the faked heart attack, the very smart dog, and other (amazing) stories of pettiness at work

Earlier this month I asked about the pettiest things you’ve seen (or done!) at work. You offered up so many ridiculously petty stories on that post that I can’t fit them all my favorites into one column … so here’s part 1. Part 2 will be coming next week.

Note: We’re not endorsing petty behavior here (well, except the dog’s). We’re just enjoying the entertainment value.

1. The replacement monitor

My personal favorite is from my call center days. One of my team’s monitors had an almost imperceptible yet inevitably headache-inducing flicker which was far beyond merely annoying, yet every time it was reported to our regular IT guy he insisted it was fine. Cut to his holiday, and I reported it to the cover IT guy, along with the back story. He appeared 10 minutes later with another monitor, then proceeded to carefully remove the ID stickers from both, before swapping them around and disappearing with the now-relabelled defective one. When he got back, I asked why the subterfuge — “the replacement is regular IT guy’s monitor.”

2. The air fresheners

My old boss was a really big air freshener person. She had tart warmers, plug-ins, lit candles, electric oil diffusers, salt lamps, going all the time in her tiny office.

All of us complained at some point, but our other colleague “Ted” got migraines and would beg her to get rid of all the scented stuff. She put up a fight and refused to stop and told us all to get over it. Later on she even gave Ted a warning about his attendance, despite being the one who caused his migraines.

Ted called our risk management officer who came in to inspect our building. The RMO flipped out about the sheer number of lit candles and plugged in electrical scent lamps, all of which were major fire hazards. She made our boss box them all up and put them in her car, and came in weekly to check for more scent diffusers. I left the company but people told me for years afterwards until old boss quit that RMO inspected her office weekly for years.

3. The uniforms

I used to work for a security contractor. I had a coworker who had changed to a new job site and required a completely different uniform.

These companies are notorious for requiring uniforms but not providing everything (i.e. we’ll give you only two shirts for a full time job, you have to buy your own pants, belt, boots etc). As a woman, I especially had difficulties because most often clothing was “unisex” (read: men’s cut) and would look sloppy and unprofessional. Anyway, my coworker was not provided a new uniform before his start date, and was told to wear his wife’s uniform (!) because she had recently quit and not yet turned her items in. He proceeded to do so, finding the smallest and most ill-fitting items he could. He even made sure to wear her name tag.

Within 48 hours, someone drove from the office to deliver him uniforms on site. I bought him lunch, brimming with pride.

4. The very good dog

Several lifetimes ago, I worked for a tiny wildly corrupt nonprofit. It has since gone under, which it needed to. It was a super toxic workplace with one of the few culture benefits being that you could bring your dog to the office. I had my first dog at the time, a very smart rescue dachshund. She happened to be with me at the office on the day that I was fired without warning. I did the traditional packing my things into a copy paper box move and, unbeknownst to me, my dog marched into the main room where the two VPs sat, one of whom would be fired the following week, and pooped right next to the desk of the VP responsible for firing me. This was a housetrained and very, very smart dog.

The VP noticed the poop right as my dog and I were getting ready to walk out the door for the final time, my arms loaded with my copy paper box, my dog in her harness and on her leash. She demanded I put everything down and go clean up my dog’s poop, which until that moment I truthfully did not know existed. I knew I was never going to get a reference from this place and particularly her, so I said, “Nope” and walked out the door, never to return. It was so satisfying. My good girl got so many treats for that.

5. The lights

Our owner and GM hate each other. The GM hung some lights in a very public space of the office, and the owner hated them and made him remove (owner offices at a different location). Except GM never removed them. He just turned them off. Now, whenever people come in, our GM turns on the lights, tells them the story and asks them to email the owner about the “really cool lights that are gone.” Owner remains unmoved. I’m one step under the GM and the showdown is a bright spot in my work life.

6. The recycling bin

I worked in an open office at a small company where maybe 10-15 of us were in a large room at any one time. Every 1-2 desks had a small waste basket where people would toss wrappers/lunch detritus/etc. Of note, there was no recycling available in the space when I started.

I was out for a week and when I came back “Joe” was talking to me about something and saw a soda can in my waste basket. Apparently we had gotten a recycling bin while I was out, but it was sort of behind the door in a place you wouldn’t see unless you looked. Instead of telling me “We got recycling last week, it’s over there,” Joe proceeded to mansplain to me how to put something in a recycle bin. He literally demonstrated by taking the can out of my trash and moving it over while explaining how to put a can in a box as if I were a particularly slow 2 year old.

Joe thinks he is a feminist, but in case you missed it, he is actually a misogynist and did this with the room about half full. I, along with others, seemed to find ways for all our empty bottles and cans to end up in his personal waste basket for at least the 6 months until I left. In fact, his trash was basically never empty during that time.

(Note: Joe would meticulously put recyclables in the recycling bin, so no harm done other than to Joe.)

7. The girl

We had a tutor who would have described himself as a “good old boy.” He used to describe ME as “the girl on reception.” I am in my 30s and the company’s operations manager.

Every time he called me “the girl on reception,” I would find a reason to send him an email and increase my job title in my email signature by 1pt size each time.

It got pretty big before he was unceremoniously fired.

8. The card

A coworker and I were bitter enemies, which was awkward because there were only three people on our team. One time a vendor sent us a gift of cookies to share, and Enemy Coworker intercepted it and ripped apart the card to destroy the evidence that it’d had both our names on it. But I has SUSPICIONS and took the ripped-up card pieces out of the trashcan, reassembled them, and presented the evidence to our manager like I was Kid Sherlock Holmes.

We were both rightfully yelled at by a grandboss for our pettiness and told to get our act together. Luckily for both our sake, I left the company shortly after; we brought out the worst in each other.

9. The assistance

I’m in a public facing “helping profession.” Before I left my last job, I changed every instance I could find of my contact info to my slacker coworker’s email and told people how happy they’d be to help after I left.

10. The buffet

I worked at a hotel that put on a grand Sunday brunch buffet—ice carving, free-flowing cheap champagne, and so on. Working it was exhausting—my thumbs were raw from peeling the foil and popping the corks, the tables were spread across the lobby, which was upstairs from the kitchen so we had to haul stuff up there and haul it down, for $2.11 an hour. But the tips made it a lucrative day. I answered the phone to take a reservation one busy Friday morning at the restaurant because the cashier was swamped. It was for a large party and I told the caller about the 15% gratuity for large parties, and she got snippy and asked why, “since we have to serve our own plates?” In a serious, helpful tone, I told her we could arrange a table where they got nothing to drink, near the busser station so they could retun their dirty plates there, would she like one of those? and in the long silence that followed, I hung up on her.

11. The allies

I’m a trans man, I use he/him pronouns and have used them for over ten years. I have been rocking a beard for quite a while, I have short hair, a flat chest, a very masculine first name and a low voice. Despite this, I once worked with a woman (I’ll call her Jane) who kept calling me “her” and “she” and “Mrs. LastName” because “you look so womanly, I can’t remember that you’re a man!” I transitioned well before being hired and she didn’t even know I was trans until I’d been there a while, so I don’t know what made her think “woman.”

I reported her to HR, but I’m not sure what actions they took. To my coworkers credit, they did a good job trying to get her to stop:

– Any time Jane said “she,” a different female coworker (Lisa) would respond as if Jane was speaking to her, even if Jane was looking right at me. If Jane said she wasn’t talking about Lisa, Lisa would say, “But you said ‘she,’ so you’re talking about a woman, right?”

– Alternatively, staff would ask who Jane was talking about, because no one named Mrs. LastName worked there. Sometimes she’d double down and people would act confused, because “we’re helping you remember his name/that he’s a man, you know your coworkers, right?”

Didn’t matter when this happened. If she got my gender/name wrong, everything ground to a halt so staff could “clarify who Jane is talking about” and “make sure they understand what she’s saying.” Meetings could drag on if she kept doing it enough, since no one let her get away with it. Even some people higher up would “help clarify” what she was saying.

Thankfully, she eventually stopped misgendering me, even if it took a while. I do genuinely wonder if she was being intentionally offensive, since she never had any problems remembering non-binary or trans women’s pronouns and names (even if they transitioned on the job). I guess I have a particularly womanly beard!

Note from Alison: This isn’t even petty! But it’s a great story and a model others might want to use, so I’m including it.

12. The screenshot

I’ve done this at several jobs. People would do this thing where they would call me or interrupt me on Teams to get a small set of numbers (like literally six digits) they were just too lazy to pull off a share drive because it was URGENT!!! When i would gently remind them where they could find this data, even with a live hyperlink on teams, they were always like “oh hoho but it’s easier and faster to call you.”

So every time they called i sent them the data back as a screenshotted picture. Enjoy manually typing for wasting my time.

13.The flowers

The HR lady at my old job, Sharon, was very used to getting her own way. She didn’t have a birthday, she had a whole birthday “month” (and was irritated she had to share it with Jesus), her BFF in the office would ask everyone to contribute to a birthday present for Sharon (this happened for absolutely no one else), when she got married she made her fiance re-do the entire proposal because the first one wasn’t “good enough,” and then her mom’s boss bought her every single gift from her wedding registry. Everything had to be pink and absolutely NEVER orange — she graduated from Texas A&M and acted like even seeing the color orange offended her very soul.

One year for Christmas, our boss gave us these blown glass flowers he got on vacation or something. They were kind of pretty, but otherwise pointless. I received a pink one. Sharon — horror of horrors — received an orangish/coral colored one. Shockwaves of offense begin radiating throughout the office. She walks into my office and spots my pink flower on the corner of my desk. Starts begging me to trade with her. Trying to convince me how she just absolutely cannot have anything orange around her and she must have pink. I couldn’t have cared less about the stupid flowers but I just shrug and say, “I think I’ll keep it but thanks for the offer.” I then placed it on the most prominent place possible on my desk and left it there for as long as I worked there, three years. It was just my little flag of victory, my nod to all us nobodies in the office, to that ONE time Sharon didn’t get what she wanted.

