Friday, May 28, 2010

The Secret office emails

Editor's note: I, Joseph O. Patton, am guilty of gossiping about my coworkers and sharing tales of office drama with Capital City Free Press Managing Editor Josh Carples... and he does little to discourage me from doing so. In fact, he suggested our correspondence might work as a humorous article (see below). The names have been changed to protect the innocent... and the neurotic. And if this doesn't entertain you, then you can blame Josh because it was his idea.

Wednesday, September 20

9:17 am

  Joseph: Josh, these people are not right.

  First there is Gina. Gina was moved from one desk to another. She cleaned, sanitized, decorated, etc. that poor cubicle for two hours solid! She was sweating profusely. You would have thought they had forced her into a tuberculosis ward. Our supervisor finally had to stop her and tell her that she needed to go open the mail. I asked her finally (mild sarcasm included) if she was trying to "feng shui" her desk.

  Then there is Joan. She is a pure nut, barking out loud - which I'm told is actually a laugh - at random times when no one is speaking to her. She also wears this bright red smock as if she were a hairdresser and regularly scrubs her hands with rubbing alcohol. I thought this was bad enough until I hauled some materials to another office with her yesterday and found out that she carries a ruler to press the elevator buttons with… while barking of course.

9:36 am

  Josh: That's why I didn't get those ----- jobs I applied for. I forgot to put "OCD" down as one of my qualifications.

Thursday, September 21

9:38 am

  Joseph: You're gonna have to break me out of here. The Steel Magnolias I work with are having some type of morning slumber party in my corner of the office, playing with beauty products. I swear, one said something about some hair conditioner and enchanted octopus saliva. I can't work like this.

2:31 pm

  Joseph: Vone! Twooo! Threee! Muhahahahaha! Remember The Count from Sesame Street? Anyhow, these people need his help. I have received checks in the following amounts today: "Nighty-eight dollars..." and "Twelf 18/100."

2:53 pm

  Josh: They must have recently restructured the number system. You didn't get the memo. Sorry. (And they took your stapler.)

2:59 pm

  Joseph: Ya know, the bit about the stapler would be funny except they really did revoke some of my office supplies privileges already. I was placed on "Correction Tape Restriction" last week because when I received various forms, I was supposed to just correct the errors, but I also found problems with ugly handwriting, random smudges and other stuff I just didn't like personally, so some forms ended up completed whited out.

Monday, September 25

2:31 pm

  Joseph: I receive payments and various forms of correspondence, and I just handled a check from a business called "Breakwind Entertainment." Now why would you name your business something like that? I've said it before and I’ll say it again, these people are not right.

  Commenting on this business’ name, I set my cubicle mate off on the subject of strange names, etc. She said when she was in the hospital recently, she was attended to by a male nurse named "Dick." She explained that when he was not nearby, she was at a loss because, "I'm not gonna holler for any Dick."

2:39 pm

  Josh: Apparently, Breakwind Entertainment is the company that puts out Rickey Smiley's CDs.

Wednesday, September 27

10:22 am

  Joseph: They should have known better after I acted up with the correction tape. They issued me two stamps this morning--one with dates and the other which simply states: "CLEARED." For the record, I have not only cleared multiple documents for a variety of reasons--some for tangible reasons and others because I think practice makes perfect--but I have also cleared a filing cabinet, a phone, a random memo, an email joke, an inconspicuous spot on the floor, my nose and my calendar.

  I felt very honored to be entrusted which such fine and important office supplies until I realized that I've been working here for nearly 60 days. What, did I have to earn the right to use a stamp? Did they not initially trust me? Do I have to graduate to more weighty stamps like "REVOKED" or "DENIED?" Is there a probationary period regarding the issuance of certain stamps?

10:34 am

  Josh: Either the correction tape was a test or they had to wait until the end of the 05-06 fiscal year to get the stamp supplies. Not sure which.

