Becky says things about … monstrous things about working in an office

Fairest and most magnificent Listeners, I salute you.

Do you work in an office? Yes? No? Not sure? (If you’re not sure I suggest you rethink your suitability to the workplace in general.)

If you work in an office, as I have done for the last five years, then you will understand that it holds many joys. To name but a few:

  •  office banter (only yesterday I mused out loud ‘What’s my password?’ and my boss replied ‘ ‘I’m a fuckwit’?’);
  • office pranks (who doesn’t enjoy covering every single item on their colleague’s desk with pictures of David Hasselhoff?);
  • office cakes (raspberry lamington from Jean in Finance, anyone?);
  • office insults (tip: insert any office or stationary item before the word ‘wanker’ i.e. ‘hole-punch wanker’ or ‘spreadsheet wanker’ (isn’t it fun? (okay, thank The Inbetweeners for that one)));
  • unbridled access to lots and lots of stationary.

Yep, working in an office can be an absolute joy.

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HOWEVER.

There are some truly monstrous things about working in an office. Things that make you question the very nature of human existence and contemplate the annihilation thereof. Take a deep breath, oh trusting Listener, and dare to face, in no particular order,

MONSTROUS THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN AN OFFICE

1. The Toilets

Forget the ‘in no particular order’ thing, this is definitely the number 1 most monstrous thing.

Now, I can’t speak for you blokes. I do not frequent the men’s toilets and therefore can’t make legitimately scathing remarks about your sanitation habits. However, I am extremely qualified to be scathing about the women’s toilets. Picture this: you have been on the phone for an hour. The person on the other end will not shut up and you are about to suffer an MBM (Mortifying Bladder Malfunction). You finally get off the phone, sprint to the toilets, barge through a cubicle door, and are faced with this:

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That’s right. The woman who used this toilet before you deemed it appropriate – necessary, even – to defy social convention and wee on the toilet instead of in the toilet. Yes, menfolk, it’s not just you who suffer the odd wayward wee. The sight you see above happens ALL.THE.TIME.

And I know who the culprits are. They are The Crouchers. The women who cannot bear to have their precious behinds touch the odious filth of the toilet seat.

I have three things to say to The Crouchers:

a) The toilet seat was not odiously filthy before you crouched over it to avoid touching its odious filthiness. It was odiously filthy after you crouched over it to avoid touching its odious filthiness, thus making it odiously filthy. Do not crouch. Your wee will go wayward. You are odiously filthy.

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b) Unless you are odiously filthy yourself, you would never, ever, be fine with leaving your own toilet in your own home in that it odious state. That is how The Plague started. If you must crouch, clean it up. For the love of God. Clean it up.

c) Your wee is always, without fail, always, this colour:

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You are not drinking enough water.  Drink some water.

2. When People Don’t Respond

Imagine you meet your friend at the pub. You’ve got a lot to chat about. You sit down in front of her and the following occurs:

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Aside from being a very unsuccessful night out, there may be a number of reasons why she is not responding to you:

  1. She has taken a vow of silence.
  2. She can’t be bothered.
  3. She is in a bad mood and just doesn’t want to talk.
  4. She is abominably rude.
  5. She hasn’t noticed you are there.
  6. She is dead.

Whatever the reason, it will exasperate, peeve, and infuriate you. That’s what it’s like when people don’t respond to emails. It makes you want to send an email along these lines:

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They still won’t respond.

3. When You Don’t Respond

So you got on your high horse about people not responding to your emails. You curse their incompetence and their appalling rudeness. You would never do such a crass and unprofessional thing. Then you receive the following email:

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Realising you are not perfect is a harsh cross to bear. A harsh cross.

4. Food Smells

You understand that people need to eat at certain times of the day. You yourself have a lovely ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge that you are very much looking forward to. But some of your colleagues are insistent that they must feast on the smelliest of foods for their lunch and think nothing of inflicting these pungent aromas on the rest of the office. Is last night’s curry necessary? Mexican? Smoked mackerel? Chinese cabbage? A chilli so spicy that it causes the rest of the office workers’ eyes to fall out?

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This is monstrous.

