There is a reason for the phrase "NSFW" (not safe for work). It is because there is certain content that should not be seen or heard during office hours (depending on the nature of business, of course, but we digress). It should be easily understood that the rule does not stop at free speech. Even in private, there are certain things that should never be said by an employee while on the job.
Apparently, some people did not get the memo.
Working class individuals took to Reddit to reveal what their (hopefully former) coworkers said to them that either offended, confused, or startled them to the bone. These stories, edited for clarity, make Michael Scott look like the boss of your dreams.
“Do You Have Any Single Family Members?”
“I was training a new hire. I’m an asian male. He was a white male. He was in his early 20s.
I was showing him our system of how we log things. He, all of a sudden, said, ‘Do you have any single family members? I really like Asian women. They’re so tight.”
I looked at another co-worker and she was in total shock. I ignored what he said and kept talking about our logging system. My coworker went and told the boss. Boss and HR came over and took him away. Never saw him after that.”
“Yeah, She’s A Character, Isn’t She?”
“One of my colleagues is inappropriate by just existing in the office.
I arrived at the office and she was in the kitchen, top off (bra still on though) and asked what I thought of her chest.
A few days later, she came to my office and wiggled her bum at me telling me her other workmates said her bum was too big – ‘What do I think?’
She came to the office with rather a sheer and slightly see-through skirt on. I pointed out that it was see-through just in case she didn’t know. She said, ‘Do you think I should wear underwear next time?’
She told me she was a part time model, but she couldn’t show me the pictures because, ‘They are not suitable for work.’ Turned out she was inviting work contacts to view her ‘portfolio’ online. It seems this was her way of sending nudes out to people. I have not seen them, but I heard from one of my suppliers that they were most definitely not suitable for work.
I don’t think she’s flirting. Just seeking validation that she’s pretty. Personally, she’s not my type. She’s the same age as my daughter. It would be creepy. Besides I think she’s more of an attention seeker.
I brought it up with the boss/company owner. He just said, ‘Yeah, she’s a character, isn’t she?’ I think she was either doing the boss or the boss wanted to do her.
I finish up with this company in 7 days.”
The Hated To See Him Leave, But…
“After I walked 50 feet away from a nursing station, a group of five female nurses yelled down the hall that they needed something. I had just finished working with them for 30 minutes in a group setting. I walked back and asked what they needed. The reply was, ‘We just wanted to watch you walk away again.’
I am sure my often being the only straight male around helped my production of excitement among women… and sometimes men.”
“They’re Like Family – Inappropriate Is Expected”
“I work in IT and a coworker was complaining that her system wasn’t beefy enough to run Photoshop, which she uses. She has a seventh generation i7 and 16 gigabytes of RAM. I told her. ‘At 16 gigabytes, you have plenty of RAM.’
She replied with, ‘You have no idea how much ramming I need.’
The entire room in the office heard it and went silent.
Nothing happened. I’m a married 40-year-old and she’s married and in her mid 50s. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a slip of the tongue, either. She knew it was a wildly inappropriate workplace comment. And yes, if it were role reversed and I, as a male, were to have made a comment like that and someone would have reported it, it would have probably meant my job.
In my department, I’ve been working with many of the half-dozen people for 18 years straight, every day. They’re like family. Inappropriate is expected. But when you’re dealing with someone you have interactions with a few dozen times a year at most, it’s easy to be taken aback.”
“That Girl Had Spunk, Let Me Tell You”
“I once went out for lunch with a co-worker and, while we were looking up at the menu board, she very nonchalantly said, ‘I’d really like to see you unclothed!’
I just wryly responded with, ‘Bah, you wouldn’t be that impressed.’
That was literally the entire exchange and we just went on like nothing was ever mentioned. It was so cut and dry that there was zero awkwardness between us about it. We remained good work friends until one day the boss had been bugging her about a benign report when she was up to her eyeballs in real work. She pulled out the report and told the boss to turn around so she could stick it up his bum.
She was walked from the building in a nanosecond. That girl had spunk, let me tell you. This was before Facebook and I can’t remember her last name so I never saw her again.”
“There Is A Whole List Of Messed Up Things She Did Or Said”
“I decided to join a start-up company and there were just five of us at the beginning. There was this woman in her mid-30s. Right from the beginning, you could tell she was nuts. Unfortunately, it turned out we were from the same town and for some reason, in her eyes, that gave her the right to bug me about everything and to tell me the most personal things. She was fired really quickly.
