Like every school with a story of a senior who, like, totally pantsed the principal, every office has its own private mythology. Maybe it was the boss who got caught sleeping with his assistant—by the other assistant he was sleeping with; maybe it's Katherine in sales who got fired for having a shrine to the company VP; maybe it was that guy who, like, totally pansted the CEO. We asked our readers to share their best office legends, and like they did with vacations, bad dates, and creepy bosses, they delivered.
1. If there is one office story that's truly universal, it's "the day someone screwed up on a company-wide email." This person wished to remain anonymous.
I used to work for a very large engineering firm. We would get emails with "safety tips." One day the safety tip was about choking with the attached image. This went company wide. It was never acknowledged or apologized for. Everyone still agrees that it was the best day ever.
2. Here's a story Kayla sent us on Facebook from the "nerdy" side of the United States military. A good reminder that even if our armed forces are the greatest in human history, they're still made up of a bunch of humans.
I was stationed at the Defense Language Center for my initial Army training.
One fine day, during the longest and most boring Persian grammar class of my fucking career, a tiny but very recognizable CRACK! sounded through the building, shaking us all from our fantasies of going AWOL.
As it turns out, a Second Lieutenant in the next class over decided that rather than live in (very safe) Monterey, CA, he would live in the shitty town down the road to save his housing allowance. Because this town was essentially one big-ass shooting range, he bought himself a handgun and decided to chance it.
30 seconds later, a notice pops up on our computers that privately owned weapons are prohibited on post, especially if they're loaded. Now, DLI is a primarily military-populated institution, but you're talking about the nerdiest, pimpliest members of America's bravest. Usually the worst that happens is an out of wedlock pregnancy or wild underage drinking.
Not that day. This warrior decided to load the weapon, toss it in his cargo pocket and bring it to work. As he went to stand up, the weapon discharged. The bullet went into the wall, and after 15 seconds of processing, he screamed, "FUCK, I'M GOING TO JAIL!" And ran out of the classroom.
Far from incarceration, he received a small fine and a regulation spanking. HOMEBOY DIDN'T EVEN LOSE HIS COMMISSION! He basically got off on, "He's a brand new Lieutenant, what did you expect?"
So next time you wonder why the defense budget is so high, it's because we're putting people like this in positions of authority.
(Edit: This was in 2010. The general state of our armed forces has deteriorated since then. Odin help us all)
3. This person also wished to remain anonymous, perhaps because they don't want to be put on more lists than their idiot coworker already landed them on.
I worked at an advertising agency for several years. We were based at a municipal airport near downtown of a medium-sized, Midwest city. When politicians and celebrities came to town, they often arrived and departed from the airport so we watched all the comings and goings from our desks.
It was common, especially during election years, for the President, First Lady, VP, or other government bigwigs to land right outside our windows. On one such occasion, the President arrived on Air Force One. One of my more dimwitted colleagues thought it would be hilarious to prop a gun-wielding Star Wars storm trooper cardboard cutout in the window overlooking the Tarmac.
He was swiftly detained and fired. The Secret Service ain't playin'.
4. Every office has a story about someone loading printer toner in wrong, but it's touching that this office made it a memorial to a late coworker. Our reader Karen went above and beyond to send in actual photographic proof:
About seven years ago, one of my co-workers was going to replace the toner in the copy machine. She was so sure she was doing it right. . .she pulled the rip cord on the toner cartridge without inserting it into the copy machine. Boom! Huge, billowing mushroom cloud of toner caked the about a 10' x 10' area of the office floor and walls. Had to cordon off the area and have hazmat come in to remove.
Our beloved co-worker passed away two years ago, so we put a picture of an angel above the copy machine in her memory to commemorate her handiwork (that still remains on the wall)!
5. This story from Janel is the perfect example of the terrible co-worker story. We've all worked with a Linda at one point or another. She's a nice person, deep down.
I once worked for a very small company of about 15 employees. Most of the staff were young twenty-somethings fresh out of college but we had one coworker who was an older woman in her late 50's. She was a very sweet, lovely woman but you could tell she wasn't always quite mentally there. Let's call her Linda.
One day, I showed up to work early and was back chatting with the office manager in the back office. "Linda" comes rushing in and then out of the office. I thought it was strange but she had some odd behavior so I didn't think much of it. After chatting with my coworker, I walk up to the front of the office and see what looks like mud leading out the front office door. I think to myself, "Who would track mud in here?" But again, I am not alarmed and I head to my desk.
A few minutes later, my phone rings and it is my coworker telling me to go to the front of the office. I tell her I was just up there and someone had tracked mud in the office. She proceeds to tell me that it's not mud. When "Linda" had come rushing in and out, she ran straight to the bathroom. Apparently, she had an "accident" and it was all over the walls and bathroom floor. She tracked it into the office and it was a trail leading right to her desk. The worst part, she didn't even realize it. She was walking around with it running down her leg. Our boss came in and flipped out and started cleaning her up, literally wiping the shit off her leg. (side note: she and the boss used to boink).
6. Kari on Facebook would like to remind everyone that having women be the majority in the office is no barrier to any truly determined creep.
I worked for a healthcare quality analytics company. Lots of statistical programming. Despite that both statistics and programming are "male dominated" fields, only 2 of our ~30 analysts were male (and only 1 male on the project management side).
About a year after I had stated, our VP of Informatics (my boss's boss) was put on administrative leave as he was being investigated for sexual harassment.
Alleged dick pics, late night texts to female employees, knocking things off of desks just so he could see ladies bend over, inviting everyone out for happy hour and then making out with the employees (my sister, who also worked for the company, witnessed this AND also relayed that he said he wanted to fuck me but I seem too prude), asking girls what kind of guys they're into, commentary on employees' bra sizes...
He resigned from his position only to be hired as a consultant so the company could distance themselves from his behavior.
All females were warned about him within a week.
He had some comeuppance though...
He told a dude that one of the interns was cute and could get the dude into her pants. The dude said, "I have a wife." Creepy boss said, "That doesn't matter. You can still have some on the side." Creepy boss's nose got broken (kudos to the dude for his bravery-- creepy boss was 6'2" and a former competition-level body builder).
7. Country clubs are very exclusive about what living people they let in—dead people, though, according to this anonymous reader, they'll just put anywhere.
Worked at a private country club and during a wedding reception one of the guests died. Instead of disrupting the party, the mother of the bride asked us to just put the deceased in another room and close the door.
We also had a chef that had a heart attack and fell face first into a pot of soup.
8. Elcasey would like to give horny workers this helpful bit of advice: drive out of your security cameras' field of vision.
When I was working at a health care insurance company, an employee got in trouble for having sex with another person in his car. Security was reviewing footage of the parking lot video camera for something unrelated and apparently the camera caught everything — and then some — in high definition.
9. You might want stronger Non-Disclosure Agreements if everyone in the office still talks about what happened, Gina. (Also, we're capitalizing Penis from now on.)
A guy was once put on administrative leave because he allegedly put his Penis on his keyboard to show a coworker. The story goes that he originally admitted to it, then changed his story and denied it. Either way, he was allowed to return to work. All parties involved had to sign a nondisclosure agreement, but the whole office knew what had happened.
10. Finally, Courtney wins for... everything. People say getting on welfare is easy, but her coworker proves it takes a lot of determination.
I work in a cube farm with a bunch of other personal assistants...
Heard a story about a girl who used her time to audibly call sperm banks in hopes to get pregnant to apply for welfare. She was also heard saying " I can only talk during business hours, as I can't afford long-distance."