ask the readers: weirdly dramatic responses to mundane office changes

There’s something about work that can make people have weirdly strong reactions to relatively mundane changes in office policies or practices — like the guy who throws a loud temper tantrum when I.T. makes him change the password he’s used for the last three years, or the angsty drama greeting an announcement that people can’t bring in their own plants anymore because of bugs.

Let’s hear about weirdly dramatic reactions that you’ve seen people have to policy changes at work — the more disproportionate to the provocation, the better. If someone lost their mind when they were told to clean out their email or Hulked out when casual Fridays ended, please share in the comments. Details, details please.

{ 2,252 comments… read them below }

    1. Future Homesteader*

      Hitting refresh repeatedly. We’re in the midst of a lot of changes (too soon to write about, I think, and so far nothing spectacular, just irksome), so I look forward to hearing others’ tales, which I have no doubt will make me feel better about the sulking going on here.

    2. animaniactoo*

      Ditto. Our server is moving super slow at the moment as we try to delete stuff to create some operating room and I need a timefiller!

    3. MegaMoose, Esq*

      Joining the desperately looking forward to distraction crew! I’ve spent close to the last month desperately trying to drag out the few things I have to do as long as humanly possible. Everyone is grumpy here and just wants this project to end. Sadly, nothing I can do affects that, or I’d be busting my butt for sure.

    4. Justanotherthought*

      I like how Alison kept her introduction short, knowing this is going to be AMAAAAZZZINNG and just what we all needed today.

      Bring. It. On.

    5. Julie Noted*

      Aw man! I was looking forward to this post and I wake up to see that it’s here and over 1000 comments already 8O

    1. What What in the*

      “Free” meerkats? As in, all further meerkats require being paid for? Or did you mean free-range meerkats, so all further meerkats are from captivity? Come on, you can’t leave it at that!

      1. Apollo Warbucks*

        They are soft toys that are given away to customers who buy from the company I work for. unfortunately they stopped giving them to staff at all.

        1. ReneeB*

          I worked for a biomedical company and they had plush toys of diseases. A little grinning staph infection bacteria. A flu virus. A Streptococcus bacteria.

          These were intended as schwag for customers and partners at industry events. I take it they didn’t go over well. They ended up at the office for employees to take. They still didn’t go over well. They started giving them to all new employees. I received a few when I was on-boarded. I didn’t want them either.

          A plush meerkat however…! I would kill for one of those.

          So yes, I can imagine the gladitorial combats taking place in the office for dibs on meerkats!

            1. Bits and Bytes*

              I agree. Biomed schwag is awesome. My MIL has an Irritable Bowel plush that growls when shaken. It’s just the best.

              1. AMT*

                I’ll take “things I didn’t know I desperately wanted on my desk” for 500, Alex.

            2. MI Dawn*

              Oh, I love those, too. Both my daughters have some of them. But you get really weird looks when you tell people that your daughter asked for mono for Christmas….

              1. Stella*

                My daughter got dissentary from her Aunt for christmas one year. The bed bug was funny until we actually got bedbugs…

              2. PlainJane*

                Giant Microbes, one of the companies that makes plushie microbes, also sells underwear with pictures of microbes on them. So I got one of my close male friends a pair of boxers with pictures of gonorrhea on them. The joke for years was that I gave him the clap for Christmas.

                1. Kelly*

                  Thanks for including the name of that company. My sister works in the public health field and I think she’d get a laugh of getting a plushie herpes as a gag gift.

                2. vpc*

                  I also work in public health, on the side that does outbreak investigations, and *everybody* has at least a few on their desks. They also made / make ties. I knew I was in the right job when the icebreaker at the the office christmas party was “so what’s your favorite pathogen?” and EVERYONE HAD AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

                  (Mine is the Black Death.)

                3. Clumsy Ninja*

                  vpc – I love this! Now I’m going to ask everyone at work about their favorite pathogen….

                4. Epiphyta*

                  I have two of the rhinovirus soap dispensers!

                  My son has several of the plushies, and nearly made his grandmother faint at Christmas when he announced that his best friend gave him chlamydia.

            3. JessaB*

              My sister used to toss them to her Uni students when she taught advanced nursing courses as rewards for getting really really complicated stuff right. I have a few as well but my fave from that company is actually a stuffed brain neuron.

            4. Rachel*

              I got my girlfriend a plush platelet after she developed an autoimmune platelet deficiency (ITP). She needs all the platelets she can get, huggable or otherwise :)

          1. Apollo Warbucks*

            The latest one’s are StarWars themed, I didn’t even know I wanted a Luke Skywalker meerkat until I was told I couldn’t have one.

            1. Elstra*

              I didn’t know I wanted one until you revealed their existence and I couldn’t have one!

              1. Anne (with an "e")*

                I want a plush toy Meerkat. I would especially <3 a Star Wars themed Meerkat. The idea that they exist and I don't have one seriously bums me out…..

                1. Bunny*

                  A young man at work does an excellent Meerkat impression and I giggle uncontrollably when he does it. So he does it when I’m on the air.

                  Yes, I work for WKRP.

            2. Annie Mouse*

              I know which company you mean and I’m just about to get something that would mean I get the free meerkat. I thought they were still Frozen ones, the Star Wars ones are awesome!!

              1. Say what, now?*

                Can we get a hint about these magical meerkat retailers? Is it a part of their logo? Or even just a country of origin would be great??? : )

                1. MsSolo*

                  It’s a pun on a UK business’s name that is currently running ads with high profile hollywood stars. Try searching youtube for something like Arnie meerkat.

              2. Meerkat*

                Bummer to lose meerkats as an employee – but still given out to customers, right? How do I become a customer????? I’ll find a way to get a meerkat. Next incarnation suggestion – a Doctor Who meerkat!

          2. Aphrael*

            When I was a kid I had a beanie baby snow leopard from a pharmaceutical company, so instead of spots it had influenza viruses.

              1. JessaB*

                Oh that is cool, the influenza leopard. I actually have from way back when they gave them out, an Aflaac duck, that yells “Aflaaaaaaaac” when you press on it.

                1. PennyLane*

                  I totally had this duck too! My dad picked it up at a conference and I kept it on a shelf in my room in college. Friends loved pressing him, and he was super popular when people were drunk.

          3. paul*

            ….I honestly *really* want the staph one, and the strep one, as someone that’s had issues with those two. Granted, mostly so I can light them on fire as a form of petty revenge but still….

            Did y’all know you can get strep in your skin? I never knew that until it happened to me

            1. Not Rebee*

              Yes, and it’s nasty. Had several infections break out at once (going theory is many shaving nicks infected by breathing staph from my nose) all over my legs… one site swelled to the size of my palm and was so deep they literally measured it by sticking one of those long handled q-tips into it. The scar, 7 years later, is the size of the tip of my index finger. Not Fun At All.

              1. Agile Phalanges*

                So, what I’m taking away from that is: avoid shavings legs. Especially when sick. But avoid shaving legs at all, just to be safe.

            2. TM*

              I LOVE the disease plushies. I have an e-coli and an ebola. The ebola was swag from a vendor (I work in a biomedical research dept at a university).

            3. Not So NewReader*

              Did not know you could get it on your skin. I did learn that strep can cause bleeding. Blood in the throat follows gravity downward….

            4. This Daydreamer*

              I’ve got Cellulitis right now! I’m okay now, for the most part but the first couple of days were hell.

            5. On Fire*

              Way late to the party, but… yes. And it can be Bad (TM). My MIL ended up having one leg amputated below the knee because she had a *severe* case of strep in her leg.

          4. Artemesia*

            My daughter gave me a plush bone cell for Christmas to commemorate a recent fracture. I was amazed that such things exist but she said there were e-coli on the same rack.

            1. JustaTech*

              One year for Valentine’s day my husband got me the heart-shaped box set of venereal diseases. The itty bitty syphilis is so cute!

            2. RKB*

              After I had a bowel resection and lost my small intestine my friends got me a plush one to make up for it. Hilarious.

          5. Noah*

            “A plush meerkat however…! I would kill for one of those.”

            Well, you could use the stuffed strep bacteria to do it…

          6. mrs__peel*

            Awww, I would’ve loved some plush diseases!

            My mom gave me a squishy brain (one of those rubbery things you squeeze to relieve stress) that she got at a stroke conference, and it’s one of my favorite things in the world.

          7. curmudgeon*

            I’d love the disease plushies! Friends who are doctors have them & they are cool. There’s even patterns that you can knit/crochet of them.
            Send ’em my way!

          8. Falling Diphthong*

            Judging by the length of the responses–if anyone is wondering “What would my employees like besides money and time off?” apparently the answer is stuffed viruses. Which would not have occurred to me. (Disclosure–I would love a stuffed virus.)

          9. The OG Anonsie*

            I love the plushie microbes! I’m surprised there weren’t enough weird nerds in any of those groups to snag a bunch.

          10. eplawyer*

            Seriously if your company is still trying to unload them, I will take them. As apparently will others.

          11. pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

            I love giant microbes. I gave my boxer dog rabies and it was the perfect size and shape for playing fetch.

          12. Megan*

            I love those plush diseases. My BIL and his wife got me the STD set for Christmas, which quickly went from amusing living room decor to cat toy – the chlamydia one for some reason is fascinating to them.

          13. Gadget Hackwrench*

            One of the first gifts my husband got me, early in our dating relationship was a plush Rhinovirus. I named him Steve. Steve the Rhinovirus is still one of my favorite stuffed animals. (Although my Uglydoll Secret Mission Icebat is the star at the moment, because I just got him earlier this week… which I mention because he’s here in my lap… at the office.) The Plush Microbes are so cuuuuuute!

          14. weasel007*

            oHHH..I got some of those for Christmas one year. My husband was so proud to tell everyone that he got me chicken pox for Christmas.

        2. O'Thee*

          Ha, small world – my company signed a partnership with you guys a while ago so I’ve got three of those suckers staring at me in the office right now!

      1. liz_isabella*

        I kind of love the idea of the insurance comparison company having their meerkats cut off at the source.

        1. Discordia Angel Jones*

          Glad to hear it!

          Your employers will be pleased to know that that’s what I immediately thought of when I read your comment.

    2. This Daydreamer*

      I think you’re going to cause a near riot here just by introducing the idea of free meerkats!

      I want one too. *sad puppy dog eyes*

      1. madge*

        Thank you for this gift. This is now bookmarked for any down days, down time, any time…

      2. Pixel*

        To think some lucky duck was paid presumably nice wages to design the meerkats and write the bios… “So, what are your recent accomplishments?” “A team of well-rounded meerkats”.

    3. Gaia*

      We recently went through a rebranding and were told our beloved mascot could not longer be used in such public ways. This mascot is everywhere. And beloved. By everyone.

      It did not go over well. There are rebel factions still using her in everything. Brand is angry.

      1. justsomeone*

        We phased out a beloved caterpillar mascot about 10 years ago and we still have people absolutely obsessed with it who beg for caterpillar themed swag.

        1. LavaLamp*

          OHMYGOD! I need a stuffed Meerkat now. That is freaking the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a very long time. <3 <3

      2. Gadget Hackwrench*

        When my University mostly replaced their Mascot, the students weren’t having it AT ALL. They did it because “Puck Man” is great for Hockey but weird for other sports… but if you ask the students they’d rather have Puck Man at the football games than The Chicken. (Redhawk.)

        “In 1995 the official nickname of some of the school’s other Division III teams was changed from the Engineers to the Red Hawks, but the hockey, football, cross-country, tennis, and track and field teams all chose to retain the Engineers name. The “Red Hawks” name was, at the time, very unpopular among the student body; a “Red Hawk” mascot was frequently taunted with thrown concessions and chants of “kill the chicken!””

    4. Hankie Enlightenment (formerly Sarahnova)*

      Are you in the UK, Apollo? I totally know who you work for if you are!

    5. Bagpuss*

      I’m obviously deeply unnatural.
      I hate the meerkats. They irritate the heck out of me.
      I’ve never bought insurance via that company but they do’t tempt me to do so.
      Clearly, if I ever do get insurance through them I should come back here and offer the meerkat to the highest bidder!

      1. DJ*

        I find them less irritating than their rival the opera singer (picturing the confusion of non-UK readers!). Although at least that organisation did some ads admitting that he was annoying and punishing him for it.

        1. Anne (with an "e")*

          Here in the States we have a Gecko that works for a certain insurance company. Another insurance company has Snoopy from Peanuts. Then there is the AFLAC duck. I love them all. So, we are not missing out on the cuteness over here.

          1. Kirsten*

            My dad works for Aflac. I have many stuffed ducks in various outfits that quack “Aflac… Aflac… AFLAC!!!” when you squeeze them.

  1. overcaffeinatedandqueer*

    Usually, at one of my jobs, the manager would bring donuts or bagels on Friday. It was consistent enough that people would not eat breakfast at home on Friday.

    One of my coworkers flipped out when the manager forgot them one week. He started throwing his arms around and near-yelling “where are the bleeping donuts, I’m bleeping hungry! This is so bleeping ridiculous…”

    He sulked the rest of the day.

    1. Anonyforthis*

      And I’m sure this guy *never* contributed to any potluck or other food events but just expected everyone else to provide it for HIM.

      This guy sucks.

      1. overcaffeinatedandqueer*

        I think I had a more nuanced view; he had literally no income after basic expenses. Still, a tantrum?

        1. TL -*

          Even then, nobody owes him free food, especially not his manager. I can understand being disappointed and hungry/grumpy but you keep it to yourself, people!

          1. Noah*

            I don’t know. When you create the expectation that there’s breakfast every Friday, I think you need to give notice if you’re not going to bring it in. Something is owed, if not actual breakfast.

          2. Callalily*

            Everyone is owed free donuts… should be a government program distributing them to offices.

            1. Managed Chaos*

              I once worked for an estate attorney who flipped out on the receptionist for not saving her a whole wheat bagel from the Friday morning bagels. Even though the admin let her know when the bagels arrived, made sure to order one of the bagels, apparently the fact that she didn’t guard it with her life to make sure none of the other partners took it was a terrible offense.

          3. Indoor Cat*

            Yeah, like…I sympathize with financial struggles. But the places to get free food are, like, the Food Shelf? Meals on Wheels? Food Stamps? A Church or something that gives out food? Unlocked dumpster behind a fast food or grocery?

            It’s not your boss’s job to give free food.

    2. alter_ego*

      I love to bake, but I can’t eat everything, of course, so I regularly bring cupcakes and such to work. At an old internship, there was a few weeks where I didn’t bring anything in, because I’d gotten pretty busy in my personal life. Like 3 people complained that I hadn’t brought anything in lately.

      I never brought treats to work again.

        1. TootsNYC*

          and how stupid! Because anyone with half a brain would realize you run the risk of people never bringing you cupcakes or donuts again!

      1. Anonymouse*

        Our old Executive Assistant used to bake cookies in the break room every Friday and bring them around. Apparently, some people started complaining that when she started at the other end of the building, the cookies weren’t as warm when she got to them. No good deed goes unpunished.

            1. Artemesia*

              In our family the phrase is ‘it is all part of life’s rich pageant.’ I’m not sure where the first person to use it lifted it from but we’ve been saying it for decades now

                1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

                  It’s a really old English idiom, but Inspector Clouseau (i.e., Peter Sellers) uses it in The Pink Panther. R.E.M. lifted it as an album title :)

        1. MegaMoose, Esq*

          Good lord. It’s called a microwave, people. I’ve never had a job that didn’t have one. It’s also called “don’t look the gift cookies in the mouth.”

          1. alter_ego*

            This is totally off topic, but I recently discovered that the coffee shop in my building will put their (giant) chocolate chip cookies on the panini press for you to heat them up if you ask. It’s a game changer. Seriously, best warmed up cookie I’ve ever had in my life.

              1. Beancounter Eric*

                Fresh from the oven chocolate chip peanut butter…..I may need to leave work early…

            1. MegaMoose, Esq*

              Oooooohhh! I’m not big on cookies (or sweet foods generally), but that sounds amazing.

            2. Tasha*

              We have a sign by the toaster in the employee lounge that says, “Do not heat cookies in the toaster. Use the microwave.”

            3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              I knew panini presses and George Foreman grills had a purpose!

        2. Time Bomb of Petulance*

          At an old job, I used to bring donuts… until people started complaining that I didn’t get enough of *specific type of donut(s)* that they liked. I was so put off by it that I stopped bringing them.

            1. Time Bomb of Petulance*

              Right?! People were making statements like, “[Time Bomb of Petulance] never gets enough chocolate glaze donuts” and “I wish [Time Bomb of Petulance] would get more bear claws when bringing donuts” . . . uh, you realize I didn’t have to bring ANY donuts at all, especially since no one else is contributing to the cost.

            1. Time Bomb of Petulance*

              The complaints also stopped (as far as I’m aware). No one else stepped up to buy donuts, so the office went without them.

              1. Jills Verne*

                Dammit, now I want donuts. I guess I know what I’m doing tomorrow morning. :/

              2. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

                You can bring donuts one more time and say, “This is your last chance to behave like adults.” :)

        3. Sled dog mama*

          Holy Cow. The only proper response to being offered a homemade cookie is “Thank you” that can be followed by yes or no depending on if you want/eat/like cookies but there is no other proper response

            1. Amy G. Golly*

              This was always my prompt when I worked with kids.

              Me: “Carson, would you like some?”
              Carson: “Nuh.” (or *grabbing motion*)
              Me: “Yes please, or no thank you?”

              It was hard not to take that practice with me into a job as a grocery cashier.

              Me: “Would you like your laundry detergent in a separate bag?”
              Customer, without looking up from phone: “Yeah.”
              Me, silently to myself: YES PLEASE OR NO THANK YOU???

              1. Agile Phalanges*

                Oh, man. I actually added “please” to someone’s solo “yes.” OUT LOUD. They were a superior. I was mortified. In my defense, my son was around 5 or so at the time, so it was a skill we were working on with him. But yeah. Embarrassing.

                1. Zahra*

                  It’s a reflex you get when you parent. And then you realize that no matter how much our parents drilled this into our heads, plenty of adults forgot basic politeness along the way.

          1. Chaordic One*

            When I brought in homemade cookies, I have been offered proposals of marriage. When I protested that I was already married, I was told that that didn’t matter and that he’d be happy to share me???!!!


        I used to have a very difficult receptionist who found out I baked, and bugged me endlessly to bring in cookies. So I did. Within a week, she was complaining that I hadn’t brought more. I never brought any in again.

        Now I work in a different area, and regularly bring in snacks. One person stops by, eats the snacks, and moans the whole time about how evil they are and how she shouldn’t be eating them and how bad and unhealthy they are. I politely said that the snacks were to enjoy, and that if they were a source of stress instead of enjoyment I could stop bringing them. She stopped complaining.

        1. MegaMoose, Esq*

          Good for you. I had one job a few years ago where we would get treats for birthdays once a month – there was always a group of people moaning and groaning about that bad, bad cake they were being forced to eat. I can’t stand food moralizing.

          1. Melba_Toast*

            On the other hand, there are offices (my old one) that will inquire further if you *don’t* eat the cake. “Oh, honey, are you on a diet? Good for you!” Errr…I just don’t like chocolate cake ((shrug))

            1. MegaMoose, Esq*

              Oh yeah, the same group of people were the ones who’d go on and on if you didn’t eat cake, or took an extra small piece. I don’t especially like most sweet foods, which some people find to be absolutely SHOCKING (sometimes insultingly so, as I’m overweight).

              1. Paula, with Two Kids*

                Me, too. But if they had chips…watch out! Love the salty, not the sweet. It’s just as “fattening”.

          2. Hlyssande*

            Our birthday thing is once a quarter now, and they’ve moved from cake only to a variety of snacks. There’s always cookies/pie/cake/something sweet, but also fruit, chips n salsa, cheese, crackers, veggies, and healthier stuff like that. People still whinge about it.

            1. MegaMoose, Esq*

              Yup. We always had at least fruit in addition to cake, but that just prompted the “oh, I should really take fruit, but I just feel naughty today!” or “good for you, way to be strong!” if you went for the fruit.

              1. Kit*

                ARRGH I hate comments like that!! I will generally raise my eyebrows slightly, say “food is morally neutral” in a tone of “I have a line here and you are about to cross it”, and go on eating my snack. It usually works.

              2. Hlyssande*

                Ugh, so rude. When people make comments like that, I just want to grab the unhealthiest thing on the table and stuff it in my mouth, all while keeping deadpan eye contact with the person.

              3. Clumsy Ninja*

                I got congratulated for “being so good” at a conference when I took an apple rather than the candy bars or whatever else was there for the afternoon snack session. I just said, “It’s not being good. I like apples, and all the chocolate stuff makes me vomit. There’s nothing moral about it.”

            2. Annabell*

              I wish my office would do this. I love sweets, but I’m allergic to wheat and bringing myself extra snacks for office celebrations always seems over the top.

              1. Jane Eyre*

                Same her, Annabell. Wheat allergies are the worst. My officemates STILL bug me every time it’s birthday cake day in the office. Perhaps I’ll make a sign to plaster on my cube?

              2. Hlyssande*

                The variety is pretty nice, I’ve got to say. Sorry yours doesn’t accommodate your wheat allergy, that’s rough! I think part of the reason we have variety is due to dietary limitations in the office.

                They’re a lot more accommodating of that than they used to be. I used to get myself on the picnic and holiday planning committees and push for non-meat dishes that weren’t just a salad endlessly.

        2. Amber T*

          For a whole ‘nother host of (non-work related) reasons, I HATE when people specifically call out food for being bad, or evil, or that they’re bad for enjoying a “bad” food. Moderation is key. /offtopic

          1. Night Cheese*

            Ugh, I agree. Especially if it’s when someone else is eating and enjoying something. “Oh my gooooddd, I can’t believe you can eat that pizza. Anytime *I* eat pizza I just feel so horrible about myself for the rest of the day!” It’s probably one of my biggest pet peeves. Plus it’s just rude.


            1. The OG Anonsie*

              Don’t talk about other people’s food or eating habits. DON’T DO IT. Blanket rule!

              1. Annabell*

                Seriously, comments on someone else’s eating habits or bodies ought to be off limits across the board.

                1. Castaspella*

                  Totally – my lunch always seems to be up for discussion. I largely eat quite healthily (in an office full of people who regularly frequent local take-aways). If I have my salad, it’s “why are you eating like that, you don’t need to lose weight?”, if I decide I fancy a KFC, everyone loses their shit, “I can’t believe YOU’RE eating THAT!!”. I can’t win! Nobody else seems to be subject to this scrutiny.

                  And it’s every, single, day.

                2. Annie Moose*

                  I loathe “YOU don’t need to eat that SALAD, you don’t need to lose weight!!!”. Aside from the whole “you don’t know what food plans/medical problems/health issues other people have” thing (and the whole “why are you even commenting on other people’s weight” thing), sometimes I just want to eat a salad, Karen!!!

          2. Blue Anne*

            Yes. Or “Oh I won’t have any cake, I’m being good.”

            So I’m being bad by having a slice of the delicious ice cream cakes we get at the office for birthdays? Uggghhhhh go away and let me eat my delicious thing.

          3. KRM*

            Ohhh, I accidentally snapped at a co-worker yesterday who was like “well I RUINED the yoga we had yesterday by going out for a burger”. You did not. The two have nothing to do with each other. Please don’t food moralize around me, I can’t stand it.
            We are friends, so I apologized right after and she accepted it/said she’s working on not being a moralizer, but I just couldn’t stop myself in the moment.

