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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Yes, Alyx, sadly, being spat upon by camelids would be cheery compared to work some days. Which shows either how much I love animals or how much I hate my job some days. Possibly both.

It's way past my bedtime on Sunday night, and I had to work today. And because of the day I had, I can't sleep, despite being very tired, and achy and sore-throated.

So a bedtime story for you, all about a person we will call AC.

(That's Annoying Co-worker for the slower-witted among you)

The day began simply enough. The station is moving locations, so we had to go in on our day off to help the process along. The boss was running late, so AC and I waited for him, and chatted calmly while doing so. It came up that I had a pitbull, and then of course came up that all of the research that I've done over the past months about the temperment of pitbulls and their behavior around humans is bogus, but the stories he's heard about third hand are completely factual. So I changed the subject as quickly as I could, not being up for a discussion with a closed-minded ignorant moron.

Now, some have mentioned that maybe my temper is shorter with AC than it is with other people. I will willingly admit that this might be the case. But I do believe that the rest of my day will show why this is the case.

Our "old" location, which I've shown pictures of, was built in the '40s and redecorated in the 70's, and is dark, dingy, confining, with no windows or natural light. The "new" location was remodelled far more recently, is cleaner, brighter, has windows and natural light.

AC spent the day complaining about how claustrophobic is was making him. Fine.

Then AC told the boss that he should buy a different brand of toilet paper because (as he put it, I swear) he gets "reactions". B responded that he buys the tp in bulk for three stations, and that AC is welcome to bring his own.

A few hours later, when B was out running an errand and I was setting up my new office, AC decided to walk into my office and tell me that he was furious with the way he was being treated, and he deserved better toilet paper, and he was going to make sure the station paid for it, by submitting petty cash forms each time he had to purchase toilet paper for himself.

When I told him I thought he was over-reacting, he proceeded to tell me, in great detail, just why he needed Charmin Ultra. I won't give you the information he gave me, but suffice it to say I have now been given an explicit description of the amount of hair in various regions of AC that I'd rather not admit even exist, as well as the process with which he uses the aforementioned Charmin Ultra. I stared at him in disgust and he said "oh, you're thinking about it now, aren't you?" to which I replied "what I'm thinking about is why you would possibly think this is something I want to know, or something that is remotely appropriate to share."

AC: We're co-workers. Doesn't everyone share this with their co-workers?
Me: No, actually some people have decency and realize that's really disgusting.
AC:You don't know that. You're wrong. Everyone else does talk about this. I talk about it all the time.

I chose then to stop the conversation in the only way I could (as he was blocking my office door) and turned away and began scribbling on a note pad as though I was horribly busy.

A bit later, I was taking a brief break out on our "patio" and he came outside where I was.

AC:This is more than you want to know, but I wanted to tell you that I peed, but I put the lid up, and afterwards I put it back down.
Me: For future reference, when you start a sentence with "This is more than you want to know," you're right, and you shouldn't tell me.
AC:What, I'm just being considerate, and I'm not going to stop telling you these things because I can tell you if I want to.

These are the kinds of conversations I have to tolerate. If I tell him to stop, normally the response I get from him is "You have to be patient with me, I'm very, very sensitive, and my feelings get hurt easily." Very, very sensitive, my ass. B and I had both assumed that his significant other (that's right, this classy guy got some woman to commit to him) was a huge dominatrix type woman, an angry, bossy type who looked like every man's worst nightmare - this based on the way he behaves, and the way he's mentioned to me that he's had many people tell him he's way too good for her. I finally met her and she's a tiny, relatively polished, classy woman.

What I get is starting to feel more and more like harrassment from him. And I feel a little trapped because things were so bad with The Troll that I feel like I've been shoved between the rock of tolerating abusive/harrassing behavior from co-workers, and the hard place of having the boss think I can't get along with anyone and I'm more trouble than I'm worth to keep around.

This damn business. It brings all the psychotic freaks together, and screws with your mind with slow, devastating torture.

18 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

OMG! Why on earth would AC think you are interested in his bathroom habits?? My husband had a BOSS who frequently told them the color of his BMs. I kid you not. "Today it is tan, but yesterday it was dark brown." How do you tell boss to shut up?? Good luck in not doing serious damage to AC.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good lord! at first i thought your story was funny but then the more i read the more horrified i became. i'm really sorry you have to deal with that guy. it really would seem to border on harrassment but i know how you feel about actually speaking up. hope this situation gets better for you.

carolyn
sobsister.typepad.com

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SP,

AC is a huge jerk. I can rough him up if you want.

If he persists if making his private problems and nuances public then he'll need alot more than Charmin Ultra to prevent his 'reaction'to my steel toed boot in his whoopsydaisy.

GB

10:01 AM  
Blogger Clara said...

