July 24th, 2015 · 58 comments

Writes our anonymous submitter from Michigan: “Yesterday, one of our salespeople was observed playing Angry Birds on her phone – with her headphones on to hear the game sounds. Today, this sign showed up  in the sales office.”

Angry Birds tournament today. High score wins a permanent vacation. Good luck!

related: Why Facebook is soooo gonna get you fired

FILED UNDER: fired · office · sarcasm

58 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Belaani

    Yeah – Angry Birds is sooo yesterday!

    Jul 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #2   Lita bang

    I don’t think it’s the birds that are angry.

    Jul 24, 2015 at 8:04 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #3   RedDelicious

    I don’t truly understand anyone who thinks it’s ok to play games or be on their phone when they should be working. You’re getting paid to do a job, not entertain yourself.

    Jul 24, 2015 at 11:47 pm   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Belaani

      Team Boss here, too. When you’re at work – work. Otherwise, you’re leaving your work to your long-suffering co-workers. If they’re doing your work, they should be getting your money.

      Jul 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Haterade

      It’s possible Team Bird could be justified (i.e. absolutely no customers, easy to see a customer coming and put the phone away before they see it, and nothing else to do but re-sweep the floor for the seventh time)… but otherwise, Team Boss for sure. A badly-swollen sense of entitlement seems a lot more likely.

      Jul 25, 2015 at 11:15 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Raichu

      This is true! I still think the boss’ reply was pretty dumb, though.

      Jul 28, 2015 at 12:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Anon

      I don’t have an office job, but at my husband’s work, there are plenty of times when there is actually nothing on his slate. His *boss* has encouraged him to do “outside work”, bring classwork if he’s taking any, or simply read. It is not uncommon for his more audacious coworkers to spend half the day chatting on the phone with friends. Being on your phone playing Angry Birds in your cubicle would not raise any eyebrows, especially since you would have to be pretty close to someone to see what they were actually doing.
      Government work, my friends, it’s wonderful.

      Jul 29, 2015 at 12:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   Lil'

      Anon, if there are any openings at your husband’s office, please have him put in a good word for me.

      Jul 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   The Elf

    Boss must be part of the pig tribe, who keeps having their marvelous buildings knocked down.

    Jul 25, 2015 at 7:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   assiveProgressive

    very P.A. sign, though.

    Jul 25, 2015 at 11:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Anna

    I don’t understand people that think it’s ok to play during working hours. You get paid to work. One of my colleagues has been watching the Tour de France at work. It annoys me so much, especially since there is plenty of work to do.

    Jul 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Jami

      I suppose it depends on the job and if you have to stay in one place. At the library everyone, even the manager, gets on Facebook if we’re stuck at the circ desk. Can’t wander too far from it because of the Friends’ cash box and our cash register. If caught unmanned by someone from HQ we could be in big time trouble.

      So, if it’s slow, we cruise FB. Plus 99% of the time it’s faster to use FB to contact librarians at other branches than to use the work supplied e-mail.

      Games are something else all together though. But I have heard of stores that allow their clerks to play games on their phone so long as it keeps them at the register to make sure no one steals anything.

      Jul 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   The Elf

      That there is plenty of work to do is the key part of your post, Anna. I’m sure if there wasn’t any work to do that day, you wouldn’t particularly care.

      Jul 27, 2015 at 8:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Rattus

    Is it wrong that I’m reading this at work?

    Jul 27, 2015 at 7:23 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   The Elf

      I did, too. So what’s the difference between reading PAN and playing Angry Birds? Nothing, except that PAN can be shut down a lot quicker. Gamers tend to be loath to interrupt their game.

      It all depends, really, on two things.
      1) If the employee is otherwise exemplary.
      2) What was going on at the store at the time.

      As an office drone, I know my work has predictable ebbs and flows and I do outside-work things (like read PAN) accordingly. Sales is less predictable. The minute a customer walks in, you’re *on*. But if there are no customers and no side work (inventory, cleaning, etc) then why not?