14. The personal calls

I had a coworker who would take long, and I mean 20-30 minutes, personal calls gossiping with her family members all day at work. She’d try to speak quietly sometimes but mostly it was full volume chatting while the rest of us worked around her. After a few months I waited for a call to end and then poked my head over the cube wall and said “I had to go the bathroom and missed it, was your cousin able to make bail?!?”

He had! And for some reason she then started taking the calls outside.

15. The heart attack

I once worked in a small office. One coworker got so upset about two other coworkers going out for lunch and not inviting her that she faked heart attack symptoms, made our safety rep call 911, and got carried out on a gurney.

16. The walkie-talkies

I had been working all summer at a residential summer camp as part of a select group of staff who had walkie-talkies on 24/7 for emergencies. The last week the directors became more and more loose with their use of the walkie-talkies for jokes and chatter, which I normally wouldn’t have minded, but by the last night of camp I was too stressed and sleep-deprived to have any sense of humor. As the evening wore on and the joking and staticky cackling grew to almost nonstop levels, I had had enough, and I walked the entire length of the camp with my finger on the talk button, completely silent, so that nobody else could talk. It couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes, but the radios went silent for the rest of the night. I don’t know if they ever knew what had happened, or that it was me who did it, but it was a thrilling moment of miniscule power I will forever relish.

{ 329 comments… read them below }

    1. Jessica*

      I really disagree with the boss in #8. One employee is guilty of stealing and lying (albeit on a trivial scale), and the other one is guilty of not ignoring the first one’s stealing and lying. These crimes are not the same!

      1. New Jack Karyn*

        I remember a previous letter in which someone put back together a torn paper from the trash, and got absolutely vilified in the comments. Today’s Contributor #8 recognizes that this was not her shining moment.

        I do, however, love this story more than the others.

        1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          Hmm I remember that letter too, and it was a bunch of notes and drawings wherein the LW’s coworker was trashing (pun not intended) teammates or management? To me it is not the same as a card, from a vendor, that names me by name thanking me for my good service. Not only would I put it back together, I’d display it in my cubicle next to my other awards.

          1. New Jack Karyn*

            I think it was that the OP had written out some Eminem lyrics and doodled in a meeting, then torn that sheet and put it in their trash. Shortly thereafter, OP went on leave. A coworker was looking for some important notes from OP, checked the bin, and found the lyrics/doodle sheet. Discussions ensued.

      2. Fishsticks*

        I imagine from the boss’s perspective it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Boss had probably been dealing with variations on this epic war for some time and was just Over It.

        1. Irish Teacher*

          That was my thought too. From the letter alone, I’d probably think the LW was overreacting a bit by getting me involved if I was the boss, but I’d be far more bothered by somebody going to so much trouble to ensure somebody else didn’t get their share of a treat.

          There are even situations where I’d wonder if the LW was being bullied and in those situations would think they were completely reasonable to bring it to my attention.

          But I’m guessing this was the final event in a string of incidents and both had been guilty on different occasions and the boss just wanted to put a stop to the whole thing rather than dealing with each incident individually.

      3. Nannerdoodle*

        But it took time to find the shreds of paper, put them back together, and then basically tattle on the other employee. The employee in #8 was probably yelled at for wasting time doing that rather than just acting like an adult about it (either talking directly to coworker, talking to boss about probable issue, or just ignoring it).

        1. Tattling is such a demeaning word*

          It’s not tattling to tell someone else the facts of what happened.

      4. Katherine*

        I think this was probably the cumulative effect of a bunch of pettiness. The writer admits that they and the other coworker brought out the worst in each other and feuded constantly, and the boss was sick to death of it. It didn’t matter who was right in this particular case, because both of them were keeping up the feud and dragging other people into it.

  1. Rainy*

    I am a dachshund owner, and I can confirm that number 4 (the #2 one) is absolutely a thing a dachshund could and would do. She did it intentionally, do not ever doubt it. Retaliation pooping is 100% a dachshund behaviour.

      1. Rainy*

        Mine doesn’t vomit, but a couple of years ago one of the cats was ill and got a lot of attention. This, of course, was an offense that could not stand, so the dog, while thrashing a toy, suddenly cried out and ran over to be comforted while dramatically squinting one eye. I examined the eye and it seemed okay, but I made him a little cool pack for his eye and gave him cuddles and he graciously accepted our concern and worry. He had a vet appointment first thing in the morning anyway, so we asked them to specifically check his eye.

        The vet (who grew up with dachshunds) listened to the story, carefully checked the eye, watched the dog remember that his eye was supposed to be hurting and squint the wrong eye, and then gave us his diagnosis: “Like all dachshunds, I’m afraid your dog is a drama queen.” Alas, there is no cure.

        1. Queen Ruby*

          I had a bichon who was also diagnosed as a drama queen. Like I didn’t already know!

          1. Rainy*

            Omg bichons can be SO dramatic. Also: epic side-eye (another thing they share with dachshunds).

            1. jackie*

              reading this with my 8 month old Bichon draped around my neck like an airline pillow—sigh….

            2. nodandsmile*

              Bichon currently hiding in crate and refusing food because we’ve booked her in for boarding tomorrow night… Also a great retaliatory pooper and likes to remind any overnight guests that this is her house, in the usual way…

            3. Queen Ruby*

              Omg yes! She was a total diva! And if she was not happy, everyone knew it. Fortunately, she was generally a happy, sweet dog. But man, when skin allergies meant she had hot spots, she cried like a baby – loudly. Lots of emergency vet visits were made to address the hot spots lol

        2. Random Dice*

          That is the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard.

          He remembered mid-con and squinted the wrong eye. Bahahaha

        3. PhyllisB*

          I used to have a white Pekinese who was pretty much a drama queen (king??) He stayed indoors at my house, but when we went to my mother’s she made him stay outside. One time he started limping and holding his paw in the air, so she felt sorry for him and let him come in. The next time we went over there he was playing happily in the back yard and happened to see my mother looking at him, and he immediately lifted his paw and started limping and whimpering. Little faker!!

        4. Llamalady*

          My parents like to tell us about their yellow lab who, after the birth of my older sister, disliked the amount of attention the new baby was getting and was mysteriously injured. When my parents noticed him limping, they of course took him to the vet. Unfortunately, when he went into the vet’s office, he forget which leg was ‘injured’ and started limping on the other leg. He was fine.

        5. Elizabeth West*

          This reminds me of one of the James Herriot stories about Mrs. Pumphrey’s Pekingese, Tricki Woo, and the fake cough. I wish I could remember which book it was in.

        6. Reluctant Mezzo*

          We had a Pomeranian with an injured paw, which we realized was less serious as time went on because he started to forget which one was hurt (but raised a paw and looked Sad whenever he felt emotional). We humans took up that gesture whenever we felt Sad as well in our family.

    1. Voluptuousfire*

      Also retaliation peeing. My friend’s doxie would pee on a suitcase (even if it wasn’t his parents’) since he knew suitcase meant they were leaving.

      1. Kacihall*

        I had a mutt who hated when I got a job and left him at home (with my husband, and our roommates, and their dog.) He chewed up all of my work shoes. none of my sneakers or sandals, no one else’s shoes, just the shoes I could wear to work. I had to start leaving them in my car. (Then I got fired for getting pregnant a month later, so maybe he was just trying to spare me that? )

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          wait what?! when did that happen? and where? and how much did you get in the lawsuit?

          1. Fishsticks*

            Oh, I’m sure the commenter was fired for something impossibly tiny and petty that no one else at the workplace would have been fired for and it was a TOTAL COINCIDENCE that the commenter just HAPPENED to be pregnant, what a wacky random happenstance that was…

            1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

              They suddenly and finally realized she wasn’t a cultural fit and that moment of revelation just happened to coincide with her pregnancy.

              (Pet peeve of mine because, many years ago in Home Country, I was, on paper, offered to stay the full length of my maternity leave on it while keeping my job. In reality, they hired a single guy to replace me before my son was even born, told me they couldn’t pay my salary since they had already hired the replacement, my son was 18 months old at the time, the mat leave could be up to six years long, and unpaid. So I was essentially fired for having a baby. Totally legal in Home Country at the time. Oh and they laid off every woman on our team while I was on mat leave. Most went on to have good jobs elsewhere, one ended up being the company’s HR director – but not before she was laid off from her programming job.)

      2. what the nope*

        My quaker parrot would punishment-poop on my camping gear as I stacked it up near his cage prior to loading. She would cling halfway up the cage and aim just right.

        1. Jack Russell Terrier*

          My budgie did not appreciate the ‘nutritionally correct’ food I was trying to shift him onto. He stomped over to the bowl, picked it up with his beak and turned it over, emptying it out. With a flounce, he then stormed off leaving me in no doubt as to his feelings.

          He had a personality much bigger than his body.

      3. Thunder kitten*

        that is something that they have in common with my toddler. I should have known potty training went WAY too smoothly !

    2. Dust Bunny*

      My late, great, American Eskimo dog, who was stone-cold housebroken, once peed in another dog’s food dish (indoors) when he wouldn’t quit pestering her. It was absolutely intentional.

      1. Rainy*

        Eskies are SO smart–I’ve worked with several and they’re so smart and a nice balance between biddable-smart and stubborn-smart. They need a lot of engagement, though, and when they don’t get it they can get a bit bitey from frustration.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          This one was particularly entertaining because she sort of played the dumb blonde and then did something almost-human in cleverness when it suited her.

