and all day long (literally 6-7 hours) he could yell out anything he found of interest. “Anyone interested in a kayak, it’s free on craigslist” or “Anyone interested in a pile of bricks, it’s free on craigslist” or “anyone intested in a couch, it’s soaked with cat urine, but it’s free on craigslist”…ARGH, so annoying! He was eventually laid off…

      1. Jen*

        For sure – I’d take a photo of things on his desk and post those to the free page and see if he notices that his family photo is a free giveaway.

      2. Anonymous*

        One time on Freecycle I saw an ad for a framed cross-stitch with mistletoe border reading ‘Asses are made to bare’ in burgundy thread. The ad was really specific about each detail but so blase about it. For weeks my roommate and I tried to one-up each other with bizarre hypothetical ads.

        I could totally see messing with this guy as coffee-break entertainment, if only so I could have my day interrupted with “Anyone want a three-legged German Shepherd who likes raisin bread and uses a colostomy bag? He’s free on Craigslist…”

    1. LPBB*

      My boyfriend does that to me all the time! Since he’s my boyfriend I find it endearing rather than annoying, unless I’m actually trying to pay attention to whatever TV show we’re watching when he does that. He’s also obssessed with yard sales and gets quite excited on Thurs and Friday nights reading the yard sale listings on Craigslist so he can plan out his Saturday mornings :)

  20. Seal*

    At my one and only temp job 10 years or so ago, I was considered weird and called conservative because I always wore business casual while most of the other temps wore acid-washed jeans from the late 80s/early 90s and ratty tennis shoes. This was for an office job in a bank, fortunately not working with the public. The fact I was the only one who could actually do the job we were all hired to do may have had something to do with, too.

    My supervisor at my first job out of college was nicknamed “Psychofucker” for what turned out to be obvious reasons. Had no clue as to how to do his job, let alone manage, but was so prone to tantrums no one would touch him. He once assaulted a customer who inadvertently wandered into a staff only area; remarkably, he didn’t lose his job despite the fact a half a dozen employees witnessed the incident. They eventually took away his supervisory responsibilities after he sexually harassed a female coworker, but he continued his reign of terror for another 15 years before he retired.

    At my current job, some unknown employee leaves bottles of half-used lotion and open boxes of tampons, maxi pads and adult diapers in our staff break room with a note that says “free – help yourself.” Personally, I don’t want to know who that is.

  21. Anonymous*

    I used to have a few framed pictures on my desk, including one of my boyfriend and me. One of my co-workers at the time used to stop by nearly every day and make some variation of this comment, “He is so handsome. And so exotic. I love how exotic he is. How lucky you are to have such an exotic boyfriend.”

    (He’s Latin American.)

    Of course, the comments bothered me a lot but I didn’t say anything at first because I was new and younger and didn’t want to rock the boat, etc. After about the third week of these comments, though, I politely but firmly told her that I was uncomfortable with her remarks (not even getting into the “benevolent” racism involved). Well, she hit the ROOF and started yelling at me about how she was just making conversation (every day? about the same thing? while staring creepily at the picture and fetishizing his race?) and that I shouldn’t be so stuck up, etc., etc., etc. My manager luckily stepped in, and it was much better after that.

    …But I still finally took the picture home.

    1. Viv Walker*

      I’m white and my partner is Chinese. We used to live in a small town and occasionally he’d drop by work to pick me up or drop something off, whatever. “Guess where he’s from” became the game of the day between my co-workers and all the volunteers in our office. “Japanese? No! Korean. He’s definitely Korean.” Also “His parents must totally disapprove of you.” I tried not to engage, but leaving that work place (and that small town) have made a world of difference.

      1. Anonymous*

        Yeah, people are still weird (if not openly hostile in other cases) about interracial relationships in a lot of the States. It’s really sad. We get a lot of the same “guessing games,” though the scenario I referenced above is much more common in our case. Even though it’s usually just a case of obliviousness, receiving jokes about my “spicy Latin lover” really, really wears thin, and is not fair to who he is as as actual, duh, person. But boy, do people haaaaate being called out on it. “It’s not like I was insulting him!”

        1. Anonymous for this one*

          Being in an interracial relationship is really tough sometimes. :-(
          I’m a black woman married to a white man. I could go on about the stuff that people have said to me over the years.

          The one incident that has stood out over the years was the time I interviewed with an older black man who noticed my wedding ring. He commented on how nice it was and what followed still makes me angry to this day (some 15 years later).

          Interviewer: “How does your husband afford that? Is he a drug dealer?’
          Me: No. He works at his Uncle’s Jewelry store (because really what else could I say because I was totally caught off guard).
          Interviewer: Oh that’s interesting, I don’t know any black people that own Jewelry stores in this city. Are you sure it’s not a Pawn shop?
          Me: No, it’s not a Pawn Shop and it’s not a minority owned business.

          So at that point, it dawned on him that my husband is probably white.

          Interviewer: Oh, so let me ask you this. Does he ever call you [insert N word here] when you get into arguments?

          I don’t remember what transpired after that because everything turned into a red haze and I got myself out of there before I started raging on him.

          I’m not even making this up. :-(

          1. Liz in a Library*

            I’m not surprised, but I am really sorry you go through that. My sister (white) and my brother-in-law (black) have gotten some amazingly rude comments before. The worst are the family/friends who act like they are trying to be supportive but are just perpetuating stereotypes.

            They are recently married and my grandmother had the gall to suggest they call more distant relatives and “warn” them about my bro-in-law, because they wouldn’t want anyone to be offended. Their response was, rightly, if anyone is offended, they aren’t welcome.

            I mean, we live in 2013 people. This is not necessary. And I’m really sorry it still happens, Anon. We should as a society know better by now.

          2. OneoftheMichelles*

            “How does your husband afford that? Is he a drug dealer?’”???!!!

            Even before he got to the racist junk, this guy was Way Way Out of Line! What an incredible #$%^$%^!
            I think you handled the situation just fine.

        1. anon*

          This is exactly what I needed, thanks for the link! I can relate to this on a personal level too (I’m Korean).

          Reminds me of when I was living in Australia on a working visa. I was on a work trip with a couple of co-workers and we were having dinner at the hotel restaurant. I went up to the buffet to check out the desserts and this older lady is standing near me.

          Me: mmm, desserts are the best part of the meal
          Lady: *looks at me curiously* Oh.. your English is so good… where are you from?
          Me: …Canada
          Lady: *confused* Ohhhh…. Caaaanada…

          1. Marie*

            Yeah, my husband (Asian ancestry but from South Africa) gets this all the time:

            “Where are you from?”
            “No, where are you REALLY from?”
            “Sandton, Johannesburg”
            “No, where are your parents from?”
            “Edenvale, Johannesburg”
            “No, but what ARE you?”

            They’re always trying to get me to ‘admit’ that my parents disapprove, too, which is pretty funny because my parents think he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

      2. Anonymous*

        I’ve noticed that although interracial dating is common and accepted now white-woman, asian-man couples still freak people out. I’m mixed race myself (half white, half black) but look white. My boyfriend is asian but doesn’t look “asian” enough to most people. When people find out he’s NOT puerto rican— jesus take the wheel. “where did you meet? does his mom accept you? does he speak english? how’s the food? are you planning on visiting his country? does he have an accent? do your parents like him? YOU HAVE A BABY TOGETHER? can I see a picture? MIXED BABIES ARE THE CUTEST!” RUDE!

        1. Nichole*

          Ugh. I hate “mixed babies are the cutest.” Is that supposed to be a compliment? “Wow, your kids sure are lucky that you’re not white!” My personal favorite is “What are you?” It’s embarrassing that I still don’t have a response for that considering how often I hear it. (For context, my mom is white and my dad is black, and I have narrowish almond eyes, so I often get asked if one of my parents is Asian.)

          1. OliviaNOPE*

            I’m mixed and got to have this conversation the other day at work. I got asked “where are you from” and from the tone in which I asked back “why do you want to know?” and the look on my face, the co-worker just made a dumb joke and dropped it. I have zero qualms telling people this is none of their business. I suggest you get like me.

          2. Linea*

            oh, I hate the “what are you” questions… my region experienced some heavy ethnically-related conflicts 20 yrs ago, and my father’s friend once gave a fantastic answer to that: “A dentist”.

    2. QualityControlFreak*

      I truly hate that word. I’m American Indian and it’s been used to describe me forever. I live in the US, and I want to snarl, ” I was born here!” at people who call me “exotic.” I don’t, because I know they mean well….

      1. saro*

        I’m from Afghanistan and I hear the exotic term all the time. What was funny was a friend telling me, “You know, in the winter you just look like a white girl.”

    3. Nusy*

      Oh wow. That’s just nuts.

      I’m not even a really different “race” per se – I’m from Central Europe, and while I sometimes identify as Gypsy (and no, *not* Romani… people think it’s more politically correct; but it’s like calling all American Indians Sioux, or Apache), I still consider myself to be “white,” since I’m only part Gypsy. I have slightly darker skin, which, combined with having an accent, often makes people think I’m Mexican. The worst part is when they unsolicitedly speak Spanish to me, assuming I’ll get it – I don’t speak a word of Spanish. For the record, my accent is nothing like the Latino accents (Mexican/Puerto Rican/Cuban/pick your flavor).

      Yet, the one that takes the cake came from a customer, not a coworker: “So, are you Mexican or Hindu?” All of it in a tone that made it clear it was a no-third-option question.

  22. Sascha*

    Hmm not anyone super weird comes to mind, but here’s a few memorable moments:

    1. The guy who never, EVER washed out his coffee cup because he said the grimy, moldy bits in the bottom gave it “flavor.” There was seriously mold in his cup when he filled it up in the morning.

    2. The guy who talked about finances, budgeting, and investing ALL DAY LONG. To anyone in particular. Sometimes he just talked out loud. It was not anything work related, he just liked finances and investing and wanted everyone to know about it.

    3. The woman who was probably a compulsive liar. We kept a list of crazy things she said, like one time Bill Clinton tried to seduce her, another time she was on a boat with U2 and Elvis Costello and the boat capsized, and that she was responsible for inventing a number of famous products.

    1. Liz in a Library*

      #1 is true of one of my old co-workers (and a good friend still) too. My boss at that job made a mistake of lending him her spare coffee mug once; over months, we watched the grime and scuzz build as he drank out of it day after day. There were even stains that looked like he’d soaked paint brushes. He’s a great guy, but I’ve very pointedly avoided eating at his house the whole time we’ve been friends outside of work, because ew.

    2. AnotherAlison*

      With #1 you just reminded me of my favorite weird coworker ever!

      This guy was from another office and we were working on the same project remotely. The first time he came into our office, he wore a Hooters golf-style shirt. After that, he was referred to as Hooters boy around our office. He was in his 50s, balding, with scraggly, long-ish gray hair, and being from the Southwest, he liked to wear lots of turquoise jewelry with his Hooters shirt. He wore tinted aviator-style glasses as his regular glasses. And black velcro shoes, like the ones for your feeble grandfather from Wal-Mart.

      At a subsequent meeting at our office, we were at the coffee machine at the same time and he told me how he had once had diarrhea and could not figure out why, but then he found out that his big foam mug (like the gas station travel kind) had a crack in it and was moldy. Yuck. Nasty on both counts.

      The weird thing was despite all this, he was really likeable and easy to work with.

      1. Sascha*

        The image of this scraggly guy with turquoise jewelry and a Hooters shirt is really cracking me up.

    3. Leslie Yep*

      I worked with a #3 once too! It was at a retail job in high school. She was in her late 20s or so (and I was 18). She would constantly discuss her rich and lavish lifestyle–how she went on a shopping spree at “Bloomies” (yes), was going to her summer home in a fancy lake community, her designer perfume, etc. We figured, huh, who knows where people come from; maybe all true!

      Then by happenstance a high school classmate of hers was hired and we got the whole story. Apparently she has been writing a story about a wealthy woman and living as this character at least since she was a teenager. Absolutely none of it has basis in her life. It became fascinating to hear these really rich tales of her high society adventures knowing that she was literally playing a part she had written herself!

      1. anonymous*

        I worked with a compulsive liar, too. It was at a retail job, I had just finished h.s. and she was in her sr year of h.s.. She told me she was dating a guy who worked across from us in the mall (he had a GF), her mom and grandparents lived across the country and her stepdad was the Chief of Medicine at a hospital in whatever city our out-of-town customer told her they were from. My boyfriend at the time got a job a DJ at weddings and h.s. dances, and she said, give me his contact info, we need a DJ for Prom. He Prom was less than a month away so I told her I was sure that her school probably already hired a DJ, but she insisted they didn’t. I shrugged & wrote my boyfriend’s name & # down for her. She told me she passed it on to the Prom Committee. Months later I found it crumpled up in the corner of the store room.

        When she quit, she told our manager that she had to because she had chronic fatigue syndrome. Then she got a job as a hostess in a restaurant in the same mall.

      2. LisaLyn*

        Wow that is something else! I am currently working with a compulsive liar. I’ve known a few others in my life. It’s either more common than I would care to believe or I attract them ….

  23. HAnon*

    Let’s see…I have a current male co-worker who likes to stop by my desk and ask me to let my hair down and take off my glasses (he has some kind of librarian fetish – and my response is “No way in Hell”), another one who calls me “Princess X,” another one who likes to make sexist jokes about women doing laundry and who actually peeled skin off of himself one day in my cubicle after he was sunburnt (ewwwwwwwww)…

    I once had a boss who was leading a meeting for a cross-cultural project and she kept referring to the tilde on the “n” in the client’s name as the “dildo.” No one corrected her. We didn’t get the business, needless to say.

    The same boss refused to believe me when I told her the Nile River is in Egypt (she thought it was somewhere else in the Middle East) even though we were pitching a major client…located in Egypt…with the Nile River as the creative theme for the pitch.

    1. HAnon*

      I forgot one! The former manager who left a taxidermy bobcat on my desk one day as a token of gratitude that I wished him a “happy boss day” on the previous day. Its face is fixed in a permanent snarl and one of the paws is lifted like it’s going to claw you to death. I made him a paper sailor hat to soften the mood a little bit.

      1. Amanda H*

        Does the former manager happen to be a fan of The Bloggess?

        Truthfully, I hope you kept the bobcat and its sailor hat. That is awesome.

    2. fposte*

      Wow. Not only are those great, but what were the odds of getting two fabulous tilde stories in one thread?

      1. tcookson*

        I don’t have a tilde story, but I do have an asterisk story: I worked at a factory for a couple of years in my twenties, and a guy was training me on how to operate the fork lift to place pallets of goods in the warehouse. There was some paperwork involved, and everytime he would tell me to put an asterisk by some entry, he would call it an “asso-turk”. My husband and I to this day still call them assoturks to each other.

    3. RJ*

      So now I’m picturing my weirdo guy from above shouting out, “Yes! Dildo N! That will be perfect!” :-D

      1. Kelly O*

        Okay, and THIS is the point that I lost it and started laughing so hard I literally have tears in my eyes…

        Thank you RJ.

        1. Kathryn in Finance*

          Me too. This is the first time I’ve literally laughed out loud due to this blog. I think my coworker thinks I’ve lost it. Now I’m the crazy coworker!

      2. Anonymous*

        This needs to be cross-stitched with a cherry border and then framed and hung in offices everywhere.

      3. tcookson*

        “Yes! Dildo N! That will be perfect!”

        Laughing my behind off at my desk right now!

      4. Alicia*

        Oh dear, this is why I shouldn’t read the “free for all” threads on my lunch break! I had a good giggle-snort at that… all by myself in my office. My neighbours down the hall must think I’m loony.

      5. Jessa*

        Okay reading this blog is not supposed to make me laugh so hard I snork Pepsi up my nose because I chose to drink while reading. Thank you ever so much. :-)

    4. Ash*

      Why haven’t you reported them for sexual harrassment yet? I’m surprised no one else has mentioned this…

      1. HAnon*

        We don’t have an HR department, the person I would report it to is sexist, and needless to say, I am looking for other opportunities.

  24. AdAgencyChick*

    Wow, this thread makes it clear that there are weird coworkers (of which I’ve had a few) and there are WEIRD COWORKERS, whom I seem to have avoided!

  25. Mela*

    In my first office job, basically a call center with a little bit of HTML monkey-ing attached, there was a guy who carried a briefcase every day. Inside the briefcase was a plastic fork taped to a pen, and nothing else. He’d use it as a back scratcher, loudly proclaiming his pleasure as he shoved it down the back of his shirt.

    He also loooooved estate sales, and would tell us all about the amazing deals he would get on used personal hygiene products “It’s like 3/4 of the bar of soap, and it was only $0.05!”

    1. the gold digger*

      He probably got the soap from an old boyfriend of mine, who would mash all the little soap ends in the corner of the tub until he had a pile nine inches high.

      This is the same guy who kept all the cupboard doors open because he thought he wouldn’t have cockroaches that way. Bless his heart, he was from up north, where you only have cockroaches if you have a dirty house. He didn’t understand that everyone in Texas has cockroaches, open cupboards or not.

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        My favorite thing about Texas is that you can say ANYTHING YOU WANT about a person as long as you follow it up with “Bless his heart.”

        1. NCL*


          I live in Texas, but I’ve never actually done that. I usually just insult people directly. My grandma does that stuff all the time, though. “Your boyfriend sure is ‘interesting’, bless his heart.” She hated that guy… lol

          Maybe I should finally embrace passive-aggressive Southern manners. :P

        2. saro*

          It’s how we roll in Georgia too.
          Favorite, if very mean, use:

          Bless her heart, she’s got the ugliest damn baby I’ve ever seen.

          I taught it to my ESL students too.

  26. Sally*

    I know these aren’t the weirdest–but these immediately popped in my head: I used to work at a state park that had a gift shop. The food in the gift shop had a long shelf life and often was covered in dust and some cobwebs. I recall one time when I went into the staff office in the back of the gift shop and there were candy bars sitting there. They had been pulled from the shelf because they had worms in them. The gift shop manager cheerfully invited the staff to take them and “eat around the worms.” She was serious.

