No degree or any amount of education can prepare one for workplace politics, co-workers and corporate culture.  Many moons ago I had a series of corporate jobs in various capacities, for the most part I enjoyed my work and looked to further myself in my career.  Along the way I encountered some ‘interesting’ people and bizarre experiences that would never escape my memory and to this day make me look back and wonder how I kept my composure through it all!

Time Warped

Let’s Call Miss Time Warped Tanya.  Tanya dressed every day like it was 1987 (the year was 2007)…big hair, acid washed jean jacket with matching acid washed jean skirt.  Stirrup pants, neon accessories. you name it.  Getting past the get-ups, all I could ask was ‘ does she hand wash all her clothes- how has this stuff withstood 20 years of constant wear?!  She always looked like she was on her way to a Whitesnake or Wham concert. She eventually left the company, next time I saw her she had graduated to mom jeans.

 

Food Raider

I was always strapped for time so most every day I brought my lunch and ate at my desk.  Re-heated the previous night’s leftovers in the break room microwave was like cooking in a bad lab experiment but spaghetti doesn’t cut it cold so I nuked it for 2 minutes while I ran back to my office to make a quick call.  Three minutes later I walk back into the breakroom to find someone had chowed down my lunch in a matter of minutes.  I passed the office manager in the hall with marinara all over his tie and what appeared to be a bad case of indigestion.  Enough said.

 

The Boss

Sadly, I have had more than one CEO like this, the one who thinks he is God and would make everyone call them that if HR didn’t come after them.  In lieu of being called the almighty power, one CEO insisted the entire office call him ‘Big Daddy’.  He was a tall man with a big gut and even bigger belt buckle, like a character from Dukes of Hazard, Steel Magnolias or Big Love depending on how old you are. He ended up taking an early retirement after choking on a chicken bone from KFC. Bye bye Big Daddy, the Colonel saved us!

 

What’s My Name Again??

A new guy started in the office, one co-worker got his name wrong and it was like the domino effect….’Have you met the new guy Doug?’.  Soon everyone was referring to him as Doug.  Turns out Doug’s name was really Gus, but he never corrected it even when being addressed as Doug.  Sometimes I wonder if he legally changed his name to Doug.

 

Super Psycho

This boss made Meryl Streep from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ look like a pussy cat.  Beth Kline (not her real name) was the meanest, loudest, most demanding person I have and hopefully will ever meet.  We used to call her the BK Broiler.  She would call every night around 10pm and say ‘get your pad and pen out, you need to hit the ground running tomorrow’. On a rare occasion, I took 1 day off to move house, she Fed Exed work to my old address then called during the move and told me to drive back to my old address get the work she mailed and call her asap to go over it. Personal errands were also part of the job, like picking up dry cleaning and taking her Yorky, ‘Mr. Big’ to the groomer.  She even had me take her BMW to get serviced, told her I didn’t know how to drive a stick- her response was ‘figure it out’….so I did, on a 4 lane highway with hills and ended up dropping the Transmission somewhere along the way.

 

Now I am self-employed and most days are all 5 of these people wrapped up in one!  It’s called getting a degree in life and I wouldn’t change a thing!

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