    3. Single Parent Barbie*

      I have two. My male can tell who I don’t like and will act accordingly. My female well she will poop/vomit on command.

    4. Smelly Dog*

      Pugs do it as well. I worked in an office with one of the most toxic personalities I’ve ever encountered before of after he was fired. I lived close by and while running errands after hours, My wife and I my stopped by my office to grab my computer to telework the next day (snow was expected). My wife let the pug down to sniff and explore (he was 100% housebroken and had already done his usual number of #2’s for the day).

      As we were leaving I smelled something foul and looked around, sure enough, he had another in the chamber and let it go under that particular guys desk. I cleaned it up because it was an open work space and it would have been gross for everyone including me when we could return back after the snow was cleared. It amazes me that he knew. He must have felt that energy from that massive glassbowl and responded in kind.

      1. DramaQ*

        My parents’ pug intentionally poops when they go on vacation. She does it in a spot where if I wasn’t paying attention I would step in it. I anticipate it now. I call it her “F you poop”. She only does it the first day they are gone and she is 100% house trained. She’s doing it on purpose!

        1. Betty*

          our house trained husky/golden retriever (& probably also samoyed) mix did NOT like change, so when we moved to a new apartment, we came home one day to a giant poop smack in the middle of the bed. there is no way that wasn’t a big message from the dog about his feelings on moving!

          1. Ralph the wonder llama*

            I had a German Shepard that did that when the vet said I needed to put her on diet. Grossly offended by receiving less food, she put a big one right in the middle of my bed and sat there proudly beside it. “Eff you and your diet, lady”. Message received.

          2. Hadespuppy*

            The one time I took my pitbull camping we had him at the evening fire with us. There were a lot of people, it was dark, and he’s not a huge fan of fire, so he wasn’t having the best time, so we put him in the back of our truck with some extra towels and blankets to chill for a while until we were ready for bed. He seemed way happier when we came to get him, and even eager to get into the tent.

            He jumped right into the middle of the air mattress, looked us in the eye, and pissed all over everything. No remorse. He gets to stay “home” now.

        2. Kat Em*

          I had a cat who was perfectly litter trained, but would poop in the middle of my bedspread if I tried to go out of town overnight.

          He was a rare ginger cat who was a total smartypants. Guess he hoarded all the brain cells!

          1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            A long-deceased great-aunt had a super rare female ginger cat. One morning she angered the cat in some way before she left for work. The cat gingerly (pun NOT intended) crawled under the covers of aunt’s bed, pooped on the sheets under the covers, and just as gingerly crawled out. The bed looked exactly as Aunt had left it in the morning, but with an extra gift! Oddly, Aunt was delighted, and spent years bragging to everyone about how smart her cat was, and telling this story as proof. (Which is how I heard it – I was either very young or not born yet at the time, but my mom tells this story to this day.)

        3. SimonTheGreyWarden*

          Our basenji would do something similar. He wouldn’t poop in the house, but he would go to the litterbox, extract a cat poo, carry it to where he wanted to leave it, and deposit it where we would find it when we got home from our trips.

          1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            Outsourcing the revenge-pooping process! That dog is (was?) upper management material.

    5. Jen*

      Came here to say that #4 is fake because there’s no such thing as a housebroken dachshund! :)

      1. DollarStoreParty*

        LOL I thought the same thing. Mine know they should go outside, they just prefer to go in the house.

    6. DebbieDoLittle*

      Animals are just more intelligent and petty than we think. My FIL is a really bad patient and was suffering from sciatica. My MIL, husband and I all watched the cat follow my FIL out of the room pretending to limp. From the way she looked at us after, she was taking the P and was not doing it in sympathy. She was as fed up of him been a drama Queen as we were.

    7. Chilipepper Attitude*

      Ok, it was not one of my fur babies, but my kid peed and vomited on every nurse who was not kind to me. I know nurses put up with a lot, and it is hard work! But I’ve had a few times when they were not very nice, and my kid came through!

      Long story for anyone who wants it:
      I was not well cared for when he was born at 36 weeks; they got mad at me for asking for help and mad when I did not ask. I was left alone for a bit after they moved me to my room, and I had to poop, so I pooped and peed. I got a big scolding because they did not see me poop or pee; I must tell them so they can see it!! They also had a really nice water bottle to spray on myself while I peed, which I would have appreciated knowing about. At one point, while a nurse was already in our room, we asked her to show us how to change the diaper. We never got to that in the classes, and neither of us had changed a diaper before. As she was explaining that you should put a diaper over a boy (but did not do it), he peed all over her, the bassinet, the floor, and my tray thing for food. There was a lot to clean up!

      Then we were in a hospital in another country while visiting relatives; baby spiked a high fever, had a rash, etc. In the end, it was nothing, but we took him in (hospital, not clinic, that was the way there). I did not speak the language well enough for this, so my spouse did all the talking but I was alone with the baby for some of the time. We had not been able to keep the baby tylenol down; he spit it up every time. So the nurse demos with a lot of gestures – swaddle, tip the baby way back so his head is below his feet, use the dropper to put it in his mouth, wait, then bring him back up. She then turned and gave me the biggest smirk I have ever seen in real life, like “see, stupid.” Pause. And he vomited pink from her shoulder to her lap. She was wearing a bright white, starched, old-fashioned nurse outfit. I felt bad but vindicated.

    8. Weiner Mom*

      E.B. White on Dachshunds:

      There is a book out called Dog Training Made Easy, and it was sent to me the other day by the publisher, who rightly guessed that it would catch my eye. I like to read books on dog training. Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command. For a number of years past I have been agreeably encumbered by a very large and dissolute dachshund named Fred. Of all the dogs whom I have served I’ve never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such deep contempt. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do. And when I answer his peremptory scratch at the door and hold the door open for him to walk through, he stops in the middle and lights a cigarette, just to hold me up.

      This lines up with my experience lol. Us weiner parents are used to our dogs looking at us kind of condescendingly while they do whatever they want.

      1. Happily Retired*

        EB White was, and is, one of the greatest.

        I remember reading his stories about Fred.

      2. Rainy*

        I read this to Mr Rainy last night and we were in *stitches*. Absolutely amazing. Mr Rainy got me a tee a couple of years ago that says “Dachshund training” and then it has a bunch of little graphics of a dachshund and its response to various standard commands. SO funny.

    9. Applesauced*

      My 9-year-old dachshund has had more than his fair share of illnesses (IVDD followed by emergency surgery – on Christmas, regular back problems, hit by a car followed by emergency surgery, one wonky leg that dislocates sometimes for no reason) so when he acts off we take it seriously.
      He will fake a limp to get out of walking in the rain.

    10. Happily Retired*

      A former deeply-lunatic cat (a dilute tortie, OF COURSE, and full of tortitude) was loathed by my former husband. I had not yet completely caught up to her opinion when one night, It Happened.

      He was asleep with his left arm flung out to the side, off the bed, over the floor. Apparently, she very carefully backed up his arm while he slept (this would have been impossible to do any other way) and took a crap on his forearm and wrist.

      He woke up hollering, and Great Drama Ensued, as he flung her gift everywhere and rushed to the bathroom. Meanwhile, I cackled maniacally (in my head) while cleaning up. She calmly groomed herself in the corner.

      Six years after her death (unrelated to this incident), I kicked him to the curb.

      1. Rainy*

        We currently have a cat that we refer to as “Satan’s calico” for similar reasons of tortitude. I’m glad that your tortie was able to express her opinion ;)

    11. rebelwithmouseyhair*

      I just love that! Thank you for letting us know that what I suspected was true!

  2. PoolLounger*

    I don’t think 2 is petty at all! Migaines and fire hazards are worth calling in the higher-ups.

    1. Lavender*

      I thought so too! The weekly office inspections might have been overkill, but I don’t blame Ted at all for calling the RMO.

      1. Hush42*

        I could be wrong but I feel like the weekly office inspections had to be a result of something. i.e. sometimes during the inspections they *found* her burning candles again at one or more of said inspections.

        1. 1LFTW*

          Plug-ins can be a fire hazard too, and that’s all the more true if she was using a ton of them, or had them plugged into an outlet extender or something.

    2. Jennifer Strange*

      Yep, I was going to say the same thing! That’s someone reporting a safety issue!

    3. Ann Onymous*

      Someone was petty in this story, but it wasn’t Ted. What’s petty is the manager prioritizing her preference for scented items over Ted’s health and the general safety of everyone in the building. The RMO inspecting weekly might also have been petty – unless they had good reason to believe the manager would bring everything back if the inspections weren’t happening.

      1. Bronze Betty*

        The RMO may well not have been petty. I bet they alternated which days they came in to do their inspections, so there was no anticipating when they would show up. The manager sounds like someone who would stop for a while and then start up again.

        1. JB*

          And changed up the time of day so even if a pattern in days was found the random variable was the time.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        This. I love that Ted reported her for endangering his health, and I love that the RMO took it that seriously.

    4. Chris*

      As someone taking two separate medications to control my migraines, and trying to identify all my own triggers, I am thankful I work from home full time so that I don’t have to worry about office fragrance fiends like this because I know overuse of fragrance like that IS a trigger. I would, however, absolutely just get my neurologist to write up the doctor’s note regarding it, send it in to HR, and get my office rendered fragrance free/minimal ASAP if we couldn’t come to a reasonable compromise.

      1. Cj*

        As someone who takes six prescriptions for migraines, I concur. it’s hard for me to work with just a normal headache, let alone and Migraine with all its attendant symptoms besides the head pain.