5. Colleagues who provide a running commentary on their daily activities 

You know the sort I mean. The colleagues who lack an interior monologue. Who tell you everything. I mean everything, from how many emails they have in their inbox, to how they have responded to said emails, to which documents they have just printed, to their intention to rise from their chair to collect said document from the printer, to how they have just inserted a formula into a spreadsheet, to how they are waiting for someone to respond to an email and how they are going to heat up last night’s curry for lunch.

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It is unnecessary. Unnecessary and monstrous.

6. The Fire Alarm Test

Despite the fact it happens every week, on the same day, at the same time, it will still take a year off your life and give you a small heart attack.

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7. People who leave long voicemails

We’ve all had them. The ones that begin: ‘Hi, it’s Barry – just after a quick catch-up on mousemat situation…..’

THREE HOURS PASS

‘…. anyway, give me a buzz when you’re back and we’ll chat about it.’

Please, Barry.

‘Hi it’s Barry, give me a call back when you can’ will suffice. Listen to me, Barry. Life’s too short.

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8. Technology

Our world is very high-tech. Isn’t it great? Of course it is. We don’t need to use pens anymore, we can send messages across the world at the click of a button, we can do anything, ANYTHING.

Except that we can’t.

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9. People who have in-depth conversations in inappropriate places

Namely: by the sinks or fridge in the kitchen or in the toilets. How many times have you been frightened to retrieve your salad from the fridge because these people are standing right in front of the fridge?

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Perhaps more monstrously, why do people choose to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets in the toilets? Toilet conversations are best left for nightclubs, where you can cry, shout, or throw up in the sink to your heart’s content, and everyone else is too drunk to notice or care. I appreciate that you may be concerned about your son’s marijuana habit – although you should be grateful it’s not heroin or sheep (terrible thing, a sheep habit) – but when I go to the toilet I do not want to hear your conversation, just like you do not want to hear my tinkling. I’d like to tinkle in private thank you very much. Hearing about your son’s marijuana habit a foot away from me as I sit on the toilet gives me stage fright and I’ll just have to sit there not weeing until you leave.

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Yes, I know. It’s been a painful journey of monstrous situations, many of which you may have experienced only today. And you will experience them again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

But keep smiling. It’s Friday tomorrow.

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79 Comments

Filed under Life eh?, People, Rants, Thoughts and Musings

79 responses to “Becky says things about … monstrous things about working in an office

  1. I actually told one non responder recently that if he didn’t reply I would take all the money and go on a spa break with it. You can guess what happened…

  2. Oh, Becky, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I share an office with a gal and I guess you would probably call us the “laughing hyenas”. We are probably entirely too loud but, hey, we have fun at least.

  3. Wow, your post couldn’t have come at a better time…I had a bit of a of an annoyance today to: http://amorainbette.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/office-space-much/
    I just have to grin and bear it though. But your list is SPOT on!

  4. There is a woman who has an office in the library where I work. She has nothing to do with the rest of the staff but uses the break room sometimes. And she has this nasal TWANG to her voice. And she talks about stuff like hysterectomies. With a TWANG. I see her in there and decide to take my lunch break later. Much later.

    • Oh God, I totally forgot to mention the middle-aged woman conversations. Hysterectomies, MENOPAUSE (‘Is it me or is it hot in here?’), prolapse vaginas (yep, I’ve been party to that particularly nice office conversation). And all with a nasal TWANG? I wouldn’t be able to handle that. Fair play to you for going back to work every day.

  5. Liz

    This one of my favorites, Becky–seemed you’ve hit everything spot on. Loving the death-by-chili picture especially. You crack me up per usual.

    What if Jean in Finance brought in a Go Bananas! cake? (you saw the picture, yes?–it’s no pony cake, but unique just the same)

  6. i woukd swear we work in the same office if you weren’t in another country! my sentiments exactly!

  7. i laughed and i cried and i may have even farted! >_<

  8. You crack me up! Ah, if only these weren’t all 100% TRUE. Especially the tinkle on the seat. I just can’t imagine not cleaning up after myself. How does one tinkle and not check? Same with flushing. How do you deposit something in the toilet and not check that it all gets flushed out? I honestly think women are more GROSS than men sometimes.

    I love emailing vs calling, but the non-responders…COME ON!

