Entries Tagged as 'office'

Motivational posters for a down economy

September 14th, 2010 · 79 Comments

In a recession, how companies harness the power of positive thinking can get a little twisted.

In Roanoke, Virginia, for example, Seth says “an uptight lady I used to work with — who almost certainly used to be a hall monitor — wrote this motivational quote in the windowless trailer I shared with about 20 coworkers and a vindictive, micromanaging boss.”

 Seth says

When he eventually got laid off,  Seth says, the company tried to get him to interview for a different position —  but those inspiring words on the whiteboard set him straight. “I decided that imagining myself without a paycheck was not enough to keep me coming back to that acre of hell.”

Elsewhere in Roanoke, meanwhile, kitchen staff at this restaurant/bar are greeted by these empowering words every time they trudge through the doors.

To the staff: if you cannot do your job, please feel free to find another one.

And of course, nothing can top this classic:

To All Employees: NEW INCENTIVE PLAN - WORK - OR GET FIRED!

related: “Popcorn Thursday,” and 100o other ways to reward employees besides giving raises.

Tags: fired · most popular notes of 2010 · now that's management · office · Virginia · whiteboard

Who steals pens from disabled children???

August 31st, 2010 · 42 Comments

At Nat’s office in York, England, one of his coworkers has been trying to bully everyone into coughing up some cash for an (admittedly worthy) charitable cause.

In Nat’s opinion, however, her guilt-heavy fund-raising techniques might benefit from a little fine-tuning…especially given that all seven of those special “charity pens” were nicked from the office supply closet.

Seriously people, who keeps stealing pens (7 of them!) from a disabled=

related: Starve on!

Tags: "accidental" "borrowing" · a matter of taste · bar · confusion??? · guilt trip · Miami · MYOB · not wrong · office · office supplies · rebuttals · U.K.

In case of emergency…well, you’re on your own.

August 30th, 2010 · 72 Comments

In one of my clearest memories of first grade, I distinctly remember my teacher telling us, on the first day of school, that the bathroom in the back of the classroom was only for emergencies. For non-emergencies, we’d have to wait until lunchtime. In my six-year-old mind, however, “emergency” meant only one thing: “throwing up.”  And so, when I had to go, I held it. And held it. Until…well, I wasn’t holding it anymore.

That’s right: It actually took wetting my pants for me to learn that the word “emergency” means very different things to different people — a concept some people apparently still haven’t figured out.

It’s unclear, for example, what might constitute a “citrus emergency” at this Pleasanton, California optometrist’s office. (Perhaps a masochistic mandarin peeling itself?)

NO CUTIE FINGERS IN THE LAB! CUTIE FINGER BUSINESS CAN BE CONDUCTED OUTSIDE THE LAB UNLESS IT'S AN EMERGENCY. THANK YOU.

You might think people would be a little more precise in their language on a military base. At Arizona’s Fort Huachuca, you’d only be about half right.

NO WALK-INS EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCIES SUCH AS DEATHS & PAYROLL PROBLEMS

At Gustavo’s new office building in Seattle, it only took about a week — and about a bazillion false alarms— before someone decided a little clarification was necessary. (Sorta sounds like something you’d expect from a classroom of first-graders, no?)

Do not push this button unless the building is on fire and it is a big fire. Thank you. -Floor 21

Meanwhile, Andrew in Cirencester, England only noticed this sign after pushing open one of his office’s alarmed fire doors (triggering a sudden and unforeseen occurrence — i.e., ear-shattering noise).

SECURITY NOTICE THIS IS AN EMERGENCY EXIT AND SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN AN EMERGENCY. THEREFORE, PLEASE DO NOT OPEN DOOR UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY. THE MEANING OF THE WORD EMERGENCY IS AN UNFORESEEN OR SUDDEN OCCURRENCE. e.g. YOU OR OTHERS ARE IN DANGER AND NEED TO EXIT THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY.

related: Gee, thanks for the clarification

Tags: Arizona · California · CAPS LOCK · clip art catastrophe · obnoxious definition · office · Seattle · U.K. · WTF?

The cycle of (not) recycling

August 29th, 2010 · 49 Comments

These notes — the first from on office in California, the second from an office in Arkansas — both seem like they’re following the same not-quite-finished flowchart for acceptable office paper usage.

Before you take a sticky... Could this be done in Notepad?? (or Text Edit) If not, recycle when you're done!

A FULL PAGE FOR THIS?? HEAR OF 'POST-IT NOTES'?

Really, you’re in for a scolding no matter what. And as our submitter Hannah noticed — in this bizarre exchange from the copy room at a school in Spartanburg, South Carolina — contrition only seems to further incense the office Paper Nazis.

