A night with my girlfriend Margaret inevitably ends up with her reminding me about the crazy people we worked with. We always wanted to write a pilot for a sitcom called "Cubes" and the crazy true life characters we encountered would be on the show. Our office was filled with row after row of office filled with nutty little characters. Quite frankly, most people can't believe these people existed but I am here to tell you, there are crazy people everywhere...but especially in the workplace.
Take Jim. Otherwise known as "Snaggle Tooth". He had one of those vampire teeth that grew above the other teeth. I know...unfortunate...but at some point you could have had some dental work to remove that puppy. But instead, he would attempt to hide it. The only time it would really make an appearance was when he laughed. He usually laughed with a "I have a stick up my butt and I'm very repressed" kind of chuckle. But occasionally he would let out a good belly laugh and instinctively he would use his index finger to hold down his lip so it wouldn't expose the vampire tooth. As though that wasn't calling attention to the tooth?! Snaggle's tooth wasn't his only issue. At one point, this guy was riding high. He managed a very large group, was a favorite of management, and strutted around in his Mr. Rodgers like outfits waving to everyone that walked by. But, just as he thought he was King of the Hill, in walked new management and they weren't a fan of Mr. Rodgers and his snaggle tooth. Jim was obviously nervous and quite frankly, did nothing to help himself. It seemed that he was screwing up at every turn. One day in our weekly 1-1 meeting, he decided to confide in me. Let me just remind you that I worked for him. He was slumped in his chair and said "Kelly, I'm not sure what is wrong but I can't seem to please anyone." He then proceeded to get weepy on me...and I mean, tears in the eyes, had to stop talking for a minute because he was choked up kind of weepy....and asked my advice on what he should do. Personally, I couldn't wait for Snaggle to move on so I just told him to keep doing what he was doing...in time they would see how hard he was trying. He was gone about 2 weeks later.
The person that took him down was George...otherwise known as Daddy Long Legs. This man was so tall....like 6'3 or so. Mind you, I am 5'2 so he could have been 5'7 and he would have seemed like Wilt Chamberlain to me. But I'm pretty sure he was really tall. He also weighed about 100 pounds. From the door to our office area to his personal office, it would take me at least 25 little leg strides to get to my desk, which was right outside his office. I watched Daddy Long Legs scale the hallway in 5 paces one day. He did this while eating an apple...which he literally ate in 4 complete bites. It was like watching a genetic freak on the Discovery Channel every day.
I also worked with a woman who was a swinger. A real life swinger. We had no name for her...I think because we still couldn't believe it was true. Now, let me just set this up. She thought she was super hot and although she was tall and thin, she had one of those leather faces and a voice like Marge Simpson's sister, from smoking too much. She also had an unfortunate dental situation happening....an overbite....which again, unfortunate but could have been fixed at some point. Anyways, she would come in on Monday mornings and be full of stories for everyone that wanted to ask and learn more about her escapades. Apparently there are swinger clubs that you pay a fee to get into. There is a "scoping out period" where you do some talking and "whatever else" at a bar and then if you decide you want to "move on" you can go to the group room...or your own room. What cracked me up was one of the rules if you were in the group room...everyone had to keep one foot on the floor. Imagine a big naked Twister game going on with a bunch of legs hanging off the bed. Not sure what that rule was doing, but I'm guessing having both feet on the bed was the least of the issues they would encounter with 10 people going at it. I can't even tell you the stories I have heard...they would make your ears bleed. I can only tell you that every time I heard her retelling one of her escapades, I had to remind myself that I wasn't watching tv...I was actually listening to this in person.
I started thinking about these characters as I started to gear up my job search. I can only wonder who I will encounter at my next job. Instead, I really should just write that sitcom pilot...I have enough stories to last a few seasons! Share with us the craziest person you ever worked with.
Note: "Crazy people you work with" are very different than crazy people in your family. We will save that for another day.