I have an office in a portakabin of four rooms across the car park from the main building. Only two rooms are occupied.
One day I manage to knock over a glass of water and it soaks a load of papers on my desk and goes all down my trousers, too. I lock the office door, make sure the blinds are closed, and take my trousers off to put them on the heater to dry while I tidy up the desk.
After a few minutes the office door opens and a colleague walks in. She has come to collect some papers and let herself in with the master key. She is lovely but not overly bright.
She sits for a few minutes talking, and then starts to leave. As she is going out the door she asks if I am wearing any underwear. I say of course.
She says that she isn’t sure as it just look like I am only wearing a shirt.
She must have thought that this was normal for me in my office. But it hadn’t crossed her mind to leave when she first saw me, or didn’t she notice till she was leaving?
(I have been signed off sick from work as I have osteoarthritis in one of my knees which has caused my knee cap to erode away completely, making it very painful to stand, which my job requires for my whole shift. After chatting for a few minutes with a work colleague following a meeting with management:)
Me: “I have to go. My knee is killing me and my hubby is waiting for me outside with the car.”
Coworker: “You know, the reason you can’t stand is because you’ve been off work for so long and haven’t been standing, so your knee isn’t used to it any more and now it hurts to do so.”
Me: “Umm, the reason I can’t stand it because the exposed nerve endings are pressed against and rubbing each other and the bones, causing intense pain when I stand or walk for more than a few minutes.”
(I go into work in a big box retailer one evening, and go to look at the assignment list. I see that a coworker, Maria, is scheduled to come in at the same time as me, and is assigned to children’s clothing. About two hours after my shift starts, another coworker comes up to me.)
Coworker: “Have you seen Maria?”
Me: “She’s supposed to be working back in children’s clothing, but I haven’t seen her once. She’s elusive, like a manatee.”
(I then think that maybe she wouldn’t appreciate being compared to a large, blubbery creature.)
Me: “Or Bigfoot.”
(Then I realized that wasn’t much better.)
Coworker: “Those are both elusive, but not very pretty.”
Me: “I’m trying to think of something elusive that’s more attractive.”
Coworker: “What about a unicorn? Or a mermaid? Maria the Mermaid.”
(A little bit later, a manager comes up to me to tell me that Maria had called in sick.)
Coworker: “Did you hear about Maria?”
Me: “That she called in sick? I guess she’s not a manatee.”
Coworker: “Or a mermaid.”
(I am standing in the break room, warming up a couple of muffins for breakfast. A coworker comes in.)
Coworker: “I don’t know how you do it. You get up every morning and bake two muffins for yourself. That seems like so much trouble.”
Me: *thinking this is some kind of joke* “Uh… what?”
Coworker: “You bake two muffins every morning! That’s a lot of trouble!”
Me: *realizing she’s sincere* “I bake a batch over the weekend and just keep them in the refrigerator.”
(A look of amazement comes over my coworker’s face.)
Coworker: “YOU CAN DO THAT?! I thought you had to eat them all right away so they don’t go bad!”
Me: *still not entirely convinced this isn’t a joke* “Uh, it’s just basic. They’re not that perishable. Really, are you serious?”
Coworker: “Yeah! I didn’t know that!”
Me: *bewildered, a bit horrified, I take my muffins out* “Well, I got a bunch of stuff to do…”
(I scampered back to my desk, and later heard her talking to someone else about how she didn’t know you could keep muffins. Apparently she rarely kept ANY leftovers, somehow thinking that food goes bad in minutes. And a few months later we repeated the scene; she entirely forgot the conversation.)
(I’m working at the pie table and have a bag of cleaning rags under the table. Every now and then someone comes and ‘steals’ towels out of my bag so I decide to have some fun with the next one.)
Me: “Just to let you know, those are a dollar apiece.”
Coworker: “Okay. Put it on my tab! I’ll pay you Friday.”
(Comes back a few minutes later.)
Coworker: “I need a few more. Is there a discount if I buy in bulk?”
Me: “Yes. They’re still one for $1 or five for $5.”
Coworker: *thinks for a moment* “That’s a terrible sale! I’m never shopping here again and going somewhere that has better deals.”
(By this point I’m laughing too hard to respond.)