    At the same job, another co-worker used to chew tobacco and carry around a white Styrofoam coffee cup in which he spat the juices. Inevitably, he would leave it sitting around in the gift shop or a staff common area and it would get knocked over. So gross.

    I actually have a million of them from this job. Just total freaks most of these people. Still, some of the nicest people I’ve worked with and totally fun–and actually one of my favorite jobs of all time.

    1. tobacco-chewin' boss*

      A former boss was a tobacco-chewer. Obsessively. He would spit into red party cups. He often had multiple cups going that would sit for days. They would get knocked over all the time. Once, we were traveling and the spit cup spilled in the back seat of the rental car and we had to smell that stuff every day for the week of our trip. To this day, I cannot drink out of a red party cup.

      1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

        Ugh. At least the one guy I ever worked with that chewed used an empty soda bottle… granted, it was clear plastic, so that was gross, but at least he always made sure the lid was on, so there was no smelling or knocking it over!

    2. Emily, admin extraordinaire*

      At the bookstore I worked at in college, one of my fellow-associates was pregnant. She carried around a styrofoam cup with a rag in it, which she spit into. All day long. Luckily she never left it on the shelves or anything, but it was still gross, and I never figured out why.

      She left after she had the baby.

  27. Anonymous*

    One of my coworkers came up to me the other day and said “Your hair looks nice today.. have you not showered since last week?”


    1. thene*

      I know it sounds weird but it’s some pretty conventional hair nerd thinking – that washing hair is essentially bad for it. I usually avoid getting my hair wet when I shower, and only wash it once every three days or so – shampoo is a self-perpetuating evil. I’m not enough of a hair nerd to have quit it completely yet, though.

      1. suz*

        Is it the shampoo that’s the vicious cycle? Cuz I think it’s my hair gel. It feels too grimy to not wash it every day

  28. Sascha*

    I forgot about my current coworker! He is intensely curious about EVERYTHING and loves to talk to people, so he spends hours asking everyone random questions, about society and religion and other touchy subjects, and gets “confused” when you don’t want to talk about it (like the one female coworker who did not want to discuss what happens to a woman’s body when it goes into labor). I say “confused” because I think he knows what he’s doing and is trying to guilt people into doing what he wants, which is, continue to entertain him.

    He also comes into my office on occasion and shakes the back of my chair. I have told him to stop in the most direct way but he thinks it’s funny.

    1. PJ*

      Ooh, picture a hot cup of coffee, that you accidentally fling backwards after being startled…

    2. Jessa*

      It took me 3 weeks and an “okay do you really really want to be responsible for the worker’s comp claim,” to my boss to get him to stop messing with my chair. I have a bad back and some other issues, and startling me basically makes things lock up. Last time he did it, I turned around and I told him next time he touched me or the chair, I’d take my crutch (I have a nice heavy forearm crutch) and clock him with it to show him how much it bloody well HURT when he did that. He finally got the point.

      Why do people think they can touch other people with impunity?

  29. AJ*

    After working for my former boss I think that I should have signed on to be a writer for the television show The Office. The things my old boss did always shocked and astonished us and mostly because he could still shock us. There are several stories, but I will share one of the most memorable ones and one I have in writing. After being contacted by the ergonomics person that our water cooler bottles should be stored waist high not on the floor to eliminate the need to lift them. This was my bosses solution instead of buying a table: “What we should do, however, is have a policy that only the men in the office lift the water bottles (Tom or I). With a combination of our superior strength and proper lifting technique (using the legs), and the fact that the water bottles are lighter than they used to be, I think we should be OK. I will let the office know that only Tom and I should lift the bottles.” Name changed to protect the innocent. And no this isn’t a joke, to which the individual responded: “Thanks for your response, and for you and Tom being agreeable to this job.” My boss then sent us (the women in the office) this email (with the previous messages attached): “Gals, Please let Tom or me do the water bottle lifting to avoid back injuries.
    Boss’s Name (Popeye)”
    And yes he truly signed it Popeye!

    1. Construction HR*

      The water bottles were “lighter than they used to be”? You guys drank heavy water? Bummer.

  30. Heather*

    I think I might be the weird co-worker because I scare really easily. And I mean really easily! It’s so pathetic and embarrassing but luckily my co-workers just laugh at me. Not in a mean way. I hope. heh.

    At least once a day I’m startled/scared. And they aren’t even trying! It’s really stupid but I can’t help it. I just startle/scare easily.

    1. anon*

      You remind me a bit of an ex coworker, except she was startled each and EVERY time someone came to her desk. After awhile it became annoying to hear “you scared me!” every time I had to converse with her, particularly because I sat directly in front of her so it wasn’t like I was sneaking up behind her or anything.

      1. Heather*

        Um pretty much every time. Unless I’m on the computer because then I’m facing the door of my office. But if I’m writing and not facing the door – yeah I’ll be scared. I get scared when I’m in the kitchen and someone walks in. Walks up behind me at the photocopier. Comes around the corner when I’m walking down the hall and I’m not expecting it. I know – I can’t help it. I will say most of the time I just kind of jump in my chair a little bit and don’t say the “You scared me” because it’s just sooo embarrassing. I have been scared really badly a few times too. As in I screamed. Yeah pathetic.

          1. Heather*

            At least I don’t scream like I used to.

            I just startle easily. It happens outside of work too so it’s not just there.

          2. Oxford Comma*

            If people have suggestions, I’d welcome hearing them. I jump like 2 feet every single time. I have also been known to scream…

  31. Briggs*

    My first job out of college was for a home improvement/interior design company that specialized in non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials. Some of the staff was pretty new-agey, but the owner’s wife was particularly extreme about certain things.

    I suffer from extreme cramps, and one of my frist months on the job I forgot my prescription pain meds, and after trying to tough it out for the day, I finally asked my boss (the owners wife) to take the rest of the day off.

    My condition must have been pretty obvious, because she looked right into my eyes and said “You, know, I used to have this problem too, until I realized that God didn’t mean for women to suffer this way. I prayed to God and he took away my suffering. You should really try prayer.”

    It was all I could do to keep myself together before thanking her for her kind advice and repeating my request. Thankfully she let me go.

  32. Rayner*

    I had a co-worker who kept cheating the system when I worked in a store.

    We would have goals to sign people up to – store cards, special offers, raffles, whatever, and she’d ALWAYS win the prizes for the one who signed up the most people. ALWAYS. How did she do it?

    Because she’d basically hold their cards hostage until they signed, or go out during her lunchour to people on the street outside/queuing up for events, and get a captive audience, or she would take a bunch home and get them her family and friends to sign up.

    Annoyed me because management liked the numbers, and didn’t care how they did it but nobody could ever come close to her numbers. 3rd place person 5 a week, 2nd place person 10 a week, her – 40. Gah, drove me insane.

    1. Rayner*

      Forgot to mention: prizes were high quality perfumes left over stock, sunglasses, vouchers… not just cheap stuff.

    2. RJ*

      I posted a reply, but it looks like the internet ate it. At any rate, I used to work in a low-end retail job (think CVS / Rite-Aid), where we earned a certain percentage of sales on specific brands as promotional monies. When they decided to stop the PM program, they increased the wages of those employees by the average amount of PMs they earned individually each hour. I got a 13 cent raise. My “partner” coworker in the department got $1.50. I still find it difficult to believe that she sold 12 times as much of these specific products every hour than I did…

  33. De Minimis*

    I used to work for the Post Office, so my perspective is probably all skewed…but there was at least one doozy that I might have mentioned on here before….the guy wore various military fatigues every single day. I live in an area where a lot of people hunt and are into guns, so someone wearing a camo jacket or something isn’t that out of the ordinary, but this guy obviously bought all of his clothing at an army surplus store—he had weird desert outfits, would wear berets and stuff that looked like it was from the Foreign Legion, and all other kinds of things…I used to joke that a lot of his clothing seemed to come from armed forces of countries that no longer existed….

    That wasn’t the weirdest part, though…he was always practicing karate forms all day long at work [it was an industrial type setting where you would have to spend time monitoring mail processing equipment, replacing plastic tubs as they got full, etc.] and was always yelling Bible verses out loud. He was not really 100% with it and a lot of people just kind of worked around him, but he was not a bad guy, just a little off. He behaved a lot like a little boy.

    There was another guy who had odd vocalizations [often sounded like a bird] and would wiggle his fingers around, but I think he probably was just on the autism spectrum, he didn’t seem weird or different as far as his conversation or other behavior.

    Apparently a former employee at my current workplace lived in his van [yes, he did live “in a van down by the river”] and “invited himself” to walk with a group of female employees who spent their lunchtime walking. They would try to change up their patterns to avoid him, but to no avail. He would always be asking questions about where they lived. They eventually let him go…don’t think it was for making people uncomfortable, but he also took apart an expensive piece of equipment for no reason and could not reassemble it.

    1. Sascha*

      The karate guy image is awesome.

      And I have to ask…did the guy in the last story live on a steady diet of government cheese?

    2. Julie*

      I think many of the “weird coworkers” here are on the autism spectrum. Their oddities sound like the quirks of PPD/Aspergers/autism.

      1. De Minimis*

        BTW, apparently you can look up the salaries of any postal or federal employee, and those two are still with the Post Office.

        The karate guy seems to now be driving a mail truck, which frightens me….

    3. Marie*

      Oh maaan, I picture the karate guy being like the mailroom guy in Seinfeld who Elaine tries to get to write ladies’ fashion copy. “Ok, good work. Let’s just replace ‘knife’ with ‘raspberry scones’ and ‘war’ with ‘summer day’ and the catalogue is done.

  34. AHK*

    When I worked in sales at a publishing house, my colleagues were all very fond of happy hours after work every day. (I was the quasi-teetotaler of the group, limiting myself to one drink, every once in a while.) Sometimes the happy hour even started in the office. And on one of these occasions, everyone was feeling tipsy enough by the time that they got to the bar that they decided to share stories about their drug usage history, including my direct supervisor (spent the previous weekend on mushrooms), several colleagues (one spent her college savings on cocaine) and even the department head (spent the 80s on pcp). So glad I’m out of that place…

    1. Lindsay J*

      Wound up playing Kings Cup, with my ex-boss. The game has a Never Have I Ever Component. Apparently he’s done everything but heroin and other injectables, because he doesn’t like needles. I also found out more about his sex life than I ever wanted to know – he had one thing that was his “girlfriend test”, meaning that she had to be agreeable to performing that specific act in order to be worthy of being his girlfriend.

      The words “If you make me pop that tab you’re fired tomorrow,” should not be part of anyone’s work or social environment.

    2. Anne*

      While I was finishing up college, my now-husband (who is 3 years older than me) was working part-time doing IT for a small but successful charity. When he got a full-time job, they had some leaving drinks for him at the pub, and I met his co-workers, everyone bought him a round, etc.

      One of the guys was a 40-something in a track suit. Bit of a character. When his manager went to the bathroom, he leaned forward and quietly asked us “okay, c’mon, where do you kids get your… y’know, where do you get your stuff these days? Hook me up?”

      Neither of us have ever done drugs. He was shocked and disappointed in us.

  35. De Minimis*

    Well, it was a government job!

    You know someone is a weird co-worker when people are *still* talking about them nearly a year after they were fired. He was fired not long before I started, but he still comes up in conversation quite a bit.

  36. Sali*

    I once worked with someone who tried to trip me up. As in grabbed me, stuck his leg in front of mine and fully tried to fight me to the ground. I was too shocked to be angry! He definitely had weird social skills with the ladies though.

    1. Sascha*

      That sounds like the grade school tactic of being mean and pushing over the girl that you like.

    2. Emily, admin extraordinaire*

      That reminds me of the scene in the movie What’s Up, Doc? where the detective keeps tripping the rich old lady with the jewels so that the hotel clerk could steal them.

      (If you’ve never seen What’s Up, Doc?, then you haven’t lived.)

  37. Kelly O*

    I have a coworker who either has no shame or balls of brass. She says ANYTHING that goes through her mind.

    This morning we had a meeting to announce that the sale of our company went through, and the transition will probably start next week. So we’re all sitting there mulling over the fact we’re definitely all losing our jobs.

    My coworker says “we should have a pizza party” – seriously? Just confirmed we’re all getting laid off and you’re thinking of lunch? She’s also the one who, when the original announcement about the upcoming sale happened, managed to turn it into having Pajama Friday in the office with snacks. (She’s also the one who complains loudly if we do not have our doughnuts and kolaches on Fridays for whatever reason.)

    Someone else commented that she is clearly planning on milking every meal and “extra” she could out of this place before she goes… I tend to agree.

    (This is the same person who sits there talking loudly about how she doesn’t have anything to do, and then complains when someone gives her something because it’s not what she wants to do, and then does it quickly and makes mistakes.)

    1. Job seeker*

      Sorry about your job. I hope you are wrong and this transition doesn’t mean that.

      1. Kelly O*

        We’ve already been told that, JS.

        I think a lot of people were just absorbing the reality of it, in that moment.

    2. anonymous*

      at a previous job, a meeting was called and the team supervisor announced that a Sr Team member had just been let go and to discuss transition. As soon as the supervisor had the words out, the Team’s assistant blurted out, “I call his job”

      1. Kelly O*

        This one would totally do that.

        And when, inevitably, she did not get the job, she would spend the next six months grousing loudly about it, and critiquing the person who DID get the job on performance.

  38. Victoria Nonprofit*

    My strangest coworker was actually my boss, at a job I had in high school. She was a fundamentalist Christian, and I was an atheist. Some of the crazy things that happened:

    – I had a Darwin fish on my car. She tried to rip it off (and told me about it, gleefully).
    – She took me to a Billy Graham rally (which turned out to be really interesting, although it didn’t not convert me as she had hoped).
    – She told me very seriously that I couldn’t play with a Ouija board because “that’s how Satan’s little troopers get inside you.”
    – Unrelated to her faith, but she was also rather racist: She used to assign to me all of the clients who lived in the city (e.g., black folks, as opposed to the white suburban clients), because I “knew how to deal with them.”

    She also ran her business in a haphazard and dangerous way (I would never take a job with someone like her now!): I was paid in cash under the table, she didn’t carry insurance (and the job was working with horses, so it was genuinely dangerous), if a client bounced a check for work that I had done she docked my wages.

    I hesitate to tell these stories because in many ways she was actually a loving and generous woman (for example, when a sex offender moved into her neighborhood and the rest of the neighbors tried to drive him out, she knocked on his door with a casserole and asked if they could pray together) and I don’t mean to insult her faith or start a debate on religion. But she was definitely my weirdest coworker!

        1. bearcat*

          She sounds a lot like my grandfather. He keeps sending me these weird religious tracts about “Who’s going to raise you up when you’re six feet under?” and he is also vaguely racist. But I’ve been with him with he lifted a homeless man off the ground when he fell, gave him his coat, and took him to the hospital because he was sick and then paid the bill. People are weirdly incongruent sometimes.

    1. HAnon*

      As a person who is religious, I am sorry you ran into one of the weirdos. We’re not all like that, I promise :)

    2. NCL*

      When I was 18, I was doing this excruciatingly boring temp job. (Basically, we had to tape receipts to paper and remove any staples so it could be scanned for storage.) There was this older Christian woman who seemed friendly enough at first. She had really pretty red hair and vaguely resembled Reba McEntire.

      At the time, I was practicing a non-Christian religion, and I wore a necklace with my religious symbol on it, but always tucked into my shirt. One day, it fell out of my shirt, and she saw it. She said, “If you were my daughter, I’d bend you over my knee and spank you for that!” I was stunned! I couldn’t think of any good retorts or anything, so all I ended up saying was, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

      I’m an atheist now and have many wonderful Christian friends, but I still can’t believe that happened. lol

    3. TychaBrahe*

      I think endangering employees, stealing from employees, and being racist kind of deny your assertion that she was a nice person.

  39. ThursdaysGeek*

    At PreviousJob, I was the person with the pet black widow spiders. The office came with them (two in opposite corners when I moved in), and I decided I’d be happier with them in a jar than them moving around the office. After awhile, co-workers would be bringing me bugs to feed to the spider, or another spider, or ask me to take care of creepy crawlies in their work area. I would name the spider after the co-worker who brought them to me: I had Krista for about a year and a half, and she was a great pet.

  40. Christine*

    Haven’t read all of the responses yet (wow, 110+ in just 1.5 hours???) but I’m pretty sure *I* was the weird coworker in a couple of my jobs! I make weird noises without thinking sometimes and was even called out in a performance review for….ahem…tooting, which I had no idea my office mate could hear. This was all over 10 years ago, and while I have had a steady paid job in awhile, I do volunteer a lot and hope to goodness I’m not grossing people out anymore….I really do try to be mindful, but it’s easy to forget.

    Oh, one quirk I do still have that we’ve talked about here before is being sensitive to everyday sounds, like eating or tapping your pen. Yet, I have a slight hearing impairment; one girl was incredulous that I could hear tapping despite the hearing loss.

    I’m sure I could come up with more quirks, but I’ll leave it at that for now :)

    1. Anonymous*

      I also have a hearing impairment and am very sensitive to tapping or eating sounds, or people whispering. I read somewhere that the sensitivity can be related to the hearing loss.

      1. Christine*

        *blush* Not sure there’s much else to tell. Just that it was a summer intern. IIRC, she mentioned it during an exit interview but my supervisor didn’t believe it until someone else mentioned it. But it was never brought to my attention until my performance review maybe 3-4 months later.

        I swear Alison, I am MUCH more careful now!!!

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I cannot imagine putting that in a performance review! Talking to someone about it if needed, sure, but it’s baffling that they thought it needed to go in a formal evaluation.

          1. Christine*

            I actually just looked at my eval from the year this happened (yes, I keep all of my evaluations for my own reference), and it was not written in the evaluation itself, only addressed in general terms. Whew! But yes, the details were discussed during the evaluation meeting. I do wish it’d been brought up to me much sooner, though.