I am sorry for wasting this paper. It's people like you that should be struck from the earth!!!

related: Nothing fosters community like shared networked printers!

Tags: Arkansas · California · confusion??? · exclamation-point happy!!!! · office · recycling · South Carolina

HELP! MY COMPUTER IS STUCK ON CAPS LOCK!

August 17th, 2010 · 75 Comments

Our anonymous submitter in Rhode Island has the distinct privilege of working with a person “who writes policy like it’s a new religion.” On her orders, the IT department instituted a program that automatically locks down your computer after two minutes of activity, but apparently that wasn’t enough to satisfy this self-appointed office cop.

One day, after dashing over to pick up a document from the shared printer, our submitter returned to find this somewhat clumsy attempt at an object lesson. (From then on, our submitter vowed, she would never play so fast and loose with her computer’s font settings again.)

THIS IS WHY WE LOCK OUR COMPUTERS WHEN GETTING UP FROM OUR DESKS

related: Paying through the spout

Tags: office cop · warning

Those heirloom tomatoes had sentimental value!

August 1st, 2010 · 87 Comments

Frustrated by fridge thieves who continually ignore your polite (or not-so-polite) requests to keep their paws to themselves? Don’t get mad — get creative! You could end up with something so crazy it might actually work…that is, if it doesn’t totally backfire.

You could go for the classic bluff, with the hopes that you’ll inspire just enough self-doubt to encourage the thief to go for the next lunch bag over.

1. Meds in here Don't drink 2. Danger: Rat Poop

My Husband has H1N1 and he made this sandwich

BOB'S URINE

Or you could hold out hope that the thief in question is either very lazy, very stupid…

An excellent theft deterrent...for thieves without opposable thumbs

"No unsecured items allowed in the refrigerator"

…or that he or she appreciates your twisted sense of humor enough to take mercy on your pathetic self.

Please stop eatin my eggs + cheese, Theyre Family Heirlooms.

Or you could just bring this for lunch. (Somehow, I think this would have been safe, even without the note.)

Apparently some sort of pickled fish?

Thanks to Theresa in Birmingham, Alabama; Stacey in Manchester, New Hampshire; Alissa in Memphis, Tennessee; and Marianne in Dublin, Ireland for submitting!

related: That’s breastmilk!

Tags: beverages · cheese · fish · food · most popular notes of 2010 · not-so-veiled threats · office fridge · stealing · tea · water

The bathroom battle of the sexes…a true race to the bottom.

July 21st, 2010 · 79 Comments

Though your attention might have drifted ever so briefly, I’d like to reassure you that the ongoing debate over which restrooms (men’s or women’s) are the foulest continues to rage on — and yes, it’s as nauseating as ever!

I literally received these two submissions — the first from an EMT school in Massachusetts, the second from a non-profit in D.C. — within minutes of each other. Mere coincidence? Or a cosmic clue from the Internet gods that it was time for a showdown between “Angulated Rectum Guy” and “The Queen of Diahrriah?” Okay, that was a gimme. The real question: who would you rather share a loo with?

Exhibit A) as witnessed by Josh in Fall River, Mass.

Hey...... There is no Excuse for leaving the toilet covered in Feces (that is shit in case you didn't know). So...... Whoever is the guy with the angulated Rectum... Please do one of the following: A. Sit down on the seat... it is clean, we pay a cleaning staff! B. See a Dr. ... You have a problem! C. Clean up after yourself! Non of us should be exposed to it..

Exhibit B) From an anonymous bystander in College Park, Maryland

PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF'S!

related: And you thought college students were foul…

Tags: bathroom · bold-underlined-caps · D.C. · ellipses-crazed · exclamation-point happy!!!! · Massachusetts · obnoxious definition · office · shit · spelling and grammar police · that's disgusting · toilet

I am clearly too busy writing notes, so could somebody less important than me take care of this?

July 13th, 2010 · 63 Comments

One reason that notes of the do this/move this/clean this variety inspire so much ire among recipients is the fact that, more often than not, writing the note probably took more time and effort than it would have for the writer to just do/move/clean it themselves. (But of course, to the martyrs in the office, it’s always about the principle of the thing.) Office kitchens seem to be ground zero for this particular type of pettiness.

At Jacqueline’s workplace in San Francisco, for example, “someone left a clean mug on an empty counter” — an offense that was apparently too grave for one coworker to let slide without comment.

this is in the way

Meanwhile, in Ohio, our anonymous submitter came into work one morning to see this note “on a table with maybe two crumbs on it.” Her solution? “I took the picture, put the cleaning supplies away, and moved the note. Later, I was thanked for cleaning the table.”

