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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, April 18

Gapers Block

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rn / February 8, 2010 1:34 AM

Plenty of stuff. I had a coworker who would walk around on company time to sell crappy, flimsy jewelry--not homemade but the kind of stuff you'd find at Claire's--she was insanely pushy about you buying it.

Also, an old office building of mine had a small room with a couch and table that was connected to the ladies' bathroom. Employees used to sleep in there all the time--I once caught two taking a midmorning nap while jokingly showing it to a new coworker.

That was the same office that celebrated Black History Month once with a free fried chicken and biscuits lunch from Popeye's.

I could go on for HOURS about this topic.

Ramsin / February 8, 2010 9:43 AM

Sex. Awesome sex.

LaShawn Williams / February 8, 2010 11:02 AM

There is neither the time nor space here to answer this question. Boy oh boy oh boy...

LittleJill / February 8, 2010 11:31 AM

When I worked at an investment firm I saw truly icky behavior. All of the men calling the women in the office "the girls" was just the beginning. The guy I shared a cubicle with surfed porn on his computer all day long and drank vodka on the rocks out of a coffee mug. A client once sent a bottle of expensive vodka as a holiday gift to the owner of the firm and later that same day I found the empty bottle in the office freezer, where I had put it since the intended recipient was out of town. I could go on and on...

Ted / February 8, 2010 1:00 PM

There was a guy who turned his desk into an off-track betting parlor. He had the Racing Form on his laptop computer and a live feed of the horse races on his work computer. Before a race, he would run outside to make a bet on his cell phone, so no one could here.

OK. It was me. I really wanted to play the Pick 4 at Arlington that day.

snuh / February 8, 2010 5:50 PM

that i've seen, or that i've done? or that i've seen done to me?

Andrew / February 8, 2010 6:41 PM

@snuh Any of the above.

The Doug / February 8, 2010 6:57 PM

Ok, so this woman is working in a tech company with mostly men, just how it is. Anyway on the way back from lunch this woman gets groped by one of her co -workers on an elevator and asks me what she should do about it since they had drinks at lunch...sooooo I say you didn't ask to be groped so you should go to HR and complain.

She goes to HR complains, they take her complaint and have a talk with HER and then the issues isn't brought back up again; we just get a company wide email stating drinking at lunch is no longer permitted. "What!", I said. If I had known drinking at lunch was permitted then I would have had some vodka with my olives.
Anyway....a few months pass and this same woman is FIRED after another female co-worker sends her an email with with porn as an attachment - WTF was my only response....and then I applied for her job...and got it.


Mike / February 8, 2010 8:36 PM

Well we did lots of nitrous oxide whippet hits. But it was a Baskin & Robbins. And I was sixteen.

At Safeway we stole beer, had expired produce fights behind the store. We'd "drop" things like cookies so we could take them to the damaged table where they'd disappear within minutes. We used to fill several 30 gallon trash bags with helium, roll them down an aisle in the store, hold the bags down so they appeared to be full of trash, and then let them go to float to the ceiling ... just to see the shocked/confused reaction of customers. This is brilliant if you're stoned.

In my last job, my boss (a woman in her 50s) started smoking after quitting decades earlier so that she could accompany the higher-ups on smoke breaks. We called her weekly staff meetings the "What Are You Doing?" meetings because that's literally all they entailed -- she'd ask us what we were doing. No vision. No direction. Nothing, for $80,000 a year. Once, at the end of the meeting, my co-worker got up the nerve to ask her, "how about you? What are you working on?" Her answer: "Nothin'."

The only inappropriate thing I see these days is layer upon layer of unneeded management. These people say things like "ping me" and "let's noodle on that" and have meetings about meetings while staff that actually do, you know, the actual work get shitcanned. They then spout the ever-elusive mythical goal of every worthless manager trying to keep their job during challenging times: "more with less."

LaShawn Williams / February 8, 2010 9:47 PM

"Once, at the end of the meeting, my co-worker got up the nerve to ask her, "how about you? What are you working on?" Her answer: "Nothin'."

I LOVE IT!!!!!

NotTellin' / February 8, 2010 10:25 PM

My boss has shown my porn, drinks gin and tonic from water bottles, takes 3 hour lunches and comes back to work drunk 4 days a week, doesn't know how to do his job and cons other people into doing it for him, bitches continuously about everyone he works with, and complains that his manager never calls him. But I won't rat him out, cause I don't want his job and there's no one else to take it. So I complain to other people who don't want his job.

Big Jack / February 8, 2010 11:33 PM


Stop infantilizing yourself with nicknames like "LittleJill" and maybe the guys won't regard you as one of "the girls".

I'd also cruise porn and swig vodka all day too if I had to share workspace with a prude like you.

LittleJill / February 9, 2010 8:53 AM

Wow, Big Jack, thanks for that off-topic personal attack. I'm "LittleJill" because I stand 4' 10" tall. It's a lifelong nickname, not that it matters. I'm guessing you, too, work in finance.

g / February 9, 2010 10:16 AM

I had a boss who led a prayer at her desk w/me to ask for god's help with a personality conflict i had with a coworker.

in retrospect, i think that boss absolutely loved stoking the flames of that conflict--she loved crisis moments.

Paul / February 9, 2010 11:32 AM

I'm with Mike.

I'm a contractor and get to see inside many offices. The most inappropriate thing I see is the absolute waste of company time - at all levels. I once sat in a meeting where 4 highly paid people spent an hour debating about where a long lunch was going to take place (complete with exhaustive internet research and Gigabytes of blackberry messages). It went on so long they had to take a starbucks break. No joke.

