some of the weirdest posts of 2016

Just for fun, in no particular order, here are some of the weirdest posts of 2016. (These do not include letters that were already nominated for Worst Boss of 2016, as they have had their moment in the sun.)

2016 was a weird, weird year.

I had to share a bed with a coworker on a business trip

I was fired from my internship for writing a proposal for a more flexible dress code

my team is super into tarot cards, the Secret, and sharing our personal “visions”

my boss wants his nephew to live in my house for three months

I was fired for taking initiative (and undermining my manager)

my employee secretly brought her kids to work and forced a coworker to watch them

low performers in my office are paraded around and forced to wear dunce caps

my coworker drew genitalia on a going-away card for someone else

my coworker announced she’ll only check email twice a week

a coworker stole my spicy food, got sick, and is blaming me (and the happy update)

company wants references from “coworkers you didn’t get along with”

my coworker wants us to call her boyfriend her “master”

my best employee quit on the spot because I wouldn’t let her go to her college graduation

{ 36 comments… read them below }

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I kind of feel sad about that last one. I’d like to think that people who write Alison are searching for something better so they send their question in. I was hoping OP would see a bigger picture.

    2. MissGirl*

      :I was fired for taking initiative (and undermining my manager)” is so crazy and reads like a short fiction piece. I sure hope it’s fake and someone isn’t walking around with that much cluelessness.

  1. Doug Judy*

    I’d love to know what happened to the employee who quit to go to her graduation. I hope she has a great job with a company that values her hard work. I think of that one often and still don’t get the rationale the OP had that concert tickets was an acceptable reason to have an entire day off but a college graduation wasn’t a reason to come in two hours late.

    1. BobtheBreaker*

      Ditto! This was one of two “boss” posts, I read this year, where I vocalized the long form of “WTF” while reading it. Definitely an updated needed on this one.

  2. MuseumChick*

    Kind of wish we could do a Most Clueless Employee of the Year poll. (Woman who wanted everyone to call her BF Master would be my pick)

  3. Thornus67*

    It’s quite the year when the dunce cap bosses, which people in February were calling the shoe-in favorite to win Worst Boss of the Year, didn’t even make the poll.

  4. eplawyer*

    I really love this site. All kind of weirdness that makes me glad I am self-employed with no minions (and if I had them I wouldn’t call them that).

    I need to send this to my niece. She actually went to her boyfriend’s job to complain they had him working Christmas morning and the day after Christmas, thereby messing up their vacation plans. She was not happy with me when I pointed out she was wrong to do that. I love my niece and think she is practically perfect. Others probably feel differently.

  5. AnonNurse*

    Oh I would love an update on the interns! That story was just something special from start to finish.

  6. The Supreme Troll*

    Regarding the employee who was taking so-called “initiative” (and, of course, working against her manager)…

    I hope that she came to the realization of where she was wrong (which was on a number of things) and has taken the advice of Alison and the fellow commenters to heart. Yes, some of the comments were a little harsh towards her, but they weren’t personal attacks or anything that was uncivil. I think we would all love to hear a positive outcome from her, that she has changed her ways at her new job.

  7. Fafaflunkie*

    Oh, how much I’d love to hear an update from that manager who wouldn’t give the graduate a whole two hours off to attend her graduation ceremony. Even better if that graduate recognized the post and figured out she was the subject of the post.

  8. Rachel*

    Alison, did the OP who was asked for references from people he/she didn’t get along with take you up on your offer to be a reference? : ) That would have been an interesting conversation!

  9. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    I cannot believe all of these happened just this year. (For some reason, I thought dunce caps happened last year—oh how wrong I was.) I feel bad, though, because many of my favorite “weird posts” were submitted by OPs who really seemed to be on another planet. I do often wonder what happened with graduation boss, employee smuggling in her children, person “taking initiative,” and boss’s nephew.

  10. MsChanandlerBong*

    I didn’t see the “Secret” one when it was originally published. What a cluster! The last time I worked for someone else (I’ve been self-employed for years), they made me watch “The Secret” on my first day. Not surprisingly, it was the worst job I ever had. Even worse than the job where I was hired as an HR assistant making $11.25 an hour and ended up being the sole HR person for a company with five divisions spread across two states.

  11. Teapots Inc HR*

    The intern one was my favorite WTF letter of the year. The over zealousness of it all and then getting fired was the icing on the cake. It should be required reading for those clueless college kids who have no idea how the real world works.

    1. Loz*

      Or maybe colleges/high schools could put some basic life skills into a short course. We had ‘home economics’ option for running a home, a complementary “how not to stand out in the office” would save a lot of eye rolling and unnecessary angst on both sides.

      1. LQ*

        The high school intern we had this past summer had a class like that, the internship was a part of it. The instructor came around and met everyone and talked to us about what we should expect them to know already, how to follow up with problems, etc. She was awesome. (The intern. We’ve already invited her back next year if she wants the spot.)

      2. Jadelyn*

        Definitely at the high school level. General workplace etiquette, realistic dress code expectations for various types of workplaces, how to “read” the culture/expectations of a given office, how to address concerns directly with a peer and which concerns you should address yourself vs which ones you should go to your manager with, when to involve or not involve HR in work situations, etc.

  12. A Bag of Jedi Mind Tricks*

    Yes, those first two were doozies. And the last one (the manager who wouldn’t let the graduate go to her graduation). I talked about these three for days.

  13. Mockingjay*

    Did we ever get a follow-up from the one about the boss wanting his nephew to live with the letter writer?

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