In my corporate days I shared a cubicle wall with a guy from marketing. He would wander in a few hours after I started work, say his hellos, and occasionally try to recruit me for some sort of pyramid scheme involving artificial gems. After he made his presence known in the office, he would take some documents in his arms and head down the hallway, down the stairs, through the lobby, across the parking lot, into his car, and all the way home. He lived near work, and he'd stay home all day under the cover story of being in meetings.

A few years later I learned that he went on a drinking and drug binge, got in a fight with a buddy in a hotel room, and strangled the fellow with his belt. My coworker went to prison and wrote a book about his experience. It was a good book. He alleged that the victim was a big guy and it wasn't easy to kill him. The relatives of the victim allege that the deceased was about the size of a lawn jockey. I don't know the truth, but I do know that my coworker had a background in marketing not karate.

So who was your worst coworker?
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May 31, 2009
I, too, have to name a boss as my worst cow-orker. Asking me to cook the books was the proverbial last straw.

He spent a lot of time looking at his computer monitor, not paying attention to any document but using it as a mirror to ambush anyone walking past his desk. He didn't want an office, all the better to see the competent people with offices arranged in such a way that we all had to walk past him in order to talk with each other. As this was over 20 years ago e-mail wasn't a real option.

At one point he told me he needed the fasted PC available at the time. More RAM! Faster clock speed! Bigger hard drive! A Hayes modem! After I installed it he did the things he would usually do to make him feel as if he knew computer stuff, like the DOS dir command. The files flew past him at such a rate and other things happened so quickly he just as quickly became afraid of the thing. He would push other employees off of their computers to work on the older, slower ones, and return to his when he needed it as a mirror.

About a year after I quit his father, who still worked there as a buyer, died and the company tanked.

When he showed up on an online community I had been involved with for over a decade I was afraid something bad would happen. Fortunately he didn't post anything in my direction in the time he spent there. He mostly wrote about investments like some poor man's Jim Cramer. It was very sad. A dart-throwing monkey made more money than his stock picks did.
Apr 23, 2009
This guy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14785530@N00/sets/1516594/show/

Yes, he actually took those photos of himself with a webcam and saved them to a shared drive on the network. Its not actually the dumbest thing he's done.
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Apr 15, 2009
A tie between my two 'colleagues' at a warehouse where I used to work, who would occasionally amuse themselves by throwing rolls of tape at each other, and me. One of them also thought it amusing to try and knock me off my bike as he drove home, and when I somehow allowed myself to be persuaded to go out for a meal with them, they thought it would be amusing to have the barman top up all my beers with vodka.
Apr 7, 2009
I had an ex manager who drove his wife to suicide, but strangely he was one of the best co-workers that I had.

My worst coworker was a boss - he claimed he had 16 years of industry experience, but asked stupid questions anyway. I was part of the testing team, and the chief developer Debashis was his pet. I was everyday told told not to find too many bugs as "Debashis would get upset." I and my other teammate from the testing team were regularly pressurized to sweep critical bugs under the carpet so that Debashis's record looks clean. I reported this to my boss's boss, but nothing happened. Debashis kept getting awards and recognition. Ultimately at a critical phase of the project I decided to stop testing altogether and pass all test cases by default. Oh boy! Did that work! Debashis and the other developer were peeing their pants when bugs started cropping up everywhere just before user acceptance testing, and finally the developers themselves worked overtime to test the software and clean up their act while I enjoyed Dilbertblog.

There was another manager who used to take orders from his wife (also in the same team) and fought with every team member whom she did not like, but let's keep that for another time.

But thanks to my worst co-worker boss and some more such @$$#013$, I decided to leave my job and come back to school for Ph. D. which I am enjoying immensely. So thank you Sanjay and the rest. I love you!
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 5, 2009
What a great post! And I thought I had some bad coworkers! My worst two were a boss that was having an affair with an 18-year-old staff member, quite openly. Everyone who reported him to HR was immediately transferred to another location or pushed to quit. He must have had some dirt on someone up high, because he was promoted within the year.

Second worst was a boss who gave a written warning to a co-worker for calling in sick the day after she miscarried (she had plenty of sick time in the bank). This boss was evil personified.
Apr 4, 2009
I had an employee that seemed decent at first, did good work and was reliable. Then he started getting worse, found out from other employees that he had gotten back on meth. Eventually had to let him go. Two weeks later he was arrested for kidnapping a little girl, fortunately he didn't do anything to her. Almost fell off my chair when I saw his face on the news. DNA linked him to an earlier rape but the statute of limititations were up.
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Apr 3, 2009
the website blocked out the word h a r d c o r e for some reason.
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2009
pyramid scheme involving artificial gems...lol. If mass media really wanted to win the war on drugs, they would say something like, 'If you do !$%*!$%* drugs, including having 10 alcoholic drinks at a time, for more than 3 years, there's a good chance you'll kill yourself or someone else.' And then they could show tons of examples. !$%*!$%* drugs are the worst thing out there. Including !$%*!$%* psych meds, imo.