    2. Nusy*

      I second you on the hearing impairment! It usually knocks out certain frequency ranges – and because of that, people tend to become hyper-aware of the other frequencies, and those can drive you bonkers.

      I suffered some hearing loss due to a former job (operating a LOUD dishwasher with no hearing protection – in fact, my boss was mad if I used ear plugs, because I couldn’t hear him talking to me!), and I have a hard time when people talk over other noise to me. For example, listening to someone over traffic noise or even just a louder fan makes it almost impossible for me to understand what they’re saying! Yet at the same time, anything over the pitch of normal speaking voice (think door sensor or card reader beeps) drive me insane.

      On the flip side, I started learning ASL to preempt problems, should my hearing get even worse.

  41. Victoria Nonprofit*

    BTW, I’m basically terrified that I’m going to find a description of myself here.

    1. Anonicorn*

      Me too! I’ve been walking around all day trying not to be weird (which is hard when you’re someone who wears a Muppet Band-Aid not because you have a boo-boo, but because seeing it makes you happy).

      1. Anonymous*

        I have on a Muppets band-aid right now (lthough I do have an injury) and it does make me very happy!

      2. Heather*

        Glad I’m not the only one! LOL I used to have Snoopy bandaids for a while – they were awesome.

    2. Kelly O*

      Me too, actually.

      Although my “weird coworker” is mainly because I don’t like a lot of the things my other coworkers like, and the things I do like a lot, they’ve never heard of.

      I made a “Little Britain” joke one day (I want to be the fastest girl in the village) and no one got it. Told someone they had red on them, didn’t get it.

      And, to them, I listen to “weird music” – because my Pandora station with Jack Johnson, The Black Keys (and Dan Auerbach in general), with a little Harry Belafonte thrown in for good measure is just too strange. (And they get all in a tizzy when I start talking about Texas musicians I like, because none of them are what is considered “good country” around here.)

      1. fposte*

        I love the Irish comedian Dara O Briain on music snobbery being the stupidest snobbery. “Oh, you like the *wrong* noises in your ears!”

      2. Sonja*

        Little Britain jokes are running gags at my office!

        “Computer says nooooooooooooo… *cough*”

        “But I’M the only HR developer in THIS village!!!”

        “Yeah but no but yeah but no but… I AIN’T NEVER DUN NUFFIN!”

        … and sometimes we dramatically recite different versions of Sir Norman Fry style apologies.

        Good times. :)

        1. Jen in RO*

          And ex-coworker and I would always say we’re ladies and we do lady things. Especially when we were being distinctly unladylike. Little Britain rocks! (The other people had no idea what we were taking about).

      3. Emma*

        +1 damage for not liking what your coworkers like. We’re in the same boat! For me, replace “Little Britain” with “Peep Show” and “That Mitchell and Webb Look” (“Are we the baddies?”).

      4. Liz*

        If you were to ask me on a Monday, I would say ……hyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss

        If you were to ask me on a Tuesday, I would say

        If you were to ask me on a Wednesday, I would say

  42. EM*

    I’m pretty sure I’m a weird coworker, but probably not the weirdest. I’m a biologist, so I’ve been known to pick up animal skulls I find in the field to keep (it looks really cool in an outdoor planter with herbs growing around it!). I say things that my coworkers have no idea what I’m talking about. The most recent example is I told a coworker who brews his own beer at home that he has a femto-brewery (rather than a microbrewery). Nobody laughed, but I thought it was funny. Go Google it. I geek out over things like soil characteristics and plant taxonomy. I bought my child a microscope when he was 4 because he asked for one. I have a beetle mounted and framed on my desk, next to a couple of really cool rocks.

    I’m having a hard time coming up with other examples, because in my family, I’m totally normal!! :D

    1. normal at work, weird with the family*

      I work with biologists and ecologists, and I also have a research background so I work with people like you (land management non-profit). Maybe we’re all weird or maybe we’re all normal, who knows!

      But I am different from most everyone in my family, so I’m the weird one in the family. :)

  43. JR*

    This isn’t the weirdest behaviour on the site or anything, but I worked with someone who would (daily) do these odd charades with his food. He would always stop while passing by, look at me, and pretend to smell his food and grin like it was just going to be amazing. At first I just kind of brushed it off, but it kept going on and on… Eventually summer hit and he would do it with things that really have no smell at all (like iced coffee). I’m not sure what reaction he wanted from me, but it got to the point where I’d just stare blankly at him.

      1. OneoftheMichelles*

        Overcompensating for not knowing how to make chit-chat? That would explain a few work weirdos mentioned here.

    1. SupernintendoChalmers*

      This made me laugh out loud. I can totally picture it. Smelling his iced coffee?? That’s just bizarre.

  44. Cruciatus*

    My coworker stories don’t live up to most of these other ones. I have one now who is very nice…but I don’t know how to end conversations with her. We’ll be chatting about something and where other people realize it’s time to start walking back towards their desks and finish up the conversation, she just keeps looking at me and nodding in the silence. So I start blathering on again hoping I can find another way to end the conversation… Saying “Well, I have to get back to work now” seems rude and abrupt. I try “I’ll let you go now…” like I was the one keeping her conversationally hostage (though maybe that’s how she sees it since I start talking again to try to end the conversation!)

    While there are a few weirdos here, it’s (so far) nothing too far outside the ordinary. Although being inside the box is what my company is really all about anyway…I think we could use a few more weirdos, now that I think about it!

  45. thene*

    I had a boss who had the cops come round because he thought the company who worked on the floor above us were mobsters who had installed listening devices in our office. As he was my boss rather than a coworker I didn’t feel like I could challenge him in any way regarding his paranoid hallucinations so I just sat in my cubicle and read a book until the poor cops had gone away.

    1. FiveNine*

      Oh, I worked with someone who went through this, became convinced the boss had planted devices throughout the office and even in her car to spy on her. She actually asked me to do some investigating to find out what was going on.

  46. Amanda H*

    This coworker was not so odd as some of the others listed here, but with her quirks combined . . .

    We had a casual dress code at work, as long as you weren’t customer-facing, didn’t wear anything offensive, etc. This coworker didn’t shave her armpits and had a penchant for wearing sleeveless tops. But it was her prerogative to not shave, and she wasn’t customer-facing, so not officially a violation of the dress code. I think HR did finally encourage her to start wearing tops with sleeves, however.

    She also enjoyed taking naps under her desk. You could walk by her cube and see her legs sticking out. I’m not sure if she ever went so far as getting a pillow or blanket, so it doesn’t seem like it would have been very comfortable. Supposedly the naps were her fifteen-minute breaks (she was an hourly, nonexempt temp) so no talk from HR about that.

    And, having recently gone out with a guy which then didn’t work out, remarked to those of us at work, “You know, I think I’m ready to settle down. So I just put it out there to the universe. ‘Universe, I’m ready for someone.’ Since it’s out there now, I’m sure something will come up soon!”

    Her stint with us ended before I heard if the universe followed through.

      1. Anonymous*

        It’s also not appropriate for guys to walk around an office in a sleeveless top.

    1. Meg*

      I think the nap thing is weird, but genius. It reminds me of that episode in The Office where one character has a birthday, and for her birthday present she chooses to take a one-hour nap underneath a table for her lunch break. I wish I could take naps at work :(

      1. SCW*

        I have had a lot of coworkers who nap at lunch–one pulls up a blanket over his head and sleeps sitting on the couch in the break room. He is perfectly unobtrusive, and isn’t bothered by others using the room. I once had one who would turn the light off and sleep, and act irritated when anyone would come in the break room and turn the lights on. But over 25 people worked there–we weren’t staying out so she could nap at lunch time!

        I was told that at another new building the staff turned a small storage room into a nap room.

        1. Jessa*

          Mythbusters just did a thing about napping and whether it helps or not, and it seriously does help.

          1. K. A.*

            I saw that. It works, but the people who do power naps are crankier than if they got regular sleep.

        2. NCL*

          I used to nap on the regular when I worked full time. On my lunch, it really only took me about 15 minutes to eat my sandwich and drink my water, and I was always sleepy afterward. I’d head out to my car, turn on some tunes, and lean the seat back for a 45 minute nap. It made me feel a million times better!

      2. Lindsay J*

        I’ve napped at work before. I was working 100 hour weeks, and some nights I needed to be present in case of emergencies or in order to secure the building at the end of the night but I didn’t need to be actively working. So I would go in my boss’s office, close the door, turn off the lights, and pass out in her chair with my head on her desk.

        I would have much preferred being at home and asleep but it was better than nothing.

      3. QQ*

        At my last job I took naps under my desk at work sometimes. I had an office though. Doing it in a cubicle is rather odd.

  47. Wapunga*

    This actually happened to a co-worker of mine at her old job.

    She was working for the IRS in Austin, TX. She would work there I believe it was something like eight months out of the year or so-couldn’t work any more than that because she would be considered full time.
    The IRS ran at least two shifts a day. She had the morning one. My co-worker is also a vegan, who frequently eats natural peanut butter for lunch.
    Periodically during the day she would notice that she would have old peanut butter stuck to her pants. She would always get mad at herself, that she didn’t catch what she had done before she went to work.
    Well, one day it happens again until she remember “Hey, wait a minute, I didn’t eat peanut butter today!”
    She looks under her desk and it turns out the afternoon shift worker that shared their desk was wiping his boogers underneath it. She had been waking around with boogers on her pants.

    1. NCL*

      I live in Austin, and I had a former coworker who used to work at the IRS. They hire some genuine weirdos, apparently. He told me one guy would bring a stuffed ferret to work every day on a leash and talk to it… :P

  48. W.W.A.*

    I worked for a nonprofit that had a completely insane executive director. She wasn’t my boss, she was my boss’s boss. She would sit in a dark office all day just kind of shifting papers around and whistling in a really strange off-key way, and she would get angry if people (like my boss) turned the lights on in their little suite area. She was very skinny and gaunt and was a very spectral presence in her loose black and dark gray suits. She always reminded me of Oona Goosepimple from “Nancy.”

    We were pretty sure she was having an affair with the president of the board (a very well-known American business leader with a famous wife) because they acted so inappropriately around each other, and it was the only way to justify why she had the job; she didn’t know anything about how to run a nonprofit, or about the field we were working in. Even such things as having to use a grant to pay for the project that you proposed to get the grant. She didn’t have a grasp on things like that.

    Also, if you look up “narcissistic personality disorder” you get a bulleted list of her character traits, including the random esoteric ones like “can’t accept gifts.” She was also totally in cahoots with the board to monkey with our books, and she would just fabricate annual budgets and budget reports. It was like working in a parallel universe with this bizarre woman hovering over everything and having no control over the organization she ran.

  49. Anon*

    I once worked with a sales rep who had a habit of yelling at her clients AFTER she hung up the phone with them. She’d be pleasant enough during the call, then hang up and shout “JERK!” or “YOU JACKASS!” or other…let’s say…inappropriate words at the receiver. It was a small office (14 people) and open-plan, so needless to say we could all hear her. Luckily she didn’t last long.

    1. RJ*

      So I’m not a sales rep, and I like to think I mutter as opposed to yelling, but otherwise this could be me. Oopsie!

    2. Leslie Yep*

      A solid 50% of the reason I choose to work at home most of the time is the frequency with which I verbally respond to emails with a loud, “NOPE!”

  50. brandy*

    What a great thread for a Friday!
    I am pretty sure in my last office I was considered ‘weird’ and in my new office while weird, I am in like company.
    I knit, play the harp, have 4 cats and 3 of them tattooed on me. When people have a personal crisis, I often make them a cooler with a weeks worth of home cooked food, organizing other people to cook the meat mains, as I am also a vegietarian.
    In additon, in my spare time I sew and wear out walking, 1800’s Victorian clothes.
    So, I am by far the weirdest.

    At the same time I feel some of my past co workers were weirder:
    One lady wanted me to consider being a surrogate mom for her sister: who COULD have children but did not want to get fat. I guess she assumed since I was chubby I would not mind? She also wanted me to go out, find fabric her mom that I had never met would like, and make her skirts, without measurments, and was insulted when I wouldn’t. After she received a ‘demotion’ from HUMAN DEVELOPMENT back to her old role, she accused me of being a bully and then took stress leave, took back her accusation and has never been back.

    1. SW*

      “One lady wanted me to consider being a surrogate mom for her sister: who COULD have children but did not want to get fat. I guess she assumed since I was chubby I would not mind?”

      Uuuuuuugh what a horrible thing to ask someone.

        1. The Co-Worker*

          My co-worker is male. You could be his wife, I suppose. I don’t even want to know. It would ruin the blog forever if someone I knew IRL was here, too.

            1. The Co-Worker*

              I also forgot that he told me his wife never learned to cook so they eat dinner out every night, so it definitely couldn’t be you!

              That’s still really weird. And here you thought you were all unique with your harp playing and cat loving.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Can you tell us more about how you do these coolers? That sounds really nice.

      I also want to hear more about the Victorian clothes.

      1. brandy*

        I get a cheap cooler, find out what foods they like, and fill it up with ‘main’ dishes. If I can get someone to help they get some meat dishes too, otherwise just tasty home made veggie mains. Then I have the item couriered to their home. This is for people at work who may have a very ill relative, a loss in the family, or other crisis. I always check first that this is okay, and I don’t advertise the ‘gift’ to avoid them being embaressed by it. I think that knowing someone cares can really help, and I want them to know that.
        Victorian outfits. SO.Much.Fun. I make full bustle skirts, matching hats and bags, get together with a couple of friends, or just me and my hubby, and go out walking. Could be in our ‘hood or in a historic part of downtown, or even at local heritage type places. We get a lot of response, from people wanting their picture taken with us, to people wanting to know ‘what we are doing’. For the most part it is VERY positive.
        The best is when children get excited to pose for a picture with us, so cute.
        The worst is wearing a corset and bustle on public transit, though.

          1. brandy*

            Tis sad indeed that you suffered such tragedy without my food! ;)
            While it seems nice, and I think it is nice, my co workers did think me odd for doing it..and that is okay.

    3. junipergreen*

      my first though on reading this was “huh, I finally can think of something I would want to have tattooed on myself” (meaning: my cats or their names) :-)

      my second thought was: cooler full of home-cooked food for someone going through a rough time – brilliant! that sounds so sweet and thoughtful!

      1. fposte*

        On tattoos: my hair stylist has an awesome self-designed tattoo that’s half Hello Kitty and half Hello Kitty as Hell Kitty, with skull and crossbones and weaponry. I want Jamie to get one.

    4. Jessa*

      I think you’re amazing, I would love to steal your probably amazing clothes (Victorian rocks.) I adore that you try to directly help people (food is awesome, when you’re ouched and can’t cook that is the MOST amazing kind of help.) When my husband was ill his union people did that, brought food and took up a collection for us so we’d have cash right away before the leave kicked in (he had one of those disability things where you don’t get the first week paid.)

      I think you’re awesome. Harp is so lovely. What kind do you play? I know someone with an electric one which I’d never seen before she got it.

  51. SW*

    I think coworkers find me a little weird for keeping an open box of baking soda in my office. I like to eat at my desk (it’s a closed office, no cubicle-mates), and I find that baking soda does a great job getting rid of the (delicious burger) smells.

    I’m not weird, I’m considerate!

  52. Lily in NYC*

    Oh, fun! I used to work for a major weekly news magazine. My coworker got in trouble for trying to get reimbursed for an $800 bill at a strip club. He attempted to convince us the stripper was a “source” for a story (total BS). He finally admitted he let the stripper give him “special treatment” in a back room and then was shocked that the bill was so high and didn’t know what to do. Amazingly, he didn’t get fired for it. What got him fired was getting caught hacking into our top editor’s email to try to delete a message he regretted sending.

      1. De Minimis*

        I misread the post and had the image of him trying to convince a stripper to take an eight-hundred dollar bill.

        At one of my previous jobs I heard tell of people being fired for using their corporate cards at strip clubs. Also heard of people making deals with servers at restaurants where they would tip them a large amount and just split it with them as a way to get an extra $30-40.

        1. RLS*

          You just ruined Hagrid for me forever! :( I am picturing him in a strip club, mumbling about dragon eggs.

    1. Anonymous*

      Someone I know, while out on a consultation in another state, went to a male and female strip club, with coworkers, and expensed it as a “meal”. It helped the business name didn’t hint at the fact it was a strip club. Also the business had no problem paying for bar tabs for meeting client.

      1. Anonymous*

        Many strip clubs have innocuous names so they don’t arouse suspicion (ha ha) on credit card bills. Ask me how I learned that while looking at people’s expense reports.

  53. anonymous*

    I came back from lunch with a frappucino with the works (whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles) and two different co-workers (not friends) asked if they could have a sip. Gross.

    I had a co-worker who stole the leftovers from another department’s employee-paid catered lunch from a top-notch restaurant out of the fridge.

    I worked downtown for 4 years in a city I had lived my entire life. They hired a new guy on my team and every time he went out to lunch, he would send an email to the entire team telling us where he went, what he had, a link to the online menu, a review of his meal and the service and the ambiance of the place. After a few weeks, I responded to just him and said, “Please take me off these emails, Joe. Thanks, Myname.” He never sent me another email, period.

    On St. Patrick’s Day several years ago, I took the afternoon off and my BF and I went to the bar. I ran into some co-workers from other departments there. Yada, yada, yada, the HR Director gave me an open-mouthed good-bye kiss in front of my BF.

    The co-worker who never wore shoes in the office, and would steal your newspaper, magazine or food out of your desk.

    The co-worker who wore clown make-up and lived with her mom and would send you emails from the teddy bear she kept on her desk.

    The late-40’s co-worker who wore mini-skirts and midriff-baring tops to work.

    The co-worker who I had talked to exactly twice came up to me at my desk and asked if I wanted to go see a band at a bar. I told him I didn’t date co-workers, and he said it wasn’t a date. He did the exact same thing to the receptionist, who was young enough to be his daughter.