    5. MigraineMonth*

      Cosigned. Scented candles can be lovely, but they aren’t appropriate for work. Unless you’re selling them or something.

    6. Observer*

      Yes! I came here specifically to say that even before reading the rest of the stories.

      1. MEH Squared*

        Same here. I read #2 and immediately had to comment that it was not petty (especially as someone who is allergic to everything on earth. The boss in #2 would be my personal nightmare. Poor Ted!) before I could move on and read the rest.

        1. AnonORama*

          No pettiness for sure, at least not by Ted. Slightly OT: do salt lamps exacerbate migraines? I have one in my office because I like the warm glow — and because every once in a while someone asks me a question so outlandishly unanswerable that I have to say, “Let me check the crystal ball.” They were mentioned in the post along with a bunch of smelly stuff, but I assume a non-scented one is OK unless told otherwise. (In which case it goes home immediately, of course.) Thanks!

          1. Random Dice*

            I think sometimes people put fragrance oils on them because they’re warm.

            By themselves I thought they just put out nonscented ions (ostensibly)?

            1. Affine Transform*

              So that’s what they’re supposed to do. By themselves, I assure you that they do not generate ions.

          2. WS*

            I’m pretty scent sensitive but have never been bothered by the salt lamp my co-worker has. She has one at home that she does put fragrance on but she’s a decent person and keeps the work one fresh!

            1. AnonORama*

              Thanks all! I love having my “crystal ball” and don’t use anything scented with it (I’m grateful not to have migraines, but most essential oils and perfumes give me a garden-variety headache and/or make me sneeze).

    7. Hexiv*

      The last time I had a really bad migraine, I had to go to the ER 3 times in 10 days and developed a pretty detailed suicide plan if the ER couldn’t stop the pain. (They did, I’m fine, I’m on a better migraine med now.) I think because they’re common and not, like, fatal/permanently disabling, it’s easy to think that migraines are no big deal? But sometimes they really, really are.

      1. Engineer*

        There’s a reason cluster migraines are also called suicide migraines. I’m glad you were able to get some relief.

      2. Beth*

        When I become Empress of the Universe, everyone who has never had a migraine, thinks a migraine is “just a headache”, and doesn’t have enough sympathy for migraine sufferers, will have migraines until they understand the difference. *waves scepter*

        Also, everyone who plans to run for office will be required to live for half a year on public assistance.

        1. Shannon*

          Add in that everyone needs to work retail or food service for 6 months and you have my vote!

      1. Queen Ruby*

        I used to frequent a bar in Philly, where one of the regulars was a dachshund who was always wearing…you guessed it, a cape!!
        He had his own bar stool, too.

  3. Nest*

    I don’t know quite why, but the “Did your cousin make bail? I was in the bathroom and missed it” absolutely SENT me. It’s stunningly perfect.

    1. soontoberetired*

      Yes, it is. I wish I had that kind of answer for one of the many people I’ve worked with who don’t get it we can all hear their conversations! And how long they spend on the phone! My pettiness story was with a contingent worker who was spending all day every day on the phone planning her daughters wedding. In Canada pre cell phones so she was calling long distance on the company lines. I waited until her manager came by and took that opportunity to bring up the wedding in Canada by asking her if she managed to get hold of the person in Toronto to book the wedding venue.

        1. soontoberetired*

          she ended up being let go. the manager checked out her work, and discovered she had done nothing for two weeks. She was contingent, and at that time the contingent workers in my profession were making way more than the regular employees (which did change eventually) so they really were expected to produce work!

      1. Certaintroublemaker*

        Oof, yeah. I had a co-worker once who used the office phone to call Hawaii to plan a trip, call family, and other long-distance calls. When she was supposed to be working, of course. The office manager got the itemized bill—it was all right there. She was called into quite the disciplinary meeting.

  4. Affine Transform*

    I kind of love that the my coworker keeps demanding I say “please” story is linked under “You May Also Like” bc wow, Eleanor is super petty. I have a really petty response that does include the word “please” and would also get me a write up, if not fired on the spot.

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I had already stolen it – one of my team members just won’t take any notes, or use the team share point notes. Yes, after six months of it I started sending him jpegs or pdfs that he couldn’t just copy and paste.

        He has learned only to not ask me anymore – he is still sucking others into doing his research for him.

        Oh well, mini victories I guess?

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I have plans too. I built a whole site index that people are not using and…. this is a tool of beauty.

  5. Miss Cranky Pants*

    These are SO MUCH FUN to read! Pettiness everywhere with its rightful comeuppance!

  6. Eldritch Office Worker*

    “And was annoyed she had to share it with Jesus” has me rolling. Too many offices have a Sharon.

    1. Garrett*

      I thought for a minute the story was going to end with the OP just smashing the flower on the ground and going “Oops” in front of Sharon after the 50th time she asked.

      1. Random Dice*

        I thought the pink flower was going to disappear, and then later proof would be found that Sharon stole it.

    2. MikeM_inMD*

      The part that got me was making the fiancee redo the proposal because it “wasn’t good enough”. That would have been the end of the relationship … if I had made it that far with her.

      1. JustaTech*

        I knew a couple like this – she had a very specific plan for their engagement, go to Italy, buy a violin, then he could propose. He tried a couple of times before that and she was like “no, we need to wait for Italy”. At the time I thought it was a bit much, but smart to wait until they were out of college, but I wasn’t shocked when their marriage didn’t last.

  7. Phony Genius*

    I worked in IT for a little while. I wish I had thought of #1 when I had the chance.

    1. ferrina*

      #1 was my favorite. I’ve been lucky to only work with one THAT IT Guy, but man, what a perfect retaliation!

    2. Random Dice*

      You know that cover IT guy just HATES that guy.

      Just the sheer heroism of swapping stickers so the jerk got to experience the flickering that he dismissed for others… perfection. Not actually petty!

  8. Over*

    I’m going to take #16 as a tip. I’m having a similar issue at work and while I’m glad they like each other enough to joke around I am losing my patience.

  9. Budgie*

    For 6 I’m just imagining the following exchange:

    Joe: Stop offloading your recyclables on me! Why am I the only one in this office doing the recycle.

    In chorus: “But you’re so good at it!!!” UwU

      1. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

        Wait till she gets the ambulance bill. I’m sure she’ll try to foist it off on LW somehow

        1. Dovasary Balitang*

          LW here! I was neither of the coworkers who went to lunch, I was just an observer. And an ambulance ride in my country only costs the rider $40.

          1. Cj*

            but then once they have run tests at the hospital, like an EKG and blood test, that could have cost a fortune depending on your insurance?

            1. Dovasary Balitang*

              Nope. All that is covered by our regional health care. Workplace health insurance is for prescriptions, dental, vision care, etc.

              1. Dovasary Balitang*

                Wait, do Americans pay for bloodwork? That blows my tiny mind. How much is it?

                1. Affine Transform*

                  A freaking lot. Like over $100 for some tests. Some tests are fully covered, some tests are partially covered, and some tests are not covered. It all depends on your insurer.

                2. Kyrielle*

                  Lab work can cost more than your ambulance rides. Even fairly basic labwork. EKG or imaging more still. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, since our insurance switched this year and apparently the summary of what the insurance paid and so on is no longer available to me online.

                  (A fairly short ambulance ride here without cardiac care of any sort can get close to $2000.)

                3. OrigCassandra*

                  Lots. Lots and lots and lots. Including with insurance.

                  The older you get, the more tests they ask for, the more it costs. For me, currently, the annual lab test costs are several times the office-visit co-pay. Grar.

                  Though I was $0.00 out-of-pocket for a recent colonoscopy, which I honestly hadn’t expected.

                4. Cj*

                  my husband has to have blood work every 2 weeks. is several hundred dollars, with insurance it is $55 per time for him, so $110 a month.

                5. Selina Luna*

                  I once had to pay $1000 for a single blood test for my thyroid issues. I didn’t get any more blood tests for a year, and I’m supposed to get them every six weeks.

      2. MigraineMonth*

        Did they actually admit that they faked it out of jealousy? If so, the confession seems even more outrageous than the truly outrageous behavior.

          1. casey*

            Incredible. I have to ask: is this the kind of behavior you’d expect from this colleague? It feels like something that must have precedent.

            1. Dovasary Balitang*

              Here’s copypasta of a tiny essay I wrote about this coworker on the original post, for your viewing pleasure:

              For starters, there were plenty of secondhand stories of her getting completely wasted at parties and barbecues team members would have and trying to take off her clothes. Once, she wiped out at one of these events and gave herself a black eye and a mild concussion.

              She would completely freeze out people she didn’t like. This generally shifted on a bi-weekly basis and depended on who was and wasn’t on her… Let’s call it a sugar list (I’m typing this on my work PC). If you were on her sugar list, her methods of retaliation included: staring at you for several minutes, interrupting you mid-word, running to our department manager anytime you did anything she mildly disapproved of, and other bizarre mischief. One time, I was on her sugar list. She took a document out of my recycling bin and fed it through the laminator without putting the necessary cover on it. The document got stuck and was abandoned until a week later when someone else needed the laminator. I got questioned for it because the document had my name on it. (My response was basically ‘I was born after 1990, what’s laminating?’ And the only person who cared was our nosy receptionist anyway.)

              One of our main responsibilities was a very annoying task. I’ll call it VAT, or vatting, for short. Whenever we got a new employee, their training started with vatting. No one enjoyed doing it. Lady would gleefully take the opportunity to dump all her vatting on the new employee’s desk. I once had to miss an offsite company barbecue because she gave me a bunch of time-sensitive vatting right before we were all supposed to leave for it. When my responsibilities changed, it took weeks of our boss reminding her before she would stop trying to give me her vatting.

