Working in an office environment definitely has its ups and downs. Luckily, I am in a private office and share it with only one other person — but I remember all too well the days of working in a cube-like, open atmostphere. There always seems to be that one co-worker that has conversations too loud where all of a sudden you realize you know WAY too much about them.
For now, my office mate only has to deal with me talking to myself and occasionally bursting into song as I get frustrated with something. It is not uncommon for a little ditty to come out of my mouth “oh ad rep, stop calling me. I am NOT interested!” to the tune of whatever just played on Pandora.
But the other day, I overheard some conversations that got me thinking back to my earlier work days. I worked in a “pod”. It’s sort of like a big cube, but shaped differently and there were about 6 or 7 of us all connected but separated by partitions. There were sound barriers but really…they don’t help so much. It’s good at times as it encourages collaboration and the “prairie dog” effect. That’s when everyone stands up at the same time (popping up out of their hole) to discuss whatever company announcement just got sent over email.
Anyway, I had this colleague, we’ll call her Sue. Sue was an interesting character all her own and hadn’t come into the pod with much of a welcome. She was a little condescending and didn’t know how to work with people that were beneath her in job duties. IE. she was ALL about some hierarchy.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Sue was the first person I worked with that I knew WAY too much about. It all started when she made her annual appointment for her pap smear from her desk. No lie. We’re all sitting there, working away when it got really quiet. I quickly got a direct message from my co-worker across the cube.
“Did I just hear the words pap smear?” Oh my word. And we had a guy that worked in our pod too; I felt bad for him because that’s way more icky for a guy to think about than a girl.
But still, we had private conference rooms. That’s what they are for- private conversations. And if I absolutely had to make an appointment from my desk, I would have just said that I needed to make my annual appointment. No one wants to think about a co-workers private parts. Ever. In any capacity.
Ok, so admittedly, that wasn’t SO bad. But her next faux paus…oh lordy. I get to work after an event one afternoon and my pod is all a twitter. Apparently Sue was having some personal issues – personal medical issues. And EVERYONE knew about them. Now almost 7 or 8 years later, I’ve come to the conclusion that she probably had hemorrhoids — but homegirl literally called her doctor to discuss bleeding from her booty AT HER DESK, FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD TO HEAR.
First of all, if that happened to me, I would been so beyond embarrassed and scared that I would have gone HOME to make that call. Second, I have to say a big fat WTF again? Can you really lack that much self-awareness to realize that all your co-workers are now talking about you behind your back and calling you all sorts of horrible nicknames that are derived from that particularly unpleasant situation?
I know I can’t be the only person that has overheard some winners of conversation. Please share. I have literally found myself giggling the past few days as I think of poor Sue and her icky, disgusting butt problem.
What conversations have you overheard?