Thursday, September 28

11:18 am

  Josh: (speaking of a local radio call-in show’s weekly lineup): Thursday is Jesus Day where you get to hear people argue about whether the grape juice used during communion really contains the actual blood of Christ. And Fridays, you just never know.

Friday, September 29

10:18 am

  Joseph: They're at it again... one of my coworkers, whom I call The Diva, constantly makes this joke about her future husband calling while she's out to lunch--something about a mystery man calling the office and leaving a message for her to meet him at the church altar. So, another one of our coworkers, mildly tired of the long-running joke, actually brought The Diva a bona fide wedding veil for her today so that she can keep it at her desk and thus always be prepared for "that phone call." The Diva made a big production of it, donning the veil and exchanging faux vows with one of our supervisors. It was all pretty funny until they tried to make me their flower girl.

Friday, October 13

2:17 p.m.

  Joseph: Lady R. is sweet enough, but bless her heart, the work must wear her sweet heart out because she has to take naps--often--at work. At random times I will peek over the cubicle at Sector Two and find that her forehead is plastered to the desk with her bangs creeping into the keyboard. Everyone likes to sleep, but it is the rampant, audible flatulence that is slightly unnerving.

  I was working near the back corner of the office with Ms. Bad Influence. She and I were conversing about something vital to our work, such as, but not limited to, the pressing topic of the moment, "Who the hell made that nasty pot of coffee?" Anyhow, Lady R. rose from her cubicle, eye boogers from her latest nap intact and began walking past us. Without warning she let one rip with authority. We naturally tried to stifle our giggles, but what made it so difficult to withstand is the manner in which she planted her foot in tandem with the "expulsion." It was akin to a mighty Spanish conquistador stabbing his native flag into the ground and claiming the area for the king. Not to mention, she looked dead at us as if to say: "Ha, bitches! How'd ya like that one?!?"

Monday, October 16

1:57 pm

  Joseph: What is with these fools? Some employer just sent his/her quarterly payment, which included a check in the amount of $4.09. Scotch-taped to the form were two quarters. I asked one of my coworkers if the quarters constituted my "tip" and was halfway down the hall to the vending machine with them before she put her crazy giggles on hold long enough to say "Joseph, no!"

2:05 pm

  Josh Carples: Then where do the quarters go if they're not a tip? I mean, that's tax on a $5 item in Montgomery. I bet after you got the "No, Joseph" that your supervisor went to the snack machine.

2:12 pm

  Joseph: I wouldn't doubt it. And just to be funny she probably came back with those nasty little cheese on wheat crackers and nibbled off little crumbs to scatter about my desk.

  On another note, how do you get to be a doctor and be unable to sign your name legibly? This crap looks like an overactive rug rat scribbled on it just for shits and giggles. Ya know, I have an official, very intimidating stamp that says "CHECK NOT ACCEPTABLE." Don't think I won't use it and send this sumbitch back because we still have one mail run left today.

Tuesday, October 24

10:27 am

  Joseph: (speaking of an article concerning a chimp who pulled a fire alarm at a research facility in Des Moines, Iowa and was scolded by her keeper ): It's a riot... I mean... Um... we told the animal very sternly, 'No, no! Bad primate! Don't pull the fire alarm again!? I hope she (the ape) throws poo at them and laughs.

10:39 am

  Josh: I sure would.

Monday, October 30

11:42 am

  Josh: (When asked why he had not submitted a head shot photograph for his bio page): 'Cause I'm a mystery. I'm all behind the scenes and stuff. I creep up on the story, then pounce.

11:45 am

  Joseph: Look here, you’re not a damn jungle cat! Where’s the picture?

12:29 pm

  Joseph: Oh... Kristin [Thomas] is calling the Attorney General in Louisiana, so we may want to go ahead and book a room in Havana because I figure that's the nearest place the feds can't get to us.

12:32 pm

  Josh: Ahhh? I hear Havana is nice this time of year.

12:34 pm

  Joseph: But will international calling rates apply when I try to get us a room since in the eyes of the United States Gubbmint Cuba doesn't exist? 