For the first couple of months, things were bearable. But then came the time in which she acted like a complete lunatic for several days straight. There is a whole list of messed up things she did or said:
She asked me to help her with something on her computer. When I clicked to minimize Chrome, it popped up with a lewd entertainment site loaded. In the middle of the office. During working hours.
A coworker’s wife was pregnant. One day, he came in the office joking about some random stuff and the woman I am talking about found that joke very personal and inappropriate, obviously. God knows why, because it wasn’t about her or anybody in particular. All of the sudden, out of blue, she jumped and screamed something like: ‘Instead of doing it with me here in the office, go do your pregnant wife in the bum! That shouldn’t do anything to the baby!’
She just calmly remained sitting while everybody was in state of complete shock. I thought my coworker was going to kill her. That ended up in a huge fight, including the company owner, while the rest of us just went out of the office for the day. The next day, she took the day off.
Two days after that, I was first in the office and she came second. The moment she walked in, she started complaining to me that she didn’t know why she had no boyfriend for years. She started talking to me that she did everything when it came to making love. You name it, she did that. She started explaining how she performed it and what she did with a guy she was dating five years earlier. I just openly said to her that I don’t care and told her to leave me alone. The next day, she was fired.
She recently texted me via LinkedIn to tell me I should give her a call once I am back to my hometown to hangout. It gave me chills.
That start up company failed miserably and it almost messed up my career, but this lunatic is the worst memory I carry from that office.”
“He Refused To Discuss Where He Came From”
“‘If you were abducted, do you think anyone would pay to get you back? How much do you think your boyfriend would pay to get you back?’
This was asked out of nowhere with a dead serious expression and unblinking stare by the new guy who had just moved to town. He had the most generic name possible (think ‘John Smith’) and had refused to discuss where he came from or why he had moved.
I gave him a big What the heck? look and said something like, ‘Probably enough for their family to buy them a nice headstone,’ and continued what I was working on, while he continued to just stare. We were alone and it was the evening shift. He actually pushed the question two more times, utterly without humor. When I flat out asked him, ‘John what the heck?’ he looked away and didn’t talk to me for the rest of the evening.
The next day, he was doing his staring thing and he asked me out of nowhere, ‘What is your deepest fear and, also, what is your address?’
I was in a bad mood and had poor coping skills at the time, so I gave him a quick stab with my pen and told him to shut up. He didn’t even flinch. He just said, ‘Fine.’
He toned it down and, I guess, decided not to kill me or whatever after he met my very sweet but outwardly intimidating boyfriend, and we actually unexpectedly became friends. I gave John his first nickname, which he insisted people use instead of his name and made up a backstory involving witness protection that he adopted as his official backstory. He forbid me from telling people I made it up.
One time he was almost fired for aggressively flirting with a client who was an amputee and then contacting her by phone and social media when she rejected him. Not sure what he said, but it must have been pretty bad. The lady came in and complained and called him a ‘dangerous predator.’ John and I were standing next to each other and, as he was watching her leave, he said out loud, ‘She will be mine.’ I laughed. He didn’t.
I asked him why he was so obsessed with her, and he said, ‘She’s beautiful and she only has one leg. I could always catch her.’ He never revealed anything about his past to anyone. I don’t know what became of him, but it would be impossible to find him in a search now with his name.”
“Thank You For Saying This Very Private Thing In The Presence Of Others”
“A coworker had her last day and then said in the presence of a bunch of other colleagues, ‘I always liked you, but you didn’t get my signals and now your chance with me has passed, so you don’t get the chance to do it with me anymore.’
I liked you, too, but I’m insecure and don’t get vague signals, so thank you for saying this very private thing in the presence of others and making me look like an idiot.”
“I Have No Idea What She Saw In Him”
“I used to work with a really sleazy used car salesman type guy. He was in his 50s, and I was mid-20s. He’s also married to another coworker of mine who is totally gorgeous and actually pretty cool.
One day, we were working and he asked if I like to drink.
‘Sure,’ I said. He then proceeded to tell me that he was going to get me so wasted that I would sleep with him.
‘Do you realize how messed up I would have to be??’
He said he was fine with that.
I think the worst part is that he bragged to people about it.