          4. fishy*

            Yup. Literally every time the company provides food for us, the managers stand around saying how they can’t take any because they’re being “good” that day, or they’ll take a tiny bit and moan about how “bad” they are. I’m thinking they just don’t realize that they’re implying that all the employees who are doing what the company expects by actually eating the food are being “bad”.

          5. Mrs. Fenris*

            My (soon to be former) boss has serious food issues. She will say loudly in a joking-not-joking way, “HEY WHO BROUGHT THE FAT PILLS?” anytime someone brings in donuts or whatever. My coworker and I, who love to eat, will say “THANK YOU!!” to the “guilty” party as soon as she starts in.

        3. Allison*

          Good response, I hate people who talk about food like that. We have a similar setup near my cube, people bring in candy and treats and others help themselves. I always hear “oh my god, this is so dangerous! I’m being sooo baaad. I shouldn’t . . .”

          Look, if you’re watching what you eat and you often face dilemmas about whether to eat or not eat a snack in front of you, I get that, but keep it to yourself. I don’t need to hear you waffling about it, and scolding yourself for being bad. Eat, don’t eat, or stop to think, but I hate diet talk in the office.

        4. Oscar Madisoy*

          “I used to have a very difficult receptionist who found out I baked, and bugged me endlessly to bring in cookies. So I did.”


        5. Software Engineer*

          I hate watching people do the oh-I-shouldn’t dance. I used to sit by the office candy bowl and listen to and endless parade of middle-aged men (I work in tech) hem and haw about how they were being so bad, they were on a diet. Nobody cares, people! Eat it or don’t!

          1. nhb*

            I may make up a sign with your quote “Nobody cares, people! Eat it or don’t!” I love this.

      3. Isben Takes Tea*

        Well done!

        It wasn’t at work, but I lived in a big house (think former sorority) for a year in college, and I loved to bake as a stress-relief. I’d regularly share cookies (because it’s fun to share), but one day, people came down as I was starting to bake and they started putting requests in, like “Can you make them extra chewy?” “I like mine with nuts!” “Why don’t you ever make Snickerdoodles?” and I never baked cookies in the group kitchen again.

      4. Ol' Crow*

        I have a rather large garden where I grow a good variety of vegetables and herbs, and despite preserving them, I still can’t eat everything. I enjoy giving it away. So I brought it a bunch of gorgeous beets in for my (really awful) boss (who could occasionally be nice). I left the greens on because they are delicious – 2 meals for the price of one!
        She took them with a little word of thanks. Next my thyme was very going mad, so I asked if she wanted me to bring some in for her. She said kind of nastily “yes, but make sure you bring me recipes too; the herb is useless if I don’t know how to cook with it. And next time you bring me beets, clean them up and cut off the greens so I don’t have to do it.” That was the last time she got anything from my garden.

        1. HelenGrace*

          That is so infuriating to me…especially since my home-garden beet crop failed this year (and I was growing them *specifically* to eat the greens!) You would have been my hero if you offered those to me :)

          1. Ol' Crow*

            If you were close to me, you would be the recipient this year :) I’m a green lover, so we grow everything from the normal down to horseradish, which if you haven’t tried, is absolutely amazing!
            And yes, I was beyond infuriated. But I got my revenge as I never brought anything further in for her, but she watched me bring in bags for a couple of different people a few different times.

            Best of luck on the next batch of beets!

          1. Ol' Crow*

            I just wish I could say this was my worst experience with her. But, sadly, it wasn’t – not even close.

        2. Meri*

          Ignoring the ridiculous rudeness for a second… who needs recipes for thyme? It’s THYME- you can use it in anything!

        3. The Strand*

          What an incredible ass!
          One of the nicest things I ever got was fresh rosemary from a neighbor, shortly before they moved. It was so nice, I wish I’d made them something they could have enjoyed.

        4. Dan*

          next thing you know she’ll be asking you to include dishes!

          However, she’ll have neither the thyme nor the plates.

          I’ll show myself out how.

      5. Anne (with an "e")*

        I am a teacher. At my old school I used to bring in homemade cookies or brownies for my students once in a while. I stopped when some students started acting entitled to the treats. Also, I would hear about what was wrong with the treats (I’m on a diet. I am allergic to nuts,chocolate, etc. Why don’t you bring us xyz instead?) It was very rare to hear even a single “Thank you” from the students who gobbled down the food like they were starving. Thus, no more treats. Why bother?

        1. Ol' Crow*

          Exactly, why bother? It’s so frustrating to do something for others only to have it kicked around as if your efforts and time, not to mention thoughtfulness, were nothing.
          Did the students complain about their lack of treats?

          1. Anne (with an "e")*

            Yes, they did complain a bit. However, I would just tell them that I didn’t have the time to bake anymore.

      6. emw1*

        I used to bake for my last job(before I got laid off after 22 years!), and I have to say, no one ever complained that I hadn’t brought something in if it didn’t happen for a few weeks. They just sucked it up and never said a word, because they knew if they did, I’d totally cut them off from dessert day. I would get to try new recipes without having to eat it all myself, and they knew it. They even used to collect funds for me because butter isn’t cheap!

        1. LKW*

          I had a coworker who once a year would spend a pre-Christmas weekend with her mother and sister and bake quite literally thousands of cookies. She would bring in two heaping containers of cookies , one for each office location. If you complained – the rest of us beat you up. There is no complaining when Susan makes cookies.

          1. emw1*

            I know, I’m not working right now, yet I still have 10 lbs of butter on hand. I just gotta have it! Whipping cream is almost 6 bucks a quart. I’ve not done much baking now that I’m not working, so I guess I’m saving some money!

          2. SongBird*

            If you can find a local restaurant supply store, butter there is MUCH cheaper. I used to get a pound of butter for under $2 when it was up around $4 at the grocery store. The butter wasn’t cut into sticks, but I have knives, so that wasn’t a worry.

            Milk is cheaper there as well, and I’ve found LOTS of good stuff. Like Costco, but better.

      7. General Ginger*

        I have a coworker who enjoys baking, and occasionally brings in muffins and cookies. Why would anyone want to jeopardize this Occasional Magical Special Treat Day by being an entitled jerk?

        1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

          And entitled jerks everywhere are like MY BODY IS READY

        2. emw1*

          I was getting deep into layer cakes and cheesecakes at the time, so no one ever complained. Plus multiple types of brownies/cookies. And every xmas I’d make 14 types of candy for presents at the office. I have a room dedicated to my cookbooks. I have a problem :)

          1. General Ginger*

            A delicious problem! It’s awesome to hear that your coworkers not only appreciated your efforts, but also understood that supplies cost money and were willing to contribute.

      8. Old Admin*

        I remember baking several times for a difficult team I was working with (rude, condescending, not very helpful), trying to win them over. I do pretty technical stuff myself, but had exhausted every work related strategy.
        We had a mandatory SCRUM team building exercise where everybody had to say something nice WORK RELATED about somebody else. We talked about each other’s competence, technical knowledge, even helpfulness… then a team member was supposed to talk about me.
        She stared at me for a while, the awkwardly said: “Well… uhh… Old Admin bakes really well, I guess…”
        I never brought food to work again, and left the team soon after.

      9. RKB*

        Not a bad story – but my coworker always opens in the morning and brings baked goods with her. We work in a gym so she’s made various protein brownies and cookies and whatnot. One time she forgot and our regulars were actually very sad. They said Mandy’s cookies were the best part about working out at 530 in the morning.

      10. kavm*

        apparently the woman (“Jane”) who had my job before me used to make waffles pretty regularly. one of my coworkers pestered me about it CONSTANTLY when i first started, expecting me to do the same since i am in the same role. he also spent the first month i was on the job calling me “new-Jane” as a “joke.”

        because of this i’ve never brought treats into the office, not even for my birthday (the office norm is for people to bring in donuts on their birthday). it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

    3. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

      This has happened in one of my offices. The whiner was informed in no uncertain terms that he had just recruited himself to get his ass over to Einstein Bros. and furnish the bagels for that week.

        1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

          I will savor the expression that came over his face until my dying day.

          1. ReneeB*

            As one of my former bosses who had been a Navy officer used to say to me, “Who tied an anchor to your ass?” (I think he probably said ‘tush’ or ‘behind.’)

            In other words, your complaining just volunteered you to solve the problem you’re running your mouth about!

            1. Rebecca in Dallas*

              Haha, one of my friends says, “Are your arms painted on?” I like the anchor one, though.

      1. Adlib*

        One of my old offices had a “donut club” where each member had to furnish donuts for that Friday, and only other members could eat them. It was a huge office so I don’t know how they managed to keep it that way. (The club was open to all, but you definitely had to sign up and be a willing furnisher.)

        1. Engineering Manager*

          I was in a similar donut pool. We had someone who decided they wanted to get donuts, so they agreed to sign up and got several weeks worth of donuts. When it came time for their first turn to be the supplier, they decided that they no longer wanted to be part of the donut club. That did not go over well and he was banned from ever getting donuts (we often opened things up to the public as it got later and there were more donuts than could be eaten by the club members).

          1. Zombii*

            And the eighth and final rule: If this is your first time at Donut Club, you have to buy the donuts.

      2. Aurion*

        Not Mad, I love all of your comments, but this one sent me giggling like a kid. You’re one of my favourites on this forum.

      3. Noah*

        Sequel: he sues his employer for illegally forcing him to buy food for the company. :-)

        1. Stone Satellite*

          Or lets his norovirus-infected child slobber on them and gets the entire office sick.

    4. designbot*

      My husband flipped out over a similar cancellation of breakfast goods. His solution has been to make waffles for his office every Friday for the past five years. I’m eye rolling pretty hard, but then again have I ever stayed at the same job for five years? Maybe that’s what it takes.

      1. CM*

        That’s the opposite of entitled. It’s not, “I deserve to have someone bring me free food,” it’s, “I really like our breakfast, and I’m upset that it’s gone, so I’m going to personally make sure it happens for everybody!”

    5. Library Lady*

      Oh yeah. One of my bosses had a candy jar, and people used to come in, check it out, and complain to her if it wasn’t something they liked. I did once snap at someone, “Are you actually complaining that the free candy doesn’t meet your standards?”

      1. C Average*

        My mom instilled in my sister and me the principle that one does not complain about free stuff. One is not obligated to like, use, keep, or feel grateful for the free stuff, but one says “thank you” and keeps one’s feelings about the free stuff to oneself.

        I think this is a very good principle.

        (I imagine there are situations where constructive criticism of the free stuff would be genuinely helpful, but these would be exceptions to the rule.)

        1. WhirlwindMonk*

          Yeah, if the free stuff is a specific gift to a person or small group to show appreciation for their work, and the gift is ill advised for some reason (e.g. wine to a group that contains people who don’t drink wine for taste or religious reasons), there’s definitely room for someone to say “Hey, this gift is not doing what you want it to do.”

        2. SusanIvanova*

          That reminds me of a recent Miss Manners:

          Dear Miss Manners: I have a friend who will hand a gift back to me immediately after unwrapping it if she does not like it/has no use for it. She has implied I should get her something more to her liking/useful. She has done this to others. Am I wrong to be offended? I have tried to be considerate in selecting a gift, but obviously I am missing the mark. What’s the proper response?

          Miss Manners: To stop giving her presents.

      2. WFHMama*

        I used to have a candy dish on my desk in an old office and got similar complaints from a co-worker. Mind you he and I rarely interacted until he started sniffing around my candy dish, and then when he complained he didn’t like what I had, I said to him, “Are you really complaining to me about the candy I have on my desk that you walked over her to get for free?” the look on his face was amazing.

        Now that I think about it, that was the same guy I called out in our kitchen once. The company provided free breakfast for the staff on Fridays. And one morning he was complaining to the admin in charge of setting up that he was sick of the same things all the time. I looked at him and said, “Are you really complaining about the free bagel you have been able to eat at work for the last 2 years?” He shook his head and tried to stammer something, but as the rest of the folks in the kitchen laughed and he slunk off with his free bagel and I don’t think I heard him complain again.

        1. Sled dog mama*

          We have a lunch meeting every week here and we have the same lunch every week and I do get very tired of it but you will never hear me complain because I have a choice to eat it or get something else.

        2. Paxton*

          At my old job, I did (discreetly) ask the admin if she would include vegetarian options in our free Friday lunches. Half of our programmers were vegetarian but were too afraid to ask as she was a bit hostile. But I didn’t complain to the office or out loud.

          1. WFHMama*

            That is way different. Asking to accommodate specific diets is way different than someone complaining that their weekly free bagel is boring. “Hey thanks for lunch, would you mind making sure some options are vegetarian?” is acceptable. “uugghh… another stupid bagel??” is a bratty entitled annoyance.

        3. frog*

          Oh, for pity’s sake, the Entitlement Complex of some people. The company I used to work for bought a corporate level CSA membership every year, so once a week in the summer months, we’d get organic fruit delivered to the office, and placed in the kitchen where we could help ourselves. Towards the end of the season, the variety would naturally lessen, until the last 2-3 weeks, when it was usually just apples.

          I remember passing through the kitchen one week to hear coworkers scoffing, “Oh, only APPLES again? Bo-ring!” and thinking: yeah, apples. Free organic ones. Like, I had just shared the lightrail that morning with a kid who was clearly going to spend the day somewhere other than home, and noticing he had with him a lidless plastic container, and a package of ramen noodles. That was clearly it for his lunch. He probably would have loved a freaking free organic apple.

          I ended up taking home the leftovers that night, about half of what had been delivered, and baking up a breakfast apple crisp that I brought back into the office the next day. Miraculously, people had no problem with the “boring” apples in that format.

          1. Not So NewReader*

            I ended up with Harry and David pears because “it’s just fruit”. Yeah, okay. Best pears I have ever had in my life, it was like eating pure candy. Perfection.

          2. VivaVirago*

            That is so annoying! I don’t even get why people complain about this stuff – they don’t *have* to eat it. Really nice of you to bake it all up into an apple crisp.

            On the flip-side for me is the coworker who kindly brought in some good-lookin’ apples. I actually have IBD and was having a massive flare-up, so I really couldn’t tolerate apples that day. I thought it was a cool thing to do, though, and I didn’t comment other than to say “That’s nice of you, thanks!” as I happened to be the only person in the office when he came in. I just quietly didn’t eat them.

            Later on, after the THIRD time being harangued for why I wasn’t eating the apples, I did just calmly say that I had health issues, but I’m sure others would enjoy them. Then he kept demanding to know what my health issues were and exclaiming over the idea that I couldn’t eat apples and how ridiculous that was. (Happily, the coworker who does know what’s going on with me had my back, but it was really tough going.)

            So… I could do with him maybe *not* bringing in snacks?

            Incidentally, I get so much shit in the office for what I am eating or not, even when I do briefly explain why. What even is the deal with people getting so invested in what food I put in my face? And insisting that there is One Right Way to eat? Eurgh.

            I think my general rules are:
            – Don’t comment on what people are or are not eating. It’s super rude and can be really hurtful.
            – Don’t complain about the snacks that people have kindly brought in.

            1. JanetM*

              I think, personally, it’s okay to comment positively on what people are eating: “Ooh, that looks / smells delicious!” seems unlikely to be hurtful, and so I don’t think it’s rude.

            2. Cedrus Libani*

              As a celiac, I have a rule…you get ONE polite “no thank you”, and if you ask again, you get an unsparing description of the gastrointestinal havoc that will result if I eat whatever food you’re trying to foist upon me. Somehow, I rarely have to tell anyone a third time. =)

      3. AnonEMoose*

        There’s an acronym in fandom circles that seems to apply, here: FYFIF.

        Which stands for: F*** You, Fanboy, It’s Free!

        I so want to say this, or some variation thereof, to people who complain about free stuff.

        1. CdnAcct*

          Thank you for sharing that acronym, I’ll be using that with my own fandom friends!

    6. DevManager*

      At a previous job, we had bagel/muffin Wednesday for the longest time until we got new members on the wellness committee, who decided the money would be better spent on fruit because it’s healthier.
      The number of company wide emails that flew about was astonishing – most of the lab and shipping groups were incensed because they certainly moved enough during the day to burn a bagel off. Eventually our COO stepped in and changed things back to the way they were – until we moved offices six months later and they dropped the bagels in favor of subsidized lunch three days a week.

      1. SusanIvanova*

        We had free snack food for years until the Healthy Snack Initiative hit – plain M&Ms were removed, leaving only the peanut (or “poison” as our allergic co-workers put it), strange snack “cakes” that looked and tasted like the things my mom would put out to attract wildlife, rice cakes, etc. I’m sure they saved a lot on restocking.

        1. JGray*

          I hate the healthy snack initiative. It ruined vending machines. I can understand it in schools but in workplaces- no. We are all adults and since I actually work in downtown in my town there are lots of other places I can go to get the treats I want.

    7. PizzaDog*

      That happened to me too!

      She complained to the manager!! about it. ‘I was counting on being able to have a bagel for lunch. Now I can’t afford to buy something to eat.’

    8. Pwyll*

      Hah! Your story reminds me of something that happens in a book and now I’m chuckling to myself. If you liked this story, you will LOVE something similar from the book “Company” by Max Barry.

      1. Zombii*

        Further: If you love the scenarios presented on WTF Wednesdays (which are not a real thing here, for obvious reasons), you will love the book Company by Max Barry. Seriously. If you read books, read that book.

      2. Katiedid*

        I love Max Barry! I’ll have to check this one out. “Jennifer Government” is one of my favorite books!

    9. JBPL*

      I had a staff member throw a fit about the *type* of donuts I brought in for my staff once. I have not brought office donuts in the 3 years since.

    10. HR Gal*

      What is it about food that turns otherwise reasonable people into toddlers?

      My office is split between two floors, with 70% on the floor below and 30% on the floor above. Often, when an employee goes away for vacation, they bring back a small treat and send out an email letting everyone know there’s a treat in their floor’s kitchen. I’ve heard MULTIPLE complaints from a number of employees on the top floor that the bottom floor always gets food and they don’t. Seriously?? You’re that upset that someone else might get a piece of candy and you don’t? And if it matters that much to you, ***why don’t you just take the elevator one floor down to get the treat rather than complaining about not getting treats?!!?!?***

    11. Qmatilda*

      I vividly recall seeing a deposition transcript where a good 20 pages was devoted to a discussion of the promised donuts/bagels, the lack of them as promised, and who was to blame.

      The carb rage is real.

    12. LA*

      I work in a very laid-back office where it’s not uncommon for one of my coworkers to have his 3 year old play in his office during the work day.
      My office generally has some kind of snack available, often leftovers from events. His daughter usually meanders over to my office to grab some of those snacks during the day. After week’s of being able to get snacks from my office, this 3 year old came in my office on a week when our snack stash was depleted. She spent the next 20 minutes going between her dad and I demanding to know where the snacks were and how we were going to remedy this problem.
      Later that afternoon, my boss came in, also demanding to know when there would be more snacks. :)

    13. CM*

      I have a lot of stories like this. The worst was not quite an office change, but somebody who had been habitually stealing from the salad bar and got called on it one day by a cafeteria worker who discreetly pulled him aside. He wrote a long and outraged post on the company-wide message board saying that the whole point of the cafeteria was to make him more efficient at his job, and how was he supposed to know that he had to pay for stuff from the salad bar, and they should put a sign up explaining that you have to pay separately for those items (there IS a sign, I thought it was ridiculous when I first saw it), and it’s not HIS responsibility to understand how the cafeteria works, in fact the cafeteria and its workers only exist to serve him, and it’s terrible that they would dare say this to him, etc.

  2. EA*

    So I don’t think this is all that dramatic but I will bite.

    Our space is getting changed an an extra cubicle is being added, everyone will lose about an inch, and one woman will lose an office. The funny part is, the coworker who is losing an inch is the one having a fit, not the woman losing the office. She is going on about how she wasn’t ‘consulted’ about the change, and never got a chance to give input, and that it is disrespectful and shows how little she is appreciated because they change the space and don’t ask what she thinks.

    She has a lot of other issues with our boss, and I think is projecting onto this thing. It’s just hilarious someone else is having their office taken away, and that woman isn’t pitching a fit.

    1. Ramona Flowers*

      Tell her it’s been moved back an inch, then change nothing. Bet she doesn’t notice.

    2. Morning Glory*

      Wow, one whole inch!

      But I suspect a lot of the stories people will post are going to be like this: employees who have larger issues with their boss/workplace/coworkers and it all comes out over something mundane.

      1. Ama*

        Oh this is definitely true. We just moved to new offices at the same time as I am dealing with an apartment move (which happened because circumstances beyond our control rendered our other apartment uninhabitable — it was not at all our choice to move). Last week we were told we could no longer keep items on top of the cupboard in our cubicles (where I have always kept a small plant), and I very nearly lost it on my boss. I was probably only saved by the fact that I was not feeling well, and my brain was moving so much slower that I had time to catch myself before I said something regrettable.

        It had nothing to do with the plant’s location and pretty much everything to do with having control over both my home and work spaces ripped away from me nearly simultaneously.

      2. JD*

        Yes, for sure. I’ve been the one having a fit over little things because I’ve felt slighted already by other things, and the “mundane” thing, which is usually more visible to everyone in the office feels like a public jab.

        For example, I had been quickly promoted early in my career and given more and more responsibility and a huge workload. Then I came back from vacation and the VP of my department started talking about Fergus in our weekly meeting. I asked who Fergus was. He said “your new manager – he starts next Monday”. I honestly thought he was joking. They had hired a manager for me without even letting me know?!? So he started and I played nicely even though I was furious and once Fergus started it was clear he had no idea what my department did. There were other little things like this that made me feel that I was not trusted and basically being “demoted”. Then my VP came into my office one day, made small talk with me and casually mentioned that I needed to clean out my office because Jane, another VP would be moving into my office and I would be moving into the cubicles (despite there being at least one other office available). I totally pouted and made a big scene of moving my stuff out. And refused to speak to Jane for months.

        My company does not handle things very professionally, from the top-down.

        1. Adlib*

          Sounds like a place I used to work! I think those things would set me off too. At one job, I got moved from an office to a cubicle, and the way I was told is that I was shown my new cubicle. No announcement, no explanation. My facial expressions were pretty clear, I’m told. The kicker was that no one was moving into my old office.

        2. Miss Elaine E.*

          I’m truly sorry you had to endure that, but I have to ask:

          Did you get to keep the red Swingline stapler?

          :D :D :D

        3. PatPat*

          But that’s awful! It’s totally reaction worthy. Not a fit, but some kind of reaction for sure.

        4. Turquoise Cow*

          They told my boss I was starting on Monday on Friday at 4:30. Needless to say he had no input in hiring me. He wasn’t terribly happy about it.

      3. fposte*

        Yup. I threw a fit over a moved office wall once. It was definitely a last-straw situation.

      4. required name*

        Yeah, I think the last time I broke down crying it wasn’t over anything that was worth it, it was just everything was building up and then they put this straw on my back… :P

      5. Working Mom*

        I just love when employees talk about being “disrespected” if they don’t get the best cube/space/office, etc. I just LOVE that comment. {heavy sarcasm}

      6. ReneeB*

        Here’s my story of pulling a weirdly dramatic response to an impersonal office change.

