If you’ve been working for a while, chances are, you would have come across some interesting characters at your workplace.
From the seemingly harmless “chipsmore” who disappears from time to time to the more annoying “batu api
” and downright creepy stalkers, there are all kinds of people you will come across in your working life.
We got a few Malaysians to share their stories for entertainment purpose and here’s what they had to say:
Disclaimer: The names in the article have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
#1 The one who called the boss fat
Carissa joined a reputable company fresh out of college as a trainee. The programme she joined included a one-month classroom training followed by two months of field experience.
At the end of the three months, you either get hired or not.
It was mostly fun...except when she and some of her colleagues had to deal with an interesting character. Let’s call her Su Ki.
Su Ki was a little socially awkward, abrupt and quite childish. According to Carissa, most of the group that went through the programme didn’t know what to make of her but tried to be nice because it was clear that she had “issues”.
“Usually, we don’t interact much, but one of the weeks, many people in the class were coughing including Su Ki.
“She will turn towards the others and sort of fan her hands in front of her face when she is coughing, which the rest of us found gross but didn’t really say anything to her directly. But then she suddenly started screaming at some girls saying they have been coughing in her face.
“The whole incident was just bizarre and childish. The trainers even had to step in and ask everyone to wear masks to avoid further problems,” she said.
Despite being socially awkward, Su Ki was given a job at the media company that is quite tolerant towards the more eccentric.
But the problems started when she had to meet clients. She was not able to carry out her duties properly because of her lack of communication skills and manners.
Despite that, the company tried to retain her, but she was moved to few departments to see if they could find a role that she could fit in.
“Even her dressing was not appropriate. She often wore ill-fitting shirts that gaped open.
“When a boss suggested that she buy better fitting clothes or at least use safety pins to avoid flashing someone, she called the boss fat. This was to a boss who was trying to help her all along,” Carissa recalled.
Needless to say, Su Ki never received her confirmation letter and had to leave the company.
#2 The one who is an extremely blur (and creepy) sotong
Harith was working as an editor for a men's magazine when he hired a new writer named Desmond.
During the interview session, Desmond came off as a silent yet confident young man, so Harith thought he managed to rope in a talent to help grow the magazine.
However, Harith soon realised he hired an absolute "doofus" (in his own words).
"On the day he was supposed to report for work, we were waiting for him as he was supposed to be in the office by 9am. At 9.45am, I received a call from him, saying that he's in front of the office but no one is there to open the doors for him.
"So, I went outside, and there was not a single soul in view," Harith recounted.
As it turns out, Desmond was indeed standing at the front door of the office...of a competitor men's magazine, 12km away.
But the one incident that broke Harith's back (metaphorically speaking, of course) was when Desmond showed his true creep self.
As they work for a men's magazine, the team would often work with models for photoshoots.
On one particular photoshoot, Desmond was, again, late to work.
"About 30 minutes into the photoshoot, we got a call from Desmond. Of course, he was nowere in sight. Instead of apologising for being late, he asked: 'I know this is very last minute, but is it OK if I bring along a friend to the photoshoot?
Needless to say, Desmond didn't last very long in the company, and Harith was just glad he managed to get rid of him.
#3 The one who drove with only one contact lens in her eye
It was Deepavali. One of Saranya’s colleagues invited the team for lunch. When her colleague Atiqah offered to drive her to the event, Saranya agreed.
Within a few minutes of getting in the car, Saranya offered to take the wheel.
“To be honest, I was a little afraid for my life. But things got worse. At a fork, Atiqah asked me to look at the signboard because she couldn’t see as she was only had one side of her contact lenses in.
“She dropped the other one when she was trying to put it in while driving to get me,” Saranya said.
By this time, Saranya was pretty concerned but her offer to drive was denied. What could she do?
Luckily for her, they reached the colleague’s house in one piece.
“I should have known better than to get in her car when I saw all the dents and scratches on it. But all was well in the end,” she said.
#4 The one who stalks
We have to say that this story gave us the creeps.
It all began when Bianca* joined a new company. A guy who worked at a different department sent her flowers anonymously.
"It started out pretty innocent. He sent me flowers and when I found out it was him, I thanked him but said that I was not interested," she shared.
However, the guy didn't stop sending her pretty blooms. The gifts arrived once every week, and Bianca kept returning them. She eventually lost her patience and told the guy off.
"I said, sternly, that I was not interested. By then, the whole office knew it was him and he even told some people that I was 'his girl'.
"When I heard that, I confronted him for the second time and lied that I had a boyfriend," said Bianca, who just wanted to get the guy off her back.
She stopped receiving flowers and thought that was it, but then she started getting messages via the company's messaging service.
This is when the story gets even more creepy. The guy started sending her texts that said things like 'You should not drive so fast on the road' and 'You should be more careful when filling up petrol at the gas station at night'.