              Despite this vatting-related evil, she also liked to swoop in on new people before they realised what she was really like. You ever hear that you shouldn’t trust the first person to try and befriend you in a new workplace? She is exactly why that saying exists.

              If you weren’t on her sugar list, she was uncomfortably affectionate. This includes uncomfortably long shoulder touches and trying to kiss you. One time, she took off her shoe and put her bare foot on my coworker’s desk.

              She loudly hated the #MeToo movement. When an NBA player was implicated of assault, she laughed and said that obviously the woman who spoke out had propositioned him, was rejected, and was acting out to get revenge.

              Toward the end of my time there, I’d had enough and tried to make an official complaint to HR. (The straw that broke the camel’s back was her speaking over me to give our shop floor completely incorrect information regarding employee satisfaction surveys.) Ultimately, HR heavily discouraged me from doing so – I was told my complaint would only be considered if I exhausted all other avenues, such as speaking our boss and skip level about my concerns. The skip level had once sent me crying to the washroom with his unkindness; needless to say, I was not excited to do that and just dropped it.

              To this day, I have no idea why everyone was bending over backwards to protect such an unpleasant person and honestly mediocre-to-bad employee. It wasn’t as if she had great institutional knowledge or any sort of work ethic to speak of.


              Oh! This is one of my favourite bits. So our branch was 515 and our sister branch was 198. For orders coded to our sister branch, you needed slightly elevated security access. She kept making so many mistakes regarding how the orders were distributed, I went above her head and got our skip level to reduce her security access; by dealing with the 198 orders myself, I was saving myself quite a bit of clean-up later in the process. Maybe this is my Petty Moment. She never figured it out. According to my coworkers who I’m still in touch this, to this day she believes it’s a system error and no one in our branch can handle 198 coded orders anymore.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      I’m guessing it was one of those fantasies about “When they hear what happened to me, they’ll feel so guilty about how they treated me!”

  10. Meep*

    Is anyone else surprised Sharon (#13) didn’t just swap them without asking? Maybe it is just dealing with my own Sharon who needs to celebrate her entire birthday month for years. (She just turned 61 years old last Friday to boot.)

    1. MsM*

      Oh, but then how would everyone know how *terrible* it was she’d been afflicted with an orange flower?!

    2. Festively Dressed Earl*

      But then Sharon wouldn’t have LW acquiescing to yet another BS demand and affirming that the world does, in fact, revolve around her. And not Jesus.

    3. Silverose*

      I can’t freakin’ stand the color pink, but I’d have done the same in OP’s position with a coworker like that….you can pry the pink flower from my cold, dead hands!

    4. Lenora Rose*

      I’m surprised. I’m also speculating that the person who gave her a coral-orange one might have also been having a subtle but utterly deniable revenge.

  11. Jiminy cricket*

    #11: “If she got my gender/name wrong, everything ground to a halt so staff could “clarify who Jane is talking about” and “make sure they understand what she’s saying.””

    This is the way. Grind it to a halt. Never be afraid of a little bit of friction.

    1. Random Dice*

      That story made my throat tight with happiness that the team stood up against transphobia. (Because no, she was definitely not making an innocent mistake, with a flippin beard.)

      Sucks that HR didn’t protect him. But I’m glad the coworkers closed ranks!

      1. I Wish My Job Was Tables*

        That was my story. I have no idea what HR was doing, but they said they’d talk to Jane. They were really focused on documenting her behavior and wanted records of everything. They weren’t the greatest, but no one got sued and I guess that’s what HR is for?

    2. MigraineMonth*

      I think I’d have gotten very pointed pretty quickly. Mistakes happen. Now tell me what you’re going to do to make sure it does not happen again.

    3. Your former password resetter*

      I’m suprised the managers didn’t shut her down actually. After months of this, surely someone would have told her to cut this out?

      1. I Wish My Job Was Tables*

        That story was mine. I have no idea what Jane’s managers said, if anything. For whatever reason, HR was bizarrely focused on getting tons of documentation on her behavior, so she got away with a lot for a long time while HR did whatever it was doing. She eventually got let go, although I don’t know the details beyond that she was there one day, gone the next.

    4. TearyDude*

      That one made me tear up a bit :’) I’m no where near as able to pass as OP, and my current workplace is mainly comprised of Janes, but it gives me hope for finding someplace like that (hopefully Jane-free altogether) in the future!

    1. Random Dice*

      My mental pictures are perfect. Him stuffed into her little uniform, WITH HER BADGE, I’m dying.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          Without that, it’s just malicious compliance. The name badge adds just enough to make it petty as well.

      1. Some words*

        The gaping buttons and straining seams. And possibly some riding up and revealing that which co-workers oughtn’t be getting an eyeful of.

    1. Goldenrod*

      Me too. #1 is absolute perfection.

      I also love that he didn’t explain it (until asked)…Just quietly made the switch. Amazing.

    2. Clorinda*

      I would bet that regular IT guy was a pill to LOTS of people, very much including backup IT guy, because there’s no way backup IT guy just did that without some extra motivation.

  12. Cat's Paw for Cats*

    These are all wonderful, but I think the employee inquiring about the cousin’s bail status is my favorite.

  13. A Simple Narwhal*

    For #6 an extra does of petty would be to make sure to mix some trash in with the recyclables at Joe’s desk to make sure he had to sort through it and couldn’t just dump everything in the bin.

  14. Veryanon*

    Letter 14 – I had a co-worker who did that too. She would seriously get on the phone with her father, mother, boyfriend, whoever for HOURS. We were all stuck in the same office so we could all hear her conversations. I think she talked to all of her relatives every single day.

    1. Frickityfrack*

      I worked with one like that, but it was just her daughter. For hours, every single day. They were the most codependent people I’ve ever seen. Her daughter was in high school when I started and she must have called/been called literally every passing period or break in her schedule and the second she got done for the day. It’s the worst having to listen to those people. My boss wasn’t great at the management part of her job though, so she never made her stop.

      1. Irish Teacher.*

        As a teacher, I am about 99% sure this was really annoying the daughter’s teachers too (and the only reason I’m saying 99% rather than 100% is because it’s a different culture and “passing periods” may make a difference and I don’t know if it’s normal for kids to be allowed to use phones during breaks, etc in other countries). But yeah, I BET that kid is either arriving late to class or her phone is going off in class and she is justifying it with, “but it’s my MOM. Surely I should be allowed to answer my mom!” or refusing to turn her phone off because “my mom likes to be able to phone me.”

    2. Julia*

      I had a coworker who did this and half of our job was literally answering phones. I overheard so many long involved conversations about his family woes, his wife, his kids etc. The job was computer tech support and this guy found Macs to be “tricky.” He hadn’t touched one before starting the job. He also loved to stare at my screen to learn how to answer questions. Learning by watching is valid. Awkwardly the thing what he wanted to learn about most was my bosom.

      1. Random Dice*

        “Awkwardly the thing what he wanted to learn about most was my bosom.”

        I almost skimmed over this sentence. I died.

    3. 1-800-BrownCow*

      I once shared an office area with a guy who’d be on the phone with his fiancé, later wife, 3 or 4 times each day. And every single phone conversation was a fight! They argued about everything. When he got married and returned from the honeymoon, someone asked how the trip was and he replied that it was “a miserable time”. So weird, and so, so awkward for those of us that sat near him. Wish one of us had come up with a petty response to these phone calls.

    4. BookCocoon*

      I also had this coworker. She was part time, and somehow all her time in the office seemed to be spent on the phone with one of her family members, usually her sister. I was on the other side of the cubicle wall and I learned WAY more than I wanted to about her cat’s diabetes. Like, I’m pretty sure she spent all her non-work time caring for her cat and all her work time updating her family on her cat.

  15. Dr. Vibrissae*

    #12 On my first read, I pictured LW sending a screenshot of the last screenshot everytime the same person asked, so that it became increasingly less legible, sort of the inverse of #7.

    Also, #1 is brilliant, just the perfect level of petty and justice.

    1. Waiting on the bus*

      Re: #12

      Yes, that makes it even more genius. A screenshot of a screenshot is the only thing that could make this even better.

    1. Pine Tree*

      I also love it.

      When colleagues ask a question that I’ve answered over and over before, I frequently will spend more time looking for my previously sent email(s) that contained the answer, copy them all and send them to the asker. Does it waste a few minutes of my time? Yes. Does it give me a little tiny ounce of petty joy? Also yes.

      1. Purple Jello*

        The first time, I answer the question via email.
        The second time, I forward the original email explanation.
        The third time, I refer them to my email of [date of original email] – which means I had to look up the email message to find the date – but did not bother to re-forward the message. Also: Each time my response takes longer.

        1. Miss Kubelik*

          My dad has been known to forward the original with an added “Which part of this is unclear?”.

          1. Veryanon*

            I need to start doing this. Just this morning, I received a question about a policy, which I answered by sending the asker a link to the policy in question and explaining that what they proposed was a violation of the policy. The person responded back by asking what they needed to do to get their proposed action approved. *Facepalm*

        2. rebelwithmouseyhair*

          I have definitely done that.
          I have also had it done to me, at which point I call and apologise profusely and tell them “It’s OK to tell me that we’ve already had this converstaion”.

  16. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

    I’m sure the “victim” in LW#15’s story was thrilled to get the ambulance bill

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      how long did she sit in the ER?
      And don’t forget the tests.
      Speaking from anecdotal experience, unless they are currently holding a patients uterus in their hands, the ER staff will run a pregnancy test if you pass out at work and go to the hospital.
      (Three different people, who were over 45- 50 ish, had pain/passed out. Pregnancy test.
      Hope that bill was worth it.

