“Are your colleagues at work your friends?” – Plato asked.
If you have worked a corporate job then you know that slyness and backbiting can be the order of the day. People trampling on other people to get ahead. Trying to play eye service games to look better to the boss of all bosses. Or just throwing you under the bus (no rhyme intended).
Curious about this, I asked people to share the worst things that have happened to them at work.
Here are some of the responses:
All medical exeats have to be signed off by the state coordinator before it becomes valid. Unfortunately, the state coordinator knew the person I wrote the exeat for and couldn’t believe the “illness”. So, he summoned the clinic nurse. I heard that the nurse told the state coordinator that she had no idea when it was written and then asked to summon the doctor that wrote it.
On getting to the office of the state coordinator, I heard her shouting “why did you forge this illness for so and so person?” “you are making us look bad in the clinic” she then promised the state coordinator to deal with me. I was too shocked to process what was even happening. I tried to talk but she threatened to beat me up with soldiers. Even though this was 2 years ago, anytime I remember, I get angry all over again. I can’t imagine anyone being that wicked.”
“I once had this intermediate boss who would ask me for tight favours. I would offer to do it at a later time. Preferably when I was done with my daily KPI. She’d say it was fine and that she understood.
However, it turned out that in management meetings, she was telling them “I was difficult” to work with. This is the same person that would tell me “I don’t want to be a bother” “I understand”. What kind of person says one thing to you and says something completely different behind you?
I hate eye service. I hate passive aggressiveness. Don’t say we are cool and be poisoning me behind my back. She slowly ruined my reputation at work and that made me lose interest in the job.”
“This one was funny. I was working in a hospital where the staff used to get kickbacks from inflating the cost of drugs, or in some cases, sell their own medicines. I naturally am not interested in that sort of thing. Not because of moral superiority or anything, but because the profit from that business can’t change my life. I can’t risk my license for N5,000 per day. It’s not like I have money but I know I won’t be broke forever.
So, on my first day at work, they propositioned me and I told them that I wasn’t interested. I explained that I didn’t judge them nor care. The person who approached me said he understood. It turns out that he went to tell the others that I think I am better than them. I am proud and think they are all beneath me so I don’t want to associate with anybody.
If it wasn’t shocking to me, I would have been annoyed. It was just surprising that someone said he understood and went behind me to say this.”
“Oh, do I have a story for you. Picture this: My company makes end of the year shirts every year. Over 10,000 pieces. Members of staff are encouraged to submit designs and the winner is awarded the contract based on a voting system. So, I won one year like that. My boss then approached me to execute the contract. Proper stand-up guy, so I said no wahala.
He wanted a 60/40 sharing ratio with him taking 60 percent because he was executing. I told him that I drafted, pitched, and won the contract and I was willing to do 50/50. He refused. I said no wahala and took my contract somewhere else. So, it turned out that my boss complained during a management meeting that he doesn’t like the quality of my design. That people on the team have also been complaining.
He then went ahead to pitch another design (his own) at a lesser price. But the management team really liked my design and now realizing that the contract could be executed for cheaper, told me what was happening. They were willing to stick with me as long as I reduced my price. To cut a long story short, I reduced cost and 1 million naira profit cut to N300,000.
I still swear for that guy till today. Bastard. God will punish him.”
“Someone at work almost made me go to jail. I started work at a new lab sometime last year. For some weird reason, when I joined they changed the rules. New employees were prevented from running tests without supervision. Also, we weren’t allowed to collect blood samples so we didn’t get to sign in the sample collection book.
Someone came to run HIV test at our lab. I don’t know if there was a sample mix up, but the result came out as positive. So, normal protocol, we sent him to the HAART center. They re-tested before anything and found out that he was negative. They repeated the test three times and told him that he was negative.
Normal na, baba was angry and carried police to our lab to pack everyone for emotional distress. When they were investigating, they asked who took his sample and the colleague called Mr Y screamed my name and said I “signed” in the book. That’s where the story burst.
He had been on leave before I resumed so he didn’t know about the update where new workers couldn’t sign in the book. That’s how my other colleagues started saying “Ify can’t sign or collect samples because she’s new.”
My guy was shocked. That’s how he started confessing that he realized his mistake after posting the result but he was ashamed. So, he decided to blame it on the new person because it was more believable.
I was speechless. Am I not someone’s child? lover? a human being?
I cried for days ehn. I still cry when I remember that incident. I don’t have friends in that company till today because of that incident.”