The worst and best co-workers I've had have been bosses. I worked my way up to dairy order writer in a grocery store, and got so good at it, that the milk deliverer would get all the milk in real easy, and stand around tellin me jokes and sayin how he would make fun of the other drivers about how easy he had it. And then the store manager came in and saw how good it was and complimented me. Which was awesome for me at the time. But my boss would drive me crazy about how everything was never good enough all the time until I finally had to quit. Even though I was making him look good. That happens alot for some reason. I eventually got into management but had to quit over 'assorted illnesses'.

I can't stand totally subjective people as bosses because, I can pretty much tell what's good, great, excellent, or not, and everyone other than maybe my direct boss always agrees with me. Plus you only have a certain amount of time to get different tasks done. It's just some of these bosses are like, it's got to be better, better, better, better, which translates into, make me look better. You know, they don't really care about their employees, in any way you can prove, lol. I care but don't make me prove it or I'll make your life hell, lol. I'm on disability now so I don't have to worry about it for awhile.

Objectivity works way better unless you're getting into major competition. Then a solid understanding of subjectivity and objectivity really comes into play. As far as I can tell. Or you can just get good at public speaking. Then you'll go right to the top anyway. Lol. /person trying to be internet genius
Apr 3, 2009
Unquestionably that would be the woman currently living with my husband.
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Apr 2, 2009
I had a cow-orker who went home for lunch and shot his wife in the head. He returned and finished out his shift. She was found hours later, still alive, and recovered. She refused to cooperate with the police, so he was never charged, and they are still together. And he still works here . . . 15 years later. I can't look him in the eyes to this day.

My colleague worked at a company where a husband and wife both worked, but on different shifts. The wife had an affair with another employee on her shift. Husband found out and came into the building during her shift and shot the her to death. He called his boss a few hours later and said he needed to take the night off, but not to worry, he'd be make his shift the next night. This was in the deep South of the USA, in case you think it happened in some backwards country where honor killings are the norm.
Apr 2, 2009
After reading these shocking (but fascinating) examples of total dysfunctional work environments, I have to say that America is being revealed as a very, very scary place for its citizens to work. So scary, I can no longer understand why an estimated 10.000.000 illegals have risked life and limb to sneak into America in search of brighter employment prospects.

Scott, as a public service, possibly you should have the responses to this particular blog turned into a large quantity of 4'x6' posters (translated into 3 or 4 of the most popular illegal immigrant dialects) and donate them to the US Border Patrol -- so they can paste the posters on the Mexican side of the wall that's being built along your southern border. I would be surprised if the incidence of illegal entry into the United States wasn't cut in half in a matter of days.


PS ... In my books, Webgrunt has the scariest story to date -- mainly because it seems like this particular nut bar still employed in his company.
Apr 2, 2009
I nominate my coworker, the Bubblehead (BBH). I've been trying to figure out what's wrong with her for 5 years now, but there's just too much going on to pin it on any one thing. She can't or won't hear things correctly. Her memory is highly selective. She's paranoid and passive aggresive. She complains to our boss that I'm giving her "mean looks" and talking in a "hateful way". (He's a good guy and laughs it off) She tells other co-workers that she wishes I was dead. I have asked her to talk to me about any problems she's having with me, but she always denies that anything's wrong. Her favorite topics of conversation are her sinus drainage and her ritual cleaning of her 3 cats' litter boxes. Her work has deteriorated to the point that it takes me half my time to fix her mistakes. It would be cruel to fire her, because I don't think she could even be a successful greeter at the local Walmart, and then who'd pay for all that kitty litter? Our company's discipline process is very complex and is almost guaranteed to protect the imcompetent. I think she's not going anywhere.

Thanks for the free therapy.
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Apr 2, 2009
Worst co-worker was actually an ex-boss.

This chap played rugby (think of it as a bit like American Football, but actually exciting to watch).

Any way, he was a bully and a thug, and eventually made the newspapers for throwing an opposing player to the ground and stamping repeatedly on their head with his studded boots.

Apr 2, 2009
I worked with a guy for a while who wasn't too bad at first. He came into the job with genuine enthusiasm. But he started to get lazier and lazier, coming into work WAY too high, and spending most of his time sitting around. Luckily for him, one of the managers liked him personally, so he stayed on much longer than he should have.

A few weeks after we fired him, I got a call from a detective asking for him. Explained that there had been an incident at his house (he lived with his mother) and he needed to make sure he was ok. They found him a week or two later a few states away. Turns out he'd beaten his mother to death.
Apr 2, 2009
I didn't personally but at least one of my former coworkers used to work w/Brian Nichols (the Atlanta courthouse shooter) at UPS...

at the other end of the spectrum another guy I currently work w/used to work w/Jeff Foxworthy at IBM...

takes all kinds/rah-rah diversity, I guess...
Apr 2, 2009
One of my co-workers, actually a minor management guy, wanted to buy this pistol my dad left me. When i wouldn't sell, he actually burglarized my house. The police said it was a very untypical burglar.

He left the holster and a magazine, so to find out what was what, i wrapped up those items, anonymously, as a Christmas present. Strange to relate, he went right to the boss and had me fired for "having weapons at work."

