Story by: HateUFlippy
Industry: The people that customers yell at.
Working for an awful boss is a right of passage. You’ve got to try it at some point, else you’ll have nothing to compare a great boss to. Sure, it’s not fun taking orders from a vulture who makes you feel like crap, but it’s all part of big learning curve. You’ll get through it. And at the very least, it’ll highlight what you don’t want to do when you’re the head honcho one day.
There’s something far worse than a horrible boss, though – a horrible colleague. In theory, your co-workers are supposed to be a support system of light-hearted jokes, eye rolling gestures and understanding in the face adversity. In a bad-boss situation, they’re the last line of resistance between yourself and burning down the office or dabbling in hard drug abuse.
But when your colleagues are douche bags, all is lost.
Today I want to tell you about the worst co-worker of all time; the miserable turd who has set the standard that all bad co-workers will be compared to, from now until ever and ever.
Let me set the scene: it was 2007. I was working in London for an online furniture business, in the stock-service call center. There were twenty of us. Our job was telling people that the goods they’d ordered (and paid for) would not be delivered on time. Not a pleasant gig. It basically amounted to getting yelled at for eight hours a day. And when unsatisfied customers weren’t cursing our future children and making farfetched death threats, our boss was – she was a monster in her own rights. But thankfully, this wasn’t a job anybody intended to keep – it was one you did to get by until something better came up. The average employee lifespan was somewhere between one hour and six months.
Through this entire working experience, there were only two things that made the days bearable – fun colleagues and beer. That’s it. We all hated our jobs, but we laughed about the bad times at the end of the day. Unfortunately, there was a thorn in the sides of everyone working there – Phillip Jones, or ‘Flippy’ as he referred to himself in the third person at least eight times a day.
Essentially Flippy was our equal, but he took on a ‘class captain’ or TI sort of role, for no reason. I guess he was born to work at a call center. He was what horrible bosses would call ‘management material’, which meant that he’d do anything the head honchos said without question – his desire for approval really underpinned everything the guy did.
Flippy arrived at least half an hour early to make a point, and from there he acted as a time-keeper. His desk was right at the door, the perfect position to remind anyone who showed up a moment late that they couldn’t punch in at eight o’ clock. He’d make a note of what time you really showed up and then send you an e-mail, telling you to fess up and change the mark, else he’d be informing the boss of your deception. Over my four months there, I probably lost 30 bucks because of him. The boss was a woman named Geraldine, who Flippy worshipped in a oedipus-sort of way. They even looked alike – same ashen blonde hair, same droopy eyes, same beak-like mouth. He always made her tea in the morning, took lunch breaks with her and told stories about what they did over weekends. They deserved one another,
Anyhow, Flippy’s pedantic ways pissed a lot of people off, but that isn’t the reason I will go to my grave despising him.
It was his role in uncovering the Mystery Urinator that pushed me over the edge.
During my time at this hellish workplace, there was a mystery in the office – someone was peeing on the floor of the men’s toilet. Strange, I know. There were four perfectly functional urinals to go wild on, but some godless cretin was deliberately hosing down the linoleum surface. And it was happening daily. Every time somebody discovered a mess, Flippy would send out an e-mail (cc’ing Geraldine of course) asking the perpetrator to fess up, clean it up or stop it. There were only eight guys in the office, so everyone was suspect, including me. And it wasn’t me – if I was going to pee anywhere but the urinal, it would have been in Flippy’s water bottle.
This went on for about 3 weeks. And during that time, Flippy must have sent 800 e-mails, scalding the male population for making a mess that nobody could work out. It eventually became a joke around the office. If somebody messed coffee in the kitchen we’d blame the ‘mystery urinator’. If somebody left food in the fridge for too long and it started turning green and smelling like the apocalypse, we’d blame the ‘mystery urinator’. Same if reports weren’t done, the internet went out or the train to work got delayed – we blamed the MU for everything.
And then one day Wes, an employee with multiple sclerosis who worked on the factory floor office, fessed up to the crime – only to myself and two other guys. It was heartbreaking. His health was declining and giving him problems (hence the bathroom mess) and he didn’t want his supervisor to know, else he’d be laid off for medical reasons. With tears in his eyes, he begged us to keep it a secret.
Now, Wes was a great guy and everyone loved him. We didn’t care that he’d done it or that he was too embarrassed to own up. We swore our secrecy and told him to keep blaming the Mystery Urinator.
More time went by. All was fine. The Mystery Urinator ram amok and we had a blast pinning our crimes on a ghost. For a while working there was okay. Having fun distractions made doing a soulless job bearable.
And then one day, Flippy caught Wes in the act. Everything changed. Phillip Jones took great pride in telling Wes’s supervisor and our boss about the bathroom situation, and boasted about it like he’d solved a crime.
I don’t have to keep writing this story to tell you how things played out. You’ve probably already guessed that Wes was laid off for medical reasons and Flippy accepted a promotion.
Having to work eight hours a day in a confined office is bad enough, but there’s no reason to be a heartless idiot. There’s no reason to gang up on your co-workers for promotions. If Flippy had just told us that he really loved his job and wanted to stay there for the long haul, we would have respected him a lot more.
P.S. I was fired a week after Flippy got promoted, along with two others, after we spiked Flippy’s juice with super laxatives and blocked every bathroom at the office.