        I finally scored an office at my last job. A real office. With a door. That closed. An office!

        I was 38 years old and had been working my tush off for a ‘real office’ for years. I took that job in part because it came with a ‘real office.’ Maybe this makes me old school. Maybe it means I’m stuck in a past era instead of being a modern worker of the 21st century. I don’t know. But that office *mattered* to me.

        About six months in they moved my entire department out of one section of the building to another. All of my senior colleagues were to retain offices and I was to receive a cubicle. I was not an admin, but I was to be put in the open office area in a cube.

        I threw an everlasting fit for weeks. I’m not proud of that. But I threw down. I was willing to lose my job over it. Over walls with a door!

        Now I look back on it I see that in in reality an office is nice, but what I was really mad about was how the job I’d been hired for turned out to be very different from the job they needed done.

        The job I was hired for was analysis, drafting, and organization. The job they needed done involved scurrying around to grumpy executives on a daily basis and begging them for their signatures in a ritualistic song and dance. Which if not performed correctly and on cue between 2:30 and 3:15 pm, meant that the documents I was submitting didn’t get signed, and the internal stakeholders who needed them signed then expressed extreme displeasure with *me.* When I had no power to make executives who expected me to smile and giggle on cue, sign anything at all. Frequently they didn’t for any reason or no reason at all. Sometimes just because they could!

        Oh I was beyond displeased that this song and dance was part of the position and did everything I could to change it, through my own department, through other departments, through Finance, through the CEO, but nada. Nothing. All the other departments needed someone to do the smile and giggle on a daily basis, and *they* weren’t going to do it.

        I tried to implement a routing system where the documents moved through the process without a personal representative walking them around and smiling at execs. Nope, nada. The pushback I received on that was unbelievable. Documents literally disappeared for days at a time and reappeared later, after international deadlines had passed. They had been conveniently ‘lost’ in other people’s offices. And it was made clear to me there was no recourse to hold the people who ‘lost’ them accountable.

        So I sucked it up and I walked docs around, smiled, giggled, interfaced with really unpleasant people, and did the best I could to get files signed for the internal stakeholders. I took one for the team for half a year, while trying to perform the analysis, drafting, and organization part of my job in the meantime, not ever really having enough time to do it right.

        So when they wanted to *take my office away* and put me in a cubicle? Oh heck no. I threw down!

        The fits I pitched were beneath me. As a professional and as an adult. I was so childish. I was willing to lose my job over this.

        Finally one of my bosses did go to bat for me, pulled a few strings, and found a shared office location for me. Another colleague and I were in a room together. But we could close the door. And I said, oh god, thank you. Okay, I’ll take it. Thank you!

        Yes, the fight was definitely over this other aspect of my job I found demoralizing and demeaning. The office was just a symbol of the bigger issue. One I’d had no success in pushing back on.

        When I left that job, I have no idea if they finally got DocuSign like professionals of the 21st century, if the people who also considered it beneath them to personally walk documents around and smile sweetly finally realized they had to do it, or what. And I don’t care! I could care less!

        My new job came with an office. Last week they moved me and all of my colleagues to a new part of the building. I lost my about half my square feet, my real wood furniture, and access to sunlight. But I didn’t complain once. Not a peep! I have a sliding door now instead of a real wood door. But more importantly, I am valued in the work I do for this employer, and I am never made to giggle and smile for people in power. I was more than happy to move, on time and without a single complaint!

        So that’s my story of making a big deal out of nothing, because the real something I couldn’t get resolved wouldn’t budge. Still not proud of it, but I definitely learned something about myself!

        1. Wendy Darling*

          I threw a massive fit when my job took our cube walls away and moved to a completely open plan office so they could smash more people in, and it was basically because I was pissed at the execs for not giving two shits about our quality of life. THEY had offices with doors (the biggest offices in the building, and they were the only people who didn’t have to share) and their EAs got to keep their (double normal size!) cubes, but everyone else lost their tiny shred of privacy and had 30% more people crammed into their already-crowded work area.

          It was more of a tantrum about the tone-deaf selfishness of our execs than about the actual loss of cubicles. They’d already taken our storage space and our common space and several of our conference rooms — the cube walls were the last straw.

          1. Nobody Here By That Name*

            We’ve got a situation like that at my office. Tons of lip service about caring about morale yet tone deaf to anyone who points out that the decision to go to a noisy open office plan that in no way supports the work we do is one of the many things killing morale at the moment.

          2. Allison*

            I have a cubicle for the first time in forever, and boy does it make me happy! Storage space and privacy? Awesome! But shortly after I got here, one person on the team said she wanted to just have the team in an open office setting with just desks, no walls, because she wanted to see everyone every day! She had an office, which they give to people with her job because she needs a space to make phone calls and communicate sensitive information in private. Either she didn’t realize she’d need to make those calls in the open, or what she really wanted was to keep her office but round up all the cube-dwellers and smush them into the area outside her office. Either way, I’m glad she works remotely now.

        2. No Name Yet*

          That ‘giggle and smile’ bait-and-switch part of your old job makes me *furious* on your behalf!

        3. My AAM is True*

          I recently had a weirdly dramatic response to an office/cube situation — from HR.

          Our company has recently redone all the furnishings of our building. In the process, they changed the rules for who gets to have an office. I’m one of the casualties: I’ve had an office nearly my entire tenure with the company, and now I’m moved to a cubicle. When I heard about the new rules, I sent an inquiry to the relevant mailing list, asking for clarification and asking if they had considering grandfathering those of us who lost in the deal. I believe I used the word “demotion.”

          I did not receive a direct reply. Instead, an HR person sent a message to my boss, his boss, *his* boss, and **his** boss, saying something about how they needed to talk to me and “rein me in.” My boss, to his credit, said no, this is crap, it is in fact a demotion, and he wasn’t going to tell me otherwise.

          I didn’t get an office, but at least the policy was finally clearly announced, along with the rationale; I’d like to think I had something to do with it.

      7. Detective Amy Santiago*

        OldJob liked to move people around a lot. It was incredibly annoying because they would only tell us like an hour before we were supposed to move and we had to haul all of our stuff back and forth without boxes.

        I was out sick for a couple of days and when I came back, found that my desk had been moved. Luckily, my work partner convinced them to swap our cubes so he was still to my right because we’d sat that way forever and were both in a good working rhythm that way. He also knew that I am very particular about how my desk is set up and make sure everything was in the same places.

        That was just one of the many ways that company didn’t respect employees though. There was no real business need to make us move around so much.

        1. JanetM*

          About 10 years ago, I came back from an extended leave (to help care for my Dad during his final illness) to find all my stuff in the hallway and new carpet being put down in the office. I didn’t quite burst into tears, but it was close.

          I probably would have been okay if, when I called on Friday to say, “Back in town, will be at work on Monday,” someone had said, “Oh by the way, we’re getting that new carpet we applied for two years ago.” But the surprise on top of six weeks of stress was a bit much.

        2. Gadget Hackwrench*

          After my boss quit on the spot one day (understandably they were a horrid place to work,) my grandbosses did their utmost to get rid of me. I was too good at my job to fire, so they rode my back until I had a panic attack in the office and then used that as a reason that I had to move to a lower level set of duties, while keeping the same pay, because I was too mentally delicate the job I’d been doing for two years. Funny thing is the lower level actually involved regular contact with angry angry angry clients. To the point where one of the things we had pinned up in our cube was what to say when you believe the caller threatens to kill you/bomb the company, etc.

          They moved me from a 3.5 wall 66″ high cube, the setup and organization of which I had full control over, to a much smaller 1+.5+.5 wall cube with 42″ walls… basically a library carrel, in another section where the desk policy was “No personal items other than 1 framed picture, 1 stress ball and 1 travel beverage cup. Nothing pinned to the walls except work charts and documents.” For a little while I got away with keeping my 6 inch fake potted plant, my flip flap and a canister of Thinking Putty, and put up some fun work related memes “If you don’t remember to restate the question, you’re going to have a bad time.” (we got marked off for not restating the question back to the caller.)

          About 6 weeks into it they came to me and made me take them all down, and get rid of everything and I had another panic attack. They had already changed my duties from something that used my skills to something that really didn’t. Moved me from a place where I could eat at my desk to somewhere I couldn’t. Put me on the phone with people who tell me daily they hope I get cancer, or hit by a bus, or they hope someone rapes me because I sound like a bitch who really need to get some, stuff like my little flip flap were keeping me SANE. In the end they decided that my Thinking Putty was allowed to be a “stress ball” which is honestly the only thing that got me through the last few weeks there before I put in my two weeks and came here.

    3. the gold digger*

      She is going on about how she wasn’t ‘consulted’ about the change, and never got a chance to give input, and that it is disrespectful and shows how little she is appreciated because they change the space and don’t ask what she thinks.

      I have never worked anywhere where I was “consulted” about something like this. I have worked for three F100s and have moved space about a gajillion times, including the time my entire team lost our window offices in the corp HQ building and had to move to cubicles in a windowless converted warehouse 13 miles away in an area where there were frequent carjackings.

        1. the gold digger*

          I did tell my boss that people do quit over things like that. We were furious. My boss, who got to keep his window office in HQ, didn’t even fight for us. He just said, “Someone else needed the space!”

          1. Amber T*

            I’m sure he would have done plenty of fighting if his window office was being reassigned… >.<

          2. K.*

            No office, OK, I could deal. No window, I could deal. No office, no window, an extra 13 miles added to my commute, AND a real threat to my personal safety? Nah, son. Two weeks’ notice and good luck to you. I withdrew from consideration for a job after I was told in the interview that there had been two break-ins that resulted in one of the workers getting shot (he lived) by the robber. The interviewer didn’t sound at ALL concerned about this when she told me; it was an afterthought. I told the recruiter, who was horrified.

            1. Clewgarnet*

              My company’s in the process of moving to a new office that’s 10 miles away from the current one, is in the middle of a high crime area (I’ve seen two drug dreals going on, and I’ve only visited the new office twice), doesn’t have enough desks for everybody, and they’re going to make us pay £750 a year to park in the company-owned car park.

              They can’t understand why people are leaving…

              1. Anne (with an "e")*

                Wow! How clueless!?! Come work for us. You can work in a high crime area AND pay an unnecessary, outrageous yearly fee for the privilege. And they wonder why people are leaving… Umm. Why, oh, why?

            2. Nic*

              The smoking area for my current building is out front. Across the street is an empty field lined with trees, and a community of transients live there and have for years.

              Twice in two months security came through on the night shift and let us know there had been gunshots across the street, and that if we needed to be walked to our cars let them know.

              There is a courtyard protected on three sides by the building, and open only to the back. Smoking is not allowed in this courtyard. When the smokers brought this concern to management, they received nothing more than a “noted.” All of management is on dayshift, and haven’t been present for these security alerts (though I can’t imagine they weren’t informed!)

              1. penny*

                Well to be fair,you could take a break in the courtyard & NOT smoke. The coworkers who want a break for fresh air without breathing in smoke would probably complain if it were allowed back there which wouldn’t change the situation from management’s end. So they aren’t stopping you from using the court yard, just smoking there and leaving it up to the smokers to prioritize.

      1. Punkin*

        Yes – we went from the plush golf course IT center to the “lakeside” office park – where criminals loitered by the lake.

    4. Beancounter Eric*

      “Consulted” about an office space change – yeah, right!!

      Closest I’ve ever come to being consulted about an office space change was “You can move today, or tomorrow – your choice”….and as for not being appreciated, she should just be happy to having a job.

      Tomorrow, she may not.

      1. Mike C.*

        she should just be happy to having a job

        Careful now employment isn’t charity, it’s an exchange of labor for money.

        1. Zombii*

          Seriously. I can’t take anyone seriously who responds to an employee complaint (no matter how childish or irrelevant) with “should be grateful to have a job” or similar, instead of acknowledging and responding to the actual complaint. It’s the ultimate Not Gonna Listen/Don’t Care statement.

        2. Gadget Hackwrench*

          People can get to thinking it IS charity when their bosses remind them on a semi-daily basis that there are plenty of other people willing to do their job… which seems to be the modus operandi since the recession started.

      2. pandop*

        It does happen. We recently rearranged our large open plan office, and there were various layout options which were discussed with the team – and as a result people are happy with the change (not least because we seem to have more space than we did before)

    5. Winger*

      This happened to me a couple years ago except instead of losing an inch, I lost about 2 feet and my cubicle became nearly unusable. Luckily I got transferred shortly thereafter.

      1. Artemesia*

        My favorite example of this is the shared desk in the movie Brazil — see if when you can if you haven’t.

        An office was made for me by cutting a large room in half and a colleague got the other half. Just before the construction was to start he came in and showed the contractor where to put the wall — in such a way that he got an extra foot and my office was very narrow — By the time I saw it, the wall was up so I was stuck — it was a very long narrow office — but at least long, so I did make an office nook and a table conference nook out of it as I frequently had clients coming in to confer and I could meet with two easily and 3 less easily — but that extra six inches would have made it a lot more pleasant. I had been saving this guy’s job for years when he was on the chopping block; the next time he annoyed management and his future was imperiled, I just kept my mouth shut and he was fired. I didn’t say a negative word, I just didn’t step up to defend him.

        1. Winger*

          Oh god, that scene in Brazil is exactly what I thought of. The best part of my situation was that a structural column that used to be in a space between two cubicles was now literally in the middle of mine. It was beyond absurd! If this had been a space for a 5’6″ intern to use, it would have been silly but fine, but it was totally ridiculous for a 6’3″ full time employee like me.

    6. GeekyDesigner*

      …Err Wow!

      I’m in a similar position where my office is planning on moving 6 designers into a space originally meant for 4 plus a small storage room. Each person would be giving up 40 sq footage of space and two wall cabinets. I doubt its going to happen because it leaves two people with about 22″ to walk into their office.

      No one else asked me if I wanted to share an office with this other designer. I have my own office ATM. The only reason why I haven’t said anything is I’m turning my notice in tomorrow as I plan on moving at the end of the month.

      But to complain about losing an inch?!

      1. required name*

        “I doubt its going to happen because it leaves two people with about 22″ to walk into their office.”

        Be prepared. Anything is possible. An old job had us sharing cubicles, two or three per. And they weren’t very big cubicles either.

        1. GeekyDesigner*

          About 5 of our office staff are CAD detailers. They’ve already started putting the kibosh on it as they see its not going to work with our existing furniture and what was in that storage (is actually material samples, laminates and such like you would see at a hardware store) isn’t going to fit in the space they want to move it into. Also they don’t think it’s fair that the designers have to give us so much compared to the rest of the office. Oh, and it’s not ADA compliant.

          I’ve also been told one of graphic designers will pull a literal fie if we move our a specific 3d designer over there. I have no clue if management knows how much the two don’t get along.

          1. SusanIvanova*

            I was going to suggest invoking the ADA on it. It’s amazingly effective. When I broke my ankle I discovered that the time out between waving your badge at the reader and walking the 5 feet to the door was 5 seconds. Try doing that on crutches. My friend the Wonder Admin waved the ADA at them and it got changed that day – normal facilities requests can take a week or more.

        2. Karen D*

          I shared a cubicle-sized office with another writer for awhile at a previous job.

          Fortunately, he and I were friends because Lordy, it was tight in there. For one of us to get in or out, the other had to have their chair pulled all the way up to the U-shaped desk we shared. That’s the way I generally sit, but he was a leggy fellow and liked to lean back, so I spent a lot of time feeling hemmed in.

          Also fortunately, his wife was a friend of mine and a sport, though she did observe that I spent more time in close physical proximity to him than she did.

          1. Aunt Vixen*

            Now remembering Dorothy Parker’s comment about the itsy office she and Robert Benchley shared at Vanity Fair. “Any smaller and it would have been adultery.”

          2. GeekyDesigner*

            BTW I love the use of the word Lordy. It was never apart of anyone’s vocabulary where I grew up. I became incredibly fond of the word when I had an amazing coworker from California who used the word quite frequently.

            1. Karen D*

              It was actually a word that particularly colleague used a lot :D That and “gee golly gosh” and a few exclamations that would have sounded utterly goofy/downright creepy coming from most grown men, but charming coming from him.

              And Aunt Vixen, that’s a great quote! The beautiful thing about this particular co-worker was that, while he was kind and affectionate with pretty much everyone he worked with, he was also very serious about his faith in a non-judgy way … and no question about the fact that he adored his wife.

              So nobody would have been very understanding if I had had a fit about sharing an office so small … they’d say “but … it’s with Wakeen though! you get to spend all day every day with Wakeen!”

        3. Vicki*

          I once had a job where my office was pie-slice-shaped. It had a door at the wide end (which was maybe 7ft wide) and it literally went to a point at the other end.

          I did not raise a fuss. I did, however, feel very un-valued.

          Eventually I had the opportunity to move into a different office. The woman who used to have that office had move to another state and was telecommuting. SHE raised a fuss that I was being moved into _her_ office. Which she wasn’t using because she now lived 600 miles away. But she might want to use it if she visited HQ for a few days.

      2. Magenta Sky*

        22″ is probably a building code violation. Certainly would be an ADA violation if there’s anyone who might ever need access in a wheelchair, but even without that. I suspect the fire marshalls would have something harsh to say.

    7. MillersSpring*

      I was at a new company and was promoted to team lead within six weeks. It was difficult to learn the company and the teapot design function there, so I asked if it was possible for all of the teapot designers and spout decorators at that location could be put in the same area. Just a preliminary question, not a formal request.

      Well one of the young women on my team got furious with me. Thought a little power had gone to my head. Didn’t know why I expected her to interact with people at work and help newbies. All because her cube MIGHT have gotten moved. She had a window and no f—ing way was she going to move.

      We each left that company years ago, and I think she still hates me.

    8. Ann O. Nymous*

      We’re about to go through an office renovation at my office and I’m amazed at what some of my coworkers in the things they are complaining about/asking for. A group of coworkers in one part of the offce, none of whom are remotely at the C-suite/senior level, is really annoyed that their office walls are going to get narrow glass panels next to their doors. They also were annoyed that our bosses were going to pick out their new office furniture and that the bosses were insisting the furniture is uniform. My bosses are definitely keeping their needs in mind and aren’t being dictatorial, but like, in what universe do you think that you have any say in this? It’s really bizarre.

      1. KRM*

        HA! We just had some reno done to add more office space in my area. The annoying new scientist is losing his proximity to a window (doesn’t have one in his current office, but can see through the glass walls through into the offices that do have windows). So he 1-tried to demand to keep an office that a director now has, and then 2-suggested that it would be a great way to “get to know colleagues” if we all shifted offices around on a set time schedule. Dude, suck it up. I know that you hate that I have a window and you don’t, but TS! Literally nobody else cares, including people who currently have offices in windowless corridors!

    9. Claire Underwood*

      How insane! Several years ago, I worked at a government funded agency and we needed to reconfigure several offices and add additional space for a new program with extra staff. It was a toxic environment to begin with, thanks to crazy people in leadership roles; think fail upwards. One of our program coordinators was a generally disagreeable and inept woman who was told that she would need to move to the office right next to hers while the construction was going on. Same size office. No difference. The ensuing meltdown included constant crying for 2 days, disrupting my staff’s time over the issue and threatening to resign over it.

      She ended up pouting for two weeks. What happened after that? She got promoted to Director.

      1. OhBehave*

        Argh! Rewarding bad behavior is always a good tactic – NOT.

        BTW – is it odd that I heard your user name in his voice?

    10. Jay*

      Years ago I left a job because we were moving out of state, and one of my colleagues wanted to move into my office because it was quieter. This was a 1960s building where all the rooms were the same – or at least I thought they were. About two weeks before I left, she came into my office to “check it out” and realized the door was on the other side of the front wall – I walked in to the left side of my office, and she walked in to the right side of hers. She was HORRIFIED. She had all her furniture arranged for *her* configuration, and it might not work with the door over there….I think I managed not to laugh, but I can’t swear to it.

  3. Bow Ties Are Cool*

    I would totally Hulk out if casual Fridays ended.

    And then I would work from home every. Single. Friday. Forever.

    1. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

      They just took ours away last month. I Hulked out in the privacy of my own home instead of work though. And I no longer have the option of working from home either!

      1. The Bill Murray Disagreement*

        Is it a new thing for casual Fridays to go away? (I’m in consulting, so we don’t get them usually – but I didn’t know places were taking them away!)

        1. Frozen Ginger*

          Right?? What could be their reasoning, unless they have a lot of clients visiting of Fridays.

          1. tiny temping teapot*

            At my (definitely formal) office, you can only wear jeans on the last Friday of the month and you are expected to donate to the charity of the month (always local ones suggested by staff). No one’s policing it, the sweet lady who collects the donations doesn’t chase you down or anything, but yup, jeans only once a month and you should donate.

            1. Zombii*

              Toxic ExJob tried selling monthly “casual passes” to “let” people wear jeans and T-shirts on Fridays (weekends were casual but Fridays were not).

              This went on for a few years, then they realized it was kind of stupid to expect people to buy professional wardrobe if you’re only willing to pay them a few dollars over minimum wage. They changed the dress code to “clean clothes, nothing too skanky, no holes above the knee” (I’m paraphrasing). Just before I quit, most people were wearing pajama pants most days. Tiny rebellions, you know?

        2. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

          My company was acquired by a larger corporation, and their office dress code does not include casual Fridays. :(

          1. AwkwardKaterpillar*

            We don’t get casual anything. No jeans – ever.

            During the summer they have a slightly relaxed dress code – in that women can wear sandals, (but only certain kids. They have to have a strap on the back and nothing between the toes) crop pants (but not shorter than midcalf) and *drumroll* skirts or dresses without hose!

            1. AMG*

              I couldn’t work there. You can put me in a cube the size of a bathroom stall with no treats ever, but I am wearing jeans or I’m working somewhere else.

            2. KatiePie*

              If I ever worked anywhere that hose were required with skirts, I’d…well, I wouldn’t work there. Good heavens, is it still 1982?
              I mean, I’m all for wearing them if it’s by choice, for fashion/vanity. But required? Nope. Nuh-uh.
              Also, very curious if this objection is due to my age (33) or location (CA), or if I’m right that it’s outdated?

              1. AwkwardKaterpillar*

                It’s definitely outdated. I’m in what is considered a fairly progressive upper Midwest city and it is not the norm in other workplaces here.

              2. Gov Worker*

                I’m sixty-one and cannot remember the last time I wore pantyhose. I couldn’t work there either. Hate pantyhose with a passion.

            3. Leggings are the new jeans*

              They expect women in the year 2017 to wear hose? Where on earth do you even purchase them any more? Im sorry.

          2. JM60*

            I love my office, where people wear jeans everyday (or at least on the three days a week we don’t work from home). I love my job.

        3. Noah*

          I never understood casual Friday. Either it’s okay to wear jeans at work or it isn’t. Why is it more okay on Friday?

          1. Noah*

            Me either. The airline I work for now is casual all the time, benefit of low cost. The previous one has casual Fridays but the rest of the week it was shirt and tie. Never understood why it was ok to wear jeans and a polo shirt on Fridays but the earth would end if we did it the rest of the week.

            Different Noah btw.

          2. Zombii*

            Casual Friday earns good will for the company and costs the company nothing. It’s a free morale boost.

            First, they get it into your head that professional dress is acceptable and casual dress is not, then they “give” you casual Friday: they “let” you “break the rules” because they want to give the illusion that they care about their workers without spending money on anything that would actually improve the workplace.

