I just figured out that I’ve been in the professional work force for nineteen years now. I’ve worked at a variety of different jobs and have encountered many different people along the way. Many have been long forgotten, but there are a few that left their impression. I’d love to hear some stories of memorable co-workers or occasions that you’ll not forget.
Here are a few of mine, with my favorite at the end.
Bad Luck Does Strike Twice
I spent a few months down in Panama City Beach working at a hospital. One of the guys that worked for me at the time was a little goofy, and after awhile, I commented, and someone pointed out “Oh, he’s been hit by lightning.”
Then they added, “Twice.”
I figured they had to be kidding, but they weren’t. One time he was standing near a body of water and lightning worked its way through and jumped up to touch him briefly. Another time, I believe he was in a building that got hit and some jumped to him. Neither were serious enough to do permanent harm (his shoes were knocked off during at least one hit, if memory serves), but he did seem a bit ‘looser’ after that.
Since that area is prone to afternoon thunderstorms during the summer months, you best believe that I steered clear of him after around 3pm most days!
There was a guy at my current job that seemed pretty good at what he did, but nobody really liked him much. He just seemed a little….slick. And, while he delivered results, he hinted all the time that he wanted more, that he felt he should be in a higher position and making more money.
Apparently those things didn’t happen fast enough so he took it upon himself to take the lead, at least on the money portion of it. At our company, when desktop computers have reached the end of life, we work with another company that either scraps, recycles, or resells them. After some numbers didn’t add up on the returns, they found that the shortfalls were tied to some of his projects, and were able to catch him skimming some of the computers. He figured that they wouldn’t notice.
They did and that was the end of his job.
The Pregnant Accountant
We did some consulting work for a holding firm, and one of their accountants announced she was pregnant. She was a woman of, well, considerable size, and as such, she didn’t ‘show’. She went on at different points about morning sickness, ultrasounds, doctors appointments, getting things ready, all the usual things that expectant moms have.
Except that, as it turns out, she was never pregnant.
Nobody ever really heard the story about how she was discovered, but she never came back. I believe the company tried to get her to get mental help, but nobody really knows much about how that went.
That’s kind of a sad one, but still one that stuck with me.
When You Shouldn’t Go To A Farewell Party
I was at one job for around a year when I was given a transfer to a different department. Same company, same type of work, but different building and under different management. I liked the opportunity. The old department operated 24×7. So, I had to work different shifts. The new job gave me a chance to work normal business hours.
We were a pretty close knit team at the old job. The manager suggested drinks after work on my last day to celebrate. A bunch of us got together and had a drink or two. It was a nice send off. My manager unexpectedly offered to pay the bill, which was a very nice gesture.
She was a pretty meticulous manager and this went beyond work. She’d been matching the drinks to people. There was one drink she couldn’t account for. When she asked the waitress about it, trouble was looming. It turns out that the drink was someone who had come in before their shift. Yep, they’d had a drink and then headed to work.
We had a strict policy. Unfortunately, they let him go the following week. I felt horrible, as it was my going away party.
The story did have somewhat of a happy ending. I ended up working with his wife at a job later down the line, and she confirmed that he got another job, picked up right where he left off, and enjoyed success. Luckily that happened during the late 90’s tech boom where IT jobs were easy pickings!
Insert Foot Directly…Well, You Know
This is my absolute favorite work related story and one that I don’t think will ever personally be topped. Book ending Y2K, I worked for a very small company where there only about 15 people total, 5 of us on the server and desktop team. Mike, one of the other guys, and I happened to be in the office at the same time as the owner, and we were in his office just shooting the breeze.
We were a small group so we knew each others families and such from holiday parties and such. So, Mike was walking around the office, and he picked up a picture and said to the boss, “Hey, who’s this guy with your wife?”
The boss looked and said, “That’s me, about ten years and fifty pounds ago.”
Mike’s face went the deepest red I’ve ever seen a face go. I just started laughing and didn’t sop for at least ten minutes. The boss was a good natured guy and laughed it off. Still, that story (thanks to me) became one that Mike didn’t live down until he left. And yes, he did quit. He wasn’t fired! 🙂
In fairness, the weight and years had changed the boss quite a bit. What made it priceless was how he blurted it out. And, the look on his face afterward. They could have put the entire sequence on The Office. They wouldn’t have had to change a thing. It would have fit right in!
Readers, please share some stories along the way that you remember?