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Working Office Quirks

howlen

Member
Messages
15
Points
1
As a planner turned educator, and possibly back to planner again, I have wondered what are the 'workplace quirks' in the planning profession these days? I am not referring to high level city council maneuvers, but more along the lines of: gossipy secretaries, authoritarian supervisors, colleagues who hoard gel pens, etc.

For example, in my planning days, the director forbade the making of coffee after 12 noon, because the smell bothered him.

In my present career, we can now copy from our laptops to the 2 copy machines at our 800 student/ 50 faculty member school, but you have to first walk to the copy machine and load your paper!

Anything from the serious to humorous is welcome!
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,037
Points
52
We have a great queuing program to call up customers. Of course the software has issues at least once a month and we go to the default of writing your name on a list. So how hard is it to write a program that says next?
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
682
Points
29
The lead manager in our municipality used to take our batteries. We had a small charger and extras for wireless mice and things like that in our break room. Manager would come over to planning and you'd be chatting and suddenly they would just grab a couple batteries off the charger and pocket them.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,844
Points
71
One day a former manager rolled out plans designating where employees could park......not just 'employee parking and 'customer parking' areas, but went so far as to designate particular spaces based on the department!
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,445
Points
40
I had a manager who gave one of the employees a list of accepted abbreviations for some of the words we frequently use. She wouldn’t allow us to give out our work email addresses because someone might send an email with a virus, but she’d have us stand by her computer and read the glurgy emails that people sent to her work email address. Her business email address name was something you’d choose for a personal email address. This was all happening in the mid 2000’s.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,767
Points
69
I posted about this in the FAC: last week, I got reprimanded for sneezing too loudly. (My office is one of several cubicles in a part of the building with a very high cieling.) I don't sneeze often -- I haven't sneezed at in the past severeal days -- but when I do, it's loud. The powers that be seem to think I can control the intensity of my sneezing, and that I'm just making it loud because it's more "fun" or "satisfying". Trust me -- allergies are not fun,

One day a former manager rolled out plans designating where employees could park......not just 'employee parking and 'customer parking' areas, but went so far as to designate particular spaces based on the department!

We have that, but it's because we have tandem parking. We're lucky to even have on-site parking -- I work in a rapidly densifying small downtown district.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,844
Points
71
We have that, but it's because we have tandem parking. We're lucky to even have on-site parking -- I work in a rapidly densifying small downtown district.
In this instance there was no logic or rationale behind the decision whatsoever. None. it was just because.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
13,321
Points
54
Faust - I hope the wireless mice were fun to play with (ha, ha, ha).


At a former place, the director made us write down when & where we pulled up illegal signs so there would be a record in case we got sued by the sign 'owner' - these were the little 'litter-on-a-stick' type signs. We were never sued or even threatened to be sued.
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,103
Points
17
We currently have a secretary who likes to prank people by creeping up behind them and screaming "BOO!" Then she laughs and runs away.

Some see the humor in this...others not so much
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,021
Points
43
There's a coworker that sits near me and she spends a good part of the day telling people about how much her life sucks. She's got a really gravelly smoker's voice, basically sounds like a stoner, and when she laughs she cackles like a cartoon witch. The last few days I heard her tell the story of how her grandson is too whiny to everyone she came across. And also how her car goes through two quarts of oil a week but she hasn't taken it to the shop yet, because "it still runs good." When her car finally breaks down I'm sure she'll somehow justify how it wasn't her fault.

She moved on to complaining about the speeding ticket she recently got in a school zone. Naturally it's the cop's fault for not just giving her a warning. And she could keep the points off her license two or three different ways but "who has time to do that stuff?"

Then over Thanksgiving a dog bit her... I think it was hers but not sure. Could have been a dog someone brought over during the holiday. Apparently she got chewed up pretty good but didn't go to the hospital. Next she'll complain when it gets infected.

I realize that lots of people talk about stuff like that, but she puts such a Debbie Downer negative spin on everything she talks about it drives me nuts.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
5,462
Points
39
There's a coworker that sits near me and she spends a good part of the day telling people about how much her life sucks. She's got a really gravelly smoker's voice, basically sounds like a stoner, and when she laughs she cackles like a cartoon witch....I realize that lots of people talk about stuff like that, but she puts such a Debbie Downer negative spin on everything she talks about it drives me nuts.

Sounds almost exactly like a woman I worked with about 20 years ago, and it drove me up the wall because she was really good at her job and was actually a pretty nice person in general (when she wasn't complaining about how much her life sucked).
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,021
Points
43
I don't work with her closely enough to judge how well she does her job. She's probably a relatively decent person, but she, ummm, definitely handles things in her life differently than I generally do.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
682
Points
29
Sounds almost exactly like a woman I worked with about 20 years ago, and it drove me up the wall because she was really good at her job and was actually a pretty nice person in general (when she wasn't complaining about how much her life sucked).

I had a co-worker for awhile who just could not handle life basics. They were always having problems with basic things- at one point they told me a story about going to buy a car and ending up leasing a bigger, very different car instead because "they wanted a red one" They got screwed on the lease return as well, which I heard all about. Apparently they were very involved in their adult children's lives as well, and those kids had inherited this lack of basic life skills- one son was going through a divorce and getting really screwed, but refused to hire a lawyer, one daughter kept losing jobs for basic reasons like not showing up on time or not doing the work properly. Of course this lack of life skills bled over into the co-workers job, where they exhibited lack of basic office skills (not knowing the difference between a file on the network and a shortcut on the desktop. They had about 20 Facebook profiles and were constantly asking for help because they "couldn't get into their account," which actually was because they couldn't distinguish between the login page and the "start a new account" page. Let alone they had no reason to be on Facebook at work.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,762
Points
26
I once had a coworker with whom I shared a cubicle wall. She wasn't shy about taking personal telephone calls at work and, as you can imagine, news traveled fast back to me, next door. She scheduled a gastric bypass surgery, told everyone she was taking a three-week vacation, and came back to work having lost a bunch of weight. As you can imagine, the weight loss continued and everyone kept stopping by to ask her how she did it. Her pat answer was "eating right and exercising" and eventually she was asked to head the Healthy Workplace Committee because of her 'healthy habits'.

I was the only one who knew she'd really had surgery to lose the weight and it made me so mad that she would lie about it. It got to the point where I would have to leave the office to go next door when someone stopped by to talk about their/ her health and I refused to participate in the Healthy Workplace Committee out of principle. It's been years and it still just makes me so mad. If you're doing surgery, do surgery and own it! Don't lie about it.
 
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