We had high level jobs for the US government. The real kicker to the story was that the guy was my union representative. To be honest, it was easier to just handle the situation myself than to deal with the paperwork and year long investigation that would’ve taken place. And I really don’t understand this guy, but he would’ve taken pride and joy out of the attention and getting himself out of any trouble I would’ve stirred up.
I made sure never to be in a room alone with him. But he bragged about saying it to me. creep.
I never brought it up with his wife. My guess is that he either told her, someone else did, or they had much bigger issues to deal with anyways. She just used to roll her eyes at his terrible behavior, so I don’t think it would have phased her much. I have no idea what she saw in him, but I was happy when she came to her senses and left him.”
“She Asked If I Wanted To Be A Fifth That Night”
“I started at a new job, working in middle management. My boss, a female, told me, ‘Don’t show up here under the influence, and don’t assault anyone. If you do need to do someone, Brittany [a peer within the organization] is pretty easy.’
She laughed. I laughed.
Brittany was really easy. She wasn’t the most attractive person in the world, but she was fun. But, I think she could’ve been clinically diagnosed as a addict to getting it on. She was meeting one or two guys every night of the week. In one specific instance, I went on a date to a basketball game with a different girl. I saw Brittany there with three other dudes. I politely said, ‘Hi’ in passing and she asked if I wanted to be a fifth that night.
I left the job after three months.”
What An Unusual Valentine’s Day They Must Have Had
“I could write out a list of inappropriate incidents a page long about a fellow volunteer for a nonprofit I worked at, but the first one that comes to mind was a guy in a supervising position asking me to go around and see if I could find any ‘group things’ happening among the staff that weekend. He was very explicit about what sort of ‘group activities’ I should have looked for.
This was the same guy who asked me if he could give me to his girlfriend as a gift for Valentine’s Day.”
“He Said I Should Have At Least Seven Or Eight Kids Now”
“It was a near minimum wage job looking for a night shift. I was talking with another coworker about a few female issues that I had. I mentioned that I would love to have a hysterectomy since I didn’t want them to reoccur. A male supervisor popped in. He said that I was being selfish, that I should have at least seven or eight kids now, and that I needed to get pregnant right now because it would fix my problems. He also threw in that I needed to think of those who can’t have kids and do it for them.
This happened at least two or three years ago. Based off my symptoms, I think my endometrial cancer had started at least a year or two prior. He was fired not long after. I didn’t report him.
About two months before I quit that place, they hired a prejudice and misogynist guy. After finding out I don’t have kids, he started screaming me out. I had been vague about it and I initially thought he was asking questions to get to know people better. I shot back and told him that he was been very inappropriate. The manager egged him on and agreed with him. He told me I needed to pray to God to fix me and I needed to be used by multiple men against my will until I got pregnant.
I did report him. He got a slap on the wrist. He said someone’s lungs should be ripped out.
The last shift I worked with him, I caught him muttering on how he should beat and violate me. I had a week left and reported his butt. I don’t think anything was done, and I was told that I needed to take it up with my manager before going to HR. They also had the nerve to ask me to work with him instead of my last shift. I told them I was working my last shift as planned.”
“The Dumbest Pile Of Carbon And Squishy Bits This Earth Has Ever Seen”
“We called him ‘Dingdong.’ He is the dumbest pile of carbon and squishy bits this earth has ever seen.
He said to me that I’ve probably cheated on my boyfriend 100 times. My boyfriend was sitting right beside me. He said to me, ‘You know why girls get their tongues pierced? You know what for right?’ He told another girl she should probably just transfer to the infants department since she had five kids and she would know it better.
He set up a girl’s cell phone and put his number into her phone. We’re supposed to make a test call to ensure it’s working. He called his own phone so he would have her number, then texted her the next day and asked her out. He was fired after that. That was years ago.
There are probably more but it makes my blood boil thinking about that imbecile.”
What A Cruel Prank
“A colleague was looking to buy a laptop for her son who was visiting for the summer for a few weeks. I offered to lend her a spare one which I was just about to put up for sale. When I brought it to the office, she asked if I had had time to erase all evidence of lewd content on it in front of everyone.
I was taken aback by that comment and didn’t reply to it.”
“She Asked If ‘Over Dinner’ Would Be A More Appropriate Situation”
“At my previous work, there was an intern who I was fairly sure had a thing for me. One day a bird got loose in the office and unfortunately flew into a window and died. I made a comment to the extent of, ‘Well, at least he had a good, full life.’
Her reply was, ‘What does that mean for your feels on abortion?’