    1. Anonicorn*

      Yada, yada, yada, the HR Director gave me an open-mouthed good-bye kiss in front of my BF.


      1. anonymous*

        Obviously we were all drinking, but he didn’t seem to messed up to me. We had a normal conversation and I introduced my BF as my BF. I have no idea why to this day, but when I said good-bye to him, he leaned over and kissed me on the mouth and walked away.

    2. junipergreen*

      “emails from the teddy bear she kept on her desk”

      … excellent idea for annoying my work bestie:
      “Sally, you are 20 minutes late for the post-work margaritas you promised your dear friend June. She is quite peeved, and inordinately thirsty. Sincerely, the Ceramic Whale from Nantucket Adjacent to Your Stapler”

      1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

        I agree. This is a genius workplace tactic that has been used by the nutters exclusively for too long.

        -The Flip Flap flower on Kim’s desk.

        (He’s very matter-of-fact.)

        1. Lalaith*

          Hah! These are reminding me of a time in college when one of my friends, in the throes of a programming assignment, started sending me emails from his “ignored” right brain :)

    3. Anon*

      “The late-40′s co-worker who wore mini-skirts and midriff-baring tops to work.”

      Would you have been more comfortable if she was wearing a muu muu? Would that have been more age-appropriate? Heaven forbid an older woman wears anything revealing.

      1. Amy*

        I think it’d be weird if *anyone* wore miniskirts and midriff-tops to work, unless that was the dress code. However, that style of dressing is usually seen on teenage girls, which is maybe why the poster thought to mention the woman (or man’s!) age…Babies wear onesies, but it wouldn’t be appropriate for the co-worker to wear one, either. As awesomely comfortable as that would be….

        Now I wish I could wear a onesie. Work would be so much less stressful…

      2. Jessa*

        I think the point was not that it was wrong at her age, but that at her age she would have the experience to know it was wrong for WORK. Not so much that 40 year olds should not wear x, but that they should be aware of what’s appropriate when and where.

  54. Karyn*

    Two stories, both about coffee and coworkers:

    1. The last job I had, the IT department had contractors who would come in occasionally. One was a recurring dude – he’d come, stay for about three weeks, then go away. He was from Bulgaria, full-on accent, etc. He was kind of attractive in a Count Dracula kind of way, I guess.

    Relevant info: In addition to the regular company kitchen, there was a small executive kitchen near my desk with a nice coffee maker, which the IT department used to make their own coffee there, because they had special, expensive coffee that they liked and bought on their own, as opposed to the crappy company-provided stuff.

    Anyway, I was the legal assistant and I sat at a desk across from the CEO’s executive admin. Both she and I were friendly with the network admin at the time, and he came down to our area laughing hysterically. We asked what was so funny, and he goes, “I think I just saved you guys from going to prison.” Of course this got our attention, and he went on:

    “[Count Dracula] just came up to me and said there was no more coffee in the exec kitchen. I asked him if he needed me to show him how to use the coffee maker. He looked at me and said [in the Bulgarian accent], ‘No, I’ll just go get those girls to do it.’ I asked what girls he was talking about. He said, ‘You know. Those girls, they make the coffee for the men who do the real work, yes?’ I told him, ‘[Count Dracula], you probably shouldn’t go down there and ask them that. I’LL make the coffee. You just… sit here and do… whatever it is you’re doing.’ For a minute, I really did think about letting him come down here and ask you guys to make him some coffee, but I didn’t want you to murder anyone, because then I’ll have to bail you out.”

    By this point, both my coworker and I were ROLLING. I’m pretty sure if Dracula had come to our desks demanding coffee, when even the CEO made his own, there would have been wooden stakes involved.

    2. As I just said, the CEO made his own coffee most of the time. Eventually he got tired of brewing whole pots of it just for himself, so he went out and bought a Keurig and put it in the same small kitchen. CEO also had a pretty terrible case of ADHD and was always jumping around and on his cell phone, sometimes TWO cell phones at the same time. He was on his phone one morning, holding it between his ear and his shoulder, and he walked into the kitchen to start his Keurig going. He walked back into his office, still with the phone under his ear, and then about 45 seconds later, came back out without the phone, and went into the kitchen, presumably to grab his cup from the Keurig. All of a sudden, my coworker and I hear him yell a swear word that rhymes with RUNT and we run into the kitchen to see what happened (not even registering what he yelled). He’s standing there in his suit, trying desperately to clean up the spilled coffee from where he FORGOT TO PUT HIS COFFEE CUP UNDER THE DRIP. Coffee running everywhere and this man is trying to clean it up in a $5000 suit.

    So my coworker and I help him as best we can, clean things up with him, and send him back to his office, promising him we’d make him a new cup of coffee – now including mug! When he walked out of the kitchen, it finally dawned on us what he had screamed AT THE COFFEE MAKER, and, both of us not easily offended, just CRACKED UP. I mean, really. You are so deep in conversation that you forget to put the mug under the machine and then yell at THE MACHINE? I loved that man dearly and I wish I still worked for him!

    1. Christy*

      I just love that your story had a Count Dracula in it! And yes, my response would have been the same if someone asked me to prepare coffee for “the men who do the real work”.

    2. Jen in RO*

      The boss sounds amazing. My (remote) boss never swears and the one time he dropped an f-bomb my coworker and I had to mute the phone and laugh.

      Also, sorry for being pedantic, but Dracula is ours, Bulgaria can go get its own vampires. (And as a bit of trivia, vampires are not really a thing in Romania. We have somewhat similar myths of people coming back from the dead, but we ‘imported’ the vampire itself at the same time as the rest of the world.)

    3. Hooptie*

      Crying with laughter – I don’t know which of your stories is funnier but you do have a way with words!

      Not necessarily a weird co-worker story but definitely not normal:

      I rarely use headphones in the office but one day I was working on a project and wanted to stay in the zone. So I pulled up the Poison channel on Pandora (yes I’m a child of the 80s) and was deep in concentration.

      One of our directors (a super nice guy in his late 50s but very much a data analysis numbers type) came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I jumped straight out of my chair and almost had a heart attack. I think I scared him more than he scared me.

      The situation only got worse when he said, “wow are you jamming out to Kiss?” then proceeded to shake his moneymaker in my cube.

      I’m still not sure why, but I immediately got a massive case of the giggles, maybe it was a reaction to being so scared, maybe it was trauma over the dancing (so out of character for him), or maybe it was just that he mixed up Kiss and Poison.

      Once I settled down, I could hear one of my employees on the other side of wall snorting with laughter.

      I im’d her and said, “Oh wow did you hear that? He scared the crap out of me.”

      I can still hear her giggling as she replied, “What was funnier was what you said.”

      “What did I say?”

      Basically, I guess I took the Lord’s name in vain VERY LOUDLY and didn’t even remember it because I was so scared.

      Something like, “CHEESE AND RICE, KEITH!”

      Not that it is particularly out of character for me to do so in a private setting, but they never expected me to shout it out at work. And everyone within a 6 cube radius heard it, and had no idea why I was suddenly shouting obscenities.

      I was mortified, but still so worked up that I got the giggles again. We spent over 45 minutes crying with laughter. It’s amazing what knee jerk reactions you have when your adrenaline is flowing at top speed.

      1. Anon*

        Out of all of these for some reason this is the one I am having a hard time not laughing out loud from.


    4. Lily in NYC*

      I’ve done the same exact thing with our office Keurig, in front of so many people. I still get teased for that and for sitting on a cupcake someone left on my chair as a gift. I don’t understand why the person left it on my chair instead of the desk! But I’ll admit it was hilarious because it was cream-filled and made a huge mess on my butt.

  55. Chris*

    I work with a woo-hoo weirdo.
    It doesn’t matter what you say, his answer is “Woo hoo!!” In a loud obnoxious falsetto. You can hear the extra exclamation point, I swear.

    I frequently fantasize about having a giant mallet that I could smash on his head, because the noise reminds me of the wack-a-mole machine in the mall arcade.

        1. Kelly O*

          Clearly you do not have a toddler in your life and are unaware of the personal hell that is The Fresh Beat Band. Catchphrases include “cool beans” and “hip hop and pop.”

          Thank God she is more into Dora right now. I can deal with the world’s most irresponsible parents (I do not count Max and Ruby’s parents since clearly they’ve shuffled off their mortal coils) and a talking monkey who can never keep track of his own stuff.

        2. OneoftheMichelles*

          I’m home sick today and trying not to spit my cereal on the keyboard :’D…….beaten with socks full of nickels….

          1. OneoftheMichelles*

            Is this the punishment I’m due whenever I get too geeky?
            …and no I don’t use either of the above expressions….

      1. Another anon*

        Yes! I interviewed someone a few weeks ago–a fully grown person, as in mid-40s–who liberally sprinkled answers with “Cool beans!” The first time was unusual . . . the fifth time just weird.

  56. Christy*

    When I was in college, I worked one summer as a dishwasher in a small cafe. The short order cook was always trying to draw me out in conversation, and I was friendly enough to answer his questions even though I was painfully shy. One day, over the sound of the dish sterilizer and fans, he asked if I liked movies. I replied enthusiastically, “Oh, I love them, that’s one of my favorite things to do!” After that he would pester me every day, my whole shift, to come join him for a drink at his favorite bar after work (that he went to, yes, daily). (And we got off work around 1pm.) He was 20 years older than me and I was pretty naive, so it never occurred to me that he was asking me out. I thought it was just a coworker hangout thing. Always turned him down anyway.

    THEN, maybe a few weeks after the movie conversation, out of nowhere, he started describing in graphic detail a porno he had watched the night before. I think my face turned purple and I spluttered out some incoherent objection that I didn’t want to hear about that (yes, virgin ears were involved). He looked genuinely perplexed and said “I thought you liked adult movies!” Yeah, he had been asking about porn that first day and of course I agreed with wide-eyed relish that I loooooooved it.

    To his credit, he just stayed quiet all the time after that. It was a pretty uncomfortable summer, though.

    1. Lynn*

      When I was 18, I worked at a restaurant that had some employees from a prison work-release program. One of them asked me out on a date! Apparently he had enough good behavior and sufficient success with his work-release program to be allowed occasional furloughs. “We could go out to dinner, see a movie. You’d have to pick me up at the penitentiary, though.”

      1. anon-2*

        I guess the guy was seeking a degree of normalcy.

        I once had to deal with a prison trustee on the phone, and after the first call, she was just another customer to me. I was leaving that job, and she was about to be released – no, there was no date – she was in another part of the country – and on our last call – her guards monitored every call, we wished each other the best of luck.

  57. Cas*

    Nobody would call my boss, Bob, weird — I think he’s the most well-liked guy in the company, actually. Bob is quite the prankster, and sometimes he takes it too far, but I think coworkers like him so much that they just let him slide. He told me about one prank he didn’t realize he’d taken too far.

    Our Colombian HR director went on vacation for a week. While he was away, Bob placed the following on his desk: a mirror laid flat, with a pile of flour on top and some rolled-up dollar bills next to it.

    I probably did a poor job of hiding the “uh, what?” look on my face as he told me this, so Bob quickly insisted, “Oh, we all thought it was hilarious!”

    I never did find out what the HR director really thought of that joke, only that Bob got away with it scot-free.

      1. Loose Seal*

        It’s a setup to look like someone was snorting cocaine at his desk. I assume Bob thought it would be funny because the HR director was Colombian.

      2. Stephani D*

        It was supposed to look like someone had been doing drugs. I think snorting cocaine?

  58. Anonymous*

    At my first job, there was a woman who was a hoarder. Coworkers saw inside her house once when she asked for help when some stuff needed to be moved. The house had flooded years before and she had never removed the water logged items. The county shut her power off so she ran an extension cord from her mother’s house next door to power a light and a microwave in the kitchen. She once had to have surgery and told us she was all set because she had a basket of tuna fish by her bed to eat for weeks. (No one wanted to touch her for fear of mercury poisoning.) Because of her hoarding, she would at times bring people “gifts” of things from her house, weird little knick knacks, old movies and objects she seemed to procure at garage sales. One summer her not showering became so bad she smelled. From three cubicles over I could smell not just her body odor, but the tons of perfume she used to try to cover the smell. It caused havoc on my allergies and gave me headaches. I complained to our supervisor but he wouldn’t do anything about it. So I went to HR, which made another manager sit her down and discuss hygiene. Those are just a few of the stories that come to mind.

    1. Job seeker*

      This is so pitiful. I could not imagine living like that. That poor lady definitely must have had some mental health issues.

      1. OneoftheMichelles*

        If anyone wants to know more about this phenomenon, I highly recommend a book called “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things” by Randy Frost and Gail Steketee. Fascinating, and only recently researched on it’s own behalf by the mental healthcare community…

      2. OliviaNOPE*

        My mom has a coworker like this. She is a well regarded medical professional but has refused to get help for this issue. My mom and some other people from the practice have come and cleaned her house from top to bottom for her and within a few months she is back to living in a complete mess.

  59. IronMaiden*

    Some of these stories have me choking, trying not to laugh out loud.

    I have worked with some very strange people over the years but specific examples of a lot of them escape me. Most were more weird out of work than in. However there was this one guy who drank heavily every night and it affected his work. His role was to fetch and deliver things around the organisation and he often forgot what and where he was supposed to be. He had issues with anger management when called on his mistakes. After a period of performance management, it was decided to let him go. He said he would commit suicide if he was let go and they fell for it. I ended up leaving before he either was fired or dropped dead from the drink.

      1. IronMaiden*

        I don’t know about others but mine is (sadly) true. Actually, the others are so weird they couldn’t be made up.

  60. Anonymous*

    I had to go back to high school for this one when I worked at the YMCA as a lifeguard and swim teacher. One of the guys that worked there as his full time job would bring in coffee every morning and then as a snack would eat the coffee grounds used to make the coffee. He also would randomly jump into the pool and yell “clear out” as practice during early morning swim. At one point he broke a lifeguard tube and instead of telling our boss, he brought in a roll of duct tape and taped it back together, you know because duct tape fixes everything…he got fired after he shoved our 70 year old co-worker into the pool…

  61. Julie*

    I’ve been temping to pay the bills and I have been the Weird One. Branded myself by referencing Existentialism at one place and by admitting I had been to France twice at another. :)

    1. Christy*

      Haha, I’m also temping and also the Weird One at my current place! There’s something about knowing that you’ll never form relationships with the people around you that makes it easier for the natural awkwardness to shine through.

    2. Andrew*

      I was once temping at an ad agency and got branded as the weird one when I told the creative director that their latest laxative commercial embodied the elements of the Hegelan dialectic.

  62. tcookson*

    At my last job, I occupied a two-person office alone until they hired someone to sit at the other desk.

    One day during the new person’s first week, I went to throw away something in my trash can, and it was gone from under my desk. I looked around the office and spotted it under new co-worker’s desk. Noting that mine was the only trash can in the office, I put it between our desks so we could share it.

    I came back later to find it under his desk again, so I moved it back to the middle so we could share it. He came back in, grabbed the trash can, and said, “Are we having a neurotic nucleus over the trash can?” WTH? He takes my trash can for his exclusive use, and everytime I put it where we can both use it, he takes it back for himself!

    1. Christy*

      “Neurotic nucleus?”

      I’d just buy a bigger/better/newer trash can from Target and put it under my desk. And see if he switched them!

      1. tcookson*

        Yeah, neurotic nucleus . . . I never asked about that — I was too busy trying to safeguard the location of my trash can.

      2. fposte*

        Or put it on a tether, like the desk chair in somebody’s story a month or so ago.

        1. tcookson*

          Even funnier if it’s a Bungee tether . . . every time he would pull it to his place, it would snap right back!

    2. tcookson*

      This same guy showed that he wasn’t ALL crazy when he drew my name for the office secret santa. For a long time while we shared the office, I complained my head off about my 2-slot toaster that was broken so that once the toast was done on one side, I had to turn it around and put it back in to toast the other side . Having a husband and two kids, I wanted a 4-slot toaster that would make all four pieces of toast and cook both sides at once. Our gift limit for secret santa was $10, and he got me what must have been at least a $30, 4-slot toaster. He probably tells everyone that I’m HIS craziest office mate for not just shutting up and buying a toaster already!

  63. Jackie*

    I had a coworker who would spit her unfinished candy in her desk drawer. Nasty. Also, stuff that went missing in the office would be hidden under her desk. I had to quite the job after being there 10 years because of her. She was a real crazy maker.

  64. Kat M*

    There was the one who would consistently show up 30 minutes late and call me to tell me to “just go ahead and get started” with the patients who arrived ahead of her (totally outside of my scope of practice and illegal), would loudly tell patients stories about her sex life and how her ex-mother-in-law had put the evil eye on her and that’s why she couldn’t hold down a job anymore, stay an hour late telling me the sob story of her life, and then bill the boss for that time under the reasoning that he owed her the money since he didn’t pay her enough anyhow.

    Nobody should have to babysit their supervisor. I stayed a grand total of three months before getting the hell out.

  65. CathVWXYNot?*

    Great stories! Mine isn’t quite as interesting or hilarious, but I did once have a boss who would block all attempts to get necessary information out of him… until he was leaving the building, usually for a long trip. He’d approach my desk already talking and just keep going, forcing me to grab a notebook and pen and run after him, jogging along side until he’d finished. I had to get in the elevator with him a couple of times, but consider myself lucky – another colleague once had to get in a cab with him and got halfway to the airport before he finished talking! She didn’t have any money with her, so he had to give her $20 to get back to the office!

    Super nice guy, and I really enjoyed working for him, but there were… quirks.

  66. kf*

    I know am the strange worker in my office. I am an accountant and do not fit in with anyone I work with. 1) I blame it from my parents. I have their plaid wedding photo (1974 wedding) on my file cabinet. 2) I love lizards and have stuffed animals, wall hangings, carvings and even photos of lizards everywhere in my cube. 3) I decorate my cube for Christmas with tons of fabric bags that I make for wrapping gifts. I make so many I have extras to decorate with. 4) My coworker gave me an ornament that says “I may do foolish things but I do them with Enthusiam!” and it is true! 5) I am crafty and am always making things to give to my coworkers and I don’t think they like everything I make but they are finally comfortable enough to say no thanks!