            If it’s casual all the time, there’s no more leniency they can give you: casual is the new standard, and people bitch incessantly whenever they have to “dress up” for corporate visitors (slacks, clean shirt and a blazer—maybe once per quarter).

            1. penny*

              Yes I always tell my boss this. It’s free & people get excited so if they allow it occasionally even outside Friday (like last day of a short week) they earn extra good will at no cost to the company. But man would I Love to be able to wear jeans daily! Slacks just aren’t as comfortable.

        1. ancolie*

          I love it, too!

          Have you seen the bowties that are made from feathers? So pretty! wwwDOTbrackishbowtiesDOTcom
          (not affiliated in any way, I just think they’re awesome. If this is too close to spam, Alison, I understand if you delete it!)

    2. Solidus Pilcrow*

      Not a freak out, but a former workplace had an unusually joyful reaction to getting casual Fridays. The company didn’t do casual Fridays or allow jeans until it was acquired by a larger organization that did. Thing is, they were already business casual. The men were already wearing khakis and polo shirts (or slacks and a button-down shirt for a dressier look). The women, of course, tended to vary more, but it wasn’t like they were wearing powersuits and nylons every day.

      1. Rebecca in Dallas*

        My (business casual, jeans on Fridays) office also had a very joyful reaction to getting to jeans being allowed every day. I don’t understand it, jeans are not that comfy to me and everybody dressed very casually before.

        1. Karen D*

          This is pretty much our dress code. We were purchased about six years ago, and the new owner issued a no-jeans edict (though pretty much everything else along the lines of “casual” was allowed, including open-toe shoes, sleeveless tops and non-denim capris) and you’d have thought New Owner gutted a puppy in the middle 0f the cube farm.

          Said edict kind of .. dissolved. People stopped wearing jeans for awhile and then started wearing them again. We were sold again and the jeans rule quietly disappeared from the online version of our employee handbook.

    3. Malibu Stacey*

      I work for a company that has branches all over the US. When my old counterpart was hired, our manager of sorts out of the Chicago office told we do Casual Fridays (but we don’t). It was just a mix-up because the mgr oversaw offices all over the midwest & probably forgot.

      Anyways, when coworker started and found out we were business casual 5 days a week she wore dress pants that look like denim with a tshirt that barely skirted business casual every Friday

    4. Hlyssande*

      We lost casual Fridays when we moved into our fancy office park because it’s a ‘fancy’ office park so they didn’t think anyone would be in casual. We also have the C-suite here, but the reason they gave us was the upscale location…which was disproven the very first Monday, when about a quarter of the people we passed wandering around were in jeans.

      We finally got it back four years later, woo. There was much rejoicing. When we moved here, we lost casual Friday, tall cubicles with actual privacy, and an onsite cafeteria where you could get breakfast + lunch for $10/day. We gained covered parking (great in MN), free Keurig and water +ice (in exchange for no cafeteria), and windows (yay). The cubes are at a height where everyone can see everyone, and they had to make emergency adjustments to put glass dividers up over the wall tops because you could hear everyone else as if they were talking in your face. They also added white noise. The sorest sticking point was the casual Fridays.

      1. Antilles*

        We lost casual Fridays when we moved into our fancy office park because it’s a ‘fancy’ office park so they didn’t think anyone would be in casual.
        I don’t understand this reasoning. Why exactly would you care what the other offices wear? Given that most office workers’ entire exposure to other companies in your building/office consists of “the walk from the car to the doorway”, I don’t see how this matters in the slightest.
        It’s also odd to wonder what would have happened if your neighbor was like, the post office or something.
        Would you suddenly start wearing postal uniforms?

        1. Hlyssande*

          We didn’t get the reasoning either, but there was no choice in the matter. That’s the excuse they gave, but I’m pretty sure the real reason was the C-Suite of the division in the same office. It just so happens that we got casual Fridays back when some of the upper levels changed. Newer Prez more laid back than the old Prez, but that didn’t really come out until the change happened.

          What’s frustrating is that our Austin corporate office is all casual all the time, except when VIPs visit. And by casual, I mean graphic tees and everything, as long as it’s in good condition. They get warning emails ahead of time to dress up when VIPs are coming.

    5. It's Business Time*

      We lost Casual Fridays when an IT person was looking at an issue in the boardroom with all of the top execs. His flip flops got caught in the cables and pulled the laptop and projector onto the floor causing a major disruption.

    6. MsCHX*

      My current workplace is the first place I’ve worked in a long time with a casual dress code (largish midwestern city…) I am not a casual dresser. It took awhile for people to get used to it and always referencing “comfort”. I mean, I happen to find jersey knit dresses to be the most comfortable thing EVER…but whatevs.

      So, I secretly rejoice, on the inside, when workplaces veer from a casual dress code.


  4. PB*

    A couple years ago, I led revamping one of our workflows. The process was old, more than 40 years (!), and our administration was adamant that we had to modernize it. In truth, it was something that wouldn’t affect many people, and most other offices had made the change 20 years ago, but people were mad about the very idea that we would change it. I held a series of meetings with stakeholders, specifically to ascertain what their needs were. Getting this information was like pulling teeth. According to them, their needs were “Doing this the way we’ve always done it and never changing!!!” My personal favorite was one person who arrived at the meeting with a prepared written statement about why the old workflow was necessary, and titled it “Hills to Die On.” Why they thought that would make admin change their minds, I will never understand.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Y’all, I just removed nearly 100 comments about the Oxford comma, which were clearly off-topic from the original post. The site rules are really clear on prohibiting off-topic comments.

          It’s really time-consuming for me to have to individually remove so many comments, and I need people to respect that rule.

          1. Noobtastic*

            For some reason, this just made me laugh so much.

            Maybe because it’s 5 in the morning, but wow. 100 comments?

    1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

      I had this happen once, with a lifer at my first job. He just crossed his arms, glared, and said “I’m not changing how I do my job, and you can’t make me.”

      Our boss at the time just looked at him for a moment and said, “This is a condition of your continued employment at this company. Do what feels best.”

      Lifer actually quit, and last I heard never worked again. That was his hill, I guess.

      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        Because “you can’t make me” worked so well when we were toddlers…

            1. MegaMoose, Esq*

              I’m going to need to be careful drinking my tea while reading these comments.

              1. JessaB*

                I have learnt to never, ever, drink things whilst reading AAM. It’s too dangerous.

          1. Artemesia*

            A lot of people who fail to succeed in getting and keeping jobs do this because they are offended that people boss them around; their non-working relatives and neighbors agree ‘they can’t do you like that’. They seem to have missed the meaning of the word ‘boss.’

          2. Magenta Sky*

            “You’re resignation is accepted. Here’s a box for your personal effects.”

            1. Kathleen Adams*

              I knew a guy who used to regularly quit his job (the same job) – just throw up his hands, toss around some profanity, say “I quit” and walk out – but then after a half day or so, he would come back and act like nothing had happened. His boss let him do this for some reason or other.

              So this worked just fine until he got a new manager, who when he said “I quit” said “OK. We’ll cut you a check for the pay we owe you.” And that was that. Somebody finally called his bluff.

              1. Noobtastic*

                I once worked in a small office, where the office manager had quit multiple times, one time standing at the door of his office, while he was in a meeting, and holding up a legal pad with “I Quit” written on it in big letters with a marker.

                However, I will note that each times he came back, it was because the boss wooed and/or groveled to get her back. When the other people in the office quit, they stayed gone. He went through employees like sand through an hourglass.

                This was the same guy who set up surveillance equipment throughout the office.

        1. Working Mom*

          I once had an employee give me (her boss) the silent treatment because she did not like being on a corrective performance plan. She repeatedly made the same mistakes over and over again, and would always argue each mistake by saying that she disagreed that it was a mistake. The job aid and job description was apparently not enough proof to her that it WAS actually an error. She did many things, but the silent treatment was my favorite. I had far too much fun with it.

      2. Adam*

        I’ve never been interested in being a boss, but I find myself wishing I could have been in your boss’s shoes at that moment just to know what that felt like. There must be a certain exhilaration in dealing with unreasonable people and knowing you have the absolute last word.

      3. LSP*

        What makes me sad about this is having worked in state government, there are a TON of people who pull this because they believe that no one is ever going to go through the trouble of following the process to fire them.

        They are usually correct. :(

        1. calonkat*

          I had a relative who was a manager in state government. She WAS willing to do the documentation and process to get rid of bad employees.

          Her reward was everyone trying to transfer their bad employees to her :(

          1. Hapless Bureaucrat*

            In case my nom d’AAM was not a dead giveaway, I’ve worked in government long enough to see both of those. And also my “favorite,” the one where the manager does all the work to document, the person has just blown through their final warning, even the union has thrown up its hands… and at the last minute HR gets cold feet and transfers them to another division instead of firing them. A few years and a re-org later, guess who is back on the team.

            The best managers I’ve worked with were masters of the art of the gentle push. Sure I can’t fire you… yet… but look at how pretty and green the grass is at that other agency. I bet they even have free bagels.

            Now that I’m a supervisor I really appreciate having those examples.

        2. MsCHX*

          HR Manager who worked briefly for the state. Oh, the joy of getting bad managers out because no one would go through the process prior to the arrival of the new Director and then me. We really cleaned house!

      4. Lissa*

        Something like this happened at my first job (chain restaurant) when the supervisor told the owner “You won’t fire me, the store couldn’t run without me!” and the owner was like “yeah? there’s the door!” I don’t even remember what the issue was…

      5. Bea*

        My boss told me the reason he fired someone when he first bought the business was because he came in and said “these are the duties I won’t be doing any more.” “These are your job, you have to keep doing them.” “But I won’t do these things!” “Then you won’t be working here any longer, I’m sorry that you’ve decided to leave. I wish you the best.”

        The person was floored they were let go. Because there’s a world where we tell not a boss but an owner on top of that they don’t want to do essential functions of their job!

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      This is how my office mantra/hash tag.

      To: The Powers That Be
      From: Me

      1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

        “We had to destroy the village in order to save it, sir.”

        1. Chaordic One*

          After an exhaustive search, we reluctantly came to the sad conclusion that there is, indeed, no baby in the baby in the bath water.

      2. PB*

        My old office did use “Hills to Die On” as a mantra.

        “I’m not doing it. It’s my hill to die on!”

        Unsurprisingly (unlike TNMBOIS’s former coworker), no one ever actually chose to die on the hill. But they seemed to think it was a magical phrase. If you said it was a hill to die on, then management HAD to respect it! They were very confused when this never worked.

        1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

          I’m very confused that people don’t really grok what “die on” implies. You’re willing to get fired over this? Srsly now?

          1. PB*

            Or quit or retire? You’re THAT tied to workflow?

            But to each their own, and if they’re willing to get fired over it, I’m sure not going to miss them.

          2. Lablizard*

            I’ve had things I was willing to get fired over (e.g. appropriate credit – and patent profits – given to junior staff, fighting back against a racist, sexist, anti anyone he thought was Muslim director). I would bet almost everyone has a hill.

            1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

              Sure. It’s just that those are more like distinguished mountains anyone would be proud to die on, and some people are determined to die on tiny, muddy hummocks that don’t even have names.

              1. PB*

                Yep. I’ve considered what my hills are. In my field, this would likely include: fighting for equality; fighting censorship; providing equal access to everyone, regardless of who they are or what they’re working on.

                The things my colleagues were throwing around as hills to die on tended to be things like: “I like the old workflow, and we’ve always done it that way.” That shouldn’t be anyone’s hill to die on.

              2. Aurion*

                If they really were determined to die on the tiny muddy anthills that’s one thing, but some seem only ready to posture atop the anthill and then get outraged when the other side actually advances.

              3. Lablizard*

                I think this is why almost every language has the equivalent of “making a mountain out of a molehill”. Some people see mountains everywhere

        2. Purple Dragon*

          We have a Customer Service department who take calls for orders. At one stage we had a Manager of that department who wasn’t performing and was eventually fired. Her replacement came in and told the team that they couldn’t all take lunch at the same time due.
          Half of the team pitched a fit and stormed into the new managers bosses office. They demanded that the new manager be fired immediately or they were all going to quit.
          Props to the new managers boss as she took them up on their offer and they were out on the street in under half an hour. It took several weeks to get new people into those roles and up and running but it was worth it to the company.
          I don’t understand how they thought it was going to end any other way.

          1. Anne (with an "e")*

            Why do people think that they are so irreplaceable that they do not want to comply with a perfectly reasonable new policy?

    3. sam*

      This this this this this.

      I mean – my company actually outsourced some of our back office processes. There weren’t that many employees involved, but a large reason that the company ultimately went to outsourcing as a solution was because any attempts to streamline/modernize internally were simply met with a brick wall of resistance. It finally got to the point where the people in charge decided that the only way they were going to bring these processes up to 21st century standards was to move them out for at least a few years and essentially have someone else do the upgrading.

      And this is a real danger of being resistant to change – you (and I) like to think we’re indispensable. We’re not.

      I knew someone at another company (I worked on the “other side” of several transactions from her) who, aside from being thoroughly unpleasant to work with, engaged in her own form of “job preservation” by keeping every document she ever worked on on her own computer and never sharing them with any other employee or the company’s servers – she thought this “knowledge hoarding” would make her too valuable to fire. And it did, for a while. But eventually, her bad attitude became too much and they finally got rid of her, even knowing she might destroy her files on her way out the door (which she did). And it took a lot of work to reconstruct her files, but the company finally decided it wasn’t worth being held hostage to her bullying behavior.

      1. Trillian*

        Her password was that secure? Once the decision was made, IT should have been on the case, making a mirror of that drive, and waving her off with a broad smirk.

        1. sam*

          It wasn’t my company, and this was well over a decade ago. I think she may have anticipated things as well.

          She was really something else. A guy who I worked with after her departure did not speak for several years while working for her. I didn’t know he existed until she left.

          At my firm, we would actually draw straws (or the equivalent) to see who would have to call her when we had to deal with her – can you imagine a bunch of professional lawyers, including a partner, basically all standing around yelling “not it” every time we realized we were going to have to talk to her about something?

        2. Chinook*

          If someone wanted to keep things secure enough in order to keep job security, it can be done by documenting just enough information to make it painful for them to leave. When I was hired at a tech company, the boss was reluctant to let me do anything because his last office manager did this type of knowledge hoarding. He literally laid off most of his staff before he laid off her because he knew it would be too much work to figure out what she was doing, but she was still let go.

          One way she did this would be by filling out something like a GST rebate form but not showing how she came up with the numbers she used. I discovered this when we got audited a few years later. I quickly told my boss that this had to change and showed him a better way to document knowledge. That is when he told me about the old office manager’s work style and why he was doing so much himself – he never wanted to be held hostage like that again. As a result, I went the opposite way and documented the whys and hows of everything I did so that I could free him up to do his actual work and leave the admin. type stuff to me.

      2. Misclassified*

        I’m surprised the company didn’t go into her computer during some off hours, before firing her, to obtain the files.

        Or were they kept on her personal computer?

      3. Artemesia*

        Why didn’t they lock down her office, then fire her? I can’t imagine not securing the computer when you suspect a knowledge hoarder will be malicious.

        1. JessaB*

          Forget that, why were they not backing up every machine in the place on a regular basis. IF people are allowed to save files on their machines, then those machines should be part of the institutional back up system. Either that or make it impossible to save locally. What if she were a completely nice, honest, lovely employee and her machine just DIED, instead of her being malicious and deleting stuff?

          1. Michele*

            Or even worse, what if she suddenly died? The information needs to be accessible, even with passwords.

            1. BananaPants*

              No kidding! We’ve sadly had two employees die suddenly at young ages in the last decade – one of the first steps was to have IT secure hard drives and laptops.

              We have automatic cloud backup anyways because around 4-5 years ago half of our group had sudden catastrophic hard drive failures in the span of 3 months. So much critical information was unrecoverable that our boss decided to pay the $7 per month per employee for the daily backup service.

      4. Bea*

        I’m laughing at that lady because I’m seasoned at doing everything from scratch. I pity the fool who thinks any documentation is worth being held hostage with. Thats why you walk a crazy lady out and she never sees the door slamming on her ass.

        1. JessaB*

          Yes, but it costs money (either your hours where you’re not doing the rest of your regular job,) or paying someone else to either check the drive or recreate stuff. Also unless she really knows how to scrub a drive, I’m surprised IT didn’t at least try to reconstruct it.

      5. Chinook*

        Ooohhh…we are currently battling that stubbornness when it comes to paperwork processes with one project manager (who otherwise is amazing at his job). He does the paperwork the same way he has for the last 25 years – on paper, creating very detailed binders of forms. Everyone else has switched to our (much more efficient) computerized system but he always claims he doesn’t have enough time. We have tried reason and even promises of all the data he could have access to with no luck. We pointed out that this was designed with direct input from the guys who opposed this type of change 10 years ago (the same group that sends me computer screen shots from their camera) and they like it. We offered to fly down to him and walk him through the process (which is not necessary because the interface has been proven to be very user friendly because of previously mentioned input). Nothing.

        But we are now thinking hell has frozen over because we saw that he clicked a button in one of the programs showing us his progress in the field. We are holding our breath to see if he completes the online forms before our internal deadline, treating him like a wild animal approaching humans for the first time – we don’t want to scare him off by being too enthusiastic. I swear, if I could figure out a way to reward him with donuts every time he did something correctly, I would.

      6. Magenta Sky*

        Somebody needs to go read the whole story of Terry Childs, who did prison time for that kind of nonsense. (Of course, he actively endangered lives, holding the 911 system hostage, but that affects the length of the sentence, not whether or not it’s criminal.)

        1. Sibley*

          I was in CA auditing government entities at the the time that happened. IIRC, they had to call in Silicon Valley experts to break into the systems. We spend the rest of that audit season talking to our clients about their processes to prevent that sort of thing. There were more than a few changes made.

          1. Mookie*

            IIRC, they had to call in Silicon Valley experts to break into the systems

            He gave the passwords to Gavin Newsom after Newsom agreed to a meeting while Childs was in jail awaiting trial.

    4. Xarcady*

      Long ago, I was a staff employee at a state university. When plans were announced to upgrade the software used by various offices on campus, and make all the new software interact with all the other new software, people quit their jobs.

      The software in use 3 or 4 major areas had been in use for over 25 years. (I am *not* making this up.) Jobs were designed to work with the software and its limitations, instead of the software being designed to assist people in doing their jobs. When faced with a total reorganization of everything–the software they used, the jobs they were doing–a significant number of employees could not cope.

      Me? I was the solitary employee dancing in the halls, delighted to get a new computer (because none of the existing computers could handle modern software), and thrilled at the chance to make my job easier.

      Then my office found out that we could customize our software a bit. And they voted to make it work as much like the old software as possible. We were not going to change our workflow. We were not going to change outdated forms. We were not going to change things that caused problems for everyone on campus at least once per year. No, we were going to fossilize those things and keep them forever.

      I walked out at the end of that meeting and went and cried in the ladies’ room. And started sending out resumes the following day.

      1. Adlib*

        OMG, this is my nightmare! I’m in the middle of a system change right now and trying to run it. This story will haunt me. (Yep, it’s customizable.)

        1. Xarcady*

          We were finally going to have the capability to email people. Instead of batch printing letters overnight, and having to send someone to go and get them from the computer center across campus every morning, getting student workers to stuff the envelopes, lugging everything to the mail room on the other side of campus, where every piece of mail got sent to the state capital to get postage put on, and then the mail could finally get mailed. It took 5-7 days for someone to get a letter from our office, and we dealt with time-sensitive matters, and most people got their mail after the deadline listed in the letter.

          I put my foot down over the email. It solved so many problems. But staff kept saying that people wanted to receive a hard copy of our notices. I pointed out that people were free to print their own hard copy. I could not believe that people were willing to accept a week-long process for mailing things over the 5-10 minutes that emailing would take. And that they didn’t mind dealing with the numerous complaint phone calls we received weekly. (Also had to introduce people to the idea of templates, mailing lists, and BCC.)

          Then they complained that the work-study students would have nothing to do. I had my one genius moment, and declared that the students were more than capable of filling in the names and info in the form letters, and gave the entire mailing situation to the students. Who did a great job.

          So then people complained that they had too much time on their hands, without all those letters to work on. Our boss squashed that pretty quickly.

          I had suppressed all these memories. Now they are flooding back. I will probably have a nightmare tonight.

          I wish you luck and more receptive audience than that university had.

      2. LKW*

        I had a client that would get extremely upset if anything on a slide was red. To him it set off alarm bells that this item or statement was an issue and was at risk or needed to be escalated.

      3. 2horseygirls*

        I feel your pain – I left a community college where many of the longtime admins reiterated daily how the old system (which was hobbled together with fishing wire and bubble gum, in an archaic programming language, and there was literally no one left on campus who could fix anything that broke) was FAR superior to the new ERP. Not.

        I unknowingly sealed my own fate the first day in the new academic division (after 5 1/2 years in the marketing and PR office – I was restructured out of my position) when, upon hearing that it took two secretaries two weeks (!?!?!?!) to key information from 130 background check forms into an Excel spreadsheet, I innocently asked “This is all basic demographic information except for 5 fields. We already have this from their application in the ERP. Why not run a report for a starting point of 85% of the information, add the 5 columns, update what has changed, and boom, done in a couple of hours? It is faster, more accurate, and more efficient.”

        The dean and the two secretaries looked like I had suggested a naked hula dance with flaming batons on the conference table.

        Finally, the dean asked, “And WHY do YOU have access to this system?” Because I was just a lowly secretary now, and the ONLY ones on the academic side (vs. administration/operations side) who were granted access by a papal dispensation were the dean, and SUPPOSED to be the dean’s administrative assistants. None of whom had any idea, or inclination to learn, how to use the ERP, and instead handed over their log-ins to the secretaries who did not kvetch and actually figured out the system. (insert eye roll here)

        “Because I have been the one pulling, deduping, then handscrubbing the 60,000+ name mailing list for the credit and noncredit schedules for the last 5 1/2 years.” Seriously?!?!

        After the dean terminated me, they went back to hand-entering, and nearly 20% of the next incoming class could not start classes because when they showed up for fingerprinting, their data did not match their identification. Hmmmm . . . . .

          1. JessaB*

            In some majors background checks are a thing (particularly law, education and medicine,) and since they’re going to check you to be licenced, they might as well check you BEFORE you start learning something only to find out after spending six digits in student loan money that you cannot go to work in that field because of X disqualification that they would have found out BEFORE you started if they’d checked. So most Unis will at minimum check people going into fields that require a check to get out of into the real world. It also gives you a chance to correct any wrong records, or get them expunged if you’re eligible. I have a friend with a twin brother who used to tell the cops he was Friend, if he got pulled over. If nobody had checked Friend, then they would never have found out.

          2. 2horseygirls*

            It was the basic nurse assistant program, and they had to be cleared to do clinicals in healthcare facilities.

        1. Noobtastic*

          Wait. Did the dean terminate you because you did your job for the last 5 1/2 years, and actually mentioned it? Because during the course of your job, you had access to something that you no longer had access to, but you still knew how it worked? Is THAT why he terminated you?


      4. Artemesia*

        A state office I knew about moved from terminals to PCs and a new data base for a critical state function; the people in that office got the IT staff to refigure the computers so they worked just like the old terminals, fossilizing the system they were trying to replace. I think they got away with it.