Taken aback, I stammered out a reply about how I didn’t think work was a great place to discuss abortion. She let me know that she didn’t mind and really wanted to know what I thought. When I told her I was personally uncomfortable talking about this in a work setting, she asked if ‘over dinner’ would be a more appropriate situation.
We were in the open conference room in the middle of the office and all I could think to say was: ‘…for instance, that would be a more appropriate setting,’ and walked away.”
We Have A Messy Conversation On Aisle 9
“My manager in a supermarket made me say in the microphone that we were gonna close. After that, she immediately asked me if I would like to suck on the mic.
I never got close enough to the mic, because I was actually grossed out by it. She did the same with other people. She was frustrated, I think. She once told me she would date me if I wasn’t so young. Disgusting.”
“All The Girls Hate Him”
“We have this one guy who works one day a week and all the girls hate him because he eyes their chests. I was stocking the day he was in and I bent down to tie my shoe and he was near me.
He looked at me and said, ‘You can bend. That’s good.'”
“He Essentially Mansplained Being Gay”
“I’m a lesbian and fortunate to live in an area where I can be very out at work and not be concerned about much backlash. We had this one guy who was maybe 20, at best work, for maybe, like, three months. His name was Ed and, for the most part, a cool guy, just a bit of an inflated ego.
One of our male customers left one day and Ed turned to me and said, ‘I think that guy is going to become gay.’
After trying to clarify what he meant, I gathered that Ed had the distinct impression that it took about three years for someone to start converting to gay and it was not something you were born with. I even tried to correct this line of thought, but every time I began to speak, Ed interrupted me and essentially mansplained being gay.
My mind was kind of blown that day. He ended up leaving about three weeks later saying he had issues balancing work and baseball, which he was in a scholarship program at the local college for. I hope he makes it. The dude was dedicated to his craft. But I also hope someone explains how being gay works for him, too.”
“What Do You Do? Make Salsa?’
“There was this guy who said a lot of things – prejudice, misogynistic, homophobic, you name it. Quick note: we work at a manufacturing site that is extremely diverse. The exchanges I list below were had between engineers.
One of my coworkers is Mexican. She was walking down the manufacturing floor with this guy and he asked her why so many of the operators were Mexican. Then he said, ‘You’re Mexican.’ My coworker didn’t know what to say, but she said yes, she is Mexican. He then said, ‘What do you do? Make salsa?’
This guy made a comment about another female coworker to another guy saying, ‘She’s a woman, you can’t expect her to be organized.’ He then proceeded to make really derisive comments about her romantic preferences. He then ordered another female coworker to type something for him because his hand was tired. He was always asking why we let women be engineers and/or managers.
He had an extended conversation with a couple of male coworkers about how he was always cheating on his girlfriend just because. He also said that his girlfriend got pregnant and she had a miscarriage and she was upset about it. He thought she was being stupid so he started hooking up with other women.
He asked a male coworker if he was going back to his desk to go pleasure himself.
His manager (a woman) told him to work with me or two of our other engineers (all of us are women), to figure out an issue, because the three of us had all addressed things similar to what was currently going on. He decided he didn’t want to because we, apparently, don’t know what we are doing. He asked a male engineer who had never handled something like that.
He ended up getting fired for performance-related issues because none of the women engineers felt comfortable bringing issues up to management, fully expecting the classic ‘It’s a cultural thing’ or ‘Don’t take it so personally.’ It all came out after he was fired and the managers got him blacklisted with HR so no other divisions will hire him. Also, it’s an extremely small industry, so the managers spread the word to colleagues at other companies.”
Luckily No One Else Saw
“This happened years ago when I was 23 and there was a woman I worked with who was around 40. We were super close. Her husband was teaching me how to kite board, and she would bring all kinds of food, desserts, and all kinds of snacks when we were working together for everyone. She’d refer to herself as our work mom.
So one winter, she took some time off to have a double mastectomy, in which they remove a woman’s chest because of a high cancer risk. I didn’t see her for a few months because she had that surgery, and another surgery for implants.
One day, it was just her and I and we were talking about I can’t remember. Out of nowhere, she asked if I have ever got implants. I told her no, and she said, ‘Grab them. They feel weird.”
They did feel weird. It honestly wasn’t anything suggestive, but if someone walked i while I had a hand on her (she had her shirt on and wasn’t bare chested, but still) they sure as heck would have thought it was.”