updates: the invasive client, the missing chocolate egg, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. Client wants to monitor our work in a weird and invasive way (#3 at the link)

It’s crazy, my original email feels like a lifetime ago. But here’s how things went down.

My original email indicated I was pretty firmly on the side of dumping this client. So the responses being pretty uniformly on my side didn’t sway anything for me. But they were helpful for my colleague, who was the main person working directly with this client. They agreed with me but also felt a lot more reluctant to act. Reading the responses on your site helped affirm with them that this had to come to an end. And they were ultimately the decision maker here, so I’m glad everyone responded so emphatically to the original letter.

The conversation with the client was unpleasant. Like a bad breakup with a girlfriend/boyfriend. We stood our ground on the spying measures but also pointed out that they needed a lot of our time and we didn’t have additional time to give (not a lie). And keeping things going status quo would just lead to frustration on all sides. They didn’t believe us, but ultimately it didn’t matter. Our contract was up, we didn’t offer a chance to renew.

We found a freelancer who, even after explaining everything, was open to working with them and had a lot more time available. But while the client was willing to at least temporarily bend on the software demands for us, they were not for this person. So the talks went nowhere.

It’s obviously been rough for everyone since this letter back in late February and our business is no exception. But we’ve made it through so far (knock on wood) and even though we ended up having more time available due to clients leaving/pausing work and could’ve used some extra revenue, I have no regrets. I think ultimately we need to do business the way we feel is right and continuing with this client would’ve been a huge contradiction.

2. Nonprofit tells trainees to falsify their resumes and use fake references

Thanks to everyone for the advice. It was a tough scenario complicated by the fact that it wasn’t me in the situation, it was my sister. To clarify a few things that commenters questioned, my sister refused to accept pay from the nonprofit and unemployment at the same time. She also refused to wait for her unemployment to run out before agreeing to begin the job. She agreed to be a 1099 worker and started working with the nonprofit quickly after that as a trainer for those people undertaking the IT training that she had already completed.

In the end, I chose not to report the company. I felt like I didn’t have any concrete evidence, as it’s not me working with the company. What real proof was there when all I had was what my sister told me?

Interestingly, the nonprofit quickly began having problems. It was clear that lying about the capabilities of candidates trying to break into the IT field was to no one’s benefit. The candidates were floundering, and a system was set up for those at the nonprofit to be on call 24/7. That way any person that had trained at the nonprofit and used their fake resume and references to secure a job could email or call the nonprofit for help with anything they were supposed to do or fix at their new job. A lot of those people ended up overwhelmed, recognized they weren’t capable of the job, and quit within the first or second week of their new job.

The recruitment agency, a partner to the nonprofit, that was placing all of these unskilled people received a lot of blowback from the companies receiving the candidates with fake resumes. In the end both the nonprofit and the recruitment agency lost a lot of their funding from a combination of COVID and companies hearing about the low quality candidates. At the nonprofit, there were two rounds of layoffs, encompassing basically everyone on staff. My sister’s last day is today.

I’ve worked with my sister on interview skills and updating her cover letter and resume (though she still insists on having an objective at the top of her resume). I’m sad she’s going to be unemployed, but I’m hopeful she’ll find something else soon. Thank you again to all those who commented.

3. The missing chocolate egg (#4 at the link)

Thank you so much for your advice. Sadly, this story has a dark twist.

So I asked our HR about it and it was indeed something with the delivery service, so I dropped the subject. A few days later, there was a massive round of layoffs and apparently the whole chocolate thing was meant to soften the blow. So I never got the eggs, but thankfully got to keep my job.

4. Coworker sprayed Lysol at me when I coughed (#2 at the link)

(Is there any headline that better captures 2020?)

I went to that coworker’s boss to complain, and he said he’d do something about it. He didn’t. The place was a very toxic place to work, and I was luckily able to move to another contract soon after that, so I didn’t have to leave my firm to get out of that job. The boss was a government person, but the sprayer and I were both contractors, though from different companies. I’m just glad to be away from that office, and working in one where I’m the lone DBA and they listen to me.

