Weird Coworkers? Bet You Can’t Top These 10 Oddballs!

Annoying coworkerIf you’ve been in the workforce for longer than a year or two, you’ve probably had some odd coworkers. But how do yours stack up against the winners of our weirdest coworker contest?

I recently asked readers to tell us about the oddest coworkers they’ve ever had. Here are the 10 funniest. (And let’s hope you don’t find a description of yourself in here!)

1. Faked a heart attack – twice

“Between college and grad school, I worked at a library where my boss faked a heart attack for attention/to get out of work. Twice. An ambulance was called the first time. The second time, she just stopped showing up for about a month. Didn’t get fired though, and left for another, better job after I’d left for graduate school.”

2. No pants in the workplace

“I had a coworker who noticed people would go to the restroom and change into workout clothes before leaving the building. She decided she’d be okay to change into her bathing suit with just a long t-shirt over it and then she came back into the office space to finish filing. She did it twice before I had to go ask my manager to talk to coworkers about wearing pants in the workplace. I wish you could’ve seen my manager’s face when I led off with that statement.”

3. Amateur restaurant reviewer

“I worked downtown for four years in a city I had lived my entire life. They hired a new guy on my team and every time he went out to lunch, he would send an email to the entire team telling us where he went, what he had, a link to the online menu, a review of his meal and the service and the ambiance of the place. After a few weeks, I responded to just him and said, ‘Please take me off these emails, Joe. Thanks Jane.’ He never sent me another email, period.

4. That’s not the bathroom

“We have a coworker who apparently does not like to use the restroom facilities. Instead, he pees into the bushes at the far end of the parking lot (still in full view of those with window offices, those on smoke breaks and others milling about).”

5. Compulsive liar

“I worked with a woman who was probably a compulsive liar. We kept a list of crazy things she said, like one time Bill Clinton tried to seduce her, another time she was on a boat with U2 and Elvis Costello and the boat capsized, and that she was responsible for inventing a number of famous products.”

6. Business expenses at a strip club

“I used to work for a major weekly news magazine. My coworker got in trouble for trying to get reimbursed for an $800 bill from a strip club. He attempted to convince us the stripper was a ‘source’ for a story. He finally admitted he let the stripper take him in a back room and then was shocked that the bill was so high and didn’t know what to do. Amazingly, he didn’t get fired for it. What got him fired was getting caught hacking into our top editor’s email to try to delete a message he regretted sending.”

7. Craigslist obsession

“I once worked with a guy who was obsessed with the free section on Craigslist. He was two cubes in front of me and all day long (literally 6-7 hours) he would yell out anything he found of interest. ‘Anyone interested in a kayak, it’s free on craigslist’ or ‘Anyone interested in a pile of bricks, it’s free on craigslist’ or ‘anyone interested in a couch, it’s soaked with cat urine, but it’s free on craigslist’…ARGH, so annoying! He was eventually laid off.”

8. Backscratcher in a briefcase

“In my first office job, there was a guy who carried a briefcase every day. Inside the briefcase was a plastic fork taped to a pen, and nothing else. He’d used it as a back scratcher, loudly proclaiming his pleasure as he shoved it down the back of his shirt.

He also loooooved estate sales, and would tell us all about the amazing deals he would get on used personal hygiene products, saying things like, ‘It’s like 3/4 of the bar of soap, and it was only $0.05!’”

9. “I call his job!”

“At a previous job, a meeting was called and the team supervisor announced that a senior team member had just been let go and that we would discuss the transition. As soon as the supervisor had the words out, the Team’s assistant blurted out, ‘I call his job!’

10. Making out in the drive-thru

“I had a coworker who would conduct long conversations with his online dating prospects at his desk, in a loud voice that everyone could hear. At the time, our office was in a building that was previously a bank so there was still a window for the drive-thru, with parking right outside. He met one of his online dating prospects there and they proceeded to have a hot-and-heavy make-out session in the car, where everyone on the ground floor could observe them through the drive-through window.”

Can your weirdest coworkers compete with these? Share your own stories in the comments….







Alison Green

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.

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  • ProcReg

    I’m trying to pick one that makes me most uncomfortable. It’s a tough call. #2 and #10 are neck and neck!

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  • Ly

    I swear I worked with some of these people! One guy had a briefcase with only his lunch in it, he would talk to online dates from his desk (“No, you weren’t too drunk, you were very ladylike and nothing happened.”), clip his nails at his desk and keep the clippings, when potlucks happened he’d never bring a contribution but would eat *huge* platefuls of food since it was free, and had a certificate on the wall for being the official cartographer for the local Lord of the Rings fan club.

    There was also the classy girl who would go have a quicky with her boyfriend in his RV that he would pull into the parking lot at lunch and stumble out disheveled, the guy who would get completely undressed with clothes neatly folded on the floor in the bathroom while he disappeared into a stall for 45min each day, the lady who would hoard company bought supplies under her desk (like Kleenex) and only pass them out to people she liked.

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  • C. Lee Leo

    How did the person who was given a taxidermied bobcat by his/her boss not find its way to the top 10? That was by far the funniest thing I’ve ever read about a coworker.

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  • Bstar0306

    Wow at the craigslist guy…

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  • kiwi

    1) One day the windows were being cleaned, in our high building…. the receptionist and our summer student were watching the men clean, when the receptionist (a “mature” woman) decided to lift up her shirt and flash the window cleaners. They got a nice view and she got to go look for a new job.
    2) I once had to terminate an employee because he wouldn’t wear pants in his office. He would come in every day, hang his pants over the back of his chair and sit at his desk in his boxers with his socks pulled up. After a month, getting the air checked (which was his reason for not wearing pants), suggesting he even “just wear golf shorts”…..he chose the package over wearing pants.

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  • FedEmployee

    Obviously no one here works for the US Federal Government, there are some great stories.

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  • Sandra Canada

    I used to work at a lawyer’s office with this woman who would get on the phone with the bank or the Legal Aid office or another law office and before getting down to business, would involve them in a long conversation about her personal life, her childhood memories, what the weather was like for her sister’s wedding 30 years’ previous and a host of other topics.

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