      5. Kelly*

        As another public university worker who went through multiple software changes recently, that’s still sadly accurate. It was actually worse dealing with the longer serving people that couldn’t get how to use an online time sheet, learn how to use Outlook, and learn how to use a new work software. I don’t like Outlook much myself and would have preferred if campus leadership had been willing to spend more money for the Google package, which has better cloud support and more storage, but I kept an open mind. I still hate Outlook and prefer Gmail. I’m sure we’ll be switching to a new work software sooner, probably within the next 5 years. I hope by that time some of the ones who were resisting change will be gone.

    5. Library Lady*

      My dad tells a story about having to move a bunch of offices off the company’s old punch card system in the 80s. Some were very resistant, up to the point where the new equipment was installed and the old was removed. There was one guy who dug in his heels to the end, until my dad came around and said, “The equipment that runs the punch cards is gone. You have to use the new system now.” Then he took the punch cards off the guy’s desk and threw them in the trash. Walked out of the room, turned around, and sure enough the guy is taking them out of the trash.

        1. Blue eagle*

          We retrieved one of those from my parent’s old house last summer and hung it on our front door for Christmas!

          1. Just J.*

            We made the cutest table top Christmas trees out of Dad’s old punchcards………

      1. Kate*

        I was working in Japan during the big earthquake in 2011. My office was pretty shaken up (although we were far enough from the center that no one was hurt), and the only joy in that horrid day was realizing the punch card machine was on the floor in pieces.

        Sadly, it was back in working order when I returned the following week. Oh well.

    6. FCJ*

      I’ve been in the sort of opposite position, where the higher-ups decided that our workflow needed to be more efficient and that every location (I worked retail logistics) needed to have the exact same procedures–as in, open the boxes in a precise way in a precise order. And GOD FORBID if two people worked on different sets of boxes at the same time, even if Set 1 wasn’t big enough to require the whole team. It worked well for one or two departments, but mostly it was a huge waste of manpower, and regional management was so enamored of the new system that they wouldn’t listen when the actual workers told them which parts didn’t work. I probably got a little too invested in it (one thing I HATE is being micromanaged at my job), but I never had a flip-out.

      1. Stone Satellite*

        I’ve been on this side of it too. Our IT department (at a tech company) decided there was One Source Control To Rule Them All without consulting the teams who would be forced to use it to see if it was workable. For our team it wasn’t. It had a hard cap on file size, and meeting that with our product would’ve been months of work for the entire team, for a product that was about to sunset anyway. So, when the switch was made at corporate, we just ran our own source control on a box under someone’s desk and never mentioned it to anyone in IT (“shadow IT”, as it was called, was deemed Very Bad and could never be mentioned outside the confines of the team cubes). Maybe from the other side it looked like unreasonable intransigence but for us it was just practical.

        1. Gadget Hackwrench*

          “Arbitrary or micro-management, illogical decisions, inconsistent policies, the creation of unnecessary work and exclusionary practices will elicit a quiet, subversive, almost vicious attitude from otherwise excellent IT staff. Interestingly, IT groups don’t fall apart in this mode. From the outside, nothing looks to be wrong and the work still gets done. But internally, the IT group, or portions of it, may cut themselves off almost entirely from the intended management structure. They may work on big projects or steer the group entirely from the shadows while diverting the attention of supervisors to lesser topics. They believe they are protecting the organization, as well as their own credibility — and they are often correct.” <– The Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks, we will fix it even if you don't want us to.

    7. danr*

      My old company was doing something similar and one group chose that “hill to die on”. They all refused to use the new process with all sorts of excuses. The whole department was laid off. They were treated just like the rest of the folks being laid off at the time. And they were all folks who should have known better.

    8. Mallory Janis Ian*

      One professor in my old department wrote a document, to the incoming new dean, entitled, “manifesto”. It was sixteen pages of stream of consciousness, with no capitalization or punctuation, about the inherent worth — nay, glory! — of the current pedagogy and why nothing should ever be done to steer the department off its current trajectory.


    I moved into a more senior position at work and took over scheduling tasks for our team. I took the opportunity to change coverage on some tasks. While I was at it, I changed the colour scheme. The least popular task was filled in BRIGHT ANGRY RED every month, and I thought changing things up would help people feel less like the schedule was yelling bad news at them.

    I got no comment on the schedule changes, but one person flipped out over the colour scheme. Couldn’t handle it, super upset, needed it back the way it was, was convinced that the new colours would confuse everyone and nobody would be able to remember which of three tasks they were assigned to. Direct quote: “Can we please not change anything that we are not being forced to change?” In retrospect, it was a brilliant way to distract from the more substantial changes.

    1. Color Dependent*

      They were definitely overreacting, but in fairness, I recognize and organize everything I do by the colors I or my team has assigned to tasks, and if suddenly they were different it would confuse me and slow me WAY the heck down on my day to day. Actually more confusing than being assigned a different task entirely. I feel for them, but obviously they could have handled it with less drama!


        Fair enough–I often don’t anticipate how much changes that wouldn’t bother me might bother others.
        Our tasks are big blocks that take up half a day at a time, so the change in colour would only confuse people the one time they looked at it that day… and most people instantly copy their schedule into their Outlook calendar, where they can use any colour they want.
        I ended up just changing the colour to slightly more pastel versions of the originals. So far, so good.

        1. Zombii*

          Thank you for toning down the BRIGHT ANGRY RED, on behalf of everyone who doesn’t understand people who actively try to make the Sharepoint pages they have access to look like a toxic neon throwback to my mid-90’s LiveJournal days. :)

      2. Amber T*

        Ditto, I’m a color coded type person, and if things changed suddenly I’d be confused… for a couple of days. You learn to adjust, or you personally color code your own tasks using your own system.

        (My boss once emailed me with a top priority project and called it “Code Blue.” I cheekily responded that blue was my mid-priority task code, so I’ll have it done by the end of the week. I laughed, but I also learned he doesn’t like jokes when stressed.)

        1. Amber T*

          *He laughed. I mean, I laughed too, but it sounds extra mean the way I initially wrote it. Oh, for an edit button.

          1. Hills to Die on (formerly AMG)*

            I would have totally lol’d at this. Glad I wasn’t there!

    2. WhichSister*

      ” In retrospect, it was a brilliant way to distract from the more substantial changes.”

      You have a future in politics

    3. Another Lawyer*

      We have a color coded task list system and we were changing the format and the new format was less compatible with colors so we had to make the switch without colors. My coworker cried.

      1. Ramona Flowers*

        I still haven’t forgiven Apple for removing coloured file labels. No, coloured tags are not the damn same!

        1. Another Lawyer*

          I worked for 12 hours to figure out how to get the color onto the files because I ALSO love it, but just not to the level of crying.

        2. Trillian*

          I’ve started adding custom folder icons to the folders I want to be able to find at a glance. I have a set of icons of different coloured folders. Command-I to open information on the icon file, click on copy (Command-C) the icon image, Command-I to open information on the target image, select and Command-V to paste the new icon image.

    4. LKW*

      I had a client that would get extremely upset if anything on a slide was red. To him it set off alarm bells that this item or statement was an issue and was at risk or needed to be escalated.

    5. required name*

      I like to bring up the Bikeshed Principle in meetings as a way to shut down/delay minor nitpicky details. You have no idea how many people have opinions on the precise shade of puce until they’re fighting over hexidemical color codes. It’s as great as the “parking lot” for Topics For Later on as away to keep meetings on track.

      But you’re right, when they’re fighting over color, they’re not fighting over the layout of the bikeshed XD


        Well now I’m reading up about the Bikeshed Principle. Thanks!

      2. Boris*

        I’ve been in hour long meetings where very intelligent and important people have spent the whole time arguing about exactly where to position a lightswitch. I’m so glad to hear it has a name!

        1. Indigo*

          Philosophers are pros at this. A meeting I attended was once derailed for a good thirty minutes by an argument over which translation of Kant’s categorical imperative we should print on the t-shirts we were selling as a fundraiser for the Philosophy Students’ Union at my university.

    6. LCL*

      When I wrote my very first schedule for this group, which was done in rudimentary excel, I agonized over it and put it out a day late to allow someone to proofread it. After it was posted, our most attention to detail/excessively controlling person told me I had made a bad mistake on the schedule. The mistake-I dropped the hyphen from the numbering scheme, which appeared exactly once on the schedule. I dropped it on purpose because I thought my way was easier to read.


        I’m still working in rudimentary excel… what have you moved onto? I keep thinking there must be a better way to do this, but I haven’t gotten around to figuring it out.

    7. SusanIvanova*

      Our bug tracking system puts things that it thinks are mega-high priority in BIG BOLD RED, *and* sends email every day about those. Most of the time they aren’t that mega-high priority. I got one tagged that way that technically wasn’t – it hit only one person, on pre-release software not even close to alpha-level testing stage – but that was because he was using it internally and eventually it would hit everyone. So it was my top job, but I changed the priority anyway because I was working on it and didn’t need the nag emails or the BIG BOLD RED text every time I looked at the list. The bug-filer knew I was working on it because we’d chatted in IRC about the details.

      He flipped out anyway because by changing it from BIG BOLD RED obviously I wasn’t making it my top priority.

    8. Julie Noted*

      The most senior staff in our department spent ages debating the colour of flags highlighting project status. Red for overdue was extremely controversial. Can we have a blue flag to say the project is overdue but it’s not my fault?

  6. Bolt*

    When I was working at a grocery store the manager went from being relaxes about us keeping our cell phones in our pockets to strict. So when she posted a notice on the bulletin board that there’d be no cell phones on our person, effective immediately, one of the bag boys lost his marbles.

    Within second of him approaching the bulletin board we see his shiny iPhone flying through the air before it landed (probably a good 20 feet away). He stomped over to it seething, realized he had broken the screen, threw it back down, and stomped on it with all of his might until it completely broke apart. (The joys of a parent buying an unstable teenager an expensive phone).

    The best part – the change in enforcement only applied to cashiers, not the bag boys.

    1. Drewby80*

      “The best part – the change in enforcement only applied to cashiers, not the bag boys.”

      My heart lifted reading this after the little turd destroyed his own phone. Hopefully his parents told him to suck it up until upgrade time.

      1. Allison*

        That might have been do-able 10 years ago, nowadays I think expecting anyone to go without a cell phone for more than a month or so isn’t really realistic. That said, making him pay for the replacement, thus limiting him to something cheap, might have been an adequate punishment.

        1. SimonTheGreyWarden*

          I don’t know, expecting a business professional or adult to go without a phone (especially a smart phone) is really limiting now – many of my students use them in place of computers. However, expecting a teenage boy to go without an iPhone isn’t unreasonable at all to me, and I definitely agree he should pay for the replacement.

          1. Adam*

            It seems like a fair punishment to me. The standards have just evolved as the technology did. In previous generations being grounded meant you couldn’t use the phone at home which was a pretty big deal. Then it was the internet. Nowadays it’s the smart device.

            1. MacAilbert*

              When I was a teen (I’m 26), grounding meant the only thing allowed was books. I wasn’t really allowed to go out of the house and hang with people ever, so I didn’t have a phone to take away. It really just meant no computer.

              1. Adam*

                It varies by the kid of course. When I was grounded I could still use the phone and usually the TV and even internet.

                For me, being grounded meant no video games. :P

                1. Saturnalia*

                  I liked to read and spend time alone, so I had to watch bad movies with my family when I was grounded. Just can’t win lol

                2. Becky*

                  For me being grounded meant I wasn’t allowed to go to the library and check out more books.

                3. Ev*

                  For me, it was no books and I had to keep my bedroom door open. Mostly so that my parents could check that I wasn’t sneakily reading.

                  (Admittedly, this was because I was grounded due to failing math because I spent all of class reading, so…)

              2. BookishMiss*

                This is exactly why grounding did nothing to me. I spent my teenaged life in my room reading anyway.

                1. F Manley*

                  It was on exactly this principle that my parents would ground me by not allowing me to read books. It was the Worst Punishment, reserved for when I was being really irresponsible. Prohibiting me from leaving the house would’ve done nothing to my usual habits, but not being allowed to read? Maddening.

                2. Antilles*

                  My parents would ground me by intentionally *not* sending me to my room, because there’s too many cool things in there. Instead, I’d have to sit in the living room and quietly watch whatever (awful) TV program they were currently watching.

                3. Hlyssande*

                  F Manley, I feel your pain. I was hit with a golf ball in the eye when I was in 2nd grade….right when I had discovered the love of my life, books. I was not allowed to read anything for more than six months. It was The Worst, and I hadn’t even done anything to deserve it.

                  I don’t remember getting grounded, but up until high school time outs happened with a terrifying antique chair that my parents had. It worked (no books allowed while in time out either).

                4. Nic*

                  Mine thought too highly of reading to forbid it, so my parents did what Antilles’ did (they called it “being a person”), and if I did go to my room I had to keep the door open.

                5. Ms_Morlowe*

                  My parents did the same as F. Manleys’–punishment was not being allowed to read. They later told me they used to get the *dirtiest* looks in public when they said “Okay, MyName: keep it up and no reading tonight”.

                6. Gazebo Slayer*

                  I had a friend as a kid who was failing two classes due to horrible bullying. Her only joy in life was reading and her mother took away all her books for weeks or months (I forget) because of those failing grades. (One of which was gym. Gym is hell, especially for a target.)

                  I considered it abuse then, and still do.

              3. Another Amy*

                When I was in a lot of trouble as a child, my parents would take all my books away. That was the best way to punish me. Well, except that before the age of 10, as a consequence, I had a book hidden in every room of the house.

              4. Lala*

                I was grounded *from* books for an entire month after getting a C on my last report card of the school year. That first month of summer was SOOOOO SLOW without anything to read. It was hell for a nerdy kid (we didn’t get a computer until the next year). It was only the second most ridiculous punishment I ever got, tbh.

                I totally cheated and read books when I was babysitting after I put the kids to bed, but I was limited to whatever was in the house I went to. I also did a lot of writing that month.

          2. Chalupa Batman*

            This. Teenagers not having personal phones is inconvenient, but not critical. After my daughter lost one phone and broke the other (accidentally for both, which is the only reason she had a chance to do it twice), she got no more phone. Even though she’s still on our plan, so we’re paying whether she has it or not. It’s our Hill to Die On.

        2. Liane*

          If it was my kid* he would have paid for the iPhone and been issued a cheap phone, preferably, if they still offer them, the type sold for young kids.

          *FTR, my kids didn’t get smart phones until they paid for them out of their own money

          1. Ciscononymous*

            This would have been my response. If you’re old enough to be out and about on your own, I’ll make sure you have a phone, but it may not be the newest, shiniest thing on the market. For this incident, I’d get as close to a Nokia as I still could until upgrade time, unless my child wanted to pay for the new phone themselves :)

        3. TL -*

          But you can get a really basic phone for much cheaper than an iPhone and just deal with the fact that you have slow, buggy, potentially dumb phone. :)

        4. Amadeo*

          One of those Junebug things with four or five programmable buttons for important numbers.

              1. AllTheFiles*

                He doesn’t need texting. I like the Junebug idea – “Ok son, press the picture with the guy on it to call dad and the picture with the lady on it for mom. That is it.”

        5. Honeybee*

          …sure it is. Most teenagers don’t really need constant access to a phone. Quite frankly most adults probably don’t really need constant access to a phone, either.

      2. Marillenbaum*

        You can have a $20 pay-as-you-go that you pay for yourself until upgrade time. In the interim, you get to also pay me back for my money that you wasted on a phone-breaking tantrum.

    2. Turtlewings*

      The sheer complete illogic of breaking your phone to pieces because you can’t carry it at work… I can’t facepalm hard enough.

      1. Lala*

        My brother has broken his phone out of sheer rage by throwing it at the wall at least twice. It’s the dumbest reaction, because then he has to replace the phone. He’s never thrown anything else or done anything else violent when angry, so I’m not even sure what makes him do it, other than some kind of bizarre financial masochism.

    3. Mononymous*

      Whoa. If that were my kid he’d never have a phone nicer than a 90s-era flip phone ever again (until able to pay for his own). If that!

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        Get them a Jitterbug, or a Firefly, if they still make them. VERY limited flip phones — the Jitterbug was designed as an emergency phone for seniors.

        1. Amadeo*

          Jitterbug, that’s the name of it! LOL, I called it ‘junebug’ a little further up.

          1. Mallory Janis Ian*

            Ha. When I was reading “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” with my son, that horrible little Greg Heffley received a jitterbug phone from his parents for his birthday. It had one button, for calling home, and that was all.

        1. Allison*

          yes! “well if you’re going to throw your phone and stomp on it when you get mad, you can use this Nokia brick until you learn to control your anger issues.”

          Seriously, I’ve tossed a phone or two when really mad, usually at whoever I was texting and wanted to get that connection point the hell away from me, but even then I’m usually careful to throw it at something soft, or not throw it hard enough to cause damage. I can’t afford to dispose of phones like that.

          1. Sprinkled with Snark*

            That’s the only thing I have ever missed about those old fashioned, heavy, curly cord phones – – the amazing satisfaction you get from slamming down the receiver in a moment of rage! Now all I can do is angrily thumb the screen for a few seconds.

            1. Thyme*

              When people at work get off phone calls that make them angry, you can always hear it when they slam down their phones (though they’re just standard plastic landline sorta phones.) It’s pretty satisfying to hear the click, tbh.

      2. Artemesia*

        He undoubtedly told them that it fell out of his pocket and a car in the lot ran over it or something. My daughter once dropped her phone and a porsche ran over it before she could pick it up — this was in the road as she got out of a car. We weren’t buying her phone, so I believed it.

    4. Jaydee*

      Was his name by any chance Ben Solo?

      I just love the idea of Kylo Ren working as a bagger at a grocery store. I imagine him covering the “Ben” on his name tag with tape and writing “Kylo” on it and using the force to push carts in from the parking lot.

      1. General Ginger*

        You leave my co-commander out of this :)

        (but seriously, that’s a hilarious mental image)

      1. Fafaflunkie*

        If only you pulled out your own phone and put his tirade all over YouTube….that would have been the piece de resistance!
        Apaologies for the previous post–it seems this blog and this phone don’t get along when it comes to posting replies.

  7. Mononymous*

    My coworkers in my current office panic and scream their fool heads off every time a delivery carrier comes to the door, as if said carrier was here to murder us all.

    (I work from home, and said coworkers are small dogs.)

    1. BethRA*

      You never know when one of those delivery people is carrying a bomb.

      At least, that’s what the Chief of Security at my home office says.

    2. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

      My dog used to do this. Then, I ordered a squeaky toy, some treats, and a rawhide chew from Amazon Prime. Now, Mr. UPS Man comes to the door, and it’s all happy wags and whimpers.

      1. Mononymous*

        Oh, I wish I could get mine to understand that! Sadly their attention spans aren’t long enough for them to connect deliverer of the box with the box contents.

        1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

          I actually asked the UPS guy to stick around and opened it right there on the porch. :D

          1. Amadeo*

            At least he waited for you to do that. I had a postal carrier scream at me to keep the dog inside when I answered the door once. My GSD was standing behind me already, silent and just watching, pretty relaxed body language in spite of this woman’s totally uncalled for freak out. I didn’t have the change to invite her to offer toy or treat.

            1. bohtie*

              to be fair, some people are legit terrified of dogs. The guy who installed the cable at my new apartment got super-tense when he heard my dog barking inside and could only calm down when I mentioned that I’d put her away as soon as the truck pulled up. He said he’d been bitten several times on the job, including once by a huge dog that did some damage, and that it was hard to even listen to my ancient tiny mutt who literally has no teeth.

              In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve had a number of people who have to come to my door or inside be visibly relieved when I tell them “Please ignore the dog, she’s shut in the bedroom but she yells a lot”

              1. Liz in a Library*

                Yeah, my sister got chased and bitten by a large dog as a small child, and it has taken her a long time to be comfortable. She’s now good with specific dogs she’s met multiple times, but she’s genuinely tense even with friends’ dogs she doesn’t know well.

            2. Thyme*

              Not everyone can read dog body language, and there are a lot of awful dog owners out there who don’t have well behaved dogs. I love dogs, personally, but I respect dogs and I get why people are nervous – especially if their work means they come across strange dogs a lot! And some people are just afraid.

            3. tigerStripes*

              I love GSDs, but I also have a lot of respect for them. They’re big, powerful dogs (and so sweet and adorable!)

      2. TootsNYC*

        If I were the UPS guy, I’d be asking people for permission to give their dogs treats.

        1. Beancounter Eric*

          UPS guy used to carry dog treats and would leave a couple on top of our packages for our late Flattie.

          1. Michele*

            We had one like that for a short time. My dog lived for another 12 years and was convinced that every UPS truck was going to bring her a treat.

          2. Paquita*

            UPS guy comes to our house when he is in the neighborhood even if we don’t have a delivery. He comes to bring treats for our dog.

        2. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

          My MIL’s mailman does this! Her GSD thinks he’s the greatest thing since bubble gum (and she is definitely a Guard Dog … or thinks she is … until you give her pats and treats!)

        3. Rebecca in Dallas*

          Haha, an Amazon Prime delivery driver had a treat out and ready once when I opened the door! My dog wolfed down the treat, then kept barking at him lol.

        4. Venus Supreme*

          Our mailman carried treats with him and would always give a couple to my family’s dogs. Our one dog looked forward to the treats so much, she’d jump in the truck with him :)

        5. kavm*

          my UPS guy brings treats! he’s really nice. my dog totally freaks out when the truck goes by, but she generally gets overexcited about visitors.

        6. Agile Phalanges*

          My boss has a teacup yorkie that hollers at everyone that walks in the door here at work (and we have both delivery drivers AND walk-in customers multiple times per day. Fun.). A few of the drivers bring treats. She barks her fool head off as they arrive, barks as they drop the treat and walk away, barks as they leave the building, and then as soon as they drive off, she happily eats the treat. She will NOT be bribed.

        7. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Our UPS guy used to give dog biscuits to our German shepherd when he’d make deliveries. He set packages in the carport at the back door, and our dog’s backyard gate came right up to the carport. He brought a treat in front of us, and we told our dog, “It’s okay Cybill [Shepherd]; you can have it”, and she loved the UPS guy ever after.

        8. Cadbury Cream Egg*

          The UPS guy that would deliver to my old apartment kept treats on his truck. You would see dogs sprinting across the grounds (frequently with leashes trailing behind them which made it all the funnier) and go IN TO his truck looking for treats. He and the dogs loved it.

    3. WhichSister*

      According to my live in home security toddlers, leaves and gusts of winds are all just terrorists in disguise

      1. Liane*

        Is my family the only one with a dog that loudly warns off malicious air molecules? (That’s our theory as to what he’s alerting about.)

        1. Wednesday Mouse*

          My friend’s cat tries to warn us all about the space monkeys that she can clearly see (she watches them, intensely), but us dumb humans can’t.

        2. Adlib*

          Our family’s late Great Pyreness used to bark at hot air balloons in her air space. She also barked at donkey poop.

          1. KellyK*

            My pittie barks at birds, and chases them. Not birds in low-hanging tree branches that he might have a chance of getting at, but hawks circling a hundred feet above him. It’s even funnier when he does the same thing with jets.

            He’s also fiercely defended us from a crayfish that was advancing on the house.