{ 98 comments… read them below }

  1. Momma Bear*

    OP1, I’m glad that you shed the bad client. Sometimes it is better business to get rid of someone who is more trouble than they are worth. Best of luck to your company going forward.

    OP2, I hope your sister had a truthful resume. What a mess – of the company’s own making. How did they think they would fake skills their employees didn’t actually have? It may ultimately be a blessing that she’s leaving. Hope she finds something good and not sketchy soon.

    1. Ann Onny Mous*

      You’re now unemployed in a pandemic economy but these Cadbury creme eggs will make it all better! Good grief.

    2. yup yup*

      “Well, I lost my job but at least I’ve got this chocolate egg that I ate last week to fall back on.”

    3. Phony Genius*

      What is this some kind of weird reality show? “For those of you who received an egg, I’m sorry but you will be leaving us. Those of you who did not, we’ll see you on Monday.”

      1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

        It’s like a message from Vito Corleone. An egg arrives in the mail. You have been notified of how fragile your employment situation is.

    4. OP #3*

      OP #3 here! I should’ve added that the genius behind this idea was also laid off a few weeks later, so…

      1. hbc*

        Please tell me he got chocolate delivered a few days before. Instead of a delightful treat, it would be like finding a horse’s head.

          1. Cathie from Canada*

            Oh boy — there is a Belgian chocolate seller in western Canada (Harden & Huyse) and one of their products is beautiful chocolate Horse’s Heads.
            So a company actually COULD send a chocolate horse head to anyone about to be laid off….

    5. Minnie Mouse*

      When I worked seasonally at Target the stockroom manager gave little trinkets to some of the staff at Christmas. Those who didn’t get one were laid off a week later. It was so bizarre. HR also asked me to quit college and keep working there for $6.05/hr. They were flabbergasted when I declined.

      1. Caliente*

        *dying laughing!
        Why do you need to go to college? We pay you $6 an hour!
        There’s a certain type of person/employer that is just soooo SO baffling. They think people don’t (shouldn’t?) have lives and exist to service them and their needs, and they’re for real! Even sincere about it. And I’m like, no I don’t spend Sunday perusing your emails actually…? Then they’re surprised! It is so very bizarre.

      2. it's all good*

        omg i worked at Target in college. We were next to a major university and I’d say about 70% of the workers were college kids. Fun times but not to stay for $3.35 an hour. (!) Looking back I can not believe how much shit we put up with from “management”.

      3. TooCold*

        Back in the dark ages, i.e. when I was in college, I worked at a Burger King one summer. They asked me not to return to college in the fall, so I could keep working there. To this day, I remember being so astonished at the idea that I would ditch college for a $2/hour job with no benefits and for which I could only get 20 hours/week at most.

      4. Aspiegirl*

        I used to work seasonal at Target, too. Thankfully pay has improved, but now they want to replace almost every person seemingly as fast as they can, with the only exceptions being managers and this one poor guy I know who had a medical event that caused him to forget everything and everyone from before the event. Now I can’t help but wonder if that’s somehow connected to the pay increase…

    6. Dandy it is*

      We are going to have to let you go, but here is a piece of chocolate for your efforts. What?!?!?

  2. Observer*

    #1 –
    They didn’t believe us,

    This says EVERYTHING.

    I’m SO glad you got rid of them. And, even though I’m sure you could use the revenue, I don’t think it’s paranoid to think that they could have wound up costing you a lot more than you would have made on them.

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        Yeah. I’m a freelancer, and I have signed NDAs with some of my clients. Installing that client’s software would be an infringement of those contracts.
        The whole point of charging a flat rate is that it’s good for experienced workers who can get the product up to scratch pretty quickly, juggling with other projects as necessary. Beginners would prefer an hourly rate, and would take much longer to complete the work.

    1. Daffy Duck*

      Yes, I don’t see any way them monitoring your computers would work out well. It would definitely turn into an area of contention on when/hours you are working and how they compensate you.

