We are oft reminded that “you can’t choose your family,” but far more devastating is the fact you can’t choose your coworkers. There are precious few hours each week where we’re able to escape the oppression of these unchosen weirdys. For me, it’s a sweet, sweet freedom, knowing I won’t have to battle any mysterious smells or survivalists who think its okay to pee in trashcans. But every so often, the universe sees fit to take a shite on me by putting a coworker directly in my off-work path.
I’ve already told you about my encounter with the beastly nurse who scooped her McDonalds sacks out onto the Walmart parking lot, but there have been several others:
#1: The Married People Who Have Seen Me Naked
I’m running out of places I can frequent without fear of awkward encounters, including the grocery store nearest to my house. Twice now I’ve found myself walking directly into a married couple who’ve not only gazed upon my naked body, but been forced to testify about it in detail. The wife was actually the first lucky person to be invited into my naked photo scandal when she received an anonymous message saying I was going to steal her husband, the same guy who’s always standing next to her in the dog food aisle, looking like a deer in headlights. We have over 400 employees at the hospital, I really don’t understand why I’m trapped in their particular orbit.
#2: The Wasted Nurse Who Just Wants to Adopt a Dog
Mandi, one of my few coworkers who isn’t batshite, has had to deal with the awkward overlap of our coworkers and her volunteer activities. Mandi works with an organization that fosters dogs and hosts public adoption events on the weekend. She’s a tireless advocate for these animals—unfortunately most of the people we work with are not qualified to care for other living creatures.
One of our senior RN’s—a woman who makes treatment decisions for our patients—has been attempting to adopt a dog for the last several months but keeps getting hung up on the paperwork. Instead, she repeats this cycle over and over:
Step One: Go online, find adorable dog, fall in love.
Step Two: Text Mandi at 2AM—“I want him, I need him, can I have him?”
Step Three: Receive Mandi’s response to fill out the paperwork. Do nothing.
Step Four: Continue texting Mandi in the middle of the night about desperate need for this dog.
Step Five: Refresh page and see that adorable dog has been adopted by someone else.
Step Six: Text Mandi at 2AM—“Why did you give away my dog?! I told you I wanted him! What is wrong with you?”
Step Seven: Repeat steps One through Six with different dogs, until the end of eternity.
After months of this, Mandi enlisted the help of a therapist to explain to the RN that she was never going to get a dog without filling out the proper paperwork. They even offered her the option of doing it in person at one of the dog adoption events. Lo and behold, the RN managed to show up. She parked diagonally in a handicap parking spot then sashayed her way along the sidewalk.
“Which one mine?” she slurred.
She was completely drunk off her arse, reeking of gin. Her eyes would barely open.
Mandi pointed to the poor dog, cowering in its crate with “don’t let this happen to me” eyes.
“I drove all the way from my house,” Wasted Nurse proudly slurred, “that’s 45 minutes.”
They placed the poor dog in her arms.
“Why doesn’t it like me?” Wasted Nurse immediately asked.
“He’s just a little nervous,” Mandi said, “there’s a lot going on.”
Wasted Nurse laid her head against its fur and squeezed it tightly before dropping it back onto the pavement.
“I don’t feel a connection,” she said sadly.
Before anyone could reassure her, she’d wandered back to her car. The corgi was adopted that afternoon by a more sober individual, which Wasted Nurse learned about that night when she logged on and saw that he was no longer available.
Mandi’s phone started blowing up at 4AM—“I didn’t say I didn’t want him, why did you give my dog away, what’s wrong with you?”
#3: The Lady Who Wants Us To Take a Cruise Together
It’s one thing to be spammed with an all-user email, but it’s a unique brand of horror when someone actually chooses to target you in their mass email about getting together outside of work.
No, I tell you. A thousand times no.
As though cruise ships weren’t frightening enough with all their intestinal afflictions, plumbing overflows, and running-aground issues, this woman has added herself to the list of drawbacks. At least once a week she sends an email update about her big plan for all of us to sail away together. I can only assume she’s read the same articles I have, about people going missing overboard and no one knowing whether it was homicide, and that’s why she’s inviting me. It’s almost a compliment.
What coworker encounters have you had outside of work? Who’s the last person you ever want to see in public? Do you meet up with your colleagues when you’re not getting paid to do so?
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