          2. Ms Ida*

            My Pyr is being terroized my a pug that walks by every day and bars as he goes by. My dog is losing her mind. I am worried it will distract her from her guarding duties. If she is distracted who will tell me a new leaf fell on the lawn?
            We are in a flight path so she doesnt pay attention to planes but I suspect a hot air ballon would get her attention.

        3. Rachel*

          One of my dogs barks at the ghosts on the front porch. Either that, or he’s figured out that when he stares at the door and barks, the other dog will abandon the toy/human/spot on the couch and then he can snatch it. Either he’s dumb or manipulative. I can’t tell.

    4. Kelly L.*

      Have you seen the Oatmeal’s “if my dogs were middle-aged men”?


    5. Lucy Richardson*

      Ha. I have now added a front yard security sweep of the front yard to my morning routine, as our “intern” is hopelessly distracted by our “gardening staff.”

      I know training the puppy not to bark is the long term solution, but before I’ve had my first cup of coffee, shooing the rabbit into the woods is the path of least resistance.

      1. LavaLamp*

        I actually got out of my car at 4am to shoo a bunny out of the ATM lane at my bank. Bunny glared at me, as it was raining and he looked rather soggy. I’m guessing the ATM was warm.

    6. OtterB*

      When I’m working from home and have a conference call, I’ve been known to have to explain that I’m muting my phone because I’m being defended against the mail.

      1. Anlyn*

        I have to explain that the neighbor dog started barking, and mine had to show her support and solidarity.

        1. Qmatilda*

          Every single time. The GSD mix next door can’t help herself and mine gets all unsettled on her behalf.

      2. Just J.*

        I’ve had to explain that my cat thinks I am talking to him and he is talking back.

        1. Spoonie*

          My Yorkie mix warbles/sings at me sometimes. I rue the day I start working from home regularly and have to explain that sound because it’s not a normal dog noise.

        2. Shishimai*

          Done this with a parrot.
          …who would start chirping and screaming, LOUDLY, every time I was on a work phone call. He seemed to know – he didn’t yell when I was on the line with, say, salespeople. No, he saved it for the boss.

    7. Red Reader*

      Mine do the same thing, only they’re hound mixes, so many’s the time I’ve muted three seconds into a big beautiful bloodhound I GOT SOMETHING MAW bay at the door from my office into the backyard and caused my entire conference call to pause for a second.

      1. Hlyssande*

        A friend of a friend has bassets – they definitely do that. BAOOOOOOOOOOOOW! BAAAAOOOOOW! Forever.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        For the first few years my mutt said “I love you” randomly, but each word began with a W. “Why Wove Wooo”. But the way he did it, it would be hard not believe he wasn’t saying I love you. He was pretty clear.

        When I interviewed for my job that I have now, I had two choices. Lock him out of the room I was in and pray he did not start with those ear piecing cries OR keep him with me and rub his belly the entire time and pray he dd not decide to join the conversation with his I love you’s. He got a two hour belly rub.

        I later found out that my boss would not have cared in the least, found the situation very funny and probably would have said, “That is something that would happen to ME.”
        I took a temp job later, he actually did talk on the phone interview. That boss did not care either.

    8. ConsultantQueen*

      My colleague just came over to me to see what’s so funny because I couldn’t stop giggling

    9. Anonicat*

      My dog is so excited to see the delivery guy that she prances in a circle around him all the way from the gate to the door. I have no idea why she loves him so much but the poor guy is from Singapore where huge black dogs are not normally family pets, so she freaked him right out the first few times.

  8. not so super-visor*

    I guess it’s not that ridiculous, but we just standardized our email signatures yesterday. People flipped out. “Why can’t I have this picture of my dog in my signature?” “But I’ve always used pink cursive font — it’s cuter.” “You’re crushing our individuality.” Another department manager had employees who threatened to quit. I really didn’t think that having a standard email signature was that big of a deal. This is literally the only company that I’ve worked for that didn’t have one (until now).

    1. Bow Ties Are Cool*

      Waaay back when HTML mail was a new thing, all of The Ladies (a relatively harmless clique in our office) changed their email backgrounds to PRINTS! Cute prints! Colorful prints! With color-coordinated imitation-handwriting fonts!

      Two years later, the company standardized emails–colors, fonts, signatures, everything. Those of us who would normally have chafed against that level of strictness were just relieved that we’d once again be able to read everyone’s email without courting a migraine.

      1. not so super-visor*

        oh yeah… they banned the backgrounds and standardized the fonts/sizes too… that was definitely part of the “outrage.”

        1. Ciscononymous*

          I mean…that might earn an eye-roll from me, but definitely not a fit. Wow.
          We have guidelines but not standardization, which I think is a nice compromise. But ultimately…meh?

        1. Working Mom*

          I hate it when people have email backgrounds! Even worse when I have forward the chain to someone and it looks like I have a rose pastel background on my email. GRRR

          1. 2horseygirls*

            In Outlook, when you forward, you can go either go to Options, Page Color, and set it to No Color, or I think if you right-click, there might be an option to remove background on forwards, and replies.

          2. ReneeB*

            Ooooo! I had to learn how to do this because I also refused the pastel pink scourge on my emails.

            1) Choose “Forward.”
            2) Choose “Options.”
            3) Under the “Themes” group, play with Colors, Fonts, Effects, and Themes until *it goes awwwwway.*

            Breathe a sigh of relief.

            Curse the college who makes you do this every time.

      2. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

        One of the admins at my old employer had a psychedelic email background and three-paragraph signature with inspirational quotes. She was literally sobbing when standard signatures, colors, and fonts were implemented.

      3. Adam*

        Whoever implemented the email wallpaper in MS Outlook I want to find and give a stern talking to.

        1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

          Sort of like the guy who invented Comic Sans. “LOOK WHAT YOU DID YOU SON OF A BITCH”

          1. Adam*

            I’d throw in the guy who invented Papyrus as well. The complete upheaval of the production of church bulletins would be tremendous.

            1. memoryisram*

              I am really, really tempted to see if I can block all three with group policy. I’ll let you know if I’m successful.

          2. Marillenbaum*

            Comic Sans was actually designed to be an easy-to-read font for people with dyslexia. I’ve been way less mad at how ugly I find it after I learned that.

            1. TootsNYC*

              That’s not true–it was designed to be casual. There IS a font for people with dyslexia, but it’s not Comic Sans.

              It might be easy to read for them, however.


              Though…research has shown that when teachers do their handouts in a slightly-hard-to-read font, students retain the info better. And Comic Sans was among the fonts that were effective.


              1. ElectricLady*

                Interesting to see that Trebuchet is one of the easiest font to read. It is one of my favorite fonts to use (the other one is Garamond)

            1. Noobtastic*

              Me, too!

              Actually, I used them both for a personal project, but when I had to transfer it to PowerPoint, for publication, they both got switched to Arial, automatically. Now, I just start with Arial, so I’ll know what the end product will look like.

              But I still like Comic Sans and Papyrus. And when people say they need a sarcasm font, I always volunteer Comic Sans.

          3. Construction Safety*

            Dunno. We had a client who buried us with monthly forms. I filled out mine in Comic Sans to protest.

          4. Seven If You Count Bad John*

            I asked my brother-the-Art-Director why all the haterade for Comic Sans. I mean, to me it’s just…eh, whatever. And he explained to me that it was designed for a particular use, that it’s really really suitable for, but that it gets abused and misused and applied in really inappropriate ways. Mainly, people wouldn’t hate it so much if it were being correctly applied.

            1. Zombii*

              Totally agree. The creator of Comic Sans in no villain, the real villains are the people who decided to print the big sign in the break room that says ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING? ONLY USE THE BREAK ROOM ON SCHEDULED BREAKS!!! in Comic Sans. :(

              1. Noobtastic*

                Yeah, Comic Sans is a comedic font. You should only use it for light-hearted stuff. Like comic books and funny stories.

                Papyrus, on the other hand, is for high drama set in Ancient Egypt, or at least the Middle East, preferably Sumerian or Mesopotamia.

                What stumps me is what font to use when I’m writing a comedy set in Ancient Egypt.

          5. Cath in Canada*

            I once got a fortune cookie that said “You have a deep interest in all that is artistic”, in Comic Sans. I have a friend at work who’s an artist / designer / data vis guy who hates that font more than anyone I’ve ever met, so of course I left the fortune on his computer keyboard while he was away on a trip to annoy him. It’s now the banner image on his Twitter profile :D

          6. nonegiven*

            Why do people hate Comic Sans? I love Comic Sans, it’s so much easier to read.

            1. Em*

              I know a grade one teacher who uses it all the time because the “a” and “g” look the way the children are being taught to print them.

      4. Allison*

        I remember when AOL had stationary for emails, and booooy did I use that stationary. I was in middle school.

      5. misplacedmidwesterner*

        I have a coworker who when she sends me an email, I immedately hit control+a and copy it over to a word document, change it to arial and then read it.

        I can’t read the twelve fonts and colors she always uses.

        Once in a hall I overheard someone gushing about how much she loves this woman’s “cheerful” emails and I wanted to scream.

        1. Mike C.*

          You should have saved your coworkers the trouble and Reply-all with the converted message.

          “Hey guys, here’s a version everyone can read!”

        2. Nic*

          I had a coworker who did this in all process documentation, which was on a shared location. If someone went in and standardized things, it would only be a matter of hours or days before it was rainbow hued and running the gamut of sizes.

          1. Mallory Janis Ian*

            Someone should create a read-only of the standardized version and lock the permissions so she can’t change it. Entitle it “doc-name-LEGIBLE”.

        3. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Ugh, one of the other department head’s assistants in our college sends emails in a cursive handwriting font. I always convert it to Calibri, because I am NOT going to strain my eyes and hurt my brain on that nonsense.

    2. Jesmlet*

      We changed the color of our names to a slightly different shade of teal and people were so grumpy about changing it. It takes literally 2 minutes to change and they were given very easy instructions for how and why.

    3. Jen*

      YES! We did this one too about a year ago and people lost their damn minds. “But why can’t I put an animated gif in my signature!” or bible quote. Or photo of kids. It was INSANE.

      1. Kiki*

        I have been known to put memes in my email signature. But only for internal emails to people who I know would find it amusing.

      2. Elizabeth West*

        At Exjob you weren’t supposed to have quotes in your email sig, but people did it anyway. I always rolled my eyes when I saw them because they weren’t even good quotes.

        Mine would have been something like “Yer a wizard, Harry.” — Hagrid That way everybody knows who they’re dealing with. :) #nerd

        1. IT_Guy*

          Mine would have been “Do not meddle in the affairs of DBA’s for they are subtle and quick to Index” – Double geek score!

        2. Rebecca in Dallas*

          Ugh, one of my coworkers at ExJob figured out how to make an email signature in Outlook, so she added a quote. “Working together for the commen good.” Yes, “common” was misspelled and no, I never pointed it out to her. She and I didn’t get along, so it made me smile every time.

          1. Life is Good*

            This makes me laugh! At my old job, we had a standard email signature and font. One lady decided she needed to be “unique” and changed the font color to red EVERY time she started an email. Many people in other offices asked co-workers, with a chuckle, why she was yelling at them when she emailed. She had no clue people were laughing at her weirdness.

          2. Noobtastic*

            I once had to work with a hotel to fix a billing issue, and at the end, I got a confirmation letter, with “Sorry for the incontinence” in the closing line.

            I kept that letter for a long time, for whenever I needed a good laugh or to point out to young people why it is important to know how to spell, all by yourself, and turning off the spell-checker is a good thing.

        3. GreenForDanger*

          I actually compile all the really terrible inspirational quotes that people who write to me include at the end of their emails. I have ten pages of them. Some of them are just crazy, my favorites being “”The head that sticks up gets pounded” chinese proverb on nails sticking up on a floor” – who would think that that was a good message to send – and, from a sheriff, “”There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough have never cared for anything else thereafter.”–Ernest Hemingway “. I was his supervisor and had to tell him that in Canada, where the message we give sheriffs is that their first duty is to de-escalate a situation, you don’t want to advertise that hunting armed men has jaded you for the rest of life.

          1. Noobtastic*

            My favorite “collected” quote is “Nick it in the butt!” attributed to Barney Fife.

            Someone needs their hearing checked.

          2. Mallory Janis Ian*

            “The head that sticks up gets pounded” should be on one of those demotivational posters.

      3. required name*

        I’d love to ban bible quotes in signatures, along with any and all kinds of inspirational quotes. And pictures. Those, too.

        Why, yes, I do get way too many e-mails where the “signature” is three times as long as the actual e-mail.

        1. Writelhd*

          One time I got an email where the signature was a photo of the person who’d sent it in kinda of a cheesy portrait style. Except it was huge, like 4″ by 6″ on the computer screen. I don’t know if the size was intentional.

        2. MoodyMoody*

          I work for a publicly-funded community college, and we are not allowed to have any religious quotes in our signatures. So not only were the roughly 283 colleagues with Bible quotes unhappy, so was my boss. She had to remove her Quran quotes, too.

        3. Nanani*

          For me it’s not so much quotes as it is faux-legal copypasta about deleting this email immediately if it has been sent to you an error and not printing it out without written permission in triplicate etc etc. Usually in 2 or more languages per email because of my field (translation).

          Love gmail’s option of just showing the body and skipping the signatures altogether

        4. JanetM*

          For a while, our required email signature at work included, among many other things, a large image of a map showing which building we had moved into.

    4. alter_ego*

      What is it with people who think their individuality is something that their workplace needs to respect. We had an “office warming” party when we moved to a new location (we work tangentially to construction and architecture, so showing off our office is a big deal for impressing clients). We were asked to tidy our desks in anticipation of about 100 people that were going to be milling about our space, judging our suitability for hire based on it. One of my coworkers lost his *mind* about having to tidy. We were all allowed to leave our personal items on the desk, we could even leave our papers and such. They just wanted us to basically wipe down the surfaces, and square the papers up so it looked somewhat organized. He went on this huge rant about how apparently the image that we wanted to project to our potential clients was that we were all mindless corporate drones, not people with actually personalities.

      1. Adam*

        Tangentially, that reminds me of an argument I bore witness to. A guy thought it was dumb that he could be rejected from attending a private charity event that was a dress-up affair even though he wanted to show up in jeans and a hoody because that’s what he likes wearing.

        “My money is just as good as anyone else’s. Why should they care what I wear?”

        Well in the broader context they don’t. There’s nothing stopping you from donating online, but to attend this event they’re creating a certain atmosphere which means they’re using certain social rules.

        1. MegaMoose, Esq*

          Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, but in that case, your money isn’t just as good, it’s BETTER than anyone else’s.

        2. TootsNYC*

          The other guests care what you wear!
          Having everyone dress up creates a very definite vibe! (I always feel sorry for people who go to the theater in NYC wearing their fancy clothes. They’re surrounded by people in casual clothing, and it’s just not as fun, I’m sure.)

          And collectively, they give more than you.

          1. Adam*

            So my office is right across the street from my city’s symphony. One time I went after work to attend a concert. I didn’t dress SUPER nice, but I wore clothes that wouldn’t be out of place in my generally professional level office.

            Now the thing about this particular concert is that it was a video game concert dedicated to the music of The Legend of Zelda. So a good number of attendees showed up in costume. A lot of Links and Zeldas running around. This keeps in the spirit of the event so I think that’s cool (and a five year old dressed as Link is THE cutest thing in the world and I will fight you on this).

            But to this day I remember the one guy who looked like he rolled out of bed and just grabbed whatever clothes were lying on his floor including dingy cargo shorts and a T–shirt with the phrase “Who pissed in your cereal?”

            I was just “Dude…really?”

            1. Taylor Swift*

              I roll my eyes heavily at anyone who wears t-shirts with those kinds of slogans designed to provoke or be outrageous. If the only way you can get attention is by wearing a printed slogan, something’s wrong with you.

              1. Mallory Janis Ian*

                Thank you! And I’m also looking at parents who send their children to school in t-shirts with slogans extolling character traits that they’re ostensibly supposed to be correcting.

              2. Redtail*

                I once found myself waiting in line at an educational event next to a guy who was wearing an “artfully ripped” tshirt… with an image of a mostly-naked woman on… in an embellished diamanté bikini. Even worse, it was a family-friendly setting. Seriously, dude?

            2. Honeybee*

              I actually wore a nice dress to Symphony of the Goddesses and everyone else (including my husband) was in cosplay or Zelda t-shirts. I felt so overdressed, lol.

      2. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

        “You’re right, Wakeen. We don’t want your personality on display.”

          1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

            Quite. The English language is tricky sometimes.

          2. Dweali*

            You mean that’s SUPPOSED to stay silent?…….huh, maybe that’s where I keep going wrong :-)

      3. Collarbone High*

        Ha, I witnessed a similar incident where we were asked to tidy up for a VIP visit and our department manager was out that day. He had approximately 78 bottles with 1 cm of molding soda on his desk so someone collected and recycled all of them. He threw an epic fit when he saw it the next day.

          1. Noobtastic*

            My first office job: One of my duties was to wash the coffee cups. Mind you, there were only three of us in the office, two of whom drank coffee, and there were about two dozen cups.

            One day, I noticed that every last cup was missing, so I went around the office, collected the coffee cups, most of which still had coffee in them, and several had mold growing in them, and I washed the lot.

            The bossman yelled at me, because he claimed he was conducting an experiment. Well, to be fair, he WAS a scientist, and his product was supposed to kill mold. But, as I told him, “There are these things called petri dishes.”

            His wife (the other coffee drinker in the office) thought that was hilarious. And I never got yelled at for washing coffee cups again.

            But to this day, I am confused. Was he REALLY running an experiment? Or was he just saying that to mess with my mind because he was embarrassed to have left out so many used coffee cups?

        1. Annie Moose*

          Do you get bottle return refunds? I wonder if that was part of his anger–in Michigan, that’d be $7.80.

          1. Collarbone High*

            Nope, no refunds. He was just mad because “I liked my desk the way it was.”

        2. Ann O. Nymous*

          This reminds me of the time I sent out daily emails for a week warning people that I was going to clean out the fridge on Friday afternoon and throw out anything that was moldy, including the Tupperware it was in (at the direction of my boss). On Friday afternoon, our bookkeeper came in and berated me for throwing away perfectly good food and containers and for not telling her I was doing this. She wanted me to clean other people’s moldy salmon, rotting rice, blue chicken, etc. out of their Tupperware and go around to everyone and return their Tupperware to them. She also pulled several moldy items out of the trash and pointed out to me how the mold could be “cut off” and things could still be eaten.

          Is it wasteful? Yes, but my boss told me explicitly NOT to spend my time cleaning other people’s dishes, which I appreciated. Not effing happening.

          1. Aurion*

            wow, even if you were to go through the effort of cleaning all those containers you don’t get to keep them?

            1. the gold digger*

              Yeah, I wouldn’t throw away Tupperware, but if I’m going to wash it, it’s going home with me.

              (The only thing of my mom’s that I want when she dies is her Tupperware. That stuff is almost 50 years old and still going strong.)

            2. Ann O. Nymous*

              Based on the gnarly stuff that was in those containers, I wouldn’t have wanted to keep them even if I had gone to the trouble to keep them. And I’m glad my boss didn’t make me, as cleaning foul-smelling salmon and blue avocados out of other people’s Tupperware would’ve been completely demoralizing. I’m not normally so wasteful, but making myself retch as I bleach other people’s forgotten lunch containers from 2 months ago is Not. My. Jam.

              1. Sprinkled with Snark*

                You CANNOT cut off mold from one part of a piece of food and eat the rest. If it’s moldy, it’s ALL moldy. The entire piece of bread or burrito or pancake or cheese is already moldy even though you might only see it on one part. You and your boss did the right thing to protect your co-workers health and safety. I wouldn’t be surprised if the woman telling you to save 50 year old plastic tupperware and cut moldy portions in half is a secret hoarder.

                1. Collarbone High*

                  I have been having this fight with my miserly dad for three decades now. No, dad, you cannot cut off the moldy part and eat the rest, and “penicillin is good for you” does not apply here.

                2. Zombii*

                  Or maybe just poor/grew up poor?

                  My grandpa lived through the depression and he had this mindset about food. Things got awkward between us when my eighth grade science teacher dropped the knowledge bomb that mold on the outside = mold spores through all of it. Gross.

                  I feel bad about letting food spoil, but not the extent that I’d force myself to eat spoiled food.

          2. Chaordic One*

            We had a situation where, after a week of emails, our receptionist cleaned out the refrigerator and threw away a whole bunch of dirty dishes and one of the department supervisors threw a fit because she threw away “a wedding present.”

            It turned out that our janitor had done some dumpster diving, found the container, cleaned it out and took it home for himself. After he figured out that it was what the department head was having a cow about, the janitor brought it back for him. But the department head was a jerk.

          1. Rachel*

            Oh my god, I was thinking about quoting that myself! :D You beat me to it, ya smeghead ;)

      4. JanetM*

        Conversely, I once worked at a company that required we leave (fake) papers and diskettes on empty desks so it would look as though there were more staff.

    5. Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!*

      I just wish we could make adjustments to our signatures because all of our signatures have our closing in German (I work for a company based in Europe) and highlights trade shows in Europe only, yet we are the US subsidiary based in TX!

    6. Catalyst*

      I actually prefer the standard email signatures, it makes it so much easier when you start a a new company. Here is your format, change the name/title/phone and keep moving.

    7. Anon today...and tomorrow*

      My mom loves messing with her font style and color. She had been using this awful blue color in some kind of script font. I couldn’t read anything she sent me, but I’m not her boss and she takes offense at anything I say that might criticize how she works so I keep my mouth shut. Last year she got a new boss who is about my age. New Boss tells the office which font and color all email exchanges should be in. My mom complained to me for weeks. I tell my mom that I agree with her boss, that the font should be standard and that her color/font choice made her email difficult to read. She stopped speaking to me for weeks too.

      Last month the boss made mention of the way my mother writes an email. She tries desperately to sound professional so she refuses to use contractions, she throws out these words that are never used or spelled correctly, and she does this: Hello…how are you today?… The weather is really lovely…
      It drives me batty and I don’t work with her. Her boss has asked her to stop with the “…” , to use spellcheck, and to just focus on the simple message rather than what she thinks is professional. Her boss explained that you can be simple and professional as long as you’re polite. Mom is furious about this. This time I’m not telling her I agree with her boss, but I can tell you. :)

      1. textbookaquarian*

        Is your mother my coworker? LOL She also uses blue script font and has issues with writing emails. It drives me bonkers to see the spelling errors and “…” instead of a proper period at the end of every sentence.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I can’t stand it when people use ellipses instead of periods. Or run-on sentences without any punctuation whatsoever I can barely tell where their blathering ends and the subject of the email begins it really annoys me even in facebook comments I find it hard to take anybody seriously who can’t even punctuate I mean we learned that shit in grade school

          1. Anon today...and tomorrow*

            It’s funny that you say this. I just got an email from someone at my son’s school and it was a giant run on sentence. It was also written primarily in lowercase. This was from one of the people who teaches my 10 year old son. I’m going to assume that she wrote it quickly on her phone and that was the reason for the errors. To think of it any other way would be too upsetting.

            1. PattS*

              Working in schools for over 20 years, I’ve seen horribly written emails by English instructors and basic math errors by math teachers. And, no, these were written on a PC.