    In my office, there are people who insist on ALWAYS having their calls on speaker phone. Really…REALLY? Obnoxious prick. Oh the joys of office life.

    • I’m so glad other people have the same issues as me. And I totally agree that women are more gross than men sometimes. The state of the toilets just astounds me sometimes. And you never really know who the real culprits are – it could be the lovely lady who sits next to you with the picture of her family on her desk, offering you boiled sweets every day – SHE could be the one who tinkles all over the seat! It’s a social conundrum.

  9. I may love your blog more than life itself. So funny because it’s so accurate!

  10. indacampo

    Thank you for this seriously funny post! Even though I am now retired I’ve worked in many administrative positions but the ones in “Cubby Land” are most memorable. I always enjoyed hearing about the personal lives of my coworkers such as their divorce or financial dealings from the other side of the cubical wall. I also believe that when women get outside of their own houses they become bigger pigs than men are, especially in the bathroom…that’s Canadian for loo. Why can’t we just all learn to pick the toilet paper up from the floor? Cheers! 🙂

  11. All of the above is true, except that plastering everything with David Hasselhoff photos is not a prank, it’s a favour.

    • Couldn’t agree more. In fact, it’s more of a prank when people DON’T leave pictures of David Hasselhoff all over my desk. I’m like, ‘Oh come on guys, this is a JOKE. Why have you not plastered my stuff with David Hasselhoff? ARSEHOLES.’

  12. Becky, this is rich! I want to mention everything you talked about but I’m afraid it might be like the voicemail message that goes on far too long and leaves you a skeleton. I just have one word for you…book! I always laugh so hard…just wrap all these posts up in a book! Do it!

  13. Where I work we have a tiny kitchen with a fridge and microwave — directly across from my office. It’s very … fragrant.

  14. girl on a shoe string

    bloody love this. bravo

  15. Jasmine

    Holy schmokes, I didn’t know it was a ‘thing’ to have a coworker that feels the need to tell you every damned thing he’s doing. It drives me INSANE.

  16. Sooo…this is what I’m missing by working from home? But there are also problems with working from home – the main one being no one thinks you are ever really working and you are volunteered for every dirty odd errand that needs to be taken care of! Enjoyed this so much!

    • And the FRIDGE!!! The fridge is the most difficult thing about working from home. The fridge, and YouTube, obvs. It’s probably better to endure the pain of an office rather than sit at your desk at home stuffing your face in front of videos of dogs burping.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  17. Excellent, very funny – I recognise too many of those situations! Love the pictures too.

  18. Do the people you work with read your blog?

  19. All I can say is that I’m happy my office has a total of four people, me included. It’s a lot more quiet, the smells are a little less offensive… oh, and I never use the work toilet so I wouldn’t know about any fluids. I try to avoid all drinks until I go home. =x

  20. Jim

    Re no. 5…..
    A colleague of mine not only provides a running commentary of their life, but also:
    1. Does it loudly
    2. Does it in an annoying voice
    3. Describes events so simplistically, almost like a school child recalling what they did over their summer holiday
    4. Inserts apparent ad libs for “comic” effect
    5. But worse than that, repeats all of the above to half a dozen people almost every day – with the ad libs in exactly the same place!

  21. OMG WTF IS IT WITH WOMEN WHO CAN’T WEE PROPERLY??? I have never, ever understood this. I laughed my ass off at all of this post, basically. The office antics (we covered a co-worker’s cubicle with photos of men in mullets), the idiots cluelessly blocking the fridge, the rude dolts who don’t reply to emails (I finally resorted to adding a threat at the end of my emails: IF YOU DON’T REPLY, I WILL COME OVER TO YOUR DESK AND CHOKE A REPLY OUT OF YOU. It worked, amazingly). And don’t get me started on the in-person conversations, the cell phone conversations, and the variety of unsavory sounds I’ve heard in the ladies’ room. I still have nightmares.

    • Hahahahaha I am SO glad the problem of women not weeing properly is a universal problem. NOTE TO ALL WOMEN: WEE PROPERLY.
      And covering someone’s cubicle with pictures of men with mullets is a genius idea and one which I shall employ the moment I get into work tomorrow. Thank you for alerting me to such a superb prank. Unsavoury sounds in the ladies’ room are terrifying. I once heard a woman have an entire conversation on her phone with who I presumed was her husband, whilst she was clearly doing a poo. It must have been either a very intimate or very weird relationship.