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        And they were charging a flat rate, not even billing hourly!
        Also, depending on the nature of the work, it might not be obvious, looking at the screen, whether they are working on that client’s project or not. I’m specialised in lingerie, so I often find myself looking at websites selling it, to check up on terminology. It looks like I’m choosing something sexy to wow my partner, but I’m very much working!

  3. Dream Jobbed*

    Seriously? “I’m getting laid off, but I got a chocolate egg! All is good.”

    Hope the eggs didn’t contain computer tracking software, or password collection capabilities. :D

  4. WellRed*

    I still don’t understand the concept of a nonprofit training people in IT but not really training them and then expecting no one to notice?

    1. DashDash*

      I’m SO curious what nonprofit this is. My company sometimes donates not-in-use computers to these types of organization, and now I really hope we’re not donating computers to make writing false resumes easier . . .

    2. FSK*

      TLDR: The nonprofit’s leaders want the glory and credit that comes from “helping” the poor. No one believes poor people. And if they did, the nonprofit has power and money from the advisory board.

      I had a similar with an NYC nonprofit that teaches coding. I don’t think I went to the same place as OP’s sister. From my observations of NYC nonprofit’s CEO, it was clear he wanted to be the Mark Zuckerberg of coding bootcamps. He wanted to be famous and have glory and do it under the guise of “helping” people (and also avoiding a lot of taxes because they’re a nonprofit). CEO went to Harvard at the same time as Zuckerberg, so maybe he’s envious of Zuck. I don’t know why he’s deluding himself because he cracks whenever he’s questioned about the nonprofit’s dubious actions and decisions.

      They get away with it because they strategically pick the poor people who do well in a classroom environment (do what they’re told with little resistance). And if they do complain, no one will believe the poor people because they are poor and the nonprofit “had good intentions.”

    3. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

      I’m assuming they must have some sort of financial incentive for the training and/or placement. Possibly tied to the starting salaries the trainees receive? (There are entry level IT gigs out there that don’t require much if any work experience. A job that needs someone with a 7-10 year track record in the industry is not likely one an entry level employee is going to succeed in.)

      Still doesn’t explain how they thought no one would notice these trainees were floundering. Did they think no one in the tech field talks to each other? (We’re not that anti-social.)

      1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        I would put $$ on them getting funding from some sort of government job placement/retraining program

    4. Portabella*

      I think I am encountering some of the “trainees” from an organization like this right now while I’m doing some hiring – we’re hiring for another technical position on my team, and the job requires 7+ years of experience. We’ve gotten about 4 or 5 applicants whose resumes look like they plagiarized each other, and they all have positions listed at this one specific company. We interviewed two of them, and it became painfully obvious they did not have the technical experience they listed. One person was even googling answers to our questions and reading them!

    5. Mallory Janis Ian*

      And if they’re so good that they can remotely advise their placements when they run into trouble at their new jobs, why didn’t they just train them in the first place?!

      1. Canadian Yankee*

        Training is great, but there’s no way it can replace 7-10 years of experience, especially in a field like IT where a significant part of your job is recognizing when the people you support do weird or unexpected things.

    6. Kiki*

      I went to a software engineering bootcamp that is legit (highly regarded by employers and alums). I think there is a dangerous and predatory space in the world of software engineering training born from the acceptance and acknowledgement of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a real phenomenon but it is *also possible* to be employed beyond your capacity. I think people are really quick to jump on the imposter syndrome explanation and not consider that someone really does need more time learning and understanding the fundamentals. But you need someone who is both an experienced engineer *and* skilled in teaching and software engineering training to be able to identify the difference and help. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of organizations lack individuals who are good at both those things, leaving junior to junior-mid engineers to flounder and opening the door for predatory organizations to take advantage of that space.

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I think this is a very valid point. It’s about doing your research into the program before enrolling in the program. You can have both good and bad programs/universities in both for- and non-profit set-ups.