            2. Julia*

              I once had to do business with a company that wrote everything in lower case. Like, they would go out of my way to edit everything I sent them into lower case only. Even my name. O_o

          2. Janice in Accounting*

            LOL But . . . how else am I supposed to put my personality on display . . .

          3. Turquoise Cow*

            And then if you point it out they throw a fit about how grammar shouldn’t matter.

            No, this is exactly why it does.

        2. AwkwardKaterpillar*

          Oh God the ellipses. There are several offenders in my department. I just want to respond, are you uncertain about something? Is this request you replied ‘ok…’ to really NOT ok? Is this stream of consciousness or an actual statement?

          1. Noobtastic*

            Yeah, I always interpret an ellipsis as a pause, either indicating that you are lost in thought or that you are talking to your imaginary friend.

            I use it in conversational writing, and quotations, when I mean to imply that the person’s voice trailed off, because they were lost and confused.

            To have that be at the end of every sentence would be maddening. The only excuse is a broken space bar.

      2. L Dub*

        Does your mom work in Minnesota? I have a co-worker that uses about a million ellipses per email.

        1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

          I post on a Facebook group with an older guy who does this. It drives me BANANAS. He’s not from MN tho.

        2. Natalie*

          Not sure about Anon’s mom, but I’m in Minnesota and my predecessor did the “…” thing all the time. She was also wildly inconsistent about the amount of dots that made each ellipses which drives me crazy. It’s a single piece of punctuation made out of 3 horizontal dots. It’s not however many damn periods you feel like typing. *table flip*

          1. Turquoise Cow*

            Yes! I’m more annoyed by the million dot ellipsis than a simple three dot one. After a while it starts to look like you’re speaking in Morse code.

    8. paul*

      I’ve got to admit, I dislike our standardized email signatures, mostly because they keep changing the approved fonts and colors so I have to go back and change it every couple of months. Minor annoyance but still…can’t we just frigging it leave it alone? it’s an email signature, 14 point font, black and…I can’t remember if we’re on Calibari or what now, but a normalish font

      1. SusanIvanova*

        Wow… can you get away with no signature? Anything anybody at work needs from me is already included in the header.

        1. paul*

          Nope, they’re required. It’s a minor irritation, so not worth fussing over. I just don’t get why they can’t let us stick with one dang signature.

    9. ArtK*

      I’ll confess… not to throwing a fit, mind you, but being annoyed at a signature policy.

      Our company has a standardized signature block. What I *didn’t* know is that they banned quotations. Our Chief Marketing Officer wrote me a stern note about the quotation I had. I just ignored him. While I could understand not wanting offensive things there, this is what is in my signature right now:

      “The life so short, the craft so long to learn”
      “By hammer and hand do all things stand”

      1. Melody Pond*

        Parliament of Fowls!

        I have to google the second one, I don’t know it offhand.

        1. ArtK*

          The first one is an English translation of a common Latin phrase: Ars longa, vita brevis. The second one is the motto of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths in London. Both of these appear on the wall at an Arts and Crafts (the movement, as in William Morris) themed restaurant.

          I should note that when we recently had a serious reduction-in-force, the CMO left. I’m still here.

          1. EE*

            I’m surprised to see that translation. I have always understood it to mean that a piece of art may outlive a person.

      2. Ann O. Nymous*

        I mean, I don’t think it sounds like you threw a fit, but it sounds like you were pretty obstinate about a reasonable request to not have quotes in your email signature. In all honestly, I think it looks unprofessional.

        1. Sprinkled with Snark*

          I agree with no quotes in signatures, especially if they have nothing to do with your company or your particular job. Ars longa, vita brevis is Latin for, “Art is long, Life is Short.” The Romans, of course, stole it from the Greeks, as they did everything else, and it was originally written by Hippocrates (the Greek physician) as the opening to a medical text. Hippocrates was talking about the “craft” of medicine will be around longer than the physician itself, then continues with what a physician must be prepared to do to make his patients cooperate with him. I see this quote all the time and people think it means that the fine arts will be here forever. The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, also known as Liverymen, are a blacksmith “union” that still accepts apprentices. So, if I received an email with both of those quotes in the signature, I would wonder , hmmm, doctor or blacksmith? Of course, quotes can mean anything to anybody, but it just goes to show you that words and mottos and so on can be very powerful, and have significant meaning to the people associated with them. That’s a good reason not to include them in an office signature when the office has nothing to do with what it is you are aligning yourself with.

    10. K.*

      Oh, people threw a fit at my old job when we standardized the signatures as part of a rebrand – and we made it so that people physically could not change them to anything other than the standard. We (marketing) got so much hate mail, it was crazy. The phrase “stifling creativity” came up a lot. This woman I was friendly with and who had used hideous lavender hard-to-read cursive font in her email signature asked me if there was any way an exception could be made for her and didn’t speak to me for a few weeks when I told her no. “Can you check with the VP?” “No need, I know what he’ll say. The answer is no.” [pouting, silence]

    11. Stranger than fiction*

      Oh boy, I’m currently pushing for this at work and will surely have similar responses. Some people’s signatures take up an entire 8.5×11 sheet of paper if you print one of their emails! Actually I think the record is 1 1/2 pages.

      1. Zahra*

        Now I want to add an Easter Egg to the standard “This is confidential information and you should destroy this email yadda yadda….” after-signature thing. I wonder how long it would be before someone noticed.

        1. aelle*

          An employee of my former client had the translation of “best regards” in 5 or 6 different (real) languages at the end of his signature… and then a line in Klingon that translated to “f*ck off”. I don’t know if anyone else ever noticed it.

    12. g*

      Yeah, they are trying to do that here. But the new signature is very hard to read, and has info it doesn’t need instead of what it does. It also looks really weird unless every single device used is configured in some odd way – but since everyone occasionally has to use something else, it’s bonkers.

    13. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

      Ahahahaha we did this a couple years ago – people were SO ANNOYED. I thought it was kind of ridiculous but not an overly big deal. After the transition I found it actually made a ton of sense. (And SO MANY PEOPLE still don’t comply, which is superbly annoying to me!)

    14. Tilly*

      The resistance to standard email signatures is mind boggling, like it’s your only place to express yourself and your personality? Maybe it’s my corp. comm. profession but it is such a big pet peeve of mine when people can’t use the template. When I worked at a hospital, the email signatures were really out of control – emojis, Bible quotes and this one doctor had lined pink notebook paper imported to be the backdrop of her email content and when you replied to her, it was impossible to delete. I know the medical field needs to be more friendly but seriously – how does a patient trust you with their chronic heart condition when your darn email signature looks like a Lisa Frank notebook? I could really rant about email signatures all day.

      1. Ann O. Nymous*

        I could rant all day about the number of emails I get from people in public service whose email signatures say things like “have a blessed day” or who say that to me on the phone.

      2. Sprinkled with Snark*

        It’s always the people who do nothing else “creative” in any aspect of their life who insist on really “artistic” emails, colors, and fonts, as if they are the present day Mary Cassat or Andrew Wyeth or somebody.

        “Why do you want to have a purple background with a yellow font and a paintbrush added to your signature when it’s impossible to read?”

        “Because I like purple and I need to show everybody that I am unique and I can express myself creatively.”

        Then they should by a scarf, or hang a poster in their cubicle and I might think they are more creative and unique than trying to read the email info in between crayon-sketched daisies pulled out of the photoshop folder.

      3. ..Kat..*

        I don’t care if you are a cardiologist. Stop dotting your letter ‘i’ with a heart!

    15. Adlib*

      I created a professional-looking signature at a previous job, and that prompted the whole company to mandate signatures. I’d say you should have seen the others, but it sounds like you have!

    16. Ann O. Nymous*

      We also changed our work email signatures to make them standard and it was INSANE how many people had opinions about the dumbest stuff (fonts/sizing/colors) – literally, who cares? And then we instituted it and one department head rearranged his signature and other one refused to remove her colored email background. I can’t imagine anything I care less about at work than what my email signature looks like, but this process at our office took MONTHS.

    17. Mike C.*


      But seriously, as long as there isn’t a huge block of text come on.

    18. 2horseygirls*

      At Exjob, we rebranded and as of when I left 3 years later, the argument over standard email signatures was still going strong.

      It might just be my Catholic school/military family upbringing, but seriously?

      “This is the new standard email signature as of Wednesday, May 10, 2017.”

      Period. Full stop. Done. No discussion or debate.

    19. Antilles*

      I love company standard email signatures. Why? Because they always contain your full name, title, phone and address – also known as “stuff I might need at some point”. Whereas the non-standard ones usually are missing some of that information in favor of random quotes.

      1. Anonicat*

        I’ve been coordinating article submissions to scientific journals for our research group and how much do I love standardized signatures! They give me everything I need for the Author Affiliations part of the submission process – especially full institution names, spelled and punctuated as the institution requires. Because god forbid something is published as “University of Winterfell” when they are officially “The University of Winterfell”.

      2. Nic*

        There was a person I interacted with at another company when I worked for OldJob. We communicated through email primarily, but sometimes it was appropriate to give her a call. Turns out, they specifically kept that “stuff I might need” out of the signature. It took scanning through a month of emails to find one they sent that had the full formal sig rather than the abbreviated reply version.

        I <3 standardized signatures.

    20. MsMaryMary*

      One of my clients makes dog food, and all of their employees have pictures of their pets in their email signature. I’m pretty sure the company would cease to function if they could no longer share pictures of their furry friends.

      1. No Name Yet*

        A. Adorable, it would definitely make me look forward to their emails (esp people new to me).

        B. At least does actually make some sense for their corporate mission.

        C. What if someone doesn’t have a pet? I’m imagining either a weird form of discrimination (obviously not in a legal sense), and/or someone doing google image searches and changing their picture up every few months just for fun.

    21. Hlyssande*

      Hahah. We have standardized signatures (no fancy colors, specific format, etc), but I have made mine ever so slightly out of sync with the standard because the standard is in grayscale and small font and your name doesn’t stand out at all. I made my name bold and one size bigger.

      I just realized that I haven’t seen emails with hideous wallpaper backgrounds for months now. Maybe they put in a GPO to prevent people from having them when we migrated to O365.

    22. Lalaith*

      If only these people would realize they’re probably the reason *why* the signatures are getting standardized.

    23. E*

      We just recently had to do this, I didn’t mind except I liked having a short quote in my signature. Just a tiny bit of personality in my email signature was nice.

    24. Shelby Drink the Juice*

      I never understood the long and ridiculous email signatures. Most people here aren’t emailing anyone outside the company. So, I don’t need to see the company logo, or your email address (you emailed me, I have it!), or the company tag line or a photo of the major product we make. I know ALL that stuff. And why are you using funky colors? The most ridiculous I ever saw was an admin who under her pink script name was in different colors the corresponding wingding & info for phone, fax (???), email, snail mail.

      Mine is all Calibri, first line 11pt bold my name, followed by 10pt second line my job title (so when I contact you about product xyz you can see that I work in the business office of xyz and you need to reply, and third line my desk phone so if you want to call you don’t have to look it up.

  9. DecorativeCacti*

    I’m not sure if it counts, but here’s mine: We got a new copier at work and it made a slight squeak when making a large volume of copies. I got daily reports from one person that it was STILL SQUEAKING. She would be in my office every hour. There was literally nothing I could do and she knew that. The squeak was so slight that when I called out the repair guy, I couldn’t even tell him if it was doing it or not because I couldn’t hear it. Her complaining got so bad that we had to move the copier into a recently emptied office instead of giving it to an employee.

    1. Sadsack*

      Ok, I am the same way as that person, sensitive to strange sounds. It can be very distracting and difficult to overcome, but I try. I don’t blame her for wanting the distracting annoyance moved!

      1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

        I do blame her for repeatedly complaining about the same situation.

        1. TL -*

          But she got the copier moved and I doubt it would have gotten moved otherwise, so…

          I’m firmly on the side of “should not have to deal with squeaks at work!” It’s bad enough that I have to walk through the cloud of stench by the bacteria bench; at least I know that is essential to someone’s work.

        2. TL -*

          Oh, the in the office every hour is too much but the daily emails I can understand. (depending on how fast your response was; if you were held up by other factors she knew about, that’s unreasonable.)

          1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

            I know on our heavily secured and firewalled network, moving a printer entails reassigning a network port, which requires forms in triplicate and so on.

            1. TL -*

              I can imagine that – but I also know how slowly it can take to get things done when half of that slow is, “Well, it’s just not a priority,” and very, very rarely, I choose to be the “handle with care high priority PITA”* because some things I just cannot tolerate. It’s surprising how much things can be expedited if people are sufficiently motivated.**

              *Very, very rarely. Normally I try to be very chill and understanding and reasonable about how I’m probably not the most important thing in other people’s lives.
              **99% of the time, if you’re nice and have proved yourself to be a rational person, they’ll expedite it for you if you ask, though.

      2. DecorativeCacti*

        I totally understand being sensitive to certain sounds, but she’s in a bit of a Boy Who Cried Wolf situation. There’s always something wrong either with the office or her health (she’s a major hypochondriac) and there was nothing I could do short of unplugging the machine and not allowing anyone to use it. We were working on a solution so continuing to complain didn’t do anything but make me want to leave it longer just to spite her.

      3. paul*

        I have our networked printer in my office.

        This is a *large* printer. It has 4 paper trays, the two largest of which can fit 4 reams each. It sounds like an airplane taking off.

        I’ve brought in a set of ear plugs and muffs for when people run big jobs.

          1. paul*

            nah, not really much odor.

            The hell of it is 99.999% of the time what we’re printing is pretty small–a few pages of client notes, forms for reimbursements, time sheets, w/e. But man when we gotta do a big print (say copies of large grants when an agency wants several copies-I’ve seen us burn 2-3 reams at a sitting) it is a royal PITA. But it’s so infrequent I mostly just deal with it ya know?

      4. AllTheFiles*

        This is why I’m so glad I have a door and boss usually works from home. I’m ADHD and distracted by other people talking, people walking by my door, noises of people walking down the hall, etc. She comes in and will leave the door open, complain about temp, open the mini-blinds on the window to the hallway, and walk in and out. Ugggggggh. She keeps feeling bad about working better at home and I’m like “do it!” we cannot share an office if you’re here all the time.

        1. Stone Satellite*

          Hahaha! I don’t know why but the thought of sharing an office, but only if the other person agrees not to use it, is pretty hilarious right now. I think I’ve been at work too long today.

    2. Merci Dee*

      Misophonia = hatred of sound

      Granted, people that suffer from misophonia don’t hate every single sound they hear, but they typically have one or two trigger sounds that give them problems — squeaks of this sort might have been hers. When a person with misophonia is exposed to their trigger sound, the fight-or-flight response is often activated. Some people try to get away from the sound, though others can become combative in an effort to stop the distracting noise. At this point, misophonia has not been listed as a condition in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), but more and more scientists seem to be displaying an interest in studying those with the condition to find out why it affects some and not others. Most recent research seems to indicate that there’s a difference in the way the brain is wired for sound between those with and those without misophonia.

      And, yes, I suffer (greatly) with it. One of my biggest trigger sounds is someone who’s popping and snapping gum. A former co-worker sat in the cube next to mine, and would snap her gum all day. I used to have vivid fantasies of jumping over the bins and kicking every single one of her flipping teeth down her flipping throat so that she could never snap her flipping gum again. My physical responses to the sound were pretty pronounced (accelerated heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased respiration, occasional sweating, etc.), but that was mostly because I could neither fight nor take flight from the sound. I talked with her a couple of times to politely ask her to not chew her gum quite so loudly, but that only ever stopped it for five minutes at a time. Even earbuds wouldn’t drown out the sound. I almost cried in relief when I found out she was leaving for another job.

      1. BritCred*

        I have it as well and one of my triggers is my flatmates chair squeaking! Drives me insane and I can hear it through 2 or 3 closed doors!

      2. AllTheFiles*

        I became physically angered when people would walk down the hall near my old office. The thump sound coupled with the shaking of walls/floor with each step made me crazy.

        1. Trillian*

          I lived in a poorly soundproofed flat with neighbours who thump-thumped from 5 am on. I could feel my adrenal glands release at that first thump in the morning.

      3. Amy G. Golly*

        I’ve never heard this name for it before!

        I have a lot of sound sensitivity issues, likely related to my anxiety and OCD. There are days when I can largely ignore an annoying sound and get on with my life, and days where the continued vibration of a coworker’s phone on silent will drive me out of my tiny little mind! And yes, the physical symptoms – increased blood pressure, heart rate, body temp, etc – are very real. When I was a grocery cashier, I once became so disturbed by the loud blare of the emergency exit alarm (a customer tried to go through it) that I cursed in front of a customer. (Which may not sound bad, but I’m normally very in-control!) Fortunately, they did not seem to mind so much.

        Anyway, what I mean is: I sympathize with the lady who had to endure the squeaks! It’s likely she was enduring very real agony and frustration, even if no one else seemed bothered by it.

        1. Merci Dee*

          If it makes you feel any better, research also seems to indicate that those diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and OCD have a higher incidence of misophonia.

          My mother and I are counters, and my daughter tends toward hoarding. My mom and I will both almost kill someone who’s snapping gum like fireworks. But it doesn’t seem like this has started to affect my daughter yet. Though it may simply be a matter of time — what research has been conducted points toward misophonia developing between the ages of 9 and 13, and most predominantly in females. Also, the trigger sounds most often reported with the condition are sounds related to the mouth (slurping, smacking, swallowing, chewing, etc.).

          People, as a species, sure can be strange.

    3. Poster Child*

      Your response should have been “Oh you’re right, I do hear an annoying squeak. Every time you come into my office.”

    4. Paula, with Two Kids*

      Just thought I would point out that high pitch sounds disappear from your hearing range as you age. I know the last time my brakes needed work, my 17 year old let me know. The sound literally made her cringe and cover her ears, but I could hear nothing.

      Cringe inducing squeaks at work would completely destroy me. Better to work with the smell of rotting fish in the air than squeals.

      1. Julia*

        Yeah. I’m 28 and still have perfect hearing and the sounds my co-worker made and pretended not to notice…
        Granted, she had the TV on loud during work hours and stared at it instead of working, but even all the other sounds she made were awful. Like, put your personal phone on silent in a shared office?

  10. Jan Levinson*

    I work in an office with a warehouse that ships out 95% of our orders. However, we occasionally have customers, or people of the general public come into our office to pick up orders. We recently stopped accepting cash (credit card or check only) and my supervisor FLIPPED OUT. I’ve been at my company for almost 2 years, and have only done a handful of cash transactions ever. The change was for the safety of our employees, as one of our branches in another city had a customer comment on how they “had a cash box not locked up for anyone to steal.” The change had little to no effect on us, due to the low amount of both walk in customers, and specifically walk in customers that pay with cash, but my supervisor went on an on for WEEKS about what a “huge inconvenience” it would be for those who didn’t like to use credit cards or checks.

    *Side note: the majority of the cash transactions that I HAD done before, were from the same individual, who is notoriously known as being a huge creep to all the women in our office. If we were to lose anyone’s business due to our policy change, people would have been GLAD that it was the creeper’s business that we were losing!

    1. Sadsack*

      There was a clerk at my local drug store who complained a lot when they started using the new credit card chip reader. When I would take out my card and she’d see it had chip, she would sigh and roll her eyes, then impatiently scowl at the machine while waiting for the transaction to be approved. She complained about how much longer it takes to run the new chip cards. It takes about three seconds longer, at least that is what it feels like to me as the customer. When I said I’d rather it take a few seconds more if it means my info is safer, she scoffed and just restated that it takes sooo long now. I wonder if she complained too much because she wasn’t there anymore not long after that.

      1. Cucumberzucchini*

        Many of the new chip readers do take WAY longer, it’s definitely more then three seconds. Not that the Clerk should be complaining to a customer, but it’s a legitimate concern especially at busy stores with several customer-deep lines because it does add to noticeably to the check-out time.

        I’ve noticed different machines take different lengths of time. When they first started being used I was noticing everywhere hooooow muuuch looooonger they were taking then swiping and one day I went to American Eagle. It took no time at all with the chip reader, it was super fast and I was amazed. I mentioned it to the Clerk, but he wasn’t as impressed as I was. I continue to encounter various speeds of chip readers. And frankly I don’t think they’re that much more secure. The perpetrators of credit card fraud are industrious and will always find ways to thwart security measures:

        1. Zombii*

          The chip itself is more secure than the mag strip because of how the information is encoded/encrypted, but the weakness in security is always at the point of sale, or the bank, or somewhere in that line (it’s like 5 different steps/systems from one to the other, including the credit card company which is not the bank). Very few cards have information stolen by someone using a handheld card scanner—it’s so much more efficient to get hundreds of thousands of cards’ information by hacking a system that stores the information instead of one by one.

          I seriously almost went off on a cashier at Costco because she was talking sh!t about chip cards so much, talking about how there were still data compromises and information was still being hacked, so obviously the chip didn’t do anything.

        2. Magenta Sky*

          Credit card pads are pricey, and chip card processing is far more processor intensive – the card info is encrypted on the pad. Ergo, if the store bought cheap pads (and even the cheap ones are a bit pricey), they’re very slow.

          Ours are actually *faster* than the old pads, because the old pads were of a cheaper sort than the new ones.

        3. Not So NewReader*

          Most of the chip readers around here are slower, noticeably slower. Most of the clerks are complaining. We will eventually have to get one at my job and we will have to have a dedicated line. The higher ups will have kittens over this expense and it could lead to the end of our ability to accept cards OR the end of our department. Fun stuff. not.

        4. Izacus*

          This is actually extremely wierd since it seems to be a US thing – I’ve also noticed when visiting that chip transactions take ages in comparison to the same ones here around EU O.o Did they mess up the protocol or something?

      2. Wild Feminist*

        Cashiers are often timed to the second for how quickly they can get a customer through their line. I can easily see how a cashier would be pissed at how a chip reader would add 3+ seconds per customer to their times (probably even more based on user error, where I live half the time they don’t work or are too confusing and require multiple attempts).

        1. paul*

          It’s been many years since I worked at WalMart but they used to track items/hour. Don’t knwo if they still do or not

          1. Nephredil*

            Yes, they do still track, but it’s not items/hour. It’s the number of items scanned divided by the length of the transaction. Most places require an 85% speed level minimum. If you go lower than that for a certain number of weeks, you go through retraining and probation. It can eventually lead to being fired. If you have a physical impairment you have to get a doctor’s note and include a speed in it, like “So and So needs to reduce her speed to 75% (or 65%, etc.) due to such and such physical problem.” Anything that made it take longer to hit that cash out button was counted, including setting up paper or reusable bags, calling for a price check, etc. The timer started when the first item was scanned and didn’t stop until the transaction was over and the receipt was printed.

        2. Aurion*

          How often do they use those metrics though? I cashed years ago at a grocery store and I was told verbally that despite being new I had one of the fastest times on the floor. However, I didn’t get exceptional praise for my time/accuracy nor did I hear about slower coworkers being penalized for being slower.

          1. RKB*

            We got gift cards for being in top five and we got “talked to” (read: nagged) about being in the bottom five. This was about two years ago. Whenever I shop there I still see the little supervisor station where the numbers are posted so looks like it’s still happening.