That was when Bianca started to suspect that the guy was probably trailing her home.
"The next time I drove back, I paid more attention to who was behind me and sure enough, I saw the creep," she recalled.
According to Bianca, she lived about 40 minutes away from her office and had found out that her stalker lived much closer to their workplace, so it didn't make sense for him to be using the same route as her.
"It was really frightening because he followed me right up to my house and then sped off," said Bianca.
This time, she didn't hold back. She confronted him for the third time and shouted at him, threatening to call the police.
"He defended his actions by saying that he just wanted to make sure that I was safe. He also admitted having been following me for weeks," said Bianca, who shared that her stalker even said that he wanted to marry her and see her happy.
After that incident, the messages and flowers stopped.
Still, it was not the end of the story (this is not the kind of perseverance girls find attractive, guys).
"One night, I suddenly saw him at the pasar malam
near my house, and a day later at my church. He's not even a Christian! It was really scary, and I told my mum and dad," she said.
Her parents convinced her to quit her job and she did.
"Two months after leaving the company, I head outside one evening and see him in my neighbour's house. They were busy chatting," Bianca continued.
Once the stalker left, she spoke to her neighbour and found out that both the men were colleagues. Her former co-worker had changed jobs and was at her neighbour's house to drop off some documents.
"I lodged a police report and shared it with him. I'm not sure if the police followed up on it but I have not seen him since," she said, adding that the guy had been stalking her for about six months by then.
Bianca added that the whole ordeal was not only frightening, but also frustrating.
"He never really did anything that was harmful enough for me to lodge a report immediately, but it was still emotionally stressful. Especially for the young me who was trying to create a good impression in the workplace.
"It was so hard to get people to understand what was happening because he was the 'good guy' at the office," said Bianca.
#5 The one who only found her voice when the boss was around
Sharon is a very extroverted person who talks to everyone she comes across.
When she joined a new company, being herself, she was friendly with everyone, including a colleague named Hamidah.
Hamidah was usually quiet except when the boss is around. Then she transforms into a chattering magpie that talks about anything and everything.
“She was really weird. Once, we went out for lunch and she was just staring at everyone while chewing her food.
“She didn’t even reply when we spoke to her directly. It got so weird, I asked her if she had sore throat or something. Still no reply so I gave up and started fiddling with my phone,” Sharon recounted.
Turned out, Hamidah didn’t have a sore throat after all. She started speaking animatedly at the office as soon as the boss came in.
Maybe she had a crush on her boss? Or maybe she's just shy in front of her colleagues? Nobody knows for sure.
#6 The one that's not so tech-savvy
Nadi was a journalist at one of the states in Malaysia when the incident happened.
“I just got transferred to the state and I have to say most of them there were a little… what you would call 'abnormal'.
“There was one who was rumored to have often slept in office, two (women) who couldn’t get along and came to blows in the office and the list continues,” he said.
But the story Nadi wanted to share most was about the day he walked it to the office to see one of the colleagues tilting the computer monitor to the side while trying to type with her other hand.
Puzzled, he asked her what she was doing to which she said: “My screen is upside down and I have to file my story. I don’t know why it is like that!”
Nadi whipped out his smartphone and Googled the fix, and to the astonishment of the rest of the staff there, he managed to do it.
The problem was not a complex one. When you hit ctrl alt and arrow buttons, the screen rotates. Just do the same thing, and it rotates again to the right side.
“It was actually a prank by one of our colleagues. The weird part was, even the person who pulled the prank was surprised that I even thought of just Googling the solution.
“They weren’t even that much older than me and know how to use a computer. It wasn’t like I was going to hit a library to find an answer,” Nadi said, clearly still shocked few years after the incident.
It may not be fun to work with weird colleagues, especially if they get in your faces, but it sure is entertaining to watch such characters on screen.
"How Not To Lose Your Job"
webseries has weird characters that might just remind you of your own experiences while leaving you in stitches.
The sitcom follows Miss JJ, an ambitious and hardworking woman who was looking forward to her first day as editor-in-chief at a media company.
However, things take a spin out of control when the boss announces that he's shutting down the company due to bad performance.
That means that Miss JJ and her crew will be out of a job.
Undeterred, Miss JJ must now rally her troop of very unique and definitely very whacky subordinates for their toughest fight yet: keeping their jobs.
Of course, things aren't as simple as it seems when her co-workers are not exactly coorperating with her.
'How Not To Lose Your Job' stars award-winning actress Sangeeta Krishnasamy
, Taufiq Izmir Tawaff
, Dee Al Hadi
, Tan Meng Kheng
, Sukania Venugopaltan
, Charles Roberts
and Ellyza Aziz
, and is directed by Directors ThinkTank.
You can catch new episodes of 'How Not To Lose Your Job
' every Monday
It will also be available on www.gempak.com
and Hello (CH702).