SOMEONE...Please clean up this messy lunch table!

related: BAD SALAMI!

Tags: a little uptight · cleaning · office · Ohio · San Francisco

The Twix Conspiracy

May 24th, 2010 · 84 Comments

According to reports we’re receiving here at PAN headquarters, it appears that proletarians with a predilection for the chocolate-cookie-caramel confection known as Twix are battling Soviet-like conditions in order to procure their precious candy bars. 

In some areas, workers are forced to pay a hefty premium (unlike the bosses and bigwigs upstairs). 

Twix is only $1.00 at the third floor. Are we being unfairly taxed?

Even then, what remains for the masses is likely to be rejected, bottom-of-the-carton stock.

This vending machine RUINED my day!  Melting and nasty! Ye be warned.

And in the hardest hit areas, shortages have led hungry Twix lovers to beg for mercy from The Man himself. 

Dear Candyman, More chocolate + less granola bars - no one likes those anyhow! Thanks, Twix Lover

(Thanks to informants Sean in Philadelphia, Rachel in Salt Lake City, and Mark in Buffalo.)

related: Comrades, take notice!

extra credit: Twix bars unfairly taxed in Colorado? [WSJ.com]

Tags: candy · chocolate · office · raging against the machine · vending machine drama

Did you wash your hands? Well, did ya, punk?

May 13th, 2010 · 139 Comments

Every day, you watch them, in horror: Those vile, germ-laden, nether-region-wiping creatures who don’t wash their hands after using the toilet. Confronting the offenders directly wouldn’t work, because, well, you’re passive-aggressive, and that’s just not how you roll. So what to do next?

Well, you could dazzle them with some accusatory statistics…

97% of females say they wash their hands...Only 75% really do...Did you wash your hands?

…or attempt to appeal to the altruists in the audience.

Interested in a community service opportunity??? Wash your hands! Do it for the rest of us! :)

And maybe try to lure in the sports fans with the promise of some fun trivia!

Question: What is the overall record of wins and losses for Georgia versus Florida in football? To find out the answer, please wash your hands!

If they see through that little scheme, you could try patronizing your patrons outright…

Employees MUST wash hands before returning to work.Patrons SHOULD wash hands before returning to their tables.

…or just straight-up treat them like four-year-olds. (“Did you wash your hands?” “Yes.” “DID YOU WASH YOUR HANDS?” “I said yes!!!”)

Did you wash your hands? DID YOU WASH YOUR HANDS?

Perhaps even a dash of reverse psychology?

Jimmy the Germ says: 1) TOUCH your nose, eyes and mouth OFTEN! 2) DON'T wash your hands with soap! 3) NEVER wash your hands for more than 30 seconds! 4) NEVER use Sanitizing Hand Gel! LET'S ALL HELP JIMMY SURVIVE!

Of course, those less-straightforward techniques just might just backfire on you.  In that case, you could play the bully with THE CLIP ART THAT MUST BE STOPPED.

WASH THOSE HANDS!

Or, if your clip-art collection is a bit larger…release the dragon!

Excuse me but could you please wash your hands so I don't have to sanitize the germs with my fire.

Not scary enough? Maybe it’s time to bust out the F word.

Flu season is back!!!! Please wash your hands before leaving the bathroom. (Washing hands is optional off season.)

WASH YOUR HANDS! You could same someone's life, OR you could cause someone's death. Yes, that means you.

Or the even scarier F-word: FECAL-ORAL.

Why wash your hands? It's the #1 activity that can reduce disease transmission! It reduces the spread of colds, flu, and bacterial conjunctivitis (

And if that still doesn’t work? Well, I guess you’ll just have to flounce away, invest in some latex gloves, and vow to hold it ’til you get home.

Several people are complaining that People on this floor are using the restroom and they are NOT washing their hands. Dirty hands spread disease. Please wash your hands. If you don't believe in washing your hands, please refrain from touching the copier, the coffee pot, the ice machine, door handles, the elevator button....etc. Please respect others around you and wash your hands! Thank you

(Thanks to Jen in Houston, Jenni in Spokane, Marley in Pittsburgh, Lindsey in Memphis, Laura in Richmond, and the many anonymous submitters for their contributions.)

related: Five approaches to toilet paper maintenance

extra credit:  “On Washing Hands,” by Atul Gawande

extra extra credit: “Maybe You Touched Your Genitals” Liquid Hand Soap


Tags: "helpful" advice · a little patronizing · bullet points · clip art catastrophe · hygiene · office · rebuttals · restaurant · reverse psychology · rhetorical question · washing your hands