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        They will – because an unexpected embryo IN a uterus is a lot less dangerous than an unexpected embryo that is NOT in a uterus. (Also because people lie to their doctors all the time.)

    2. Random Dice*

      From the original comment section:

      June 15, 2023 at 12:13 pm
      How did you find out she faked her heart attack because of the coworkers going to lunch? I wouldn’t think she would advertise it.

      Dovasary Balitang*
      June 15, 2023 at 12:20 pm
      She was back to work the next day and was bragging about it.

      June 15, 2023 at 12:42 pm
      So probably not the USA then, because that would be an expensive prank there.

      Dovasary Balitang*
      June 15, 2023 at 12:48 pm
      Correct. $40 for an ambulance ride here and our workplace would have covered that outrageous financial incursion.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Thank you for this additional context!

        Somehow, *bragging about it* is actually worse than the original behavior, which is outrageous on its own.

        1. Dovasary Balitang*

          Yeah, she was nuts. I posted a more detailed comment about her on that same post – should be easily searchable under Dovasary.

  17. Rebecca*

    Ohhhh I wish I’d seen this call for entries. I used to work at a desk with a “transaction counter” (I was an admin assistant for a partner at a CPA firm and the counter was low so he could loom over it and ask me things, I guess) and there was a junior associate who had a habit of PLONKING his huge piles of binders and paperwork on the counter while he leaned on it and blabbed at people (not me).
    I asked him to please stop doing it and he made fun of me, basically saying that I was an admin and he was an associate and he’d do whatever he wanted.
    I told him that if he did it again I’d push all his papers and binders onto the floor. He laughed at me.
    So, the next time he did it, I casually pushed all his shit onto the floor. He was so mad he was literally hopping, like Rumpelstiltskin.

    I’m surprised I didn’t get in trouble given how hierarchically inclined the office was, but I felt tremendous power when I did it.

    1. Just me*

      That’s so brave! I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for anyone else to do it, but I respect your move so, so much. There really is tremendous power in revealing that your politeness and cooperation have been a choice you keep making, and that if you’re pushed too far, you could choose to behave in a different way instead.

      Did the guy stop bothering you?

      1. MigraineMonth*

        My solution would have involved a poorly-balanced coffee cup. More plausible deniability.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        Cats are always deeply suspicious that gravity has stopped working and feel the need to test it constantly.

        We had an absolutely delightful cat for years who was some portion Siamese. He was chatty and he just LOVED to methodically knock everything off my husband’s nightstand when he wanted attention in the middle of the night. (Seriously, he was the sweetest cat with a big personality that even appealed to dog people, but gravity testing was his jam.)

        1. Jackalope*

          I have a little container on my nightstand that has a few things I sometimes need during the night (earplugs, etc.). One of our cats for several months would come stand on my chest, look thoughtfully at the container, bat it on the ground, and then walk/run off. Always that container, always at night (not during the day when it contained other stuff), always with the few moments of thoughtfully glancing at it first. What was he thinking? We will never know.

      2. Meep*

        Men that hate cats hate them because cats expect you to consent or they will rip your skin off.

    2. Jessica*

      It’s amazingly powerful to realize–and make others realize–that you have the power to do whatever you want. As do we all, but we’re mostly not in touch with it. Sure, there may be consequences, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It’s like an “electric fence.” It’s not actually a fence! It’s just the hope that the dog wants to not get shocked more than it wants to bite you. That associate learned that you can, in fact, bite whoever you want.

    3. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      “I was an admin assistant for a partner at a CPA firm”
      There is a line a of people with his skill set, grades and experience and your boss and his peers can recognize the better candidates far more easily than they can determine if someone will be a good admin.
      “Your assistant threw my papers on the floor!”
      “I put them where she told me not to.”

      1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

        “I put them where she told me not to.”
        They don’t admit it like that. They’re more likely to say “stupid bitch thinks she owns the place”.

  18. ChemistryChick*

    Oh well done, #14. I wish I had the courage to do that to the person in my office who does the same thing.

      1. Hokies Hi!*

        What about maroon AND burnt orange? Tell me your university had a committee choose their colors without telling me that your university had a committee choose their colors.

      1. Affine Transform*

        Me neither, and me too.

        I suddenly feel like the boss was the true star of this story.

    1. ampersand*

      Right?! I do feel like the contempt between the two schools only flows in one direction, and it’s not Longhorn to Aggie. Sharon got the color she deserved.

    2. popko*

      Haha– when I got into UT for undergrad, my extended family literally threw me a party. I was (and remain) thoroughly uninterested in football (bad Texan, bad!), and was totally taken by surprise by their enthusiasm!

      (And my best friend is an Aggie! It’s like platonic Romeo and Juliet!)

    3. Berkeleyfarm*

      I follow a college football group. I could sort of understand the No Orange, No Way, No How thing. (And “hook ’em” as a response.)

      The Texas Aggies (I went to another Aggie school) did really ramp up the vitriol when UT was involved. The Texas fans could give as good as they got. Things got salty in game threads.

    4. londonedit*

      We don’t have university colours or the whole university sport culture (unless you’re Oxford and Cambridge in the Boat Race) but I guess the equivalent here is football teams – I know an Everton fan who has a blue and white Santa suit for our running club’s annual Santa run because he will not wear red (Liverpool colours). There’s no way I’d be seen dead in sky blue (Manchester City, yuck). I wouldn’t go as far as rejecting a blue glass flower, though, even though I might think ‘Ugh, looks a bit City’.

    5. Somewhere in Texas*

      And me over here refusing to wear maroon because my degree could have been at a&m, but I staunchly refused–and I am surrounded by aggies a lot. :D

  19. Festively Dressed Earl*

    May all of LW 11’s good coworkers be gifted with delicious pastries every day for the rest of their lives.

  20. Nom*

    LW #8 left out the most important detail, which was whether they ended up getting any of the cookies

    1. squirreltooth*

      That was mine, and I didn’t! She’d made off with the whole box before I could reveal my metaphorical clue corkboard.

    1. Berkeleyfarm*

      I am in IT and I howled. Lord knows I have seen PETTY when minor equipment is involved.

  21. Nonnie34*

    Just adding to the chorus – #14, thank you for making me laugh out loud, and #11, glad your coworkers were supportive (and thanks for printing, Alison, it is helpful!)

  22. Kit*

    #16 and I are kindred spirits.

    I worked in a grocery store and occasionally after close some of the staff would get a bit silly over the PA system. 2 or 3 joke announcements never bothered me, but one night two of the men in the produce department were just making whale noises and quoting Vines at each other for like… 20 minutes??? It ended when I took my department’s phone off the hook, hit the intercom button, and my coworker and I finished our closing tasks in complete silence so they couldn’t figure out who ruined the fun.

  23. NaN*

    > “unisex” (read: men’s cut)
    I swear, unisex t-shirts have gotten more and more man-shaped in the last five years.

    1. Jessica*

      Probably because there’s now “women’s cut,” even though I don’t like it either.

    2. Dr. Rebecca*

      They’re HORRIBLE. I’ve occasionally be given some as gifts, and I only wear them around the house, never out.

    3. NoOneWillSeeThisComment*

      I posted that story, and I had to include that bit! Not just because it’s story relevant, but because I have yet to meet a woman who bought this whole unisex BS.

    4. Blarg*

      And one size fits all or the hilarious “one size fits most” are just … if you mean “goes onto my body” then sure, it fits. If you mean, looks like the clothing item it is intended to be (aka a t-shirt instead of a dress), not so much. And don’t get me started on hospital PPE. Those stupid yellow gowns are so enormous, I’d have to wrap the ties around twice, which made it twice as hot to wear them.

      1. Princess Sparklepony*

        Beats being a patient and being handing a gown that is sized for a small person and not the large person I am.

        I’ll need two gowns thank you! One to open in the front like you want and a second one to open in the back to cover the front that can’t come together. (or vice versa depending on how they want access.)

  24. Budgie Buddy*

    I’m really hoping 16 turns into a campfire story. “…and then at midnight all the Walkie-Talkies stopped working at the same time. For hours [no one remembers how long it actually was] all you could hear were footsteps getting closer and closer… And in the morning one counselor was Mysteriously Wrong. When they thought no one was looking they would smile like they knew some secret…”

  25. Waiting on the bus*

    #12 might be the most beautiful thing I’ve read all year. I’d love to do the same for things were the answer is right there in the documentation but I’m trying to train people OUT of sending me screenshots of lists of case numbers they saved in Excel just to send to me….

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      tell them your keyboard numbers are stuck, so please type up the information you need me to…wait, you need data from an Excel sheet and people think it’s a valid option to screen shot a spreadsheet of data to share information…that you need to HELP THEM?
      OK, you need a squirt bottle or bag of coins to shake or something.

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      Receiving PDFs of spreadsheets irritates me even more than using Word tables to store data. You *have* the spreadsheet! Send me the usable format!

      I did recently discovery one of our programs has a one-click text grab feature that is my new best friend. It’s not a substitute for sending a whole Excel file as a PDF, but it works surprisingly well on text and small number sets.

    3. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Amen. When you can (a) paste the account number that you already have copied to put it into our medical record system and paste it to me so I can copy it, or (b) screenshot the whole account header so that I have a whole lot of extraneous unnecessary information and subsequently have to climb onto my desk, smash my face up to the monitor and squint to retype it (because, as my whole team knows, I have terrible eyeballs), why on EARTH would you select A. :-P

  26. Random Dice*

    From the original post:

    Can someone explain to me how the lady who made sandwiches AND A WHOLE SALMON for everyone actually won? Because it seems like she was rewarding the lunch time meeting rather than being petty. (If she gave one to everyone but Grandboss, now, I’d get it.)