      When I worked retail, we had no internet on the computer much less smartphones with gaming apps! When it was slow, I read. No different, and not only did my boss not give me shit for it, but he’d make recommendations.

      But if this employee is playing a game when there is work to do, then go boss.

      Jul 27, 2015 at 8:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Rattus

      Studies (well, a study from the University of Indiana) have shown that people who watch cat videos at work are happier and more productive. Is playing Angry Birds much different? I don’t know, I’ve never played – but surely a little mental health break in the day is good for a worker.

      Jul 28, 2015 at 7:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   buni

      My work computer is slow and locks up frequently, but oddly enough, the internet usually still works. So, while I’m waiting for CAD or Excel to finish whatever’s hanging it up, I read FB or PAN.

      Jul 28, 2015 at 7:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Lita bang

      Sounds like the hard drive, Buni. Mine does that a lot; I really need to replace it.

      Jul 28, 2015 at 7:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Dave S

      “Studies have shown that people who watch cat videos at work are happier and more productive.”

      Yes, but were they indoor cats or outdoor cats?

      Aug 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Skullclutter

    I’m team ‘depends on the situation’. I’m usually pretty good at keeping myself busy at work but sometimes there just isn’t anything to do.

    As far as PA notes go, though, I thought this one was pretty funny, so bonus point for boss.

    Jul 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Raichu


    How hard is it to just go up to her and say “stop playing on your phone at work or there will be corrective action”?

    Jul 28, 2015 at 12:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Nightmane

      Seriously, this.

      Posting a note like this is easily as unprofessional as playing a phone game when you should be working. Piss poor way to correct behavior, honestly. Shaming employees almost never works. It just makes them resentful and unhappy. And employees who are resentful and unhappy call in sick more often, aren’t usually loyal, and don’t put in a full effort.

      Jul 29, 2015 at 6:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Roxy Random

    It’s so funny to come into the break room and see everyone playing on their phones. In the break room, mind you, not the sales floor. Though there are those who try to smuggle their phones out onto the floor. They usually get caught.

    Jul 28, 2015 at 7:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Juniper

    I really hate bosses that treat their employees like slaves. Like each and every second of their employee’s time is theirs and they just live for moments to point out that they should be doing something else. These people, even when technically right, are assholes.
    I’m been an employee and I’m now a boss. Mini-breaks – even for a few minutes – can increase productivity, and everyone in a business knows when someone actually is abusing their work time with stuff like FB or games. And I always have a pretty good estimate of what each person should and can be getting done in a certain amount of time. If they are getting things done in time and doing it well – I really don’t care.

    Jul 28, 2015 at 7:53 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   The Elf

      I had a boss like that once and BLISS.

      Jul 29, 2015 at 8:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   lorf


    But I already wiped everything, checked stock, prepared food & drink, rechecked stock, took care of pre-close chores, rechecked my stock check and cleaned the store again. It’s a slow day.


    Jul 28, 2015 at 4:35 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #13   L

    I gotta ask – when and by whom was the salesperson observed? Because I would not put it past a customer to see a person on a break, on their phone with headphones in, and assume they were working and should be serving them.

    Because customers.

    Jul 29, 2015 at 3:58 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   buni

      That reminds me of something that happened to a coworker of mine. He was a college student who only worked summers. He stopped in to visit when he came back from school to see what was going on so he would know what to expect when he came back to work. I was on my lunch break, so he sat in my office and visited while I ate. A manager from another department saw us sitting and talking, assumed we were both on the clock and complained to the CEO. So when my friend was scheduled to work, he found himself transferred to another department, instead of working with me like he had in the past.

      Jul 29, 2015 at 7:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Kasaba

    I work in clinical research, and I walked up to one of our managers the other day to find her on Facebook. Asked her what I needed to and was about to walk away when she started explaining to me she was on Facebook looking for pictures of past conferences, to present at a forthcoming conference. I said nothing, because I honestly don’t care. I check out non-work things at work occasionally. It doesn’t affect my work.

