Particularly Religious Coworker is on a roll lately

My office admin, Particularly Religious Coworker, has been on a bit of a rampage. Today’s latest issues: the candy jar, and the holiday party. Dammit lady, quit being a pain in my ass.

Particularly Religious Coworker has a couple really annoying habits:

  1. Even though she is not in charge of approving expenses, she acts like we’re not allowed to spend the company’s money on anything, even when managers like myself who have the authority to approve expenses tell her to spend the company’s money on a thing.
  2. Coming up with overly complicated solutions to simple problems because of imaginary contingencies that are in reality very unlikely but in her mind require having a much more complicated solution to the simple problem. Whenever I tell her that we should get more information to figure out if these unlikely contingencies will occur, she runs down all the hypothetical ways that these imaginary unlikely problems will still come to pass, necessitating her overly-complicated solution.
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Generally speaking, it is not PRC’s job to decide things. The only things PRC is in charge of are:

  1. Answering the phone.
  2. Filing things.
  3. Submitting time sheets and expense reports.
  4. Making coffee.
  5. Occasional other administrative things that we managers ask her to do.

The expenses problem has manifested itself with the office candy jar. There are a couple candy jars around the office, mostly for employees and also for students who come to meet with us. She keeps the candy stash under lock and key and refills the candy jars with an ever-so-tiny amount of candy.

The other day, I went to take a piece of candy from the jar, and PRC asked me when I was going to buy some candy for the jar, because one of the other managers has been buying the candy, and apparently PRC also bought some. I said it’s ridiculous for me or anyone else to spend their own personal money on the candy for the jar, she should quit wasting her money, and add some candy to our next office supply order. “Oh, it wouldn’t be right for us to spend the company’s money on candy for ourselves.

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I told her six different ways that I as a manager am declaring it is ok for us to put candy on our office supply order, and if anyone from corporate questions it they can come to me. She still refused to do it. She then complained behind my back to the other employees about my not having bought any candy for the jar. They all told me about this, because they’re fed up with PRC’s cheapness on this and many other things, when PRC is not in charge of the budget.

We had to get my boss who mostly works at another location to tell PRC that managers have expense approval authority and for her to quit giving her opinion on what can or can’t be bought. If someone higher up the food chain says for her to buy something, just buy it.

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Now that she knows we will not be struck down by lightning from the heavens if we add candy to the next office supply order, she’s spending all this time figuring out all the possible candy options available from Office Max, and which ones are worth the best value for the dollar, and how many we should order, and how much to put in the jar vs. keep locked up in her desk.

JUST BUY SOME FUCKING CANDY AND KEEP THE JAR FILLED GODDAMMIT, LADY.

Today, the complicated solution problem manifested itself in a different way: planning the company holiday party.

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We had already booked our holiday party at the same nice restaurant we used last year, in the same room. But it turned out we needed to reschedule, and on the new date, the restaurant had a smaller room that would hold “only” 45 people. We have 31 employees, many of whom are part time or live far away so won’t be attending. This room will probably be fine, but PRC seized upon one sentence the catering manager at the restaurant said in an email:

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“It might be a tight fit.”

Even though she had no idea how big this room is, if there will be a bar in it, or a buffet in it, or anything else besides it having a maximum capacity of 45 people, PRC decided that she needs to investigate alternatives by asking me for suggestions for other restaurants, because I’m the office Food Guy.

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I told her I don’t know off the top of my head which other restaurants have banquet rooms so she should get some more information about this 45 person room and we’d decide what to do next.

She kept insisting on all the different hypothetical ways we could end up with more than 45 people. I told her again to get some more info from the catering manager. “THIS IS THE ONE TIME OF YEAR I GET TO PLAN SOMETHING NICE AND IF THERE END UP BEING TOO MANY PEOPLE I AM GOING TO SAY IT WAS YOUR FAULT FOR THINKING THERE WOULD BE ENOUGH SPACE WHEN THERE WASN’T ENOUGH SPACE AND WE COULD HAVE COME UP WITH OTHER OPTIONS.”

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Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

She actually did email the guy back with my questions, and when he replied, he said there might be a cancellation where we can get a bigger room. But PRC was all demanding for me to tell her all the nice restaurants in town as if I am a magic spirit animal guide to nice restaurants. I didn’t even have to tell her which ones had banquet rooms, because she would waste mass quantities of time taking a list of restaurants from me and finding out if each and every one of them does or does not have party rooms. Even though we already probably have a fine enough option.

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I told her flat out that was a giant waste of time and that she should wait to hear back from this catering guy.

“BUT I HAVE THE TIME. I WILL INVESTIGATE. WHAT IF IT’S TOO SMALL OF A ROOM? WHAT IF EVERYONE BRINGS A +1? HE SAID IT WOULD BE A TIGHT FIT! I TRUST HIM THAT HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT AND IF IT’S GOING TO BE A TIGHT FIT THEN I DON’T WANT US TO HAVE A TIGHT FIT.”

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The only solution I had was to refuse to tell her the names of any restaurants. I said if she wants to waste that much time then she can google for restaurants with banquet rooms herself, but I wasn’t going to waste any more time on this nonsense than had already been wasted.

I’m sure PRC is pissed at me because I wouldn’t provide the jumping off point for her idiotic quest for alternate holiday party venues when we already have a likely-fine one booked. But I don’t care.

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Just make sure the candy jar is filled. Don’t be stingy.

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