I happened upon a pretty funny book called weirdos in the workplace and actually bought it some time ago. I lost it since then. No surprise there. Anyway. It showcases all kinds of people who are just oddballs or who do strange things at work on occasion and have no idea as to what’s wrong with their behaviour. I love these people.
- Bill with Aspergers. I’m certain this man has Aspergers although the book didn’t state that. Here’s why. Bill was a clean-cut decent-looking man who wore the same blue suit to work every single day. He never changed it. Same suit – five days a week. He was clean and didn’t smell bad and the suit was always immaculate. But he wore the same suit every damned day.
Finally someone in HR approached Bill for a private chat. She asked Bill if he only owned one suit. He assured her no he did not. He owned 5 suits – all of them blue and all of them the same designer and same cut. She asked him whatever for and he replied that he was advised to wear a blue suit to an interview to give him a better chance at getting hired and it worked. Ergo, he decided he needed a blue suit every ay of the week but he didn’t want to wear the same one so he bought 4 more.
Isn’t that a scream? But it’s also endearing. I don’t think he’s a weirdo. I suspect Aspergers because of the very literal way he interpreted the advice and the outcome of the job interview.
- The Stripper – a gorgeous woman was hired as a receptionist in a fairly large firm. One night an executive from the firm discovered she was a stripper. He reported this to the higher-ups who hauled her into the office and insisted she give them a free dance. Just kidding. These people aren’t that weird. She was told she couldn’t work as a stripper and work for the company – it was bad PR. She came back with “if I can’t be a stripper how come it’s alright for the CEO to pay me to dance for him?” Guess who got hauled in next?
- This one is just morbid and completely true. A creepy man who worked in a morgue in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, liked to take pictures of dead attractive women and children. He took pictures of a dead nude girl from close, offensive angles and passed them around the lunch table to his co-workers, including the women. Finally someone reported him to HR who fired him. The girl’s family somehow found out and wanted him to be charged but the police couldn’t bring criminal charges against him because there is no law that says you can’t photograph dead people. The creepy mortician’s aid had been downloading these pictures onto his computer since 1995. I believe I shall opt for cremation.
- A friend of mine supervised a woman on his staff. One day she called up to say she couldn’t come to work because her mother had died and she needed time off. She even had her husband take the phone to affirm this was true. About a week later my friend somehow found out that the woman lied and that rumours of her mother’s death had been greatly exaggerated. She just wanted a few days off with pay so she called in dead. Next time the organization should contact the Quebec morgue worker and ask him to take pictures to prove her story.
- One person stated: “I once worked with a guy who was obsessed with the free section on Craigslist. He was two cubes in front of me (and a few cubes short in the head I should think) and all day long (literally 6-7 hours) he would yell out anything he found of interest. ‘Anyone interested in a kayak, it’s free on craigslist’ or ‘Anyone interested in a pile of bricks, it’s free on craigslist’ or ‘anyone interested in a couch, it’s soaked with cat urine, but it’s free on craigslist’…ARGH, so annoying! He was eventually laid off.”
- “I worked downtown for four years in a city I had lived my entire life. They hired a new guy on my team and every time he went out to lunch, he would send an email to the entire team telling us where he went, what he had, a link to the online menu, a review of his meal and the service and the ambiance of the place. After a few weeks, I responded to just him and said, ‘Please take me off these emails, Joe. Thanks Jane.’ He never sent me another email, period.
- One supervisor was told by her employee that the reason she was late was because My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work. She didn’t bring in photographs either.
- I once worked with a very strange guy who looked like something was wrong with him. He did weird things like take pictures of his cat then walk around the office showing them to everyone. He would interrupt conversations so people could admire the cat. One day he asked me if I would like to go to his house to play with his cat. I told him I was allergic. I have a cat of my own. As we all sat having lunch together one afternoon he told me his cat was weaned too soon. I asked him how he could possibly know that and he replied in front of a table of people “because he licks my nipples when I’m going to sleep at night.”
At least work is seldom boring.