    Jul 29, 2015 at 7:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   LadyIslay

    Bottom line: whether an employee should or should not be playing games on their phone at work has nothing to do with how an employer should go about correcting employee behavior. If company policy is vague or poorly enforced, then a general notice with clear professional standards is necessary. If a policy is already in place, then management needs to speak with the employee in private and document the conversation. If that makes me team-Angry-Birds-player, so be it.

    Aug 1, 2015 at 4:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   JoDa

    I’ve been “busted” three times in the last week-ish.

    The first time, someone casually strolled into my office to ask for help mid-day, and found me sitting with my feet up on my desk, YouTube video playing, playing a game on my phone, with my lunch in my lap. I didn’t jump, I said “hang on,” finished my short game on my phone (30 seconds), turned the video off, set my lunch aside, and then asked what he needed. He didn’t seem to mind, but his boss complained to my boss. My response: “he was lucky he caught me in my office during my lunch break, which I had blocked off on my calendar. I was more than happy to deal with his problem right then and there, but I could have just as easily told him to come back in 20 minutes when my lunch break was over. If this is a problem, then you decide whether I should have told him to go away for 20 minutes or I should take my lunch outside of the office so he couldn’t find me at all.” Boss: “Yeah, not a problem. You don’t need to set aside your lunch, and you are free to do what you want during that time. Did you want to tell him to come back later?” Me: “No. It was no big deal to write him a single line of code right then. But I also don’t expect to be criticized for actually relaxing on my lunch break should someone walk in during that.” Boss: “You’re good. Don’t worry about it.”

    Two: Both of my office mates were out one day, so I “abused” my privilege of having the office suite to myself by blasting music as I was working. Someone, again, just wandered in, and said “am I interrupting something?” Me: “no, just working to music. What do you need?” Fixed it right then and there. Another complaint to my boss. Another instance of my boss rolling his eyes and saying “you helped him right away?” “Yes.” “You turned the music down when he came in?” “Off, actually…I paused it so that it was silent as soon as I knew he was there.” “Yeah, I still don’t care…listen to your music as you wish when no one else is in your suite.”

    Three: I went to a scheduled training for a couple days. I came back to a complaint that a colleague had to go to someone else for help while I was out. “{I} started his project, {I} should be there to finish it.” Never mind that I *did* actually finish what he requested and what he wanted was beyond his original request, never mind that I briefed my colleagues who could help him on his situation before leaving, never mind that he still has weeks before his deadline and I could help him once I returned. I should just live at the office, silently waiting for someone to come in and request help whenever.

    Big nope to all of that. Big yes to my boss realizing these things. Also big nope to people who play games when they *should* be working. Don’t beckon me to help you *right now* and let me turn up immediately to find you playing a game on your phone rather than trying to figure things out yourself…

    Aug 4, 2015 at 2:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   JoDa

      And, le sigh, today I was called out for *working* too much. I was working on two separate programs, one someone had emailed me about earlier and another where I was on the phone with a colleague discussing what he needed when someone walked in looking for help. I threw a “one minute” finger up at him while I finished the sentence with the person I was on the phone with, turned about 30 seconds into his visit to me, and said “I’ve got two people who need help live on my screen right now. If you can stand there and wait five to ten minutes, I’ll be with you, but it would *really* be better if you went back to your desk and sent me an email about what you need. I promise I’ll be with you shortly.” He said, curtly, “I’ll wait.” Me: “that’s fine…take a seat if you want {gestures to my “guest chair”}.” I finished my conversation in about 3 minutes and turned to him to ask what he needed. It was a simple request, so I said “sure, walk me through the file system to your program. {he does} {types}. And you’re set. Anything else?” Curtly…”no, that’s all.” Still complained. My boss has to be going grayer than Obama dealing with these recent complaints over, largely, doing my f’ing job… I get that my colleagues are very busy, but, um, so am I. I kind of want to requisition one of those “take a number” doo-dads. :/

      Aug 5, 2015 at 11:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Haterade

      Can you requisition one of these as well?