Oh wow... this is... unbelievable. I've heard stories of sick co-workers and dysfunctional workplaces, but this sounds like a really, really bizarre and unpleasant (not to mention invasive and boundariless) person. I'm so sorry.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Disgusting. Definitely bordering on harassment, if not outright harassment, which I would say is definitely possible ~ especially since you have told him to his face that you find it offensive and inappropriate.

Maybe next time you can tell him that his conversations with you, along this vein, are really a type of harassment and that if he doesn't cut it out, you'll have to consider a formal complaint. Maybe you could talk to your boss, tell him what AC is conversing about with you, and see what the reaction is ... before you mention "harassment" to your boss.

I don't know. It definitely sucks. I actually cannot believe there are adult people out there who consider this appropriate conversation in any venue other than an intensely personal, intimiate relationship.

Gad.

I like GB's suggestion! Good man! :-)

Love, Jen

11:23 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Without a doubt - it's harrassment.

You told him you didn't want to know, and that it wasn't appropriate. At the point where he brought it up again and told you that he isn't going to stop telling you, it becomes harrassment.

Seriously - he should be fired for that.

And then GB should kick his a**.

And then we'll all get in line to kick his a** some more after GB is done with him.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

How old is this guy? He sounds like he's extremely young and/or immature, or he has some serious developmental problems. And, I agree with everyone else. Just because it's not sexual doesn't mean this isn't harrassment!!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Amie said...

I'm a horrible judge of age. He's at least in his late 40's, fat, receeding hairline with a greying mullet...

A real class act.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

You can inform your co-worker that no, not everyone shares like that with their co-workers!! Eww--how can he possibly think that is natural and ok. I don't even talk like that around my sister, mother, or husband. I hope he figures it out soon!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Leave it to a person living in the deep South to think of this: How about wrapping up a nice box of corncobs and giving to him. (evil grin)
What a nincompoop!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At first I found it amusing too, then it turned to outright horrifying. You should definitely report this man for his boorish behavior. Harassment does not have to be sexual. To tell you that it's normal for all coworkers to discuss their bathroom habits in detail is ridiculous. For one second, I did consider you could try to “outgross” him, but I'm fairly certain a man of this caliber would just relish anything distasteful you told him.

Seriously, I believe I would bring a small tape recorder to work. There would be no need to hide it, I think this man would enjoy the thought of being taped. As soon as he starts one of those...I know you don't want to hear... You say, oh Bozo, hold on a minute, I don't want to miss any of this. Pop the tape recorder on the desk and start to record. Either he will realize he should stop now (doubtful) or you will have full evidence to present to your boss.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case any of you are interested, I have "the good toilet paper" over at my blog. Feel free to leave RoseByAny (who clearly smells of camel expectorant) and come use the toilet paper at my place.


Wait, what am I saying, I don't want AC or anyone else coming over just to use the water closet, ACK!!!


Alyx
http://stringtheoryfiberarts.typepad.com

10:05 PM  
Blogger Jensgalore said...

He's got some serious problems. Is he socially deficient in other ways, or does he save all this for you?

10:41 PM  
Blogger FaerieLady said...

Any co-worker of mine who did this to me would then be treated with a steel toed rappel boot right up his hineyhole, and I'd leave the boot there (a cheap knockoff boot that I'd run over with the car a few times, make it really rough and unpleasant) and have him call his own proctologist. -- Kae

2:03 AM  
Blogger Marlene said...

What a gross moron! Maybe for him it IS a sexual thing in some weird, totally warped way. I HAVE heard of people with sexual fetishes about poo.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he tried talking to me like that again, I'd simply turn and walk away. Do that enough times and he *should* get the hint to shut up about it!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Kadiddly said...

Incredibly callous of me in most cases, but honestly, is anyone really so concerned with hurting his poor, sensitive widdle feelings that they can't tell him he needs a life? Does anyone else have similar harassment from him or is he focused on you specifically? Either way, you have my sympathies!

3:28 PM  
Blogger fillyjonk said...

Okay - he has abdicated his right to cry "sensitivity" over ANY topic when he did the "This is more than you want to know, but I wanted to tell you that I peed, but I put the lid up, and afterwards I put it back down." comment.

That's clearly demonstrating INsensitivity to you after you asked him not to be all TMI and stuff about his bathroom habits.

(I will admit I'd've been tempted to 'fight fire with fire' and discuss my - um - 'once a month womanly functions' in front of him, but it would (a) be stooping to his level and (b) he might actually get a kick out of it).

I guess if it were me, I would say: "okay. I'm going to lay it on the line and be very clear. Your discussion of your bathroom habits bothers me and I regard it as an unwelcome and unnecessary intrustion. If you keep it up, I will let our boss know, and I will tell him that I warned you about it." (And I'd follow through - maybe not the first time the slob "forgot", but certainly the third or fourth

4:03 PM  

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