    7. imaginaryoranges*

      My guess is they might be trained adequately for entry IT positions (OP indicates the program only got weird at the end), but they’re not up to snuff for positions that require 7-10 years of experience, and that they’re getting something, whether it’s prestige or money, for placing in those higher positions.

    8. Keymaster of Gozer*

      It’s something I’ve seen job candidates fall prey to a few times and from what I can gather it’s a ‘get as much cash in donations or funding as possible then run’ scheme. Giving feedback to someone who failed a simple technical test who then bragged about their ‘expert training and development from company X’ I found that there was a little firm in our area advertising that they’d guarantee you a job in software security if you signed up with them.

      From what I can gather that ‘training’ involved 10 minutes on ‘how to access a command line prompt’ and the rest of the week on how to promote the business on social media. Blimmin hurts to reject a job candidate who’s been taken in by some shady ‘we guarantee you’ll make big money after a week’ firm.

  5. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    Wait wait wait, they sent chocolate eggs as a “Here’s a piece of chocolate. And you may no longer have a job.” Damn…damn.

    I imagine those who got laid off after the chocolate eggs won’t look at chocolate eggs the same away again D: D: D:

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I may have recoiled by this story because we actively give out chocolates for various occasions. And my imagination could easily run away when I sit and imagine the next time I cheerfully deliver a chocolate Easter bunny for Easter. *shiver*

  6. Cupcake*

    My coworker also sprayed me with Lysol! January 2020, I just returned from a short Disneyland vacation. I had a bad cold I just could not shake. My coworker, someone I have many difficulties with, came over to my cubicle and just sprayed my whole area with Lysol. Of course I was shocked and had a huge coughing fit. I went home sick shortly there after and took a whole week off. I didn’t want to return too soon and put my coworkers at risk or possibly be sprayed with disinfectant again. This was before Covid was such a big part of our lives.

  7. WFH with Cat*

    Hmmm … not really encouraging vandalism, but the company in #3 deserves to be chocolate-egged.

    1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      lol. I would just use regular eggs. They don’t deserve to be chocolate-egged. Those are too nice.

  8. Forrest*

    The [Lysol-spraying] place was a very toxic place to work

    One of the more literal uses of toxic on this website!

    1. Wintermute*

      Yeaaaaah… most toxic workplaces are due to coworkers or management, not dimethyl benzyl ammonium saccharinate

      1. Database Developer Dude*

        Okay, I’m told I have no sense of humor, and I got that this was a joke…come on, get with the program!!!!!

    1. X-Man*

      I feel this way about everything. Remember when all anyone was talking about was the Tiger King? That was still this year x_x

  9. EPLawyer*

    #1 — good for you sticking to your principles. This client could have cost more in professional reputation if it got out that you allowed the spyware than you ever have made from them. Bet they were darn surprised when you didn’t renew the contract.

    #2 — See above about professional reputation. If the non profit had continued your sister would have been “oh one of those people that had people lie on their resumes.” She would have an even harder time finding a job with that rep. Faced with that, having an objective on the resume isn’t the end of the world. Alison may faint at that but I wouldn’t automatically move someone to the nope pile because of it. It’s just a waste of space but its not torpedoing her chances I don’t think.

    1. Mallory Janis Ian*

      I was just talking to someone in another group who is working on a resume, and she said that her segment of media employment still wants a catchy and clever job objective on the resume.

    2. Dolly*

      I agree about the objective. There are worse things people can do, it’s not a hard nope when looking through resumes.

  10. Tired*

    Can you imagine how horrible it must be to work as an actual employee for the client in #1? I wonder what their turnover rate is?

    I think I may need to go drop my managers a thank you note for being sane!

  11. Uranus Wars*

    Can I just say #3’s attitude is the best: So I never got the eggs, but thankfully got to keep my job.

  12. learnedthehardway*

    OP#1 – Congratulations on ditching the impossible client (aka “Client from Hell”). One of my best experiences as a newbie employee was when one of the partners of the firm I worked for fired a client. Taught me that there are limits and that clients AREN’T always right. Stood me in good stead several years ago, when I fired a client for being abusive.