      Aug 6, 2015 at 9:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.3   JoDa

      I already have a sign in my office that says “you can have it done well, fast, or cheap…pick two.” I often verbalize the sentiment of “if you had planned better, it wouldn’t be an emergency.” Unfortunately, most of that isn’t heard, and people think they’re first in line in even non-emergencies. None of those people who complained were in “critical” situations. Yet, I still set my lunch aside or otherwise go above and beyond to help.

      It’s gotten so bad that my boss cancelled his leave (just a day, which was easily rescheduled) a couple weeks ago when he realized that if he was out I would be the only person in the office. I thought nothing of it, but when I strolled into his office near the end of the work day and confessed that I was “hiding” from someone who really just needed to do their damn job and stop bothering me to fix typos they made and could fix if they paid attention for 30 seconds (and, well, I like my boss and was happy to have a short convo with him about the week and our weekend plans) he said “and that’s why I came in today. While you’re ‘handling’ them right now, you could have been in a situation where people were being even more demanding, and stranded alone. I know you’re tough and will lay the smack down if necessary, but you all need someone to back you up if someone gets too big for their britches. Do you want me to call him and tell him to lay off?” “Nah, he’ll get the message if I don’t answer the phone.” “Okay, well just let me know if you need someone to tell him to bug off until he’s done the basics of his job. I’ll also talk to his director about this.”

      My boss is a total boss. :)

      Aug 8, 2015 at 3:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.4   The Beast Among Us

      I wish my boss was a boss. Instead, he’s a tool. Rather than backing many of us workers up, he lets a certain department walk all over everyone else and get whatever they want. It’s annoying as hell when someone comes in and says, “Hey, here’s three hours of work for you to do. It needs to be finished in an hour, with top quality work, and zero mistakes. The client isn’t paying a dime for this, because they might spend some money later. I’m going to the office lunch party now. Have fun.” What’s worse is when anyone says anything to the boss, he says, “Well, it needs to get done so figure it out. But let me know if it’s too difficult for you. I’ll find someone else to take your place.”

      Aug 10, 2015 at 6:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.5   The Beast Among Us

      Oh, and to top it off, he asks, “Why weren’t you at the office lunch party? You’re not much of a team player, are you?”

      Aug 10, 2015 at 6:49 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #17   Edwina the Defrocked Nun bang

    You should all be ashamed of yourself for playing games while on the clock … instead of reading forums and contributing to Passive Aggressive Notes.

    (or did someone already mention this?)

    Aug 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #18   daughterofllyr

    I think only one person has considered the following: they were on their break? Having worked in call-centers for more than a decade (I am currently in a different line of work) whilst putting myself through study and subsequent postgraduate study I am familiar with got can be a depressingly soul-sucking, overworked and ofttimes oppressive environment Granted, there are exceptions but these are few and far between.

    This being said, if the rules are clearly stated – no phones on and/or visible at your desk, follow the rules, it is not up to you to flout them no matter how unreasonable they may be as long as your are accepting a salary from the company in question. If on a break, go to the break-room/outside – the roof even, because from a management perspective I can see that they too get into trouble for unprofessional conduct should senior management walk in unexpectedly.

    I have always been a reader though and, at one company where the break-room was tiny and always full during my shift if the weather was bad I’d put a sign on my compute screen stating currently on break and the time I was due to finish. Only with a book, though, and not with a mobile. (Darn rules…).

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    The incident that occurred in the sales office involving one of the salespeople has prompted an anonymous submitter from Michigan to share their observations. According to the submitter, the salesperson was seen playing Angry Birds on her phone while wearing headphones to hear the game sounds. As a response to this incident, a sign has appeared in the sales office, the contents of which were not disclosed.

    While the exact message on the sign remains unknown, it is apparent that the incident has led to some form of action or reminder within the sales office environment. The submitter felt compelled to share this occurrence, perhaps as a means of highlighting the importance of maintaining professionalism and focusing on work responsibilities during office hours.

    It is worth noting that without further information, it is difficult to provide a comprehensive analysis of the situation. However, it serves as a reminder for employees to be mindful of their actions and to prioritize their work responsibilities while in the office.

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