So i got fired while changing my work clothes for the Christmas party.

Dude thought that was such a great outcome he got his more competent co-worker fired so he would have the department to himself.

Then by Spring, he got greedy, and got caught stealing from the company.

I felt bad.
Apr 2, 2009
I can't decide if it was the the 6 foot tall, fuschia lipstick wearing psychopath with the long fake nails that I was hired to replace, who thought she should get bereavement time for her dog, and dressed like a hooker to an office job each day while trying to trip me up at work, or if it was the former hooker at that same job who was in love with our boss and saw all other women as potential rivals (he wasn't interested in her, I wasn't interested in him).

But no, it had to be the evilest legal secretary known to man, who purposely hid files and sent me on wild goose chases, forced me to work endless hours of unpaid overtime, refused to tell me how to do anything ("you went to college, after all"), lied about me to the boss, told me to do things that were 100% wrong, stole from me, then mocked me for saying my father was dying of cancer (he died a few weeks after that incident). She was charging almost full time hours in overtime, and didn't want to give up the extra money, so she did whatever she could to make me leave; when I didn't (I needed a job), she lied about me to get me fired. It was the only time I didn't make it past a probation period at work, and in retrospect, I was lucky.
Apr 2, 2009
Wow, I thought I had some bad co-worker until I read some of these other posts. Ham24; talk about a no win situation, she was like one of those people who the more she did to get fired, the harder it was to fire her. I would imagine the boss for terrified of lawsuits if he even put her on suspension. Bluemoose; having co-workers like that is like having your own version of the Jerry Springer Show to watch every day while you worked. I am also shocked by how many people worked with women who slept with customers to get sales. Makes you want to get a job in purchasing.

My worst co-worker was a woman who sat in the cubicle next to mine. She was okay, except she was a loud phone talker and she was constantly on the phone with one of her spoiled rotten kids. Three teenagers, who may well have been the sickest three people in the Chicago area. At least on of them was home sick from school almost everyday, I know this because the one kid that was home would call their mom about every 20 minutes and I would have to listen to my co-worker, very loudly fighting with her kid all day about not having enough snacks around the house, about the kid doing the dishes or cleaning the house a little while he was home, about the kid not being able to go to a friend's house if he stayed home from school that day (she gave in almost all the time) about doing their homework instead of playing xBox or Wii, about ordering a movie on pay-per-view... When one of her kids was home, she got no work done at all, and one of her kids was almost always home. Even if the kids went to school, the whole thing would start about 3:30 when they got home from school. People literally knew not to schedule meetings where she would need to be there in the afternoon. If she was in a meeting, her cell phone would be going off all the time, and no one had the guts to tell her not to take the call if it were her kids.
Apr 2, 2009
Two years ago at Christmas, I saw a coworker stealing from the company and reported her before she left the building, I felt it was my duty. As near as I can tell, nothing ever happened to her, because she is still working here today, and it has never been brought up since. In mid-January however, I ended up having to go into the hospital for emergency surgery and was off work for 3½ weeks, and a week after I came back, I was called into a meeting with my manager, the regional manager, and the head of Human Resources. It turns out I was being accused of sexual harrassment, where I apparently pulled a woman into a closet and made sexual advances towards her and would not let her leave; all of which did not happen and I flatly denied. When I asked who was making the accusation, they all hummed and hawed but eventually told me that it was the same woman I had reported for stealing. I was not allowed to see her statement, but when they finally told me when this supposedly happened, it was right in the middle of the 3½ weeks when I was in the hospital. When I pointed this out to my manager, she double checked the dates and confirmed it, the regional guy didn't say a word, and the HR woman stated that she would look into it and get back to me. No one ever got back to me, I assume it was all swept under the rug, and the coworker began spreading the sexual harrassment rumor around the office as I can assume she was not satisfied with her meeting with HR. Six months later she was promoted as a manager or another department and she still holds that title today, I still get to see her in the building and she even says HI to me, but I completely ignore her. On the bright side however, about a year ago, one of the guys in my department did some snooping and found out this girl had videotaped some of her sexual escapades and they were available for viewing on the internet. I didn't have the stomach to view more than a few minutes, but I would love to forward the link to her boss.
Apr 2, 2009
I worked with someone who was caught rubbing himself up against an female employee at a customer site. He wasn't fired for that, we were told that he had heart trouble and could no longer travel. Then he had a long distance relationship with another customer who I had previously met. I had the privilege of hearing him talk to her every day for weeks. I suppose I should have told him about her horrendous body odor, which I had to endure while having dinner with her and two managers from the same customer. He also showed me a picture of him hand feeding a brown bear across a picnic table. Dumber than the average bear!!!

After knowing him for two years he started getting too close to women on the help desk. Until he creeped out someone who stood up for herself, and he was finally dragged in front of an HR rep. Which preceded his eventual suspension from work and ultimate dismissal. Did I mention that he was married and had children. I heard from someone else who knows him, that he later went through a divorce. Can't imagine why. ;)

Oh and there was this guy at a different job who used to sneak up behind me and give me shoulder massages. Its not that I don't appreciate a good massage, I just wasn't into him.
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