    1. Filosofickle*

      I am 100% opposed to “the customer is always right”. As a consultant, I do not tolerate jerk clients and I’ll always back a good employee over an unreasonable client. And even before that, in the intake process I pay close attention to root out who’s going to be hard to work with and turn down their work from the start. Life’s too short.

      1. Wintermute*

        People misunderstand “the customer is always right”– the customer’s *feelings* are always *valid*. They feel how they feel. If your product or processes make them feel a certain way, or they have certain preferences then yes those are true feelings or preferences. You cannot talk them out of feeling inconvenienced, or disappointed, or delighted. If many of your customers feel something is inconvenient, or unacceptable, or whatever else, it doesn’t matter how objectively reasonable you think it is, or even how mandatory it really is to the nature of your business, they are “right”.

        But those things can also be irrelevant, bad business or just impossible to solve realistically.

        The mistake is trying to please every customer, not every customer is capable of being pleased, not every person is reasonable. The lesson of “the customer is always right” is in the plural “customer” as in “the market segment we serve” not every rando who walks in.

    2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      The people who are getting services from the agency I work for count as clients, and we have defined rules for how the services run. Nobody is so special that you get to shortcut the rules. Also, if the clients are abusive, they can be removed from receiving some or all of the services we provide.

      You may be the customer, but that doesn’t always mean you are right.

  13. Two sides to a story*

    So with #4, I feel like this could be a case study in how we only get one side of the story in these letters. I have a friend who has said she’s tempted to spray her coworkers with Lysol.

    In her case, the workplace has said that masks or face shields are mandatory whenever you’re in a shared space, and the (potential) sprayees refuse. She reminds them, she tells them point-blank to put on a mask. Several of her coworkers refuse and act like she’s crazy for wanting them to do this (despite the many emails from the workplace saying that it is mandatory). One coworker wears a mask, but then lowers it to talk, which completely defeats the purpose.

    I’m not saying that this is the situation for OP #4, but we can’t tell if it is or not because we’re only getting one side. And as far as the allergies: the NIH offers free testing for all staff, whether they have symptoms or not. They recently said that they have had a hundred “asymptomatic” tests come back positive, but when they talked to those people, they found out that the majority of them *did* have symptoms, but thought it was allergies or something. So while there are lots of people who really do have allergies and not COVID, some people have COVID and think it’s just allergies.

    Alison’s original advice to OP #4 included that spraying Lysol at someone’s face can be very dangerous, which is true. But refusing to wear a mask and coughing on someone (who can’t leave because that’s her desk) during a pandemic is also very dangerous. Again, we don’t know that this is the case for OP #4. I’m saying that my friend’s coworkers could look at that and say, “See! She shouldn’t be spraying Lysol at us!” when the real advice should be, as the Maryland governor recently said, “Wear. The. Damn. Mask!”

    1. Observer*

      Please. Even if the OP were not wearing a mask and actually coughing on people, it would NOT be OK to actually spray people. Period.

      In this case, we have absolutely no reason to think that the OP is refusing to wear a mask or coughing on anyone.

      1. Two sides to a story*

        I went back and read the comments on the original post, and the OP had added more details that make it clear they weren’t behaving like my friend’s coworkers. When I read the original post, it struck me that it was written like my friend’s coworkers might write it, leaving out important details.

        As far as “Even if the OP were not wearing a mask and actually coughing on people, it would NOT be OK to actually spray people”, I’m curious what you would do in her situation. She’s made it very clear that she’s taking this seriously, she wears a mask and a face shield and regularly cleans her desk area. She firmly tells people that they need to wear a mask, and that it’s required by the workplace. She’s raised this with her boss, who agrees with her but doesn’t do anything to enforce that the masks are required. She had one coworker go on a vacation where he was around someone who later tested, and when he got back he got tested but went to work (without a mask) for several days while he waited for the results, which came back positive. So this isn’t a theoretical concern, and she’s not getting any support from her immediate management.

