Stress in the office and bosses with too-high expectations are the worst. Add slacking teammates, freeloaders, and creeps to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a daily dose of headaches and eye rolls. Check out these cringe-worthy stories some Pinays shared and what they did to deal with the problem:
The Sweet But Smelly Seatmate
“When I was an SEO writer, I sat next to the office I.T. guy (it was a very small startup company). He was super nice and very sweet, but he farted a lot! And I don’t mean how an average human being farts! It was THE fart—like wasabi in my nose! I asked to be transferred to a different station but my manager said we were seated according to our responsibilities. And since I had to work closely with him, I had to sit next to him. I ended up quitting a month after (it was that bad). He also had smelly feet. Just my luck!”—Donna*
The Great Pretender
“I had this new, seemingly friendly coworker who turned out to be ‘epal’ on another level. He makes decisions like he’s the president of the company. People realized how ‘plastic’ he was and eventually, we found out that he misrepresented himself as a CPA (certified public accountant) and a Master’s degree holder. Everybody knows about his lack of integrity, and soon, he’s going to be out of the office for good.”—Catherine*
The One That Got Away
“When I was in a big corporate company, we were in a lot of teams, so it was possible not to really know certain people. I knew most of the supervisors, though, due to the nature of my work. One time, one of them asked if we could lend one of his subordinates some money. It was to pay for that officemate’s child’s daily expenses, he said, and whatever we lend was going to be paid back the next payday. I was single, and I had enough savings at the time, so I offered P3,000 to help out. And, as you might have guessed, I never got my money back. I tried asking the supervisor who the officemate was, so I can talk to that person and find out where he/she is coming from. The supervisor then admitted it was one of the employees that went AWOL recently. I had no choice but to chalk it up to experience, I guess.”—Maui*
Little Miss Clingy
“When I was working as a call center agent, I had this one female coworker who would stash her phone inside her clothes and use earphones to call her boyfriend. Phones weren’t allowed inside the office as we were handling credit card information. But she would still bring hers in. We always thought she was so diligent because she always had her office headphones on, but apparently, she was talking to her boyfriend using a different pair of earphones! She was never caught mind you!”—Paula*
“I had this one officemate who would always come in on time, BUT sleep right after logging in. He was our lead so we couldn’t really tell him not to sleep. He would tell us what we had to do for the day, settle on his chair, and sleep until it’s time to go home. If we needed him to check anything, we would wake him up and he would go back to sleep after checking our work. I’ve long left that job—I don’t know if he still sleeps like that ‘till now. LOL!”—Tracy*
The Snack Stealer
“I work in a ward where lunch breaks are sacred. We only had 30 minutes at most because the patients need us. We were usually interrupted by, ‘Ma’am, masakit daw ‘yung tiyan ng pasyente sa 322C. Pwede na raw po ba kumain?’ ‘Ma’am natanggal na naman po ‘yung swero ng anak ko.’ As a girl who has the tendency to be hangry, I’d bring snacks to munch on whenever I could spare five minutes. I share with the other staff nurses, of course. There was this former coworker, though, who was nice enough to finish the snacks I shared on two separate occasions. I was so annoyed—I talked to him only if it was absolutely necessary. I ate snacks in secret after the second time he did that, too. Buti na lang nag-resign na siya.”—Val*
“I had this super annoying officemate who would always borrow my things (and never return them)! From staple wires to pens to paper—even my toothpaste! She never brought her own tissue paper and napkin to work, too! It was like I was her own personal pantry, medicine cabinet, and school supplies store. I ended up not brushing my teeth and I had to stop buying my own things! I decided to hide my supplies away in my bag instead so she couldn’t get into my overhead. Eventually, she resigned and I can finally use my things in peace!”—Sheena*
“We had this one officemate who almost nobody talked to because he was 100 percent a creep. He would stalk new female coworkers on Facebook and comment on posts from like 54 weeks ago (happened to me and I blocked him). There was one time, a new hire was being introduced to everyone, and he gave her a salute alongside a slew of words in Russian. She didn’t come to work the next week. The last time someone tried to befriend him, they said he got the wrong idea and started being too close. That’s why we made sure we didn’t engage with him (it was possible since we worked on different teams and didn’t require daily interactions). The guys who we were friends with at the office also made sure none of us girls were left alone during lunches and break times.”—Jane*
*All Pinays interviewed for this article chose to remain anonymous and used different names to hide their identities.
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