    ” “A coworker, Jane, was very protective of her lunch hour (and the culture of our office was you eat lunch when possible and sometimes that might be late or early to accommodate other meetings, so her attitude was out of sync with the office). We had a grandboss who liked to schedule meetings right at lunchtime, and when Jane asked for them to be moved for her lunch, grandboss said just bring lunch in with you if needed. So Jane brought in a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly jars, and a tray of cheeses and proceeded to make everyone in the meeting a sandwich and cheese plate during the meeting. Neither she nor the grandboss blinked at this, and for a while we all had yummy veggie trays, sandwiches, and once a full salmon (like the entire grilled fish cut into servings conference table side) during lunchtime meetings. It was the craziest showdown ever- and both people were pretty miserable so it was great to watch.””

    1. Affine Transform*

      I’m getting a strong malicious compliance vibe from Jane. “Oh, I can bring my lunch? Ok, I’ve got my lunch riiiight here.”

    2. Hlao-roo*

      Making lunch for everyone (as opposed to everyone bringing their own, pre-made lunch) slows the meeting down. It’s a distraction to have someone assembling sandwiches, carving a salmon, passing out plates to everyone during a meeting. And Jane is also asserting her dominance. “My lunchtime is more important than your meeting” is the unspoken message during this showdown.

      (If I remember correctly, the OP commented on the original post with more information that most people would eat before or after meetings scheduled around their usual lunchtime, but Jane must eat at 11:30am come hell or high water. No eating at 11 before the meeting, no eating at 12:30 after the meeting.)

  27. Zarniwoop*

    Did he not actually have a heart attack?
    How much did this cost him in out of pocket medical expenses?

    1. Dovasary Balitang*

      She, actually! She was back to the office the next day, so I highly doubt it. And an ambulance ride in my country only costs the person receiving medical care $40.

      1. learnedthehardway*

        One hopes that she had all the needles while at the ER. Just to teach her not to fake medical emergencies. That grinds my gears – there are plenty of people who are ACTUALLY sick and in need of medical services.

  28. NobodyHasTimeForThis*

    #12, I have people do something similar, but I don’t send a screenshot back, I ONLY send back the hyperlink where they can look up the information. I also wait at least 15-30 minutes before I send it back.

  29. GoryDetails*

    These are so great! They’re not equally petty – indeed, some of them don’t strike me as petty at all – but I enjoyed them very much. [Of them all, I think the classic “petty” for me is the screenshot one; the stand-up-and-cheer ones include the whole-office support against the mis-gendering person, and “did your cousin make bail”, but they’re all magnificent!]

  30. Jellyfish Catcher*

    Love the dog story. A similar scenario: I had a beloved cat, and one day brought home a new kitten. (They later became friends).

    The next day I went to work. When I came home, and opened the door,
    the adult cat was waiting in the entrance, next to a pile of cat poop.
    (He never before or after pooped outside the cat box).
    He looked at me, then turned and stalked away.
    Shit is a universal message understood by all.

    1. La Triviata*

      I’ve seen some videos of pets being dramatic. One was a cat sitting outside a sliding door holding one paw off the ground and hobbling over to get closer. A woman’s voice is being pseudo-sympathetic; she opens the door, the cat comes in and is walking fine on the “injured” paw at which the woman exclaims, “it’s a miracle”. The cat, unimpressed, walks over to a patch of sunlight.

      Another had a flying squirrel (not an American northeastern flying squirrel – this was larger and dark brown; the voices were not speaking American English). It walked through a kitchen, knocked over a small mop, lay itself flat on the floor. Noticed the small mop, scooted over to it, then placed the handle across its neck and played dead.

  31. Dragon_Dreamer*

    I forgot to contribute mine…

    While working in retail computer repair, I had a much younger coworker who was the favorite of one of my supervisors. He was a teenaged African-American jerk. I am a white AFAB. (His race is relevant, I promise.)

    Well, one day he started calling me, “little girl,” which the supervisor found hilarious. Even to customers, he’d go, “Well, you could talk to the little girl over there.”

    My first reaction was to call him (to his face, in the backroom), “little boy,” but he complained to the supervisor that I was being racist. >.< I got in trouble, he did not.

    I ended up finding a little keychain raygun that went, "pew pew pew." Whenever he got near me, I'd palm it and press the trigger, then pretend I couldn't hear anything. A minor annoyance, but it kept me sane until he quit to work for a grocery store.

    I wish I still had that raygun, it disappeared before my last day.

    1. TransmascJourno*

      I think it’s important to note that calling someone who is BIPOC and AMAB “boy” is something that is historically, deeply entrenched in racism.

      I also very much hope that you weren’t pointing that raygun anywhere near him or anyone. It might’ve been funny to you, but to me (or others who have been direct targets of gun violence, have lost people to gun violence, or are a member of a targeted marginalized group*), that’s not okay, to say the very least.

      It wasn’t okay for him to call you “little girl,” but from what you described, what you did wasn’t okay either.

      *I say this as someone who fits more than one of those descriptors.

      1. Dragon_Dreamer*

        I will honestly say that until that incident, I hadn’t known “boy” was offensive, and I did apologize. I was trying to do to him what he’d done to me.

        As for the raygun, no, he never saw it. It was about the size of a quarter, so was easily hidden in my hand. All he heard was the very sci-fi sounding “pew pew pew.” Still, you are right that I acted not much better than he. I would definately never do any of that now.

  32. SB*

    Thank you Alison for reiterating that correcting someone who is mis-gendering & dead-naming someone is not petty.

  33. V moon*

    my last day at job that was not the kindest place to work: put google eyes in odd spots for them to find, changed my screen saver to ‘ i <3 'my name'. it wasn't much, but i did enjoy the tiny petty – ness of it.

  34. Certaintroublemaker*

    Every single one of these was deserved, not just the dog! (Except 15, omg, who fakes a heart attack?) Seriously, when people are jerks, you have to trend the universe towards justice a bit.

  35. ZK*

    Sorry Alison, but #15 isn’t petty. As someone who has had a heart attack, I hope she felt fine about her actions, all the way up until she got the whopping ambulance/ER bill. She wasted everyone’s time and resources that could have been spent on a patient that actually needed them. When someone comes in to the ER claiming heart trouble, they get helped almost immediately while everyone else waits, because the staff take that VERY seriously.

    1. Observer*

      According to the OP, she didn’t pay more than $40. Which makes it even worse.

      What’s petty is the fact that she went through this level of freak out and attention grabbing behavior over not being invited to lunch. I mean, seriously!?

      1. Expelliarmus*

        Agreed. Something doesn’t have to be funny to be petty. #15 is certainly petty, albeit a rather evil brand of it.

  36. Thomas Merton*

    Ah, #10, that brings back memories of a restaurant I worked at that had an automatic tip of 18% for parties of 6 or more. This policy made some people just lose it, and I wish I had as cool an answer as yours.

    1. Middle Aged Lady*

      I only had the courage to do it because I seldom answered the phone there, and it was on the phone. I still feared I would be fired if she called back and someone had seen who had answered the phone when she called.
      I was rendered speechless at another time at same hotel, when we were hosting a large group of notoriously cheap and fussy Sweet Adelines. The previous year they were so objectionable that many of the wait staff were threatening to refuse to serve them, so management decided all Adelines tables would be charged fhe 15%, no matter the number of diners. One lady looked right in my face and said, “what if I don’t think you’re worth that much?” AllI could do was shrug.

      1. Thomas Merton*

        I recall getting into an argument with a man about whether his adult-size teenage son (who ordered and consumed an adult meal) counted as an “adult” for the purposes of triggering the “six adults or more” automatic 18% tip. Some people just suck. “What if I don’t think you’re worth that much?” indeed.

  37. BitterGayWaiter*

    OP11, wherever you are now, may your coworkers be just as great!

    Wherever Jane is now, may she constantly wander around in confusion being deliberately misunderstood.

  38. Jessica*

    I’ve been mildly wondering for hours if “tart warmers” (in #2) was some kind of typo, and trying to guess what it could have been. I was envisioning some sort of office mini-oven for warming small (but fragrant) pastries. Finally occurred to me to google it, and now I know about “wax tarts,” which I guess are called that because of their vaguely tart-like shape. What next.

  39. Semprini!*

    she graduated from Texas A&M and acted like even seeing the color orange offended her very soul

    Can someone ELI5 how these two points are related?

    I’ve heard of schools having colours, but I’ve never heard of schools having anti-colours?

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      (Not from TX).

      Betting Orange is a prominent color for the rival university of the one the pink fan attended. And that she was really, really dedicated to said rivalry even after graduating.

      1. Filosofickle*

        Yes, Texas A&M’s rival is the University of Texas Austin, and their color is orange. She hates the rival school and therefore orange.

    2. Mallory Janis Ian*

      Texas A&M colors are maroon and white; their main rival, UT Austin’s, colors are burnt orange and white . . . so she hates her rival university’s colors because of school spirit for her own college’s team. It’s a Texas college rivalry.

    3. Happily Retired*

      My reply didn’t nest – apologies! It’s a few posts below under the same username.

      More than you ever wanted to know about university rivalries in the US, especially in the South!

    4. Jane Anonsten*

      Texas A&M’s (maroon and white) historic rival is the University of Texas (burnt orange and white). A&M was founded in 1876 and was the first public university in Texas, so it’s a point of supreme institutional annoyance that when UT was founded in 1883 it was called “the” University of Texas. Very close to many shows of school pride when you’re at A&M is derision of UT. It’s cool and fun while attending A&M to eschew everything orange in a show of school pride, but — speaking as a graduate of A&M — in a graduate it’s dumb and immature.