Sometimes the only production I see getting done is in Farmville.

Spook / February 9, 2010 4:32 PM

I wasn’t a natural fit at my university, so I fell in with the janitors at the university’s health Club. I worked there part time for my work study grant.
Although invisible to the other students, they made me feel less homesick.

My favorite was T.C., A plump dark as night man who still rocked a jheri curl. When angered he’d warn “don’t f*ck with me, I'm insane! I got a steel plate in my head from Vietnam!” T.C’s best friend was called Gofer cause he looked like one. He was real quiet. Birch was a big fat red neck from the Virginia hills. He wore a dirty base ball cap with crossed rifles on the front, and a pinky ring with a deer face painted on. Tyron was a hustler and lady’s man. They all called me wrinkles because of my clothes.

One summer Tryon asked me to help steal alcohol at a reception for graduates of the medical school. I was the student bar tender. Of course I accepted the “mission”. Tyron’s plan was ingenious! I’d get the alumni really drunk at the free bar to cause more confusion- there was dancing! At the end of the evening, instead of breaking down the tables, T.C., Birch, and Gofer would quickly turn them on their sides to block views of the bar. Then Tyron would come by with two industrial laundry carts (with wheels)
and load the liquor (that I had already boxed and stacked) and take it to their break room. We would then finish cleaning up the gym. It worked!
The manager asked me what happened to the liquor. I blamed it on the drunk unruly medical students. He was suspicious, but he couldn't blame me because I was a student.

My happiest moment didn’t come from graduating three years later, but being in their break/changing room and watching Tyron divide the alcohol. Being young, I asked for the beer, which surprisingly to me then, no one wanted. They took the hard stuff.

Birch took his home. T.C. and Gofer went with Tyrone cause he knew of a liquor store on the northeast side that bought stolen liquor.

As yall like to say "good times!"

Mike / February 9, 2010 6:10 PM

This may not be "inappropriate" to some, but it is to me and should be abolished because it is self-serving, pointless and it adds to the overall spirit-crushing environment of so many workplaces:

Co-workers who fire off a completely easy and unnecessary email on Saturday or Sunday so the recipients know they're a "team player" and were working over the weekend. What a laugh. Get a fucking hobby or volunteer somewhere for God's sake. Someday you're gonna be dead and no one will ever remember or care that you worked for five minutes on a Saturday for your mundane office job that didn't require it. My co-worker and I actually now use the term "emailing on Sunday" as code for this type of useless and self-promotional behavior that everyone but a moron sees through.

Anonymous / February 9, 2010 7:35 PM

As late as June last year, I worked for a state government office. One of my coworkers, who was nearing retirement, also ran a phone sex service out of her cubicle. She kept her special cell phone on her desk, and would either talk dirty right there, or start talking dirty as she walked the 100 feet or so to the lobby, allowing even mire folks to get an earful. Everyone knew it, and no one wanted to say anything about it.

Manc / February 10, 2010 11:55 AM

For my first job in high school, I was a stock boy at an independently owned drug store. Over two years, I stole whatever I could get away with; school supplies, cigarettes, adult magazines, Fannie May gift sets, amphetamines, cologne, etc. I stole these things consistently but in very small doses. During summer days, I would show up to work stoned or get stoned in the basement once I got there.

I was always on time, and I completed all my tasks letter perfect. My boss never complained about a thing.

heh / February 10, 2010 2:11 PM

I got my work permit when I was 13 an immediately went to work slinging weed out of a Burger King drive-thru. My boss, Joe Bud, drove a 1989 Ford Escort a with grey and black astroturf exterior. "Funky Ass Pony" was airbrushed on the back.

Yeah, seriously.

etiquette bitch / February 10, 2010 3:09 PM

when i was an asst. at a mortgage bankers' office, my boss had porn delivered to the office so his wife wouldn't find out.

bob / February 10, 2010 4:37 PM

While working in the office of a humanities department at big 10 university, the chair at the time asked me if she could use my email to send a message. not sure why she couldn't use hers, but she proceeded to sit down and write an email to the (married) chair of a neighboring department with whom she was having an affair. not sure of the exact details of the email, but since, um, it was sent via my account and was sitting in my outbox after she hit send + left, i helped myself to it's contents. yeah,i'd say that was inappropriate.

bob / February 10, 2010 4:50 PM

oh, and the leopard print bodysuits she wore weren't so hot, either.

aya / February 11, 2010 10:42 AM

I have a friend who works in an HR department where his boss is a huge gossip. He constantly tries to talk w/staff about info from personnel files and private conversations, like "Why do you think Donna is going on medical leave? She just told me today. Can you ask around and find out?" kind of stuff.

r / February 11, 2010 10:51 AM

I used to have a very snarky, mean boss--she thought she was hilarious and also a great deal smarter and more competent than everyone around her.

She always swore off having children, but one day brought me in to her office to tell me that she was pregnant. "Oh, okay. Congratulations," I managed to get out. Again, I really disliked this woman so the idea of her reproducing was horrifying. I went along with my day, quickly forgetting about her news.

The next morning she called me in to her office to ask WHY I DIDN'T TELL ANYONE. She wanted *me* to tell the rest of the office and seemed insulted that I didn't immediately broadcast the news. So then, like a fool, I had to walk around to all the other offices and let them know. I think they cared less than I did.

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