  67. SarahJ*

    I had a coworker who noticed people would go to the restroom and change into workout clothes before leaving the building and then decided she’d be okay to change into her bathing suit with just a long t-shirt over it and then she came back into the office space to finish filing. She did it twice before I had to go ask my manager to talk to coworker about wearing pants in the workplace. I wish you could’ve seen my manager’s face when I led off with that statement.

      1. Jessa*

        Okay second time I totally snorked Pepsi up my nose reading this blog. No more drinking reading AAM.

    1. Lily in NYC*

      What!!! I’m dying reading these. It’s hot as heck in my office so maybe I’ll wear the same thing on Monday.

  68. excruiter*

    I had a weird boss once who was very particular. This was a retail clothing store that specialized in discount name brands so the place was a bargain bin kind of place. He would insist that the bins be organized by color. Not size or style, color. We had a dress code there that allowed denim as long as it wasn’t blue (….I know). I wore some black jeans once that had faded to a dark grey. He stopped by my register in the middle of a transaction and asked if I was wearing blue jeans. I pointed out that they were grey but added that I wouldn’t wear them again if he disapproved. He looked at me for a little while then said I shouldn’t wear them again as they were “dangerously close” to blue.

    I have a coworker now that must always be right. She deals with new hire paperwork, she actually informed me that I was wrong about my own name. Everything she says is phrased in we statements. She scoops through everything shamelessly with the excuse that, as the office coordinator, she must be aware of everything but if you ask her a question her answer is always, “how should I know?” Yeah. I just ignore her. We communicate expressly through email now.

  69. blue dog*

    Somehow, I feel like I have read this blog one day too long. After reading some of these stories, I have come to believe that we humans have forfeited our birthright and it is time to give the monkeys a shot.

    1. Waerloga*

      Odd… One of our Grad students in our research building wears a “98% Chimp” red t-shirt.

      And I’m the weird one in my section… 50+ male working with 20 something’s ladies. All I can contribute to any conversations are “Dad-isms” (well meaning but out of date/touch advise) (well not really but you get the idea)

      Happily my manager is only mid-thirties and she is our Rosetta Stone and the young lasses are cool about working with me.

      Take care


  70. Seal*

    At my first full-time job at a university library, I had a part-time employee who would call us when he got to campus to tell us he was on his way and would be in shortly – every single shift he worked. This was 25 years ago, well before cell phones, so this guy had to find a pay phone and pay 25 cents to call and tell us he wasn’t going to be late. He was otherwise a good worker, conscientious to a fault.

    These days, he’d probably use his cell phone to give us a running commentary of his walk from the parking lot. “The light just turned green so I’m crossing the street…just passed the Chemistry Building…now I’m coming up the stairs, so I should be there in another 45 seconds…”

    1. Anonymously Anonymous*

      Oh this sounds like me early on in the work world! Maybe I wasn’t as bad but I always felt the need to update and keep everyone in the loop –which isn’t a bad thing but I can definitely see how this would be annoying in certain instances. For example, I would call just in case I was going to be late which usually I was on-time and few times I was late it was like 5 min or so—but I felt like I had become unraveled. So most times I was making unnecessary phone calls. Thankfully I do not do that anymore!

      Recently I saw this behavior in my son during basketball season. We had to go out of town unexpectedly and he was ready to call/text his coach at 6 am and explain to him why he wasn’t going to be at practice. I stopped him before he sent the text. He called later in the day.

    2. Collarbone High*

      I worked with an editor who would call the newsroom every 10 minutes during his (long) commute, insisting that an email be sent to all the reporters detailing his precise whereabouts. “I’m leaving my house!” “Now I’m getting on the interstate!” “I’m turning in to the parking lot!” We had no need to talk to him and couldn’t care less what time he got in, much less his GPS coordinates at any given second.

  71. tcookson*

    Also at the same place, we hired a new person to help out at our crazy-busy front desk. My manager already knew this person somewhat, and from what she knew, didn’t want to hire her. Unfortunately, the person was a neighbor of my boss’s boss, and he insisted that my boss hire her.

    So the new person started, and she couldn’t get along with anybody! Every person at the front desk ended up having some kind of weird run-in with her because she was hyper-sensitive about everything and would lash out verbally at people for the most innocuous remarks. For some reason, she was never that way with me . . . I guess I had some quality that soothed the savage beast? Who knows? But it became a joke that I was the only one who never had any crazy kind of trouble with her.

    She was overwhelmed and scared to run a register, so there was one scene where she was hiding behind a door, refusing to come out, and just wailing, “Nooo, I can’t do it . . . you can’t make me, I won’t do it . . . ” while the front desk lead guy was pulling her arm, trying to yank her out from behind the door, saying, “Yes you can . . . you can do it . . . come on out . . . we’ll help you . . . ” and meanwhile the customers were all just standing there, waiting for service, with their mouths open and their eyebrows up in their hairlines.

    There were several other scenes similar to the above . . . I can’t even remember them all now, it’s been about ten years.

    Well, one morning she walked in the front door first thing in the morning, and just made a general announcement as she entered, “Don’t any of you people f@#% with me today — I’m not in the mood!” I had never had any personal altercation with her like everyone else had, so when she said that, I did a sort of nervous, WTF laugh, and she RAN over to me, stuck her finger in my face, and practically hissed, ” . . . and that means you, too!!!” I think my reaction then was stunned silence . . . while another cowerker ran down the hall to get our boss and our boss’s boss.

    They both came out, and when he heard everyone’s story about what happened, our boss’s boss fired the crazy co-worker right on the spot.

  72. flora_fairford*

    Between college and grad school, I worked at a rare book & manuscripts library where my boss faked a heart attack for attention/to get out of work. Twice. An ambulance was called the first time. The second time, she just stopped showing up for about a month. Didn’t get fired though, and left for another, better job after I’d left for graduate school.

    1. Anonymously Anonymous*

      Omg this was an episode on The King of Queens when Doug faked a heart attack twice because he forgot the name of Carrie’s co-worker.

    2. Amanda*

      WAIT. I worked in a special collections/archives library after college and before grad school too, and my boss also faked illnesses for attention/to get out of work. He would lead up to them, too, strategically mentioning in certain meetings with certain higher-ups about specific symptoms (which he’d researched), all the while telling my co-worker and I each step of his plan. These weeks-long plans would culminate in a dramatic “hospitalization” which he usually spent visiting out of state family or something like that. He had weeks and weeks of vacation time saved up so it’s not like he was trying to get extra time off.

      This was the same boss who decided one day that I was undermining him in a meeting with an outside vendor, was snippy and rude to me during the meeting (to the point that everyone was staring at him) and then immediately following the meeting stomped to his office, slammed the door, and sobbed for 30 minutes about how I’d betrayed him. He then didn’t speak to me for a week, communicating only through our co-worker and by sobbing and yelling about me to my co-worker while I was within earshot. Following that, he behaved as if nothing has ever happened and according to co-worker (who remains a friend) speaks of me glowingly today.

      1. S*

        I’m browsing through this thread more than a year later, but I just had to comment on this: it sounds like your boss had classic Munchausen syndrome.

  73. Sourire*

    Ah man, I’m so late to this thread! My stories pale in comparison to some though. My weirdest coworker was just generally clueless more than anything else.

    I worked in customer service for an extremely high end furniture store, and had a coworker who couldn’t hear his customer due to background noise on the call. He proceeded to ask her if she was at the zoo because, “It sounds like there are monkeys in the background”. Customer was none too thrilled at having her children being called monkeys.

    He was interesting. I used to have tons of stories, but only remember a few now. He spent 45 minutes of company time on the phone with tylenol’s 800-number to inquire as to whether it was possible that he take an extra children’s tablet or if he would overdose. (He ran out of regular). Why the childless male had children’s tylenol at all is beyond me.

    He also once tore a hole in the crotch of his pants and proceeded to sew them up right in front of me, his female coworker, with his legs WIDE open. Just out of sheer cluelessness; nothing more malicious. And he flossed at his desk. Yuck! Went to the bathroom to brush his teeth, but came back to floss at the desk. Why – who knows.

    1. Kate in Scotland*

      Oh, I had a flosser too. Same guy who asked to borrow the lip balm I kept on my desk and looked really confused when I refused. Which them freaked me out that he’d probably just been using it when I wasn’t there. Ew.

  74. Liz in a Library*

    Oh! I can’t believe that I forgot about my co-worker who genuinely thought bears hatched from eggs. She wasn’t terribly bright and was a bit of a conspiracy theorist to boot. There were many basic factual things that she’d missed along the way.

    I’m sure I’ve told that story here before though–she was a fun one.

    1. fposte*

      If you mentioned it before, I missed it, because I would definitely have remembered anybody who thought bears hatched from eggs.

      1. Liz in a Library*

        That was the day I decided to go to grad school, actually.

        One of my co-workers, Mary read a story on a “totally legit” news site about someone getting a snake egg mixed in with organic eggs at the farmers market. She was fun too; she’d constantly and loudly read out any random thing she found on the internet to the six of us sharing that small office.

        Anyway, cow-irker Ann gets so excited by this story and tells us that even the eggs she gets from the grocery store just don’t seem the same as when she was a kid. She’s been watching, and she’s pretty sure the government is replacing our chicken eggs with bear eggs to save money.

        Mary, rather taken aback, responds that she’s pretty sure bears don’t hatch from eggs. Ann responds, very self-assuredly: “Of course they do! I’ve seen them!” Well, you can’t argue with that. I considered explaining that, with very few exceptions, the live birth thing is inherent to mammalia, but decided to just let it go.

        She also started a one-woman letter writing campaign when the state department of education discussed setting a uniform school start date, because she thought it meant her kids were going to have to wear uniforms, despite it being explained to her numerous times.

        1. fposte*

          Okay, that sounds like fabulous entertainment. And it does remind me of the co-worker who insisted that sunset times were getting earlier more quickly that year and who would not have Earth orbit explained to her.

        2. Nichole*

          The part I found most interesting is that the bear eggs are being used to save money. I would think that if bears did lay eggs, they’d still be much harder to come by than chicken eggs. Add supply and demand to the list of things your cow-irker doesn’t understand.

    2. Lily in NYC*

      Holy cannoli, that is hilarious. I had a coworker that thought Albinos came from Sweden. But nothing tops bear eggs!

    3. Liz in a Library*

      Incidentally, one of my most prized possessions is a completely adorable ink sketch my dad made me of a hatching bear upon hearing that story. I wish I knew an easy way to share it, because it is the cutest thing ever.

    4. Cara*

      Oh gosh. This reminds me of a coworker at a different job who insisted at great length that swimming wasn’t good exercise because whales spend all day swimming and look how much blubber they still have.

    5. Another Sara*

      This reminds me of one of my coworkers, who insists that farmers in Australia ride kangaroos to herd livestock, because he saw it in a movie once and also in some cartoons (yes, really).

      Another time, his mom set him up on a date with the daughter of a friend. He came to work a few days later and told us that he was shocked because the girl left the house with just a shirt and no pants on. We asked him to describe her outfit in more detail and it was definitely a dress!

      Our office is right on the coast, and there is a popular tourist destination on a nearby island that we can see from the building. One day, we could see a fire on the island so we were chatting about it. This same coworker looked it up on the internet and informed us, “The fire was last year.” We had to explain that the fire was…now.

      He finally got his drivers license about a year after starting at our company. Beforehand, he was telling us about all the things he wanted to do once he could drive. In particular, he was planning to go street racing. We told him street racing is illegal, and he insisted that it is not illegal because his friends, who are students, meet at Del Taco on Tuesday nights to do it.

  75. 22dncr*

    Oh – I have one! I’d totally forgotten about this guy. I was working at a Nissan Dealership (1981) and he was a Salesmen. One of my many duties was to take the Bank Deposit every day. I drove one of the company loaner cars usually but this day there were none so I had to take this salesman’s 280z. When I got in the car I thought – there’s something missing??? After a bit I realized the rearview mirror was missing. I told the salesman thinking when I get back he can take it to Service and get it put back on. NO – he’d removed it on purpose because he didn’t want to see what was coming up behind him. WTF? Found out later he was a Vietnam Vet. Made sense then. Sure was weird driving with no mirror.

  76. ALex*

    These are the best!

    Unfortunately I might be the weird co-worker at my current job. I paint my nails at my desk during the day. Its mostly administrative/typing or phone calls that I am doing so its easy to put on a lot of coats and let them set since I’m not using my hands too much – no one has complained but I think that some people think I’m strange because of it. lol

    At a previous job, I worked with a woman who would say “thank you” repeatedly after every sentence. A conversation would go something like this:

    Me: “Hey do you know if the mail came today yet?”

    Her: “I think it has, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou”

    It’s impossible to actually sincerely thank her for anything. She’s the sweetest woman but it’s a very strange habit.

    1. Sourire*

      Hmmm, just because people haven’t complained doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother them. I abhor the smell of nail polish and especially remover. It doesn’t bother me enough to make it a medical issue, and thus I wouldn’t complain to you, but man I would be annoyed sitting at my desk! Hopefully you are far away from people or in a well ventilated spot.

      Just as an aside: I have no idea how to make the above sound non-snarky in written form, but I really don’t mean it that way.

      1. SW*

        I don’t think you sound snarky. I also agree — the smell of nail polish would bother me at work.

  77. Coffeeless*

    I once had the strangest boss when I worked part time at a sandwich shop. He was a Palestinian immigrant who worked over 80 hours a week, with a heavy accent and odd world views.

    He was sitting in the back (where I accidentally caught him watching porn) when a young woman dropped her unused paper cup on the floor and asked for a new one. Since we had to count the cups at the end of the night and pay for any that were missing, I went in the back and explained the situation, asking if I could replace her cup. His response: no, she has to buy another cup.

    So I go back out and apologize to the poor lady, who looks at me disbelievingly and requests to speak to the manager. I go back and tell him she’s requesting the manager and he says “tell her I’m not coming out.”

    So I have to trot back out and explain that my manager refuses to come out. After that, she asks his name, and he yells for me before I can respond and tells me to tell her his name is “jim.” His name is Tom. So I tell her, and she asks what his last name is, and he yells “tell her I have no last name” from the back.

    Finally, she left, promising to make a formal complaint about him. All I could do was apologize profusely.

        1. Sourire*

          I need to be more positive like you! That sounds like me (but opposite) when it comes to dating. I look at all the whackos around me who did manage to find someone and wonder what on earth is wrong with me that I’m still single. LOL

  78. Tinker*

    I think I might be the weird one, or at least one of the weird ones. I shave my head (not at work!), wear combat boots to work, practice martial arts (generally not at work), and have a rotating array of slightly offbeat hobbies ranging from bicycling (utility with vague dream of touring) to zombie apocalypse preparedness (I blame spending some of my formative years in Norman, Oklahoma). As a consequence of said rotating array of slightly offbeat hobbies, I tend to know odd and potentially-revealing things such as various ways to manage pronouns regarding folks on the transgender spectrum and how a M14 looks different from a M1 Garand.

    I also have an incredibly cute kitten and show off pictures of him on my phone, which I think helps to develop my image as “the odd but nice one”.

  79. Alison Skipworth*

    I can recall three memorable coworkers from a company that published industry trade journals in the travel and medical fields.

    Tom was one half of the publishing team and was bipolar and not on meds (or if he had any, they weren’t working). He was famous for firing people without warning and then asking the following day what had happened to them. He also asked the company events manager to stage a very formal and fancy 25th anniversary party for the company at a swanky hotel, then insisted on hiring a couple of actors to infiltrate the party and pretend to have a huge fight during the testimonial dinner. He claimed it would be hilarious and would “lighten up” the festivities.

    Dick, his other half, subtly encouraged an atmosphere of sexual harassment in the company, particularly among the entirely-male sales force. When sued by a group of women admin staff members (who eventually won the suit), Tom and Dick decided to launch a trade journal giving tips to corporations on how to beat sexual harassment lawsuits. I still have a copy of the promotional literature they put together for the journal that (thankfully) never saw the light of day. It was unbelievable.

    Harriet was the personnel manager. She kept two personnel files on every individual, one reflecting reality and one stuffed with fake complaints and demerits. If you asked for a raise, wanted to see a performance review, or questioned company policy, guess which one she’d haul out?

    After three years of these horrors I managed to escape into graduate school. I’ve never gone back into publishing…too many nightmares.

    1. dejavu2*

      Wow! That sounds like the most dysfunctional workplace ever! I mean, I have worked at some screwed up places, but yours almost makes mine look normal. I applaud you.

      1. Alison Skipworth*

        Those of us who survived with all our faculties intact are very grateful indeed!

  80. Anonymously Anonymous*

    At one of my first “managers” conference, which was in a tourist resort area about 45 min from our property, our team opted out of the catered lunch and decided to walk the boardwalk and find a place to eat. Anyway we ended up at pizza place. It was me, the GM, the Food and Beverage Manger, Sales Manager, Front Desk Manager and the Admin Assist. Now, I do not like eating pizza crust–so I left it on my plate. I was in mid conversation talking about how good the pizza or whatever, when the food & beverage manager must have noticed my uneaten pizza crust and asked if I was going to eat ‘that’ (pointing to the pizza crust). And just as soon as I said no she quickly swiped it off my plate and began eating it and went on talking about how much she loves pizza crust. I didn’t know what to say or do after that.