        Normally on this site, we talk about raising things to HR or your boss’s boss, and learning to live with it if nothing comes from that. But this isn’t someone leaving smelly messes in the bathroom. This is people seriously endangering her health and life, and that of her family. So in her shoes, I think I’d be pretty tempted to resort to some drastic measures too.

        1. allathian*

          This is definitely a tough situation, but it doesn’t warrant spraying a toxic substance on a coworker. In some jurisdictions, it would count as assault. I guess that if the incident had witnesses and/or the person who got sprayed made a complaint, the sprayer might get perp-walked out…

          That said, I’m in Finland, and here, if you knowingly infect someone with a potentially lethal disease, you could get a prison sentence. If it’s an aggravated offence, the sentence can be up to 10 years. That’s long, considering our “life sentence” for premeditated murder is rarely longer than 12 years. Of course, the clue here is “knowingly”, but definitely after you get a positive test result.

        2. Terrysg*

          Lysol is not designed to be sprayed on people, it can cause serious harm if used in this way, and won’t disinfect the person anyway.

        3. Observer*

          You’re seriously suggesting that literally poisoning someone is an appropriate response to people misbehaving and management not dealing with it? Why not just put some rat poison in people’s food? At least that won’t make them cough!

          If you think that rat poison is ridiculous, then you need explain why Lysol is any better. If you really think that rat poison would be ok, well I just hope you are not around people much.

          As for what to do – that IS a tough issue. But it’s the classic case of what Allison often says “You Boss / workplace is an a** and is not going to change.” Maybe your friend should start job hunting.

          That’s not snark. It’s really just pretty much the only thing you can do when your employer engages in safety violations and there is no outside authority to stop it.

        4. RebelwithMouseyHair*

          Surely the right thing to do would be to refuse to work in the same area as the unmasked? WFH if possible and if not someone can move their desk to another area.

        5. Kal*

          Typically, when one needs to resort to drastic measures, one should resort to a measure that actually helps. Spraying cleaning chemicals in someones face does not somehow stop them from potentially infecting other people, so that is not so much a drastic measure as it is resorting to be a horrible coworker doing the human equivalent of spraying water at a cat, except with the real potential consequences of seriously harming or killing someone in the process. So your friend would get to feel good about herself while committing what may potentially count as a assault and thus herself being at least as bad as the people who refuse to wear masks.

          Someone doing something harmful to you does not give you carte blanche to do whatever harmful thing you want to do back to them, just because that would make you feel good. If you would be tempted to harm your coworkers just because it’d make you feel better about the covid situation, you should really sit with your emotions for a bit, to figure out why you think that would be okay.

          If someone was constantly stealing the lunch of your diabetic coworker, causing them to have to make sure to keep a bunch of extra snacks at their desk or risk scrambling to find something to keep their blood sugar up and they tried everything with their boss to address it but it continued, would you then find it okay for them to spike their lunch with a tiny dose of rat poison that would just cause a bit of slightly prolonged bleeding for a healthy person but potentially fatally harm someone who is already on blood thinners? Of course, poisoning the food does nothing to stop the initial food stealing situation, but might make them feel a bit better about it. If you think that situation is unacceptable but doing the equivalent by spraying cleaning chemicals in someones face is okay, you need to figure out why you find those situations different. It may turn out that your overall stress about the pandemic is colouring your reaction to the situation. (And the answer is that neither situation is okay because its not okay to hurt someone just to make yourself feel better. We should have all learned that back in elementary school.)

          And, as a note, I write all this as someone who has been unemployed the entire pandemic because I have a disability that means I cannot leave the house while its going on, except for specific medical appointments where I have to take serious precautions. I really wish people would just wear their masks (and wear them properly) and social distance and stay at home as much as possible so that I might maybe get to see the sun next year. But I still don’t get to go about poisoning people because they’re forcing me to be locked in my home.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      One person’s poor behavior (real or imagined) does not give license to the next person for their own poor behavior.