        3. GeekyDesigner*

          Eh it is what is is. I honestly think cashiers have it easy now. Back in the day I worked in a decent-sized convenience store that didn’t have an item scanner even though they were quite common at the time. People were always amazed that I would have them completely rung up before they made it to the counter. I knew the price of every item in the store off the top of my head. Of course, I always offered to let the costumer review the transaction to make sure I wasn’t ringing up items they didn’t buy.

          1. Not So NewReader*

            With the ease has come a group of more things they track you on. It’s to the point that it is almost impossible to figure out which 20 things they are tracking you on this week. Yes, it changes every week. So what happens next is no matter how hard you try you have always failed on at least one of the 20 weekly things. This means constant reprimands and constant threats of write ups.

            I remember one place, I caught the register just deleting a sale. Gone! I called tech. They LAUGHED, told me that ALWAYS happens and then did nothing. Meanwhile people are getting written up for shortages and no one can prove that they did not cause the shortage. My friend got caught in this mess. She got fired. She went down to unemployment and they said “Oh, you were fired for stealing. How can ONE company hire so many thieves?” She got her unemployment.

            I ended up calling tech two more times with the same problem of sales disappearing and got the same laughter. I reported it to my boss then my boss’ boss. As far as I know, STILL nothing happened.

      3. lowercase holly*

        yes, i encountered a lot of the chip complaints from cashiers when they first rolled out. which makes me wonder if there was a huge problem at the very first. because they seem fine now?

      4. Collarbone High*

        Hijacking your comment to vent: can the US get its act together on chip readers already? I’m especially annoyed with places that *have* chip readers and aren’t using them, because a) security and b) half the time there’s no indication until I’ve stood there with my card in the reader for 90 seconds and then the cashier says oh, that doesn’t work.

        1. Turquoise Cow*

          Agreed. Also, my husband likes to use his phone to pay with Apple Pay and gets annoyed when it’s a device that *should* be capable of reading it, but doesn’t.

          I’ve gotten into the habit of asking, especially if it’s a place I’ve not been before, “do I insert?”

        2. Noah*

          Why do you care? The chip readers protect the credit card companies. You’re fine either way.

        3. Not So NewReader*

          The company we use is making everyone get a dedicated line just for the credit card machine. In my field not every office can afford another phone line. In some cases telling TPTB will involve yelling. So, yeah. Some places are going to be awhile before they change or they may simply decide to fold.

        4. nonegiven*

          My local grocery store taped paper over the slots.

          I just used one for the first time, Tuesday. The only card I had with a chip until recently was an HSA card that hardly ever gets used at POS, when it does they aren’t equipped to read the chip. My bank finally sent me a chip card for my checking account and I used it at the Mart of Walls the other day.

      5. Noah*

        Even if the chip reader takes a bit longer, it avoids the situations where the magnetic strip can’t be read. On balance, I bet it saves time!

        1. Not So NewReader*

          The magnetic strips have gotten better. The few that do not scan can be covered in tissue paper (like used in food handling) then they will scan.

      6. Zahra*

        Wow. Does she not remember the days of paper credit card slips and how you had to call over a certain amount to get the confirmation number? And even after we moved to machines, you could enter the number manually (when the magnetic strip was not readable) and then do the paper slip, call the credit card company for the number, etc?

        I think she will be ecstatic when the US moves to the “tap your card on the machine” system (similar to how you can use your phone to pay).

        1. Sprinkled with Snark*

          I used to work for a well-known chain department store part time in college, and yes, I remember those days! We even had those ridiculous hand-operated machines you’d have to slide across with all your might to get a half-faded unreadable receipt. I would frequently have to call banks, call credit card companies, and then spend close to an hour sorting piles of white, blue carbon and yellow receipts, clipping everything with little paper clips and attaching things to cash register receipts in separate leather bank bags, and then, a week later, the store manger would tell you that your drawer was off by 3 cents, so what happened? Or “Two weeks ago you gave a customer a 15 percent discount on the Sag Harbor sweater, but the Sag Harbor sweater was only discounted at 10 percent, not the 15 percent that the Stone Harbor sweaters were discounted at. Can you explained what happened here?” And I would say, “I don’t know. Isn’t that all automatic in the register anyway? I can’t give customers discounts willy nilly.” Well, don’t let it happen again, he’d say with a stern look.

          After my recent check-out experience at Target last weekend, CLEARLY skills like accuracy, customer service, and even basic competency are no longer required to work as a cashier who handles money throughout the course of a shift.

        2. Marillenbaum*

          When I was studying abroad (2010), I went to a vintage shop in Prague with my roommate. She ended up buying several items, and paid with a credit card. The woman who owned the shop had to carbon copy the card, call the number, etc. to process the payment! It was insane, and the only time I’ve ever seen it happen.

          1. JanetM*

            Several months ago, the salon where I get my nails done lost their internet connection for a day (I think nearby construction cut a line, or something). I was impressed that they still had the manual embossing machine and could run my card that way.

    2. Dinosaur*

      People who flip out over changes regarding cash security procedures always make me wonder if they’re stealing from the till. It’s probably not fair but it’s a bit of a red flag for me.

      1. Ama*

        There’s also a certain type of person who would see changes like this as an implication that they *might* steal and get offended for that reason. I did not go through this with cash, but I once oversaw a workplace kitchen and implemented a rule that non-kitchen staff could not enter to make food safety procedures easier — and you’d have thought I had sent around an email singling out certain coworkers as Typhoid Marys.

      2. JB (not in Houston)*

        I can see why you think that, but there are also people like me who would worry about excluding customers who do not have bank accounts or credit cards. I wouldn’t flip out about it, but I would push back a little, albeit professionally.

        1. MegaMoose, Esq*

          I thought of that too, but Jan did say they only had a handful of cash transactions over two years, so I’m guessing that they’re not serving a community where that’s an issue.

      3. Not So NewReader*

        It depends on the situation.

        I have had cash outs with deposits well over $10k. The money was always right.

        Where I have seen problems is when management clearly distrusts everyone and mentions that often. That, combined with constant procedure changes that leave people confused and unsure what the current procedure is. Yes, people get antsy because they fear false accusations.

        In this case here, it could be that the employee over estimated how many cash customers there actually were. It’s very easy for front line people to over estimate these things since they do not see the reports that show general trends. I wonder if management showed the employee the longer term trends. People tend to calm down when informed of the bigger picture.

  11. Librarian in waiting*

    When I started as a page at the public library, one of the perks was getting to listen to headphones while shelving. The culture at the library shifted where even the pages were expected to interact with the patrons, and the headphones had to go. Half of the pages were OUTRAGED! OUTRAGED! that the headphones were going. Several quit immediately in response. Some just made rude and snarky comments any time the supervisor talked. One man (40ish) threw his headphones at the wall and said “have a nice life!” before walking out on his shift.

    I enjoyed listening to music/podcasts too, but seriously? It was a tense couple of months and “headphone-gate” still gets brought up occasionally.

    1. Turtlewings*

      Honestly, I would consider that a serious quality-of-life loss. Shelving is absolutely mind-numbing. If I wasn’t allowed to have headphones during my most tedious and boring tasks, I’d — well, I wouldn’t throw anything at a wall, but there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth!

      1. Allison*

        Yeah, I would totally understand where they were coming from, but I wouldn’t be happy about that change at all.

      2. Librarian in waiting*

        Yeah, totally. I hate shelving and was so happy to move on after 5 years. But if that was really a deal breaker for me I would quietly tell my supervisor I was quitting and why. I wouldn’t throw literal tantrums in front of my coworkers and supervisors because of a policy change. TPTB did give pages additional tasks so that their days were more broken up and didn’t spend 4-5 hours shelving. A raise might have helped soften the blow :)

      3. Junior Dev*

        Yep. I had a job at a cafeteria and when they declared we could no longer have headphones in for out cleanup at the end of the night, it made my job much less pleasant.

      4. Kate H*

        I work a job that’s 90% being crouched over a desk checking things. If I come in early to catch up, I’m allowed to use headphones until we officially open. The moment when I have to turn the music off is always a sad one.

      5. Bwmn*

        I agree with this. I also have to say that the majority of my shelving/library experience was through work-study in undergrad. A career working in the library was never part of my thinking and the appealing part of the job (aside form getting paid) was being able to zone out with headphones – so I have to imagine that why people had that job was a large part of why the headphones would or would not be a big deal.

        Now if someone quit because one day a manager forgot doughnut Friday or they were losing an inch of their cubicle space….that would shock me. Through headphones against the wall is definitely a tantrum, but I do understand the overall negative reaction.

      6. madge*

        Same here.

        “One man (40ish) threw his headphones at the wall and said “have a nice life!” before walking out on his shift.”
        I just laughed so hard at that visual. #goals

      7. BenAdminGeek*

        I loved shelving- it’s just you against the world, trying desperately to restore order in a mad dash against the uncivilized hordes who apparently think that 398.2 and 741.5 are the same thing and stuff books every which way.

        1. Kirsten*

          Agreed! And it was always exciting to find another book to add to the ever-growing reading list.

          Even a decade after my college library job days, I still always reshelve any book I use while at the library.

          1. Ev*

            Okay, I’m sorry, I’m going to be this person.

            Please, *please* don’t do that.

            I’m sure you know exactly where that book goes. I’m sure you are an intelligent and conscientious library patron who is fully capable of reading and understanding call numbers. I do not wish to cast aspersions on you in any way. However:

            a) For every library patron who does indeed know how to shelve, there are a hundred who don’t and who are going to assume that they do and put their Clive Cussler novels back on the shelf in the nonfiction section and we are never going to find them again. Please don’t encourage them.

            b) Lots of libraries keep track of the books that are used in house and not checked out and add them to their usage numbers. Those numbers are what keep your library alive and get it funded. If you reshelve the book, we don’t know you used it.

            Probably, there is a designated spot your library staff would like you to put the book after you used it. Please help them out by doing so.

          2. Beaded Librarian*

            Please don’t do that! :) At my library at least we in house books that are used by patrons and this can be very helpful for figuring out what IS being used even if it nev makes it out of the library. I appreciate your being helpful but it can mess up circulation statistics.

            1. Lusca*

              I had no idea this was a thing, thank you both for sharing your librarian expertise! I don’t read in libraries much anymore (usually reserve online ahead of time) but if I do, I will NOT reshelve :)

              1. Lusca*

                To clarify, I will look for the designated in-house return place, rather than accidentally walking a novel into the nonfiction section.

    2. alter_ego*

      I certainly wouldn’t throw anything, or quit immediately. But if my job banned headphones, I would quietly and immediately start looking for a new job. That would be a *huge* quality of life thing for me. I can barely focus in my busy open office area as it is. removing the noise barrier would destroy my productivity.

      1. TL -*

        Yup. My last lab selectively banned headphones – somehow it was safe for the grad students to wear them but not for anyone else – and while it lasted it was pretty awful. And I was less willing to do long hours of mind-numbing work so I’m pretty sure I was less productive. Plus, some people just ended up blasting music out of their computer.

        1. BananaPants*

          Our previous EH&S manager said we couldn’t use headphones in our materials characterization lab. The then-manager of the lab bought a set of speakers and use of them was first come, first served. Many, many times our metallurgist got there first and the rest of us were subjected to his…eclectic musical tastes.

          He sang along to most of it, and I could have gone an entire career without hearing him belt out “The Pina Colada Song” and “Hold The Line”.

      2. MegaMoose, Esq*

        Open office with zero client interaction here, and same. I don’t use headphones terribly often myself as I do quality control and don’t want to seem unavailable if people have questions, but I bet a number of people would quit if a rule like this came down.

        1. overcaffeinatedandqueer*

          I would straight-up quit if I couldn’t do doc review with headphones!

          1. MegaMoose, Esq*

            For real, right? When I started doing this my husband (who works for a large firm and got his license several years before me) used to tease me about how he did all his doc review on the couch watching movies.

            1. Marillenbaum*

              When I worked in college admissions, we read paper applications. As in, 14,000 students would apply electronically. We would then PRINT OUT the entire application, and spend weeks organizing them, shelving them, etc. When I worked from home, I would read files while watching “Midsomer Murders” on Netflix. It was a good way to pace myself, because a 90-minute episode should get me through 15 files. Still, any time I mentioned our system to colleagues at other institutions, they were HORRIFIED.

      3. Amy G. Golly*

        This is a different situation, though. In a public library, pages are on the floor shelving items amidst patrons who are using the library. Your average person doesn’t know the difference between different roles in the library, so even if the pages aren’t expected to answer certain types of questions (rather direct them to Reference or Circulation), people are still going to ask them; not to mention how many times they’ll be asked where the bathroom is, whether there’s a drinking fountain, and am I going in the right direction to find Conference Room A? It creates an unfriendly environment when you walk up to an employee to ask them a question and are either ignored or asked to repeat yourself because you didn’t realize they had earbuds in and couldn’t hear you.

        So yeah, I can understand being upset if that was a part of the job, and now it’s going away. It’s a nice perk, but frankly, I’m amazed they were allowed them to begin with!

      4. oranges & lemons*

        Yeah, I’m an editor and my desk is located between a conference room and the office kitchen with no barriers. I don’t know how I would do anything without them.

      5. Nic*

        My general solution is one earbud in, or one headphone ear-cover part behind the ear. That way I can hear others and my music or book.

        I have gone out to buy a new pair when I realized I forgot mine in the past. Work is MISERABLE without some background noise.

    3. Adam*

      I worked as a student librarian while in college (one of my favorite jobs) and headphones were a godsend during shelving and other such mundane tasks. I’d be upset if they were banned, but I’d get over it. It might have been a problem for my boss though as headphones helped me from being distracted and leafing through all the books before I shelved them…

    4. Paper Librarian*

      My first paging job did not permit headphones in the stacks, and that’s how I shelved for over a year. It was indeed mind numbing. But now that I am in a managerial position, I fight to keep headphones permitted. And I only occasionally do the “when I was your age” grumbling.

    5. Hunger Games Summer*

      I worked as a library page in high school (many moons ago) and we were not allowed to have headphones while we shelved either then. At the same time though we were not allowed to interact with patrons – it was really awkward. If someone asked me a question all I could do was point them to the desk and let them know the staff were here to help.

    6. Kama'aina Kitty*

      I worked as a public librarian where we had student workers do the shelving. One evening, a patron came up to the reference desk and was visibly angry. He didn’t say what was wrong, just that he knew we knew and we should quit trying to play dumb. We finally figured out that he had seen one of the student workers wearing headsets while shelving. He was livid, accused us of stealing the public’s money, shirking our responsibilities, etc. So, while I agree that listening to music seems like a small kindness that should be offered to those doing a mind-numbing, low-paying but very necessary job, some people might see headsets and interpret it as doing a half-@ssed job.

      1. Megan*

        That doesn’t strike me as a reasonable thing to accommodate from patrons, though. If he had a legit complaint about quality of something, maybe, but if everything’s being provided for there’s no reason to wipe his butt.

    7. Chaordic One*

      At our library they instituted a policy where even the people who worked in the back offices now had to do some time at the front desk. I kind of understand the thinking, but I really felt bad for some of the people because it wasn’t what the signed on for when they were first hired and a lot of them were not really very good at it. (Think Doc Marten people skills.)

      A couple of people ended up being fired and I kind of suspect that the idea might have been to get rid of a couple of long-time employees and then to replace them with lower-cost new ones.

  12. all aboard the anon train*

    At my last company, they used to get cookies once a month from a well-known bakery in my city. People used to stampede down the halls when it was cookie time and grab handfuls or platefuls instead of taking one. Eventually it got to the point that if you got to the cookie location 10 or 15 minutes after they were put down, there were none left. An email was sent out reminding people to take only one cookie so their coworkers could also have some, and that they were welcome to take additional cookies at the end of the day only if there were any leftover.

    There was such a protest. Some people were SO INSULTED that they couldn’t take more than one cookie (and honestly, I can understand maybe taking two, but these repeat offenders were talking between 6 – 12 each – legit strutting away with plates piled high). They complained so much about being denied more than one cookie that cookie day ended up stopping permanently. It was honestly bizarre. Grown adults throwing tantrums over being denied more than one cookie (and they were big cookies, too).

    This was also the same place that had people protest when the type of disposable plastic silverware and paper plates were changed in the cafeteria. Apparent reasoning was that “they didn’t like major changes”.

    1. Nea*

      We had something similar with coffee at one office. The office provided free coffee and had two pots going: caf and decaf.

      Someone on the team liked their coffee double-strong. So they’d *pour out* the regular coffee, make a double-strong pot, and leave it on the burner. Then someone who didn’t like such strong coffee would come in, realize what had happened, *pour out* the double strong coffee and make a regular pot. Double strong would come back for another cup and…

      Lather, rinse, repeat at least 3x per day, to the point that most of the department’s free coffee was going straight down the drain. Warnings didn’t stop it, trying to add a third pot of double-strong didn’t stop it, so that was the end of the free beverages.

        1. ancolie*

          He could be self-medicating if he has ADHD*. Caffeine can actually have a calming effect on ADHD brains, helping them to settle down and focus. It does that for me.

          * it’s all ADHD now, separated into types, instead of ADD and ADHD.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Somebody at Exjob posted a sign about a similar issue–I saw it on my first day. It was something like, “Please label the pot when you make it double strength so those of us who don’t like to eat our coffee know which one is which.”

      2. SusanIvanova*

        We had one VP (very small company, so basically high-level manager) who thought full-strength coffee would make everyone too wired, so he’d make half-caf in the caf pot.

        Shortly after that our town got its first Starbucks (first coffee shop of any type, yay suburbs) and my team started having a rotating afternoon coffee run.

      3. KatiePie*

        Why on God’s green earth would you pour out double strength coffee? Why not just add hot water to you cup? For that matter, why not always brew double strength and the weak-coffee-drinkers can add their water as needed? I never understood that. You can always weaken coffee once it’s brewed, but you can’t strengthen it.

    2. Turquoise Cow*

      Beware of giving out free food. Or anything free, for that matter. People become seriously crazy about it.

      1. all aboard the anon train*

        Seriously. That same company used to get lunches catered all the time for meetings, and would leave the leftovers in the kitchens. People kept tupperware in their desks just so they could take it home. One guy grabbed a huge pan of lasagna and kept it as his desk so no one else could have any.

        When the company started getting into financial trouble, they stopped getting so much catering and people revolted over not getting leftovers. Which was weird to me because it’s not like the food was advertised as a perk or promised as part of the job during interviews. It was a weird thing to expect.

        1. Chocolate Teapot*

          I’ve had the coworkers with plastic boxes and tinfoil as well. Somebody complained when there were no leftovers after a meeting, since the receptionist (who was in charge of ordering catering) always ordered slightly less to stop food going to waste.

        2. ReneeB*

          I used to help set up and break down the catering for executive meetings at OldJob.

          I would take whatever didn’t get eaten to the public kitchen afterwards.

          When the executive admins started getting more involved in catering set up and break down, suddenly food was embargoed. They’d carefully wheel it all back to the executive offices, which had passcode doors the plebes couldn’t get through. The executives would ignore it there in the executive offices for the rest of the day, just like they’d ignored it in the executive meetings. Where it would get cold and go bad. And where the cleaning crew had to come in and throw it away at the end of the night.

          As compared to the public kitchen where the food would all be eaten in a matter of an hour, would not go to waste, and where people threw out the pans that were empty and generally picked up after themselves once everything was gone. They were respectful and appreciative.

          The general population started asking me about why they weren’t getting the executive leftovers anymore, and I just had to shrug, because I didn’t want to throw the executive admins under the bus.

          But seriously. The Powers That Be had ignored or picked at the food for two and a half hours already. It wasn’t coming out of these ladies’ personal pocket money. None of them, or me, had any budgeting oversight responsibilities. We were expected to obtain appropriately impressive and edible catering. But god forbid if the general population got to eat it afterward, rather than it being literally thrown in the trash.

          1. Hlyssande*

            Leftovers in our office all go to the break room afterwards on a first come first serve basis. People are pretty good at cleaning up after themselves too, and it’s great.

            Sometimes it’s really great lunch stuff, sometimes pastries, there was cake this morning (I missed it, but that’s okay). Sometimes weird pasta salads, but it doesn’t go to waste. And they don’t let it sit all day either, just for an hour or two, and then it goes into the fridge to come out the next day if perishable.

    3. NotTheSecretary*

      When I worked at in the office of a warehouse, we would get a freezer full of ice cream bars in the summer. It actually had to be addressed that workers MUST STOP taking entire boxes home with them. One coworker took such offense to this that he would made it his mission to eat as much ice cream as possible while on site. I watched him eat seven of them during a thirty minute lunch break. He would proudly boast about how he’d make himself sick on free food just to make sure he got his “fair share”.


      1. The Rat-Catcher*

        Vaguely reminds me of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire scene when Katniss and Peeta go to that banquet and find out that the people in the Capitol take pills to throw up their food so they can eat more.

      2. Lissa*

        I just….why??? I don’t get this at all! I’d be so tempted to say “uh, do you see anyone else taking seven of these? is your “fair share” higher than everyone else’s?” or something else snarky. This type of “make yourself sick to make a point” thing is just…so odd to me.

        1. NotTheSecretary*

          He was an odd one in a lot of ways. I chalked a lot of his behavior up to how young he was (just 19) but he was the type that always had a “one up” story to anything you said, always had advice for anything you did, and thought himself to be an expert on most things. Most of us just nodded along and quietly rolled our eyes when he left.

        2. AMT*

          Reminds me of a David Sedaris story in which he tried to eat all of his Halloween candy at once, even candy that he was allergic to, so that he wouldn’t have to give any to the neighbor kids.

          1. Hlyssande*

            Well, that I can understand. Toss the stuff you’re allergic to, but being forced to give it away to the neighbor kids? Oh heck no. I used to store mine in a drawer and slooowly eat it over the next few months. I’d still have laffy taffys come Easter. If my parents had made me give away whatever I hadn’t eaten a few days later, you better believe that I’d gorge on it all.

        3. Zombii*

          Re: “Make yourself sick to make a point.”

          At Toxic ExJob (call center) one of the managers suggested to newbies that they should each buy a bag of jelly beans and eat a handful every time they ended a call that was over their call time goal. Because that’s how she’d gotten her call time down when she was on the phones. By making herself physically ill eating too much sugar for not meeting site goals. As self-punishment for not performing like a model employee. Wtf.

      3. Drew*

        I had a former coworker who considered any office treats to be his personal food stash – taking half a pizza when we ordered pizza, stacking half a dozen donuts on a plate to take back to his desk because he might want them in the afternoon, etc.

        We got a new “take no shit” office manager at one point, and when she saw this guy do that, she walked over to his desk, gave him her best fake smile, said “oh, no, honey, these are for everyone to share,” and took the plate right back to the kitchen.

        He didn’t understand why the rest of us weren’t sympathetic to his “mistreatment.” And that’s only one reason he is a FORMER coworker and she is now senior management.

        1. Nic*

          I had a coworker who thought any treats were just for him. If breakfast tacos were ordered for my department, we’d usually offer other departments nearby any leftovers. If he hadn’t already, as soon as he heard that leftovers were being offered he’d go through and get *all* of the ones he wanted (example, all the brisket) and hide them in his desk drawer before the other department could get any. He’d also get in line first or near-first (he volunteered to help with setup), and would take massive amounts of what was there. If some folks didn’t get firsts while he was loading up his second, he’d say folks should have gotten there faster.
          Management did talk to him, but his answer was that he didn’t care.

        2. LadyCop