12:35 pm 

  Josh: I think we can argue that. 

2:36 pm 

  Kristin Thomas: (Notifying us that she was about to call the Louisiana Attorney General Office’s about a controversial pending investigation): I’m going in. 

  Joseph: Josh and I have already made plans to flee to Havana if necessary. Peace be with you. I’ll be hiding under my desk. 

2:48 pm

  Kristin: Get those tickets to Cuba ready - I'm headed for Fairbanks, Alaska. T'ain't a southern redneck 'live that's brave enough to handle 70 below temps and I've got peeps there that would hide me away in the last frontier. It's either that or Malta - can't stand that Fidel guy. 

Tuesday, October 31 

8:37 am

  Joseph: I believe this poor, neglected thinkin' box does not have PowerPoint. 

8:40 am

  Josh: Wow. How are you supposed to do those boring government number presentations with graphics and stuff? Stone tablets? 

8:42 am

  Joseph: Only if the stone in question has been hand dug by a certified individual, inspected by at least 17 certified, bonded individuals wearing funny hats, signed off on by three individuals within six months (give or take a year) and blessed with holy water milked from a no-bid contract by Governor Bob Riley himself... oh yeah, and I have to stamp it, too.

Friday, December 1

2:21 pm

  Joseph: Look, this is what happened. I have to numerically organize reports from over 85,000 employers. It is not neurosurgery, but it is very tedious and it's easy for the numbers to start dancing around and causing confusion. The OCD bitch I described for you some time ago is also doing the same work. I guess the account numbers she had weren't good enough for her, so she flew over here like a witch on a broomstick and started snatching the accounts which begin with "0029..." I told her that she was intruding into my special work area and that her presence was throwing me off... not to mention, she just gets on my fucking nerves. Plus, she had her own damn account numbers and does not need mine. Only about five minutes had elapsed before her oompah-loompah lookin' ass came waddling back. When I saw her reaching for one of my stacks, I stabbed her with a plastic fork. The police report should be pretty humorous. 

Wednesday, June 6: 

8:37 am

  Joseph: A coffee break is just not a coffee break without the discovery of a hair, weirdly enough resembling the pubic variety, in the Coffee Mate. 

  I'm pretty sure it did not originate at the factory, however, I can't figure out how it got there. 

  I am learning to drink black coffee now. Great. 

  I just checked, and it's still in there... but I think it has moved. Maybe we should pass it around to see if anyone will claim it. 

  I just got back from my recon mission and I can report that I can no longer see the pubic hair. So, someone must have retrieved it or it has buried itself like a sand crab. 

Friday, June 15 

2:56 pm

  Joseph: I was hungry and therefore unloaded some change for some low-fat pretzels and a Diet Coke at the vending machines. There is a note on the snack machine which reads: "My name is... I am responsible for this machine. If it malfunctions, you do not receive change, etc., please call..." 

  Someone wrote this note on it: "Where is the Ding Dongs?" 

Monday, June 25 

9:13 am

  Joseph: And today's recipient for excellence in terms of unparalleled critical thinking and reasoning in the workplace goes to…

  When the phone started ringing in the back of the office where few dare to venture unless they are twitching for coffee or require a secluded locale for gossiping, I generously picked up the extension to answer it as no one else was in the vicinity. The individual wished to speak to someone on the other side of the office and since throwing the phone was not practical, I quickly inquired with my cubicle mate as to what her extension might be. She consulted her copy of the phone list, gave me the extension, I thanked her and then transferred the call. 

  I fished out my phone directory since I should have long since posted it for ease of retrieval. Out of curiosity, I began scanning the numbers listed. One was labeled "Administrative Desk." I couldn't recall meeting Missus or Mister Administrative Desk, so I asked my cubicle mate which phone/entity that might be. She became somewhat flushed and her face contorted into a painfully awkward expression. She then began speaking slowly and somewhat hesitantly as well as grimacing slightly: "Um... Joseph... that's the phone in your hand." 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published as a series in 2006 and 2007.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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