Wednesday, December 13, 2006

etiquette lessons from a sociopath

Below is an e-mail I received from a coworker today. This is a coworker who generally avoids eye contact with others, talks to himself constantly (but it's almost under his breath, which I guess he considers acceptable behavior in the workplace), loudly hacks up phlegm into the men's room sink, and whispers "Fuck me!" loudly at his computer or other people's computers, possibly in the hopes that they'll ask, "Hey, why so glum, sociopath?" He also laughs way too loudly at things he reads on the Internet as people pass by his desk, which I interpret as another stupid cry for attention.

I've also been told that he generally treats job candidates who come in to take the proofreading test with no respect, telling them the test is self-explanatory if they ask for directions and answering other questions as if they were along the lines of "So have you always been black?"

Bottom line—I never expected him to be the Miss Manners of the office. It's true that "a little politeness goes a long way," but so does a lot of general weirdness and jackassery over the course of three and a half years.


Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 16:39:54 -0600
From: "John Doe"
Subject: Fwd: toner needed


Toner questions can go to me. Usually, I'm available to help. When you sent the message, I was on a work-related errand.

Please keep in mind two issues:

1. Spare cartridges are usually kept on the third floor. In fact, one was stored directly under the printer. And at one least one other person on the floor knows how to change the cartridge.

2. Your message to info services was harsh in tone. Please consider the feelings of others when asking them for help. A little politeness goes a long way.

Thank you.


Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 14:38:20 -0600
To: is-help
From: Robert Cass
Subject: toner needed

We need new toner in the hallway printer on the 3rd floor.



  1. you need to toner down that attitude, panda.
    Copy that?

  2. first of all, maryk, you are my hero.

    i love the addition of photos. this photo in particular makes me laugh.