  22. amb

    Oh, this makes me so happy. Especially after last week, when all I wanted was to heat up my lunch and I couldn’t get to the microwave because the people in our little kitchen were talking about … never mind. I can’t. It’s still too soon.

    • Hahaha, oh I can’t imagine what they were talking about. I’ve overheard a vaginal prolapse conversation in my office. Yep. That’s right. Vaginal prolapse. SURELY THERE’S A LIMIT TO WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T DISCUSS IN PUBLIC???

      • amb

        LOL! Ah, but my darling, the problem is that we expect people to behave as reasonably and rationally as we ourselves might. The standards we set are just too damn high! 😉

  23. I have a colleague who insists on humming each morning when she gets to work…. and to absolutely no tune at all – just some random hum hum hum noise coming out of her lips. And she sits right next to me.
    And then to top it off, she loves talking during the day, thinking that everyone is listening to her and expects a reply, almost every time.
    *bangs head on desk*

    • Oh I understand this. I used to work with a woman who whistled the first five notes of ‘Fly me to the Moon’ at least 40 times a day. Just the first five notes. The amount of times I nearly ran up to her and screamed ‘AND LET ME SWING AMONG THOSE STARS’ in her face, just to get to the next line of the song. People are unbelievable.
      I feel your pain. Oh, I feel your pain.

  24. You know what I hate? People talking on their cellphones while they’re in the loo. It’s bad enough that I have to pee in the earshot of anyone. Now I have to worry about some random person hearing me pee over the phone.

    • There is a girl in my office who does this ALL THE TIME. I don’t understand. Does she tell the person she’s talking to that she’s on the loo? Or maybe they’re on the loo as well? I just don’t get it. Surely there are enough hours in the day to be able to communicate with chums outside of a toilet cubicle.

  25. I just spat my Tea all over my brand-new wireless Lonovo keyboard, that has been replaced under warranty twice in the last 3 months, in my all too quiet office. Very funny x

  26. Reblogged this on Ella Cameron and commented:
    Hilarious musings

  27. Oh how I love this post! We like to have dance parties at lunch if classes have been particularly crazy. This annoys one of the few guys in our office who finds us to loud. However we also have the #5. I have tried everything to get this guy to shut up and not talk to me. Can’t he see that I have 66 essays to grade, like now, not later. I have put earphones in so as to look like I’m listening to music…he just came over to talk about music, because he is a big fan of music…”What are you listening to? I love xxxx right now. I have them on my playlist. Who are you following on Spotify? Did you get that email about…” STOP TALKING TO ME!!!!. Another friend pretended like she was taking a quick cat nap. He then poked her in the arm and asked “Are you sleeping?…”

    • DANCE PARTIES????? That sounds amazing!
      What doesn’t sound amazing is this dude who cannot take the hint that NO ONE WANTS TO TALK TO HIM. I don’t understand those people. Why the ruddy HECK would you prod someone who is clearly trying to sleep and say ‘Are you sleeping?’ WELL NO, I’M NOT NOW, AM I????
      I feel your pain.
      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  28. Some days I miss working in an office, but this post made me remember all the dumb shit that happens there. I used to print stuff out at a work station that was set up to a coworker’s desk….he was kind of like Rain Man but super annoying and kinda creepy. He would COUNT how many copies I had made that week, and then give me my tally at the end of the week. He would also leave passive aggressive notes on the dishwasher telling people how they loaded it incorrectly.

    • Oh God, there is ALWAYS someone like that in an office. I used to work with a mentalist who would put his wet socks to dry on the radiator. And eat McDonald’s all day long. He’d be silent all day and then, totally unannounced, would turn round in his chair, mid-munch through a Big Mac, say ‘I really need to lose some weight’, pause, and then turn round again and finish his Big Mac. Utterly baffling.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  29. Dave

    Thank you for using the word “odious.” It’s a favorite of mine.

  30. Pingback: Blog Boost: Becky Says Things | Life Accordinglee

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