  40. PhyllisB*

    We all know about the office thermostat wars. Well, we used to have this lady who was insufferable about wanting the thermostat turned up. The rest of us would be melting (and I’m pretty much cold natured so you know it was hot!!) It drove us all crazy, and some people let her know how they thought.
    The thing is, if someone requested a thermostat change, the supervisor was required to comply. (I don’t know how she got anything done with a room full of women clamoring for warmer/cooler.)
    One night we were all cold, but “Mary” had never said a word. Supervisor asked her if she would like to have the thermostat turned up, and she very shortly said, “No thank you!! I’m fine!!” I couldn’t help but be amused at her pettiness.

  41. Happily Retired*

    I’m guessing from your spelling of colours that you’re not in the US, especially from the south and southeast. Most universities here have specific colors that are used for their licensed “brands”, from their websites to their athletic teams’ uniforms.

    Rivalries between universities can be epic, especially when in the same state. The University of Texas (UT) has burnt orange as their color. Texas A&M (originally Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University) has maroon and white. When you have reached nutso levels of fandom, just the sight of the rival’s colors will set you off. It’s akin to England’s Premier League, I guess.

    As a fan of the University of Tennessee, aka “the real UT”, I acknowledge that we have a frankly awful (but wonderful!), glow-in-the-dark shade of orange (Pantone 151) that we can and do recognize when seen anywhere across the planet. There is a hilarious but dead-serious page on UT’s website advising how to match the color and giving recommendations for different brands of paint that comply.

    So for example, when I see a particular shade of red that belongs to the University of Alabama, I know that I’ve sighted The Enemy. When we bought our most recent car, I refused to get a red one because it matched Bama’s color. Now Texas, aka UTjr of the burnt orange, has joined our sports conference (SEC), and the battle of the oranges is about to begin. #GoVols #GoBigOrange #SaturdaysDownSouth

    1. Middle Aged Lady*

      I got both my degrees from Tennessee and spent most of my career working there. I look washed out in ‘Big Orange’ as the color is often called. They did offer gray shirts with blue lettering and I wore those whenever possible.
      There was a huge outcry when a new, out of touch University president had his office remodeled and put in red carpet.
      And may I add that in my restaurant years, the best customers on football days were Alabama fans. But you did not want to be serving, wearing an orange shirt, certain Kentucky fans after a loss to Tennessee. Brutally bad tips ensued!

  42. Kimberly*

    #2 Has a similar problem. The public school secretary was in an MLM and selling those things. We were all pressured by the principal to buy them. I was throwing up from the headaches they caused. Knowing school politics I didn’t try risk management. I called the Fire Marshal, and the next day we had an inspection and the fines per defuser really added up. The district tried to make the teachers pay it – but I suggested they forward the e-mails from the principal pressuring us to buy them from the secretary. The district paid the fine.

    The principal got reported to the FFRF for emails of sermons, saying only True ChristiansTM should have teaching licenses (No Jews, Muslims, or Catholics*), instructing us to block a Muslim sub from taking our requests. FFRF explained the 1st amendment and other civil rights violations and threatened a lawsuit. So after those two debacles he had to have all emails preapproved by his boss. After the end of the year survey where these and many other abuses were listed by multiple teachers (from a crib sheet I had made), he moved to another campus. There the teachers started HR complaints before the start of school, because of abusive emails.

    *I know that Catholics are Christians but this is the rural south. There is a huge divide between Protestants and Catholics. Some of the local home churches still preach that Catholics are cannibals. I had to deal with kids from those churches bullying Catholic kids. Also, he was a member of a hate church that advocated for DV. Not the victims of DV. They actually preached that men should discipline their wives. They advertised the series with a billboard on HW 59. The ad had a huge thumb in the graphic as the stick used to beat the wife and kids should be as big as the man’s thumb.

    1. Dog momma*

      Kimberly, there was actually a law around the turn of the last century.. & before; that you could not beat your wife with anything bigger than a man’s thumb. Which is where that saying came from. So, a broomstick basically, or some kind of garden implement handle. I guess so it wouldn’t kill her or damage her too much…

    2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Never have I been so happy to be an FFRF member. It actually works!!!

    3. Elizabeth West*

      What’s an FFRF?

      And as someone who grew up in a tiny Catholic congregation in an area dominated by Southern Baptist churches, yeah, we got a lot of flak for stuff.

  43. Danikm151*

    Our company constantly sends emails about the importance of locking your screens when leaving your desk to comply with GDPR and data protection.

    There are some who always “forget” … each time they leave their desk one of the following happens:
    1) Their screen orientation is rotated
    2)the language on their web browser is changed
    3) a love letter is drafted to the boss on their email
    4)their background is changed to that nick cage meme

    We’re still trying to come up with alternatives. A favourite of the data protection officer is to send a bcc email declaring ” I am (name). I don’t know how to lock my computer and risk the company getting a massive fine all in the name of getting a cup of tea 0.5 seconds sooner”

    1. JustaTech*

      My husband’s last job had this issue with people not locking their screens. The result of your computer being found unlocked was that you would be “Bibered” as in Justin Biber stuff would be applied to your computer.
      First instance: message sent out to the company chat “I love Biber!”
      Second instance: your background would be changed to a picture of Biber.
      After that it escalated to things like automatically playing Biber songs (though this tormented everyone in the space and not just that one person who never remembered to lock their computer).

      This was also the place that set up a special extension for really annoying and persistent salespeople (usually wanting to sell copier toner) that would play the sound of screaming monkeys for 3 minutes and then hang up.

      1. laughing alone in my cube*

        Oh man, as someone who used to have to field annoying pushy sales calls (because the office manager could never just come out and say she wasn’t interested in a deluxe walrus polishing kit), I wish we had a “screaming monkeys” option.

    2. Emma*

      At my old job, an email would be sent to everyone in the offender’s department saying lunch was the offender’s treat that day.

  44. ceiswyn*

    Our ex-CEO used to do those things to people who forgot to lock their screens. He once changed my boss’s wallpaper to a photo of the client who was making him tear his hair out at the time.

    That CEO left us a couple of years ago. I now WFH most days. I still lock my screen every time I stand up.

  45. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

    I have a monitor story similar to #1, dating all the way to 2001. I worked for a large corporation that I will for anonymity reasons call Shmavery, in one of 3-4 buildings they had in an office park. Company hired contractors to replace our roof. Contractors removed the roof off half of our building and went home for the day. There was a massive lake-effect rainstorm in the evening. We came back the next morning to a flooded building, security not letting us in, and temporary reassignments to other buildings on the campus. Three months later the building was fixed and they let us back in. My cubicle was still there, but my 21 inch CRT monitor (largest you could get at the time) had vanished, with a 16-inch one sitting on my desk in its place. It’d taken me a lot of time and effort to get it and the odds of me being provided another one by the company were zero. But I was friends with a lot of people in desktop support, and asked them for help. One of them stopped by later that day bearing a 21 inch monitor and with this story: “I was on 2nd floor in legal and this one lawyer guy had two 21 inch monitors in his office. So I took one and walked out.” :)

  46. Elizabeth West*

    #11 — Not at all petty, just a magnificent example of returning the awkward to sender. It’s what bigots deserve. >:)

  47. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

    Oh and I got one for #14 too, but mine is more sad than anything else. I was sitting in a bathroom stall at work, minding my own business, when I heard the door open, someone burst into the bathroom crying, dialed a number on a phone, and started sobbing into the phone “They gave him five years, they gave him five years!!” i sat in my stall frozen to the toilet, afraid to come out. But I couldn’t stay on the toilet forever, so I finally exited and quickly left without looking at the person on the phone. Not sure if I even washed my hands as I rapidly made my way out. Don’t use the office bathroom for your personal calls, y’all, I beg you, just please don’t. I did not want to hear or know that about a coworker.

    1. JustaTech*

      Many years ago I was in the bathroom, minding my own business when I hear my coworker on the phone with his contractor. Which would be sort of normal annoying, except that he was in the *other* bathroom. For some reason there was perfect sound conduction between the men’s and women’s bathroom.

      I told him (and everyone else) about it very promptly so that no one would think they were having a private conversation (we didn’t have any telephone rooms) but actually were broadcasting to the other bathroom.

  48. Andromeda*

    OK, I sent this to a friend/former coworker saying that I thought she’d appreciate #4, and she texted back immediately with, that’s me. Not like “it me, that’s my vibe” but “I am literally the person who sent that email”.

    My first AAM small world moment! Also she’s awesome and I’m sure the VP more than earned that dog poop.

  49. Ollie*

    In our previous house we had two walkin closets, one for me one for my husband. They both had two levels of shelves. Our cat Tigger loved to sleep in my closet under the lower rack getting cat hair over everything. The doors were bifold doors that she could open. One day I decided enough was enough, cleaned all my clothes, and then put a chair lodged so she could not open the door. I came home to a perfectly placed poop right in front of the closet. Only time she ever went outside the litter box. I moved all my clothes to the top rack and left the door open for her.

  50. Mel2*

    12. The screenshot
    This is genius! As someone who hates getting sent screenshots containing information I then have to type in, I feel the pettiness.

  51. Emma*

    I used to have a coworker who went all out for Christmas. She would set up a table in the elevator lobby and decorate it with all sorts of things, including one of those “x days till Christmas” things where you flip wooden blocks over to change the numbers. Every day, someone would change the numbers to be inaccurate because she would absolutely lose her s*** when she saw it. I always wondered who it was but the culprit was never identified to my knowledge.

Comments are closed.