    Another instance, I had a co-worker who kept teddy bears wearing the seat belt in his car so people wouldn’t ask him for a ride. I didn’t believe him until I saw it for myself one day when leaving work. I don’t know if that was weird or genius…

    Finally, either upthread or downthread someone mentioned about a co-worker who cleaned out her closet and brought stuff to work. The controller at one property I worked was super quirky, collected weird stuff, shopped too much and even came to work one time with mix-match shoes on. (Which has led to me never buying the same style shoe in different colors….unless it’s flip flops. )
    One time she went on this wild shopping spree one weekend –which led to American Express chasing her down trying to call her on all numbers to verify the purchases (this was before everyone had cellphones) and on the following Monday morning she brought in some of her old stuff for me. It was a small bag with a couple of suits. I accepted it graciously. However she then insisted that she had more in her car –and I ended up with 3 big bags of her old clothes. Some were nice but not my taste. I wasn’t sure if she was making a statement about my attire or if she was just being generous. I do know she unloaded all her unwanted stuff off on me…

  81. glennis*

    I had a coworker who was a very nice woman, but she had the most peculiar speech habit – she would literally parrot what you were saying, word for word, just a half-a-beat behind you.

    So while you were saying, “Please don’t forget to ask Carole to sign the deposit slip,” she would jump in just after you and repeat your words. It would sound like “Please don’t please forget don’t to ask forget Carole to ask to sign the Carole to deposit slip sign the deposit slip.”

    Really unnerving.

    1. fposte*

      Aw. One of my best employees ever would start to mouth what I was saying along with me when I was giving her instructions, like she was repeating it to herself immediately so she wouldn’t forget it.

      Since she was utterly wonderful and I still miss her (she’s working elsewhere, not dead or anything), I now find this rather an endearing trait.

    2. 22dncr*

      I interviewed with a woman like that! It was almost like she had a psychic gift for it because she would finish your last 4 words of your sentence with you. Since she didn’t know me from Adam how could she know what I was going to say?? Totally cray-cray.

      1. Lalaith*

        My mother-in-law does this… not at the exact same time, just a little behind, like glennis said. I kind of have a thing about talking over other people, so it just seems bizarre to me.

    3. quix*

      I used to do something like that to myself. I never even knew I was doing it until friends told me that after I said something, I’d silently repeat it back to myself like I was making sure I said it right. Managed to catch myself and stop eventually.

  82. Lily in NYC*

    I just remembered this one! I apologize in advance because it is nasty. This guy still works here and he is now an SVP. There was a gorgeous woman working here a few years ago; seriously one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen in person. Gross SVP was infatuated and told my boss that he waited for her to leave at the end of each day and then would go sniff her chair. My poor boss almost fainted in horror. This dude is so loud I heard the entire exchange. I cannot look him in the eye to this day (5 years later). At least my boss told him that it wasn’t cool and he should really stop. And SVP’s wife worked here at the time! Just blech.

  83. Emkay Tela*

    I used to work in libraries, so weird behavior is the norm. However I agree with the above comment about getting labelled as the office weirdo because you do something like bring your lunch everyday or own a passport. However the recent hits:

    1. The graphic designer who seemed to spend more time at work being involved in his volunteer work for Search and Rescue. His whole cube was covered with training and demonstration materials, he wore shorty cargo shorts (think Lt Dangle on Reno 9-11) even when it was snowing outside, constantly screwed up basic graphic art requests, and the sort of best of all, was involved in the extensive search in our area for the victim of a serial killer. Turned out that the victim was dumped in the lot next to parking for our building, so besides all the other sad/awful things about that situation was that the guy constantly bragging about his S&R skills couldn’t even find her next to where he worked.

    2. I do contracting and it was a clusterfuck to learn that two crazy people I had to work with on contract gigs had to work together on a separate project. Or rather, the crazier one ended up getting fired. Oh and their craziness – one guy also never actually worked but instead was always involved in some crackpot “invention” he was trying to get a patent on that involved bees and computer software. He did a pretty bang up job of breaking a lot of things that I ended up having to fix. The other guy is self diagnosed from the DSM always in a way that’s supposed to make you think he’s a socially awkward genius and also “diagnoses” other people. Oh and instead of actually delivering the contract goods, he spends hours making these insane and overdetailed designs and infographics.

    3. Not weird as much as a bitch, but the woman who came back from maternity leave and constantly made snide comments about me for being single and childless like I was some irresponsible flake. BOnus points because she fucking did all of that when I was driving 250 miles round trip each weekend with a parent in hospice.

    1. anon*

      Re #3… ugh, Sanctimommies :/

      I got married a month ago and now am getting all the “when are the babies coming?” questions. Or my favourite, “you’ll be on mat leave within a year, guaranteed!” What’s wrong with wanting to enjoy being married to my husband for a few years? I’m hyper aware of the responsibilities that come with being a parent and I am simply NOT ready for it. I wish we would all stop judging each other’s life choices. Bah!

  84. Startups_RULE*

    I used to work with a woman that takes the cake. Literally. She had recently gained ~100 lbs due to illness, and would constantly show me, and other co-workers pictures of her former body and demand that we agree how hot she was then. Once, when I came into the office and asked her how she was, she replied “Not good. I might have cancer.”

    Despite bemoaning her current weight she ate 7-9 meals a day. A bagel at 8am. Three frozen waffles at 10am. 2-3 cupcakes at 12pm plus a large sub. All of this could be over looked if she weren’t regularly terrible to both employees and everyone in the outside world. Her actual job was “office manager/receptionist” but she took huge offense if anyone expected her to answer the phone, greet guests or sign for a fedex package.

    Her general hostility was palpable, expect for her strange, and overt love for our graphic designer. She would spend long stretches (seriously 15-20 minutes) gazing at him adoringly, sending him “funny” online messages and generally being creepy.

    She routinely, loudly complained about how she worked much, much harder than anyone else at our 15 person start-up, despite arriving at 9:30 each morning, and refusing to answer the phone if it rang after 5pm. Likewise, should the phone ring between 12pm and 1pm she snappishly would inform the caller that she was “on a break” and they should call back after 1pm. I realize this sounds crazy and like I’m making this us, but sadly (or luckily) I have 14 co-workers who would corroborate my story.

    She was let go shortly after a new boss informed her that she would indeed have to answer the phones, wear non-sweatpants to work and work hours that more closely aligned with the rest of the company.

  85. he-he-hello!*

    My most impressive former coworker was a super part time employee to my full time status, and she and I had to write a joint report to present to our supervisor at the end of the year. Since she said she had done way more work than could fit into a joint report I said we could both write individual ones, and I would put together the joint report. When I didn’t receive her half of the report (a whole nother story…), I just wrote the joint report myself. It was basically a list of the things that we had accomplished and who did what. I emailed the report to her a week in advance of the deadline and, after traipsing in 45 minutes late to her 3 hour workday, she said nothing about any edits. I waited for the next hour until she started to pack up her things to go home, and asked her for her edits.
    Her: Well, I’m going to have to get my husband to print it out for me.
    Me: Why? It’s on the computer in a word attachment.
    Her: This isn’t my computer!
    Me: It’s the one you use everyday for work. Would you like me to print it for you?
    Her: Yes.
    She proceeds to go through each page with a pencil marking things and making notes, hands it to me and then leaves.
    The corrections consisted of her going through the entire report and crossing out my name each time it appeared and replacing it with hers. Needless to say, I gave my supervisor her edited copy and saved a copy for myself as well, along with the actual report.

    1. he-he-hello!*

      I should note, when she walked in 45 minutes late she announced:

      I let [my 5 year old] be in charge of the alarm clock this morning!


  86. Laura*

    I hired a temp once who would just stand beside my desk when he had a question and wait for me to notice him standing there. He had some sort of back issue, and so had some kind of orthopedic inserts in his shoes that would sort of squeak when he walked. He would stand there, rocking back and forth on his feet, and wait for me to look up. One time I was trying to figure out a bond amortization schedule so I was very absorbed in what I was doing. I looked up, he was standing RIGHT BESIDE my desk and I let out quite a yelp and jumped about a foot in the air. He was such a weirdo.

    During the 2008 election I worked with a consultant who was a full-on right winger and conspiracy theorist to boot. Oy. One morning he was all worked up over an article he’d read about Islam and started going on and on, quite loudly, about how it was a religion full of terrorists. Nice. Another one of my co-workers, who is Muslim, was sitting right there and finally said, “Hey. Do you mind?” This guy mumbled something like, “Well, I wasn’t talking about you,” my co-worker said, “Well, yes, you kind of were,” and the consultant skulked back to his desk. Things were very tense for a few hours. Then my Muslim co-worker got up to leave for lunch and stopped by this guy’s desk and said, “Hey man, I’m running out to grab a bite to eat and to also pick up a new turban. Would you like me to get one for you too?”

    1. Laura*

      And just to clarify, the “Oy” is not about the guy’s right-wingness, but rather about how he believed every conspiracy theory he came across. :)

      1. De Minimis*

        We had a lot of the conspiracy theorists at the Post Office as well…and I was there during the whole 9/11 anthrax period, so it was at its peak.

      2. Sourire*

        I have a coworker who is a closet version of the one you described. Perfectly nice and normal, and then you friend him on facebook. WOW! It’s scary how nutty and extreme he is. He thought it was appropriate one day to escalate a very nice post a coworker made into a full blown, name calling, political/social war that was something like 60 replies long. It was insane and many of us that saw the post can’t help but see him differently at work now.

        This is why you probably shouldn’t be facebook friends with coworkers, or if you are, keep your facebook very minimal like I do (I only really use it to make sure I’m able to contact someone if needed; I never post to it).

        1. Laura*

          What I loved about how my Muslim co-worker handled it was that his crack about offering to pick up a turban for the guy completely diffused the tension. Everybody who had heard the exchange burst out laughing, and the guy who started it even laughed, albeit grudgingly. Plus it was just plain hilarious.

  87. LadyB*

    My SO used to work with a man who would climb on the roof of the building so that he could hear women going to the toilet. Bad enough, but when I asked SO what happened to him – thinking he should have been reported to his manager at the very least – SO said ‘why would anyone do anything?’

    1. Anon*

      Why are you dating a guy who thinks it’s OK for someone to listen to other people go to the bathroom and not get reported over it?

        1. fposte*

          What makes you think it’s not illegal? Additionally, it’s unquestionably sexual harassment and a breach of that law as well.

      1. NBB*

        Agreed!!!!! Why would anyone do anything? As fposte said, because it’s sexual harassment and an astounding breach of privacy! I would be seriously worried about dating someone who is “meh” about this.

  88. anon*

    At a temp job a couple of years ago, a lady in a different department had a rather peculiar bathroom quirk (I don’t know what else to call it). On a few occasions, I’d pick a stall in the bathroom that had quite a bit of toilet paper just sitting in the bowl. I’d think to myself, “weird,” and go on with my business.

    So one day, I’m doing my business and in the stall next to me, I hear the occupant furiously unfurling toilet paper from one of the rolls. Immediately after, occupant walks out of the stall and out of the bathroom without washing her hands. Okkkaaayyy.

    It happens again another day and I happen to see who it was. I catch her doing it a few more times before the temp assignment ends.

    I honestly cannot come up with any good reason to take almost half a roll of toilet paper and put it into the bowl.

    1. fposte*

      I bet she wasn’t putting it in the bowl initially–she was doing the nest-on-the-seat thing to keep her delicate heinie from touching actual toilet, and then she just pushed the paper into the bowl.

      I worked with somebody who did that–and with a plumbing system that backed up when too much toilet paper was put in the bowl. Good times.

      1. anon*

        True… but it seemed like she was doing AFTER she was done. So just standing over the toilet, unrolling TP and then putting it into the bowl. The stalls faced the mirror/sinks, so when I was washing my hands I could see her feet under the stall door and she was clearly standing (I was not trying to be creepy watching people, I was genuinely fascinated by what she was doing).

        1. Rana*

          Did she ever flush? Maybe she was paranoid about people seeing her “business” afterwards? (That’s all I’ve got – this is genuinely strange.)

    2. Chris*

      I’m so glad I peeked to see where this thread went. Your incident reminded me of a bathroom incident we had several years ago at a retail store.

      One of the new hires (mid-40’s) went to use the bathroom (which all of our bathrooms are on the salesfloor- no separate employee only) and apparently start yelling, thrashing around and moaning inside the stall. It was something along the lines of “Oh, yeah! I can do this! COME ON” from what I later heard. A customer OUTSIDE the bathroom heard all this commotion and freaked out. He thought someone was having a heart attack or something, and booked it to the front, yelling for help. The store greeter called a manager in a panic, and they busted into the bathroom thinking they were going to find a dead guy. What they found was one guy that had issues passing a #2….

      What was really bad was the guy was completely clueless why he shouldn’t do that, like nobody is going to be disturbed by moaning/yelling/and weird loud thrashing noises coming from the bathroom. He told everyone that he needed the extra encouragement to get the job done and he had always did that. And, he did it again before being let go.

      1. anon*

        Oh my… this reminds me of the scene in Austin Powers when he’s fighting the bad guy in the bathroom stall. “Who does… number two… work for?!”

    3. Anonadog*

      We have a few women who flush the toilet BEFORE they use it. Now, I sometimes do that if there’s a little bit leftover from the previous person, but they do it even when it’s a freshly cleaned, immaculate toilet. I just don’t understand…

        1. Beth Anne*

          One job I had on the other side of the wall was the mens BATHROOM. One guy would sing in the bathroom and I could hear everything. We had an on going joke about it and at one point he found out and we would start knocking on the wall to each other when he was in there it was pretty entertaining after awhile.

  89. M*

    I was eating almonds in my cubicle once, and my coworker told me that it sounded like I was eating teeth. Ick.

    Then, a few weeks later, our manager offered us some almonds during a meeting, and CW repeated her comment! “I tell M that when she eats almonds, it sounds like she’s eating teeth!”

    It was a bizarre analogy to come up with in the first place. Weird enough that she said it to me, and then she had to follow it up by saying it to our *manager*???

  90. IronMaiden*

    I’ve thought of another, really horrible one. When I was at uni I had a summer job in an old folk’s home. As well as being old, most of the residents had a history of mental illness but they were OK. I worked with a woman who was an RN and she was just awful. She used to steal food – not just a sly meal here and there – whole boxes of fruit, vegetables and meat when they were delivered. She never referred to anyone by name, just “hey, you” so I refused to acknowledge her, which made her mad. She also failed to report issues that the residents had such as illness or pain to the visiting doctors. She ended up getting the sack for stealing after I said something.

  91. The Other Dawn*

    One of our branch managers would come to the main office once in awhile and have lunch in our lunchroom. A couple of times I sat with her and it was bizarre to see her eat. She would take out her bag of almonds, which was already portioned, and proceed to count out the almonds and line them up on the table (I think there were 7 or 8 almonds, total). She would then take out one slice of cellophane-wrapped cheese, open it and split it into fours. She would have a little water cooler cup full of water to drink and alternate eating her cheese and almonds. I always found it strange. I guess because it was so little food and she was so…precise…about it.

  92. Cliff Hanger*

    I had coworker that constantly complained that the walls in womens restroom where too thin and someone might see her. Her reasoning was that she could hear through them so someone could probably see through them as well. She eventually taped poster board to the wall to keep the men from “peeping” in on her.

    1. Jazzy Red*

      I knew a woman who swore someone was watching her in the ladies room through the ventilation grate.

      1. 22dncr*

        And I actually worked at a place where someone was caught doing just that! They couldn’t prosecute him because no one was about to say that was their butt.

  93. Interviewer*

    Weirdest co-worker I’ve had was an office hoarder, I’ve never seen that much junk packed into a cubicle in my life. And after she got fired for fighting at work, she never came back for any of it, despite repeated contacts from HR for over a year. So the company had a free-for-all set up in one of the spare offices, filled with about 10 boxes of her junk. I scored 2 cookbooks.

    The weird co-worker in my office now is probably me. I supervise a staff of about 40. One day management left us for a retreat, and I was asked to have lunch catered for the staff in their absence. So I also brought in crayons, markers, colored pencils and paper/coloring books. Afterwards, I put up our artwork on the refrigerators in the breakroom. We have played trivia, bingo and some Minute to Win It games, too. It was fun for most – but I’m sure quite a few thought I was just bonkers and wasting time with childish things.

    1. Leslie Yep*

      Who brings COOKBOOKS to work? I mean, bonus for you, but was she cooking during the workday?

      Also, that lunch sounds bananas and I would be there in a second. Fantastic.

      1. Jessa*

        I’m with you I would totally be there for that lunch.

        I had an office made leaving the company and she was ditching her stuff into a trash bin, and I was like OMG can I dumpster dive your bin? she was okay with it. I scored a beautiful little teddy bear with a red velvet outfit, a metric tonne of office supplies that I could use (not company stuff, but stuff like fancy post it notes and things.) I was like why the heck are you just tossing this stuff. You coulda put it on the break table for people. But since she didn’t I snagged everything.

        I swear if she’d said no, I’da waited til she was gone and stolen the trash bin and switched it with mine and done it anyway. Who throws away nice good stuff?

    2. Jazzy Red*

      Best team building exercise EVER. I usually find a way to dodge those things, but I would attend every one your organized!

  94. MK*

    I once worked for an organization which comprised of many people who were involved in polyamorous (open) relationships and BDSM. They would talk about their sex lives on a regular basis. I get that polyamory and BDSM are lifestyle choices but it was weird for me because I seriously didn’t want people to talking about those topics in the office (mainly to avoid having pictures planted in my brain). Plus, I work in public health so I would have an urge of asking people if they practice safe sex, etc.

        1. JW*

          I think anon 9:19’s point was not that you were weird for your views on discussing sexuality in the office, but rather for such a group of coworkers, you were clearly the odd one out.

  95. Collarbone High*

    Guy gets in fight with his wife, spends the night drinking in a sleazy motel room, falls asleep with lit cigarette in hand. Wakes up to find mattress on fire. Drags mattress down hall to elevator, pushes button for another floor, resumes drinking. Is completely shocked when cops show up in newsroom next day to arrest him — “How did they know it was me?”

  96. Anonymous*

    Oh Lord, I have a good one.