    3. Keymaster of Gozer*

      Here’s the thing: even if someone coughed/sneezed/sprayed while talking at someone else it does not give the victim the right to harm them.

      So no punching in retaliation, no slapping, no spraying dangerous chemicals at them, no throwing large heavy objects…etc.

      The kind of consequences I approve of are ones that are not physically dangerous; such as a person who pulls down their mask and fake coughs on coworkers as ‘a joke’ being disciplined and/or fired.

      1. Database Developer Dude*

        I’m the OP for the Lysol story.

        I was at my desk, not talking to the co-worker. I’m 53, not 5, I don’t run around deliberately coughing and sneezing on people.

        Jeepers freaking crow, what is wrong with you people? That’s not normal behavior.

    4. Former Employee*

      I would check with an attorney to see if your friend has grounds to sue the company for exposing her to a hazardous work place.

      If she does, then she could inform management that if she or anyone else gets sick due to coworkers not following the mask mandate the company could be held liable.

      At that point, the company might start telling employees that the policy is now wear a mask or be sent home and have their pay docked accordingly. And after 3 times f this happening, the employee will be fired.

  14. Aurora Leigh*

    Re: People who refuse to mask — What actually worked for my workplace was sending people home without pay after x times being reminded. Doesn’t stop them from bragging about their after work activities . . . But it makes the office a bit more safe for the rest of us.

    1. Keymaster of Gozer*

      Yeah, we did this. Along with the ‘I don’t believe this virus is dangerous so I’m gonna refuse to social distance’ people (luckily there was only one). A couple of days without pay really seemed to get it through to them that we were *not* joking.

  15. I'm just here for the cats*

    Do you actually think it is ok to spray someone with CHEMICALS!! What if the Lysol got into someones eyes and blinded them! Or they are alergic or has asthma and you just caused them to have an attack!

    If you did that to me YOU are paying for my trip to the ER and paying me any lost wages because many arisole sprays, like lysol, causes me to start to have an asthma attack (even if used around me and I have a mask on).

    I get that seeing maskless people or people who think it’s a hoax is seriously frustrating. But you CANNOT ASSULT PEOPLE!!!!!!

    1. Susie Q*

      I mean you better not walk in the rain. Don’t want that chemical known as H20 coming down on you.

      I get what you’re saying but using chemicals in this sense makes no sense.

  16. Woman of a Certain Age*

    The story about the coworker who sprayed Lysol at you reminded of an incident in my second job back in the 1980s. I working at my desk when all of a sudden one of my coworkers, also at her desk, screamed and jumped up from her desk, ran to the supply closet and came back with a can of Lysol and she sprayed it on a document on her desk until the document was completely soaking wet and until the ink on the document ran. The she ran to the restroom and furiously washed her hands with soap and water for a good 5 minutes. Of course everyone was staring at her and wondered why she acting so weird and what was going on.

    One of the duties our handled was transferring ownership of various accounts for a variety of different reasons, including when someone died. The coworker had opened a letter for such a transfer and it included a copy of the deceased’s death certificate which noted that the person died from AIDS. Somehow she had the idea that she might catch AIDS from touching a copy of the person’s death certificate, which was incredibly ignorant as the AIDS virus is only spread through the exchange of bodily fluids. The deceased person had never touched his own death certificate, and even if they had, you wouldn’t catch AIDS from touching a document that had previously been touched by someone with AIDS. (It might be possible to catch COVID from something that had been previously touched by someone with COVID.)

    Anyway, her supervisor pulled her out the room and took her into her office and then sent her home for the rest of the day. Management at that job was reasonably informed and knew that my coworker was being ridiculous. They attempted to educate her, but I don’t know if she learned anything or believed them. She ended up being disciplined and temporarily suspended without pay for destroying company property. Of course, a lot of people didn’t know much about AIDS back then and there was a lot of fear and misinformation around. (Sort of like COVID now.) The Eighties. Fun times.

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