    I have a coworker who constantly tells flagrant, obvious lies, and seems utterly unaware of how clearly untrue they are. Going by what he says, he has or had dozens of different illnesses and injuries, has been a general manager of several five-star establishments (even though he’s entry level here and has been for years, knows dozens of celebrities…

    To top it off, minutes after something happens, he’ll often retell it in a completely different way from the way it happened. For example, telling you how “I told him what he could do with XYZ” when the person he’s telling *actually saw* him not only refuse whatever the request was, but to kiss up to the person in question.

    It’s bizarre. When anyone calls him on it, he gets very defensive, so most of us just grunt and ignore him.

  97. SerfinUSA*

    What an awesome thread to close out my Friday!

    Sad to say (because I’d love some fellow oddballs) I’m the weird one at my job.

  98. Witty Username*

    My company was moving to a new location so they had a few mini-dumpster-thingies brought up to floor so people could throw out papers and other junk that they didn’t need to take with them. I rarely printed anything and only used a few of the desk drawers so I didn’t have much to throw and decided to start packing away some of the things I could do without until we moved. I opened one of the cubicle cabinets and noticed some binders and figured I should give them to my boss or return them to the office supply room if they were empty. They were not empty…

    They contained pages upon pages of explicit pornographic photos of women. I was so confused about what to do because I’d been sitting at that desk for about two years and didn’t want people to think they were mine. I ended up waiting until most people were at lunch and did a Mission Impossible sneak to bury them in one of the dumpsters.

    I don’t know exactly who sat at my desk before I joined the company. However, given that he (I assume it was a he, as the only other female in the dept had never sat at or near my desk) was printing and viewing hardcore pornography in a room full of people, I’d peg him as a weird co-worker. (If you like porn that’s your business, but at work? And why so many printouts?)

  99. The B*

    I had a boss who would get into screaming matches over the phone with her ex-husband. We could all hear her. It was uncomfortable.

    One time she flirted with our cab driver (we were sharing a cab as we had just arrived for a work function from the airport) and invited him to visit her in her hotel room later. With me sitting right next to her. And she was still married at that point. Awkward!

    She also flirted with a contractor, and when the contractor smiled at me one time, she threw a hissy fit demanding I never speak to him again.

    Good thing she eventually got fired.

    1. Laura*

      The consultant I talked about in my earlier post would fight with his wife on the phone almost every day. Really mean, nasty stuff. He would say things like, “I f-ing HATE you!!” and slam down the phone. Or tell one of his kids, “You know your mom is crazy,” when they would call upset about something.

      I always wondered why they stayed married when the obviously could not stand each other.

  100. All for L.O.V.E.*

    I was the weird coworker once….for an entire summer.

    I’d been at my job for a few years. I was a supervisor, and an awesome one at that. My managers knew me really well and liked me. Same goes for all of my other co-workers.

    To really sum it up: Michael Jackson died 27 days before I was going to see him in concert. I had REALLY awesome seats at the show, had airfare, everything (I was flying from the Midwest to London). I pretty much lost my mind when he died. 1) it’s weird enough in the US to actually be a Michael Jackson fan, much less the kind that would stay up til 2am to get presale tickets for a concert halfway around the globe. And 2) well, I didn’t personally know him.

    What made things worse, however, was that I worked in a place with a large public area, and we had satellite radio…which had about 8 MJ songs on regular rotation. Of course, let’s not forget that there was huge media attention. When one of his songs came on at work, guests around me would start talking about it and I couldn’t avoid it. When I went home, I also couldn’t avoid it because I was obviously grieving, and because it was literally EVERYWHERE. It was completely unavoidable, and I could not escape and grieve privately at all. Plus, as he was such a public figure, I got to hear everyone’s opinions about him, good and bad, and I didn’t want to hear any more of it. Plus, I had never dealt with the situation of a sudden death of a loved one before. I had no idea what was going to happen day to day.

    I was constantly on the verge of tears, very withdrawn, had to run and hide when certain songs came on, etc. I am not a person that can hide emotions very well; if they’re over, say, a 5 on the intensity scale…it will be all over my face.

    It was a very lonely place to be in; many of my co-workers and superiors had known me for years and were very supportive but of course no one really knew what I was going through, and I suppose they all expected me to just “get over it,” after awhile (I don’t blame them). Of course, for them, it’s just weird to have someone you know to be so happy and outgoing suddenly inconsolable and deeply depressed because of incredibly unfortunate circumstances. I still completed my work, and my productivity, which was always above expectations, never wavered.

    That kind of output plus the emotional wreck I was dealing with left me completely exhausted. I felt powerless about everything and I knew that all the work I had put into the company (and my reputation) was completely gone, regardless how well I continued to perform. From all the candle-burning emotionally, and the demands of my work, I started experiencing suicidal ideation (not actual episodes, but enough thought about it that it scared me).

    Fortunately I was able to connect with the fanbase (not the crazy people you see protesting on TV! I promise you, they are a very small minority of what we’re like) during that time. We provided a lot of support, comfort, and general community for each other. I was also able to get into grief counseling at the end of the summer, and that helped a LOT.

    Unfortunately, the next year, I was up for a promotion to management. It was just myself and one other person. I lost to the other candidate because of my behavior from the year before–they fully admitted that they knew I was the best choice, but that’s what they chose to do. I ended up leaving the company at the end of the year.

    It’s always hard to explain to someone how it really happened, and what I actually went through that summer. It’s not that it was any worse than anyone else who is suddenly bereaved, it was just a very, very different situation, that no one in my personal or professional circle could help me with, at all. Especially considering that MJ is pretty much my hero, and I work in the field that I do because of him.

    Silver lining to the story is that now I am very glad I no longer work with that company, and the people I met through the fanbase have opened up a LOT of opportunity for me, and my professional goals are much bigger, and the work I have completed to reach those goals is much more significant than it would have been if that whole summer had never happened.

    Sorry for the TL;DR…but yeah…I was that co-worker one time :)

  101. nuri*

    I had a co-worker who would spit into the waste basket (I mean hog spit, his mucous into a wastebasket the way that people would do with chewing tobacco). It was around the time when swine flu was always in the news. I can’t prove it, but not long after I ended up with the worst case of the flu I ever had.

  102. saro*

    Aww, I’m late to this. 1) A boss who cut his toenails in our group dining hall. Same guy borrowed a heater and a hoodie from a colleague and refused to return it.

    2) A colleague who would stand on her desk or chair and snoop on my computer surfing (during my lunch break). Then she would ‘casually’ bring up what I was looking up online. Weird.

  103. Christina*

    My co-workers at my previous job were weird about food…

    We had a little kitchenette area in our office and it had a counter where we would put snacks and food for everyone to share. It was well-established that if you wanted to bring something to share (get rid of), you would just set it out on the counter. My co-worker bought a pizza and someone must have eaten a piece because she stomped into the office and yelled, “Who ate my pizza?” I immediately started laughing until I realized that she was serious (I honestly thought she was joking). Woops. She wasn’t too thrilled when I told her it was her fault for leaving it on the communal area without putting her name on it.

    I also had another co-worker who sent out a department email yelling at whoever stole her Diet Pepsi out of the fridge.

    As a supervisor part of my job was to clean out the refrigerator monthly. I would throw away anything not labeled or expired. I had a co-worker who would come watch me while I did it and then would pick stuff out of the trash if he wanted to have it.

  104. Girasol*

    My boss’s boss wanted to reduce his team’s headcount for budget reasons but did not have permission to fire or lay off. So he badgered people into quitting. He held three hour staff meetings over lunch and didn’t allow food in the room. He’d pick one staff member’s report and tear him apart verbally in front of the others. Once he dressed down a team member for a minor mistake in front of a 100 person all-hands meeting and went on for 45 minutes. (It resulted in a stress-related workman’s comp claim.) He’d give unintelligible orders and rage if the receiver asked for clarification. He told his team that if his wife called and he wasn’t in we should make up a story about how busy he was. He punished the data network team once by rescinding the privilege of performing network maintenance. He was finally noticed by HR over his low morale statistics even though he would call us all into the same room to fill out “anonymous” employee surveys so he could peer over our shoulders to see what we wrote. Years after I moved on my long-retired boss sent email to me and a crowd of my ex-coworkers to say, “You can all relax now. is dead.” I couldn’t decide which was creepier: that she would say such a thing or that it was so appropriate.

  105. Canadian*

    We have had some terrible people work (and still work!) in my office.
    The standout: an EA replacing the veteran EA who was retiring and as it was last minute they hired someone who was available right away. Right off the bat she showed up late and for the next three months missed at least one day a week with some crazy excuses – car accident, horse threw her (she owned a horse), horse had an accident, deathly ill, and so on. Weirdly evough, not once did she ever appear to show signs of any of the maladies that struck her (ex. dislocated shoulder) Finally CEO told her not to bother coming back after she called in sick yet again.

    1. The Other Dawn*

      I’m surprised the CEO kept her on so long. Very tolerant. If someone is late right after starting a new job, it’s not going to improve. And add to that frequent absences in the first several weeks and she’d be outta there.

  106. OneoftheMichelles*

    1) Long time ago, I had a co-worker who went on at work one day about how he and his friends spent time driving across country. He thought it was so funny explaining how they’d pull up in their truck, go into a grocery store, stuff as much of whatever they wanted in their clothes, then make a run for it–jumping in the back of the waiting truck and taking off in a hurry. This made me so angry, I was glad I had on a safety mask to keep me quiet…

    He had to go to the hospital 3?? times (at least) for stapling himself with a staple gun. (I admit, this did not make me angry :’)

    A co-worker found him smoking pot on his breaks (surprised?), which bothered me less than that nasty smelling herbal cologne that supposedly smells like pot which he always wore. (Patchouli?)

    He also came in after a weekend and told us he’d attended a party where they “played naked honey Twister” [TMI! TMI! TMI!!!!]
    Those words are seared on my brain For Ever: naked. honey. twister. (picture person you don’t like in the mix…)

    2) Oh yeah, there has been one other crazy person…turns out there’s a Personality Disorder described by what she was doing, so I wonder…?

    This woman either forgave all your wrongs, was your friend, and had no qualms with anything about you OR you could do no right, must be an enemy, and weren’t competent/trustworthy. She was our direct overseer and there each day.

    Her boss, was only in town part of the time (preapproved when he was hired). We kept our noses out of it, but it still appears that she was bad-mouthing him to the owners while he was away.

    Toward the end of this seasonal job, Crazy boss kept going through the whole shop looking for something; singled each of us out and asked if we knew where her boss had put X; then she went to the owners saying that he hadn’t provided it and all was lost….

    The next day, he returned On Schedule, with the supplies that he didn’t trust her to assemble properly, and put everything together just as it was always planned. He spent a lot of time at the owner’s office defending himself and later admitted to me that he had told Crazy not to mess with the all-important assembly supplies–then took them with him because he didn’t trust her not to mess with them. (He was actually a pretty cool guy and I wish he could’ve been our boss the whole time.)

    I still have a photo of some friends I made there–with Crazy Boss glaring and frowning at me in the background. Weird.

    1. Anon7*

      #2? google personality traits of a Narcissist and see if they fit. They usually have a ‘golden child’ who can do no wrong and a ‘scapegoat’ who can do no right.

      1. OneoftheMichelles*

        She split Everyone she met into these categories…the truth is I don’t think she was enjoying the lifestyle and I certainly don’t presume to be able to diagnose passing aquaintences. I have just enough XP to toss the question out there. Also, I’ve got personal experience comparing/contrasting which of 2 people in my life (One is a relative, Yay!) was the sociopath and which the narcissist, and I doubt she was either.

  107. Anonymous*

    I had a coworker once who refused to interact with anyone else in the department, just simply cut everyone off and stopped speaking to them.

    After months of silence, this individual sent an email to all the women in that wing with a link to an article on what to do in an office shooting scenario.

    Within 2 months about 30-40% of the email recipients had left the department/company.

  108. Lindsay J*

    Working nights at an amusement park means that I have had a lot of these coworkers.

    1. Big Mike was at least 500 lbs. He lived in a trailer, and I’m pretty sure he was unable to fit in his shower because it smelled like he did not shower. The odor when you were in an enclosed space with him was unbearable. Big Mike pooped his pants at work one day.

    2. Marshall was an 18 year old kid that had to have some sort of mental problem. When he was hired on I was told I had a guy named Michael P coming in. When he arrived he introduced himself as Marshall. I initially thought there was a mixup, or that Marshall was a nickname (like Jack for John). Nope. He explained that he had two different personalities, and that Michael was the one that had gone to fill out the paperwork and Marshall was the one here now. He also said he had a third, female, personality, but that she didn’t come out at work. Marshall had a crush on me and would often attempt to buy me food or gifts. Michael had a crush on my fiance’s brother.

    3. Father Gregory was another 18 year old kid. He wanted to go into the priesthood. He was a nice enough guy, but moved slower than molasses in January. He came in one day and told us about a dream he had, in which he married one of the money processing machines. He also looked like Jeffery Dahmer.

    4. Theresa was a dominatrix. She handed me her day-off requests on post-it notes with the address of her website on the bottom. Her website hosted graphic male-on-male sex stories. Theresa claimed that she provided her services to several members of the New York Yankees. I don’t want to get too explicit on here, but she made a very inappropriate comment to my fiance about what she could do to pleasure him without actually touching him.

    5. Jodi was fascinated by Theresa. She was a very sheltered person who still lived with her parents. She was amazed she had been fired from her last job, despite the fact that she had closed down the store prior to the posted closing time on several occasions, and that she brought in a competitor’s food and ate it at the counter, despite being counseled several times not too. She was unable to decide what to eat for herself. She tried to befriend one of the other workers, but did it clumsily by agreeing to go halves on a pitcher of Sangria and then drinking less than one glass and then inviting the woman back to her house to see her statues.

    6. Sandy was also into BDSM and alternate lifestyles. She also had 19 parrots. She would often ambush people at the end of the shift and get them to agree to drive her home as she had no ride. When I drove her home I then had to go in and meet her 19 parrots. Her daughter, Jen, was about 19 at the time and asleep on the couch in a t-shirt and boxers when she brought me into her house. One of the parrots was named “Reefer.”

    7. Patience was a compulsive lier. Among her claims were that she was recruited by the FBI when she was in high school because she scored so high on standardized tests. She declined because she didn’t want to work for “the man”. She was a hairdresser.

    8. Ken was 45 years old and lived at home with his mom and his cat. He was kind of your stereotypical computer nerd. He applied for a job with the finance department and reacted very angrily when he did not get the job, despite having a poor attitude in the role he was in and no actual experience in fiance other than a just-completed 2 year degree.

    9. Robert was around 21 and very religious – he didn’t curse at all, didn’t drink, didn’t date. He would do odd gymnastics with his legs, talk about his love for Wataburger every chance he got, and would say that he was “happily single” at least once a day.

    10. Alec was a pick-up artist like Mystery. He got at least a couple girl’s phone numbers every day, and we had in-depth conversations about his girl problems.

    11. Dustin was my last boss. He was ex-military and would wear tactical pants to work on occasion, just because. He once got pissed off at me, gave me the “talk to the hand” gesture, and wouldn’t talk to me for three days because I stood up for myself. Then he would turn around and beg me for help saying he had no clue how to fix his department. He would job search on the computer in our office in front of us (so he wouldn’t get caught job searching by his boss at his own desk). He carried around a knife and would flick it open and closed incessantly, and used it to pop balloons sometimes. He once told me jokingly that he wanted to stab one of the birds on property because it was always in the same spot. He won a rubber duck from a crane machine and gave it to me one time, and challenged me to bake-offs constantly. He had a trophy drawer in his desk where he would keep the name-tags of all the people he had fired.

    1. Lindsay J*

      And I forgot that my first year my boss had to fire a guy for peeing on a car in the parking lot.

  109. Anon for this one*

    I had a coworker who really wanted to have people over for dinner. Innocent enough and it sounded like fun. The only problem was, she lived way out of the way for me and I already lived an hour away from my fiance, so I chose to spend my time outside work with him. Needless to say, I was never sure I could make it. One day, when I came in, was running late and starting the coffee pot (I was the only one who consistently had a morning coffee), she ambushed and interrogated me about not coming. I simply told her that I needed to take care of things and it wasn’t the time to ask me those questions.

    It only went downhill from there. She made mean comments about my fiance. She threw an object at my friend’s face. The only reason she didn’t get fired for the last one is because it was our last day (it was a short term program).

    Thankfully, I’m now at a wonderful organization with great colleagues.

  110. TBL*

    Late but this seems to keep going – I work in an office with no understanding of an ‘inside voice’ or office etiquette. There are three of us in a fairly small room and she can be heard throughout the entire building sometimes. She is on her cell phone with her husband, exhusband, daughter, son, or parents probably 4-5 hours out of an 8 hour shift, yelling and arguing. Apparently no one can make a decision about anything without calling her first. I know way more than I ever wanted about her sex life and her daughter’s drug issues.

    Then there is the office phone. If she’s on a personal call she ignores it. If she answers it, makes a call, or checks voicemail she does it on speaker phone. Doesn’t matter what’s going on around her, if someone is talking or on the phone. If she can’t hear over the distraction she turns the volume up. I’ve heard people ask her to take them off speaker and she’ll lie and say she’s in the middle of something or that the office is empty. Boss (and his boss and her boss) have all counseled her. She pulls out tears, says she can’t change who she is, gets mad and threatens to sue.

    I just ignore her or go for a walk during the worst of it (I walk to the copier a dozen times Friday) but my other office mate is getting more and more diabolical with her responses. She slams things on her desk, has her own loud conversation, asks me a question at the top of her lungs or pulls her drawer out to the point it crashes to the floor. Yeah tension is getting thicker in there.

    But recently she was put on probation. See talking loud on the speaker phone is bad enough, but when you do it while releasing confidential information to someone unauthorized it’s really bad. Boss heard her (as he can hear every conversation, he’s in the same city you know) and put her on warning. I think they are stacking things up to terminate.

    Before anyone says it, no her hearing is fine. Recently she told me that my cellphone vibrating in my bag was ‘so loud’ and I should take it back to the store.

  111. JS7*

    I work with a talker too. Only she expresses – EVERY – SINGLE – thought that goes through her head in a normal conversational level. Along the lines of “I need to go make two copies of this, I don’t know why they never send enough copies, I need two copies, one for X, one for Y so I’ll drop them off on my way back from the copier. I’m getting hungry it must be close to lunch time oh no it’s only ten.” All day long.
    I know it’s partially my problem because I can’t tune her out, I tend to be hyper aware of everything around me. So what I do is petty and wrong, but she tends to start actually talking to me without a change of tone or speaking my name which is irritating. So I don’t respond and she gets angry and yells my name with the usual ‘I am talking to you, you are so rude!’ I usually respond ‘oh sorry I didn’t realize, you’ve been talking to yourself all day’. Which makes her furious. And I get silence for the rest of the day. The occasional mutter under her breath but no longer the running commentary. I play it right and piss her off bad enough and she goes silent and glaring for days. Last week I really made her angry (ignored her multiple times in an hour) on Tuesday and she ranted to me, our boss and others, then went silent for the rest of the week. Good week.

    1. Valerie*

      That sounds like a pretty useful action-response mechanism you have employed :) Seriously, that would drive me batty! Maybe if you keep doing it, she will eventually learn to keep her thoughts to herself…

  112. QQ*

    At my last job we had a document management system that allowed you to search by person and see all the documents each person had worked on. It also had a history function that allowed you to see who had accessed each document. At one point, we discovered that one of our co-workers was accessing every single document each of us (at my level) had worked on at the end of every day. We never figured out why he was doing that, and he was eventually let go, but it was creepy.

  113. Kate in Scotland*

    I always think of the coworker who I was told had two dishwashers in his kitchen at home and no kitchen cupboards, I can never figure out whether that was weird or just really, really smart.

  114. Miss Displaced*

    Well I had the “stinky guy” in my office.
    My coworker would take walks at lunch, and change into a t-shirt and sneakers. Great, except that when he came back, he would proceed to hang up his sweaty, stinky clothes all over the office, backs of chairs, etc., and leave them there.

    When he went on vacation we got some tongs and threw them all in his desk drawer where there got hard as boards. Ick!

  115. Gracie*

    I once worked with a guy who would make snide comments about my lunches (regardless of whether they were fast food, made from home, etc) and then 30 seconds later, go to swipe a chip or french fry or such.
    I have some pretty crazy coworkers now but just my luck if they read this blog too and recognize themselves.

  116. TychaBrahe*

    TW for animal death


    I worked at a museum that had a chick hatchery. As part of the job we were supposed to take the chicks with deformities and euthanize them. (You would be stunned at how many chicks had deformities. We probably had to do this twice a week.) I was originally in charge of the hatchery, and the woman who took over from me used to take the deformed chicks home (and she lived in a residence hotel) and try to care for them.

    1. OneoftheMichelles*

      Jeez, that’s just too depressing to leave hanging there…
      Not every deformity is life-threatening; did she ever save one/maybe pass it on to a good home?

      BTW, what kind of museum was this?

  117. Charles*

    This is a thing with a small group of people, but not everyone knows about it, because they haven’t seen it.

    I had a coworker that would pick her nose and eat her boogers. She had three techniques, one I can never remember without asking someone who also witnessed it. She would constantly stick her thumb in there a little, and then into her mouth. And another technique was to poke her index finger in her nostril for 3-5 minutes, twirl it around and around, and then take it out with the booger attached, look at it, and then eat it. I noticed it on day 2, but it never really bothered me, I found it entertaining. Others who worked there who were more uptight complained and then she had to move desks.
    At my farewell, I did ask her why she does it, and she didn’t even try to deny it, she just said “I don’t know, I just do, can we not talk about this?” Didn’t even try to deny it.

    1. Anonymous*

      dunno if this is true, but i heard that a sodium deficency causes the craving for it leading to the compulsion

  118. Sara M*

    I thought I didn’t have anything, but my husband reminded me I do. Simultaneously “weird coworker” and “best manager ever”:

    I worked as a phonemonkey in a call center. Lots of people called to yell at us, and often they demanded to speak to our boss. This was normal but still stressful. My boss was a quirky but awesome guy. He was giant, with a 19th century handlebar mustache, and his weekend paid hobby was… well, I’ll get there.

    One time I said “someone wants to talk to you,” with a sad look, and he’d been having a terrible day. He sighed heavily, gave me a sly smile, and said, “Tell them I’m 6’5″, 400 pounds, and a professional Wild West gunfight recreationist. Do they _really_ want to talk to me about their phone bill?”

    Oh, how I wished I could say that to the customer.

  119. Claire*

    Well, I had a few weird cases too…
    – During my first job, my boss would never talk to a woman, except for his wife (who worked at the same place and they have lunch every day together) and some women on the same hierarchical level. This is how my co-worker (a male) started managing me…
    – About 10 years ago, I worked in a nuclear power plant in France, lots of men (barely 10% of women and most of them were admin or assistant). Lots of open sexual innuendos, sometimes quite nasty, these guys were fantazing about every women in their 20’s and 30’s. French guys tend to be annoying with women, but in that place, it was just a nightmare!

  120. Claire*

    Oh and I forgot about my last project where one of the guy was supposed to attend our meeting to support the project. However, since the meeting started around 11:15am and ended no later than 1pm (still enough time for lunch), he would find any excuse to skip the meeting and instead go to the swimming pool, because lunch break were made for sport…

  121. Rettie*

    Ahh yes. I was a first year teacher, and co-worker was retiring. That being said, he took off every Friday, wore stained and torn T-shirts and made the most ridiculous racist, sexist and just plain idiotic statements known to mankind. I’m not sure if he did this in front of kids, but he certainly had no problems addressing it during meetings.

    Our last meeting before kids started the year involved the principal coming in to inform teacher that yes, he would be expected to wear his teeth at all times, and no, he couldn’t take them out in front of the kids. No, no one could understand him w/o his teeth, and he also had to wear them during parent conferences.

    Ahh memories.

  122. Sarah*

    I’m seeing this thread late, which is unfortunate since I NEED to write about my current coworker and her crazy self. There are quite a few factors which would be considered odd or weird about this person. First off is the way she dresses, she is completely socially unaware and possibly color blind. I’m not just being mean, people at the office who are trying to be nice have given her hand me downs so she would have some normal looking clothes… she makes 40K a year, she can afford to shop. Lets suffice to say she dresses like a color blind old homeless lady in a professional environment. We have the same position but different bosses and our job is to discover things by pouring over documents. Not the most interesting job by any account. She behaves as though we are saving the universe on a daily basis and is known for screeching out how important something she finds is and how it benefits ALL… this gets old fast. I would say the absolute worst though is her need to be correct all the time.. this usually comes out more in general conversation. For example, she was saying how generous fast food places like McDonald’s are for posting their calorie info on the signs outside.. I point out i’m pretty sure it was made a law and they had to. She DOES NOT believe me and has to look it up. When I am right I can tell by the jacked up face she makes just how irritated she is to be wrong. She admits that she was wrong and is then mean to me all day… This happens alot! She doesn’t call me names or anything, but she gets really short and begins to pretend like she’s really busy. That’s another thing! She behaves as thought she is working top secret projects ALL the time. She becomes livid if her boss mentions what she’s currently working on in passing because she’s afraid we’ll steal her thunder. We have gone back and forth on whether or not she actually has a medical condition, like aspergers (spelling*) or narcissism or something. Either way, she’s unstable to a degree that she alienates everyone around her. If bored I mess with her a little since its so easy and management WONT do a damn thing about her behavior. They have spoken with her, but she’ll never get fired since she’s so impassioned about the work.. its incredibly frustrating. Someone, in the past even got fired for freaking out on her. They snapped and just couldn’t take it anymore. I just leave the room if it gets too bad. Sometimes she smells oddly of urine too (she’s only late 20’s).. and has this strange boyfriend she brings to work lunches and stuff. Sorry I was rambling, I just keep thinking of things!

  123. Julie*

    I too am seeing this thread late, so many weird co-worker stories, love them!
    There was a guy at a place I worked once who wore the same shirt every Friday, without fail. It was a green and white stripped polo shirt, which he would wear with his casual Friday jeans. We began referring to him as Friday Shirt Guy. He also had this habit of saying doot-da-doot-da-doo as he walked around the office.

  124. littlemoose*

    I am totally late to this thread, but I have a weird coworker too. He regularly walks around the office without shoes on, and his cubicle is crammed with random junk from antique shops. Once I pitched some flowers I’d had in my office because they were dying. My coworker fished them out of the trash and displayed them at his cubicle for another week.

    1. littlemoose*

      Also, +1 to AAM for using Pete Campbell’s photo for this thread – love it.

  125. Liz*

    I had a weird retail manager once, who I’ll call…. culturally ignorant and exploratory. She was a young white Bible baptist, married. And while she was never blatantly offensive, she would use her time as manager at the store to probe into the other ladies working there – we had a couple of black girls, one of whom was secretly pregnant but hid it from the manager out of fear of being judged (Our manager would make comments like, “Is Jenny bigger? Or is that just because black people are built like that?”). And then we had a young Muslim woman who wore a hijab…. she was generally very respectful, and we all had some interesting conversations about race and culture, but she was fascinated with wanting to see the woman’s hair. Once when the store was deserted, she said, “Ok, it’ s just us girls now, can we see your hair?” – the woman complied, but what an odd request! I thought hair fascination only happened toward black people. But the manager told me the next day that her hair was “beautiful, you wouldn’t believe it, just gorgeous flowing locks, what a shame”. At least she was curious about other cultures?

  126. XX Engineer*

    My coworker doesn’t seem to realize that milk in a carton can still go bad: he leaves little milk cartons on his desk for days and then drinks them. At the moment, he’s on a two week vacation and there are four cartons of chocolate milk on his desk for when he gets back. Ew.

  127. justme*

    Late but I guess people are still reading. My weird one started as a really nice guy. Willing to take me under his wing and show me the ropes at the new job. He was a bit flirty and daily told me how pretty I looked. Kinda strange considering the 25 year age difference but it was OK, nothing overtly harassing.

    Then I did the unthinkable. I cut my hair. I had been growing it out to donate for cancer patients so it was down to my butt. Cut it was above my shoulders. I walked in the day after and he looked at me with such hatred

    1. justme*

      Whoops – continued – like I betrayed him somehow. Turned out in his religion women weren’t allowed to cut their hair. He’s never spoken to me again, just glares once in awhile.

      1. L McD*

        They always seem nice at first, don’t they? I had a coworker once who gradually progressed from being “mildly annoying” to “downright terrifying” in a period of a few years, and he often made a point of commenting on my appearance, usually in a not-positive way (although he did once insist that I “looked like I’d lost weight,” which I really didn’t, but ok dude). Once he made a point of telling me he didn’t like the color of my nail polish. (It was a sort of light shimmery green, nothing really odd or noticeable.) Another time, I got my hair cut fairly short and he told me I’d “better not cut it any shorter, or your husband will divorce you! Hahaha!” He made this hilarious joke approximately 25 times during my shift.

        Sometimes, especially during the holidays, customers or fellow employees would bring in food to share and leave it in the break room. When he went on break, he’d sit right next to the tray of whatever and just eat it constantly for the entire 15-30 minutes he was in there. And I mean CONSTANTLY. It would be demolished by the time he left. No apparent thought to the idea that other people might want some.

        But all of that paled in comparison to when he had a complete breakdown and started full-on harassing customers and employees. He hassled some poor Middle Eastern guy about “where he was from” and what his religion was, etc. and had a fellow employee in tears because he wouldn’t stop touching her and saying inappropriate things. Thankfully, shortly after that, he stopped showing up to work and they were able to fire him without going through all the usual red tape because that’s “voluntary job abandonment” or whatever. He filed some kind of grievance with the labor board, so they scheduled a phone hearing with management, but he never bothered to show up to that either.

  128. GirlWoman*

    I worked with a guy who was a bit of a hayseed. He bragged about how he saved money while courting his wife by bringing her bouquets from cemetary graves. After they were married, his wife would often put him in “time out” for bad behavior. For example, the time he decided to start a fireplace blaze with gasoline and set the drapes aflame. When his wife was pregnant with triplets and bedridden for the last few months, he complained to his father about his lack of a sex life. His father suggested he sit on a block of ice to tame “the beast,” (and he did! none of us ever asked if this worked – we really didn’t want to know any more) After she delivered his triplets, the newspapers interviewed him as having said, “The first two came out – girls – and I was worried. Then the third one was born and… I finally got that boy.” They were born in April and we learned, on asking, that he did nothing at all for his wife on Mother’s Day. He was a piece of work and remained a clueless hayseed until he left our workplace.

  129. Anon*

    This is probably normal for most places but personally I just can’t stand this kind of behavior:

    There’s a manager/supervisor where I work who very openly and noticeably flirts with younger female temps and interns. He is (I’m assuming) mid to late 40s, and I have nothing against flirting in the workplace but it’s so freaking awkward and whenever it happens I leave the room ASAP.

    Also, I share a cubicle with this girl, who is a control freak, and she has been telling random people that I’m her “work-husband.” We’re friends but I feel like this is still odd to be sharing with random people at work.

  130. Tami M*

    The weirdest coworker I ever worked with was a compulsive liar and terribly delusional.
    1. She was on the cubby side, but said she wasn’t fat; that it was the Fluorescent lights she sat under that made her ‘puffy’.
    2. She said her 3 yr old son knew every word to ‘Come on baby light my fire’ by The Doors, without ever hearing the song.
    3. She said if you threw a hand full of change on a soft surface, her son could tell you exactly how much money it was by the sound. (When I told her I was gonna try that, she made excuses as to why it might not work).
    4. She said she wore a size 6-7 shoe, but when I suggested she try on a coworker’s new size 7 shoes, they didn’t come close to fitting. She said it was because of the Fluorescent lights. (Not to mention that I’d bought a pair of her never worn shoes, and they were a size 10.)
    5. She was always pointing out rashes or a redness on her arm that nobody else could see.
    LMAO It goes on and on. She was a real piece of work. hehehe

  131. anon-2*

    BOY could I write a book on this one!

    I did write of the guy who had a wife, and a girlfriend outside of the office and another one IN the office… and of course, the managers looked upon that activity favorably… in the 70s.

    One woman who ate cat food at her desk. The dry food.

    A group of women who were obsessed with the comings and goings of another female employee, who they did not like. Just a weird situation to be around.

    Of course, I worked at a weird place once where they would have internal “investigators” call your neighbors and ask questions about you.

    While I worked at that same place, my wife began receiving crank calls at the house during the day. We went to the phone company – we wanted a tracer put on. They advised that once we sign, we must go along with prosecution, and it might be best to spread the word – “anyone at work?” So I go in, announce I have to leave early. Why? “Crank calls, I have an appointment with the phone company to trace them, have to sign some papers.” The phone calls stopped… !

  132. Tales from Financial Sector*

    My firm buys amazing top-notch season tickets to various NYC sports games to bribe *ahem* take out clients :-P Every now and then they’ll give tickets to employees for personal use. Well this person (in addition to being VERY emotionally unstable, selfish, rude and not afraid to show it…this on top of her laughable quality of work) actually has the nerve to try and sell tickets she received for free to people outside of the company, and even to other employees!! Her reasoning? She doesn’t have a man to go with plus she’s broke and needs the cash. There have been times when I wasn’t able to use the tickets, never did I consider denying a coworker (not everyone has gone) a chance to sit in VIP Yankee game seats for free. If you have a mental image of a poor single mom or something along those lines you’re way off…

  133. The Normal One*

    I had a coworker (back in the late 90’s) who showed up everyday wearing a black leather skirt, black leather vest (like you would wear with a suit) and black high heels. He didn’t wear earrings or a necklace, but his hair was spiked and he would occasionally put a beret on each spike. Our manager informed him that his attire didn’t meet the dress code. Upon reviewing the dress code, he actually did.

    We worked in retail and only one customer had an issue with his clothing. He pointed out to the woman that she was wearing pants, so what’s the difference?

    I still smile when I think about that moment.

  134. little Cindy Lou who*

    Very late to the game but can always hope for a part 2 :) though mine are more about boundary issues…

    I worked at a large Fortune 500 where finding a mentor was strongly encouraged to new hires. When I brought up the subject with my boss and asked if he thought one of the other managers in our group would be a good choice he got very irate and said HE was my mentor because he had the most experience out of them all.

    I had a coworker who I shared an office with and admittedly loved but she was an over-sharer. One of the best moments: she was sharing how excited she was to go on a third date with some guy after work that day because third dates mean its time for sex and she really needed sex! Said emphatically right as our old-enough-to-be-our-father (and often meting out dad-isms) manager swung by our office and then just quickly walked right past.

    I worked in a large IT department doing budgeting and forecasting, etc. A new developer started chatting with me in the kitchen and then asked “so you’re someone’s admin assistant, right?” Mind blown! When I got back to my cube I told my boss about the question and he nearly fell out of chair saying “yeah Cindy! Where’s your short skirt and fishnets?”

    “So you’re an admin, right?” guy would also make his way around periodically at work events and ask if I was still seeing my boyfriend, then go “oh, ok. Let me know when that changes” and wander off again.

    During my first month in the IT crowd, one of the server admins offered me a mixed drink out of his personal stock during one of the Friday afternoon happy hours and we spent some time chatting. He made a big deal of having a long time girlfriend. The following week he told me they had broken up. And suggested we grab drinks out sometime. He would later tell my boyfriend that HE could’ve dated me because I was clearly into him. Server admin had gotten back with his girlfriend when I shared that I was dating my guy.

    A security guy where I worked randomly went off on a 20 minute tirade about how he couldnt see how female police officers could be effective because they’re so loaded up with gear and some of them so small that they must just fall right over.

    …And so many more. Lol. I’m